The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Xbox 360
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Released on 24/03/2006
After the mysterious and untimely death of the Emperor, the throne of Tamriel lies empty. With the Empire ready to crumble, the gates of Oblivion open and demons march upon the land - laying waste to everything in their path. To turn the tide of darkness, you must find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel.
- Live Another Life in Another World. Create and play any character you can imagine, from the noble warrior to the sinister assassin to the wizened sorcerer.
- Next Generation Graphics. Pixel-shader effects and high definition televisions are fully supported to create unprecedented visuals, including lifelike towns, dungeons, and the most realistic forests ever created in a game.
- First Person Melee and Magic. An all-new combat and magic system brings first person role-playing to a new level of intensity where you feel every blow.
- Radiant AI. This groundbreaking AI system gives Oblivion's characters full 24/7 schedules and the ability to make their own choices based on the world around them. Non-player characters eat, sleep, and complete goals all on their own.
- Realistic Characters. Oblivion's features over 1,000 non-player characters who come to life like never before with facial animations, lip-synching, and full speech. They even engage in unscripted conversations with each other and you.
- Open-Ended Game Play; Short Challenges. The enormous world of Oblivion is open for you to explore at your own pace, and shorter challenges such as fighting bandits, mixing potions, creating magic items and persuading friends keep the challenges coming.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim detailed
Unveiled at the Video Game Awards last weekend, we're all pretty excited about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. If you played the last game, Oblivion, you'll know why. The PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 fantasy masterpiece offers a blistering story, great combat, and plenty of ways to trick out your hero - who wouldn't want more of the same?
Bethesda's finally released a little more information on Skyrim, and the game's sounding better all the time. The new game is a direct sequel to Oblivion, meaning there should be plenty of details for fans of the series to hunt for, and it's also been confirmed that the game will be coming to the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, when it launches on November 11 next year.
But there's more. The game's been given a brand new engine, meaning it will look significantly prettier than Oblivion did. Nick Brecon, Bethesda's community manager, confirmed as much in a tweet yesterday, saying: "The Skyrim engine is all-new. And it looks fantastic."
A new, prettier Elder Scrolls game coming out next year: It's almost too much to think about. It's a good thing for our wallets that we don't have new instalments of Mass Effect and Uncharted hitting shelves alongside it. Oh, wait. We do.
Video Games Awards reveal games, games, and more games
This weekend saw the Video Game Awards rock the US of A, and while there were prizes, speeches, and parties, there were also announcements of new games. Lots of them. Here are the biggies.
Mass Effect 3 is on the way from BioWare. The sci-fi sequel will see Commander Shepherd protecting the Earth from alien invasion, and will be hitting the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 somewhere around Christmas 2011. We love the first two games, so we're excited.
Sticking with RPGs, Bethesda's unveiled Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the sequel to sword and sorcery classic Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It's coming out in November, 2011, but we've got no firm word on which platforms it's going to land on just yet, or what kind of epic fantasy story it's going to tell.
Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro's working on a game for THQ called inSane. Aside from the fact that it's out in 2013, that's literally all we know about it from the reveal.
Prototype 2 is on the way from Radical and Activision. The sequel to the superhero open-worlder features an interesting twist: rather than pick up the story of wall-crawling mutant Alex Mercer once more, you're cast as the man who has to bring him down. No platforms have been revealed, but the game's on the way in 2012.
Finally, we knew it was in development, but now we also know Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will be hitting PS3s in America on 1st November, 2011. Whether Europe gets it the same day we don't yet know, but it's nice to know roughly when to expect it.
But it wasn't only action and role-playing fans who have things to look forward to following this weekend's Video Games Awards in the US. Sports gamers are getting a few treats, too, with new instalments for the SSX and Forza series being announced.
SSX: Deadly Descents reinvents the classic snowboarding game for the current console generation, although no formats - or dates were revealed.
According to the publisher, EA, players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade.
