Elder Scrolls’ Books – Check ‘em out!

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In a press release today we announced that we’ve partnered once again with Titan Books to create two new series of books: The Elder Scrolls Online – Tales of Tamriel & The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Skyrim Library!

Not since Encyclopedia Britannica’s heyday have volumes of books looked this cool and demanded to be on your bookshelf. With The Elder Scrolls Online, two volumes covering “The Land” and “The Lore” feature never-before-seen art and extensive lore surrounding the game. Meanwhile, by popular demand, the Skyrim series offers the first opportunity to get all of the game’s in-game text across three volumes.

The first volumes of these books are expected to release in March of 2015. For more information, read the full press release below…

TITAN BOOKS ANNOUNCES TWO NEW ELDER SCROLLS BOOK SERIES

Titan Books today announced five high-quality, in-universe artefacts for fans of The Elder Scrolls®, Bethesda Softworks’ internationally acclaimed and bestselling video game franchise. Titan Books, known for high quality film, TV and gaming tie-ins, with particular strength in the area of licensed entertainment titles, has been granted worldwide rights on the series.

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. I: THE LAND
THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. II: THE LORE

Step into the fantasy world of The Elder Scrolls Online with THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – a series featuring a vast collection of in-game lore and original art. The two bound volumes chart the ongoing struggles between the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact – as well as the deadly invasion of Daedric Prince Molag Bal. Each book features close to one hundred specially commissioned, never-before-seen pieces of art illustrating the lives, the land, and the lore of Tamriel at war.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL I: THE HISTORIES
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL II: MAN, MER AND BEAST
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL III: THE ARCANE
 

From the archives of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® come the collected in-game texts, THE SKYRIM LIBRARY. This lavishly bound, three-volume series chronicles for the first time all of Tamriel’s history, and covers a multitude of Elder Scrolls lore – including the cultures, creatures, magic, myths, and more – illustrated with stunning art.

Omar Khan, the series’ editor, is delighted to be a part of this new project, “I’m very excited to play a part in bringing the in-game text from Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online to print. Using art and text from Bethesda, we were able craft these amazing tomes that truly showcase the exceptionally well-written and in-depth lore that is the foundation of The Elder Scrolls.”

“One of the most important aspects of The Elder Scrolls series is the lore,” said Pete Hines, VP of Marketing and PR for Bethesda Softworks. “To have so much of its history chronicled in this way, accompanied by art sourced from the games, is very cool We’re excited to be working with Titan on this project, and for fans to see how much detail goes into the worlds our development teams create.”

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. I: THE LAND and THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL. I: THE HISTORIES are set to hit stores in March next year.

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About The Elder Scrolls Series

With each instalment reimagining and revolutionizing the genre, The Elder Scrolls series brings to life a complete virtual world for you to explore in any way you choose. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®, released in November 2011, is the most recent single-player game set in the award-winning Elder Scrolls universe. Skyrim earned hundreds of ‘Game of the Year’ awards. Skyrim was the second-highest grossing title in the industry in 2011, and the fastest-selling title in Steam’s history. The Elder Scrolls series includes Arena, Dagerfall, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002 RPG of the Year), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006 Game of the Year). The Elder Scrolls Online® is the latest chapter in the franchise, and brings the legendary experience online for the first time in its 20-year history. Explore the expansive world – from the far reaches of Skyrim to the sprawling metropolis of Daggerfall and beyond – as a lone adventurer or with friends. The choices you make, from the alliance you join to the battles you fight, will shape your destiny and the world of Tamriel.

About Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®, DOOM®QUAKE®Fallout®, Wolfenstein®, Dishonored®, Prey® and RAGE®.   For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.  

Weekend Update — Golden Opportunity Edition

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After a busy launch week for The Evil Within, it’s nice to catch up on news for our other 2014 releases — Wolfenstein: The New Order & The Elder Scrolls Online — while some Sunday afternoon  football (sorry Saints fans… Go Lions!). Join me as I catch on the following:

ESO Game Director Matt Firor talks about what’s new with The Elder Scrolls Online — including details on Update 5 and the game’s new loyalty program — in the October Edition of ‘The Road Ahead’.

What made Wolfenstein: The New Order’s story one of the most compelling of 2014? In a new feature with Digital Trends, learn from Creative Director Jens Matthies why nothing in the game is done by accident. Here’s an excerpt…

“It’s never a case where things get developed in a vacuum from each other. It’s always a collaboration. There’s always lot of conflict that arises through that; I’ll have a story idea and somebody else will have a gameplay idea, and they might be conflicting. Then we negotiate and discuss around that and try to find a solution where all parties are happy. It’s not until we get there that we move along to the next problem.”

Reminder: Both of these games are up for Golden Joystick nominees. ESO is up for Best Online Game, while