Bethesda Softworks threw its legions of ravenous fans a bone today and unveiled the very first footage of its upcoming RPG. Scheduled for release on November 11, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim chronicles the tale of the return of dragons to Tamriel. Players take control of the last Dovahkiin (meaning Dragonborn) in the midst of a civil war set in the titular nation of Skyrim. Expectations for the title are already through the roof thanks to the huge popularity that 2006’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion enjoyed, but this new video (nearly three minutes in length) will likely send the fan base into even more of a tizzy.
The trailer starts off in familiar territory by splicing some quick shots of Skyrim’s environment into the previously released teaser, which detailed some bits of background story via voice-over. Thankfully, this is followed up by some beautiful footage of the game’s new Creation Engine in motion. We get our first glimpse of a dragon in the game as the hero battles the giant beast atop a gorgeous snow-covered cliff. The majority of the video focuses on combat and even shows off the much touted “dragon shout” ability. We are also treated to some sweeping footage of ancient ruins and other enticing locations.
It becomes immediately apparent that this new engine has allowed the team at Bethesda to vastly improve on the visuals from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The most striking difference is the radical upgrade in fluidity. Gone are the rigid, unrealistic movements from Oblivion. In their place are smoother and more believable animations that should make enemy encounters and world travel far more enjoyable. With more than eight months to go until its release, Skyrim is looking great and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.