Sounds great. If you're a driving fanatic, though, you'll be excited to hear about Forza 4. The latest game in Microsoft's simulation racing series will be revving up on the Xbox 360 in the second half of next year, and although details are scarce, you can expect some kind of tie-in with Top Gear, apparently, and some Kinect integration to boot.
Dishonored is a first-person stealth game which will apparently offer unrivalled player choice as you plot your way through gloomy scenarios. Revealed in the latest issue of US magazine Game Informer, wee promised game about morality and player choice where the world you create is based on your actions, not navigating conversation trees
t a game about assassination where you don't have to kill anyone teases the mag. t's a game about infiltration where you can set up traps and slaughter the entire garrison of an aristocrat's mansion rather than sneak in. It's a game about brutal violence where you can slip in and out of a fortified barracks with nobody ever knowing you were there./p>
One of the biggest games of 2011 is almost upon us and we can't wait to get our hands on it. So, what better time to take a look back at one of gaming's favourite series, The Elder Scrolls? Morrowind is remembered for its extraordinary size and depth, Oblivion for it's ground-breaking visuals and music, and Skyrim is shaping up to be every bit the classic that we've all been hoping for.
Here, there be dragons.
Morrowind's cliff-racers brought a tear to the eye of many a gamer, but those worrying about the same thing happening with Skyrim's dragons can rest assured. Todd Howard, executive producer, has explained that those random city attacks will be very welcome indeed. Taking down these fearsome creatures will allow you to absorb their souls, powering the dragon-shouts that players will harness on their journey throughout the game.
Oblivion's levelling system left a lot to be desired for many. Dressing up in the finest armour, only to stumble across bandits equipped with equally powerful armour, it left progress feeling a little unsatisfying. The good news is that Bethesda has promised a levelling system for Skyrim that's much more like the one in Fallout 3. You'll still meet powerful enemies as you level up but they'll be within a similar level range to you, giving you the chance to have the upper hand.
Rather than being forced down one route of play as a warrior, mage or hunter for example, Skyrim will also feature a perk system that allows you to augment your play style with bonus effects. If you get tired off throwing out fireballs and fancy some time with a blade and shield, you can level up those combat tools just fine as well.
Music to my ears
Legendary composer Jeremy Soule is back for soundtrack duties and we couldn't be more excited. Oblivion's regal epic score added so much depth to the atmosphere of the games. What can we expect from Skyrim's soundtrack? A few re-workings of favourites no doubt, along with a striking mood to suit the Nordic setting.
The sky's the limit
One of the things we loved best about previous Elder Scrolls game was the ability to travel to anywhere you could see in the world. Oblivion's mountains and forests were the perfect place to wander through and explore in, even if they a lacked a little of the variety we'd got used to in Morrowind. The province of Skyrim on the other hand is an enormous playground to lose yourself in: tundra, misty mountains, and over 160 uniquely designed dungeons lurking just below the surface.
Careful how you tread
One thing that definitely won't be coming back from the previous games is the rather wonky animations. Bethesda has made great improvements to make sure that players and characters in the world not only move and fight better than ever before, they'll also act more realistically. With their own motivations and daily schedules, you'll believe you're in another world.
There's something in the shadows...
Remember the Dark Brotherhood quests from Oblivion? After killing an innocent citizen of the world, a mysterious stranger appeared while you slept, offering you an opportunity to join their ranks. These assassins of the night are back in Skyrim, and we can't wait to get stuck into whatever devilish antics Bethesda has cooked up for us this time around.
There's only just over a week to go until the game releases on Friday 11th November, so clear out your calendar, take the telephone off the hook, and get ready for one of the most ambitious open-world adventures that gaming has ever seen, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Star castHeadlined by the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, last year was a great year for role playing games, and 2012 looks set to kick off with a bang when Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launches in February. A single-player RPG that challenges players to unlock the mysteries of a magical world filled with strange landscapes, exotic cities, colourful characters and terrifying creatures, expectations are particularly high given the star cast involved in the game's creation.
Fantasy world Amalur and its 10,000 years of fiction was created by 22-time New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, and has been brought to life visually for the game by renowned Spider-Man artist and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane. Featuring over 60 hours of story, diverse side quests and exploration, the title's open world, free-roaming design has been developed under the leadership of RPG guru Ken Rolston, formerly lead designer on the critically acclaimed Elder Scrolls games Morrowind and Oblivion.
Choose your destinyKingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning gives players great scope for personalising their character, with the freedom of choice extending well beyond just physical appearance. Destinies, which are the essentially the game's version of classes, enable players to develop and master their personal battle style, crafting their character without many of the constraints associated with traditional RPGs.
The Destiny system is basically a class-switching feature defined by abilities managed and unlocked within Sorcery, Might, and Finesse specialisations. Whether dabbling in all three specialities or pouring every point into one, path-shaping destinies continually evolve and new ones open up. For example, a battle-hardened warrior can incorporate the stealthy quickness of a rogue as well as the magical mastery of a sorcerer, or adopt subtle variations of them all. The choice is yours.
RPG combat evolvedFrom our brief exposure to the game, perhaps its standout feature is its non-traditional take on combat. While most RPGs see fighters trading blows until whoever has the least hit points loses, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's responsive, lightning-quick combat is more influenced by fluid third-person action series like God of War and Ninja Gaiden. Warriors can roll out of danger, mages can teleport-dodge, and characters perform brutal combos - the lead combat designer happens to be a tournament level Tekken player - while the camera sweeps around framing the action in the most exciting way possible.
While it's still possible to button-mash your way through duels, chaining skills together and precise timing will pay off and develop your character further. Once you've acquired enough energy from defeated enemies to fill up the game's 'fate meter' you can also unleash 'Reckoning' mode, which slows down time for your opponents, giving you an upper hand that lets you zap around dishing out damage and taking out the more deadly enemies with brutal kills that require you to react to button prompts on the screen which, if your timing is spot on, appear to earn you additional experience as you close in on flashy kills.
Based on what we've played to date, we're more than a little excited to see more of what Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has to offer with its gorgeous open world, fast-paced, visceral combat and its interesting take on character creation and development.
Respected American journal, Time, has ventured into digital waters to list what it considers to be the top hundred video games ever made. The result is a suitably eclectic mix, presented in chronological order stretching from the 1970s all the way up to the 2010s.
All the retro arcade classics you'd expect are in there - Space Invaders, Frogger, Pac-Man and more - while Nintendo's core franchises dominate the 1980s as consoles made their way into US homes. Mario and Zelda are among the only games to appear in more than one guise. The original Super Mario Bros and Mario 64 both make the grade, as does the original Metroid and its 2002 first-person sequel Metroid Prime.
More recognisable names also pop up as the list draws closer to 2012. Bioshock, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports, Portal, Gears of War and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion are all held up as examples of classic modern gaming.
Just two games from the last few years have been deemed worthy of a place. Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City are the lucky pair. Notable by their absence are current big hitters such as Assassin's Creed, Borderlands and Uncharted.
Is Time placing too much importance on the past? Would you pick any of these for your top 100?
Unveiled at the Video Game Awards last weekend, we're all pretty excited about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.…
This weekend saw the Video Game Awards rock the US of A, and while there were prizes, speeches, and parties, there were also announcements of new games. Lots of them.…
Designers behind two of the most critically acclaimed first-person action games are working on a new project for Bethesda, the publisher behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls RPG series.…
One of the biggest games of 2011 is almost upon us and we can't wait to get our hands on it. So, what better time to take a look back at one of gaming's favourite series, The Elder Scrolls? Morrowind …
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Preview (24/01/2012)
Headlined by the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, last year was a great year for role playing games, and 2012 looks set to kick off with a bang when Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launches in February. A singl…
Time magazine picks the 100 best game… (16/11/2012)
Respected American journal, Time, has ventured into digital waters to list what it considers to be the top hundred video games ever made. The result is a suitably eclectic mix, presented in chronologi…
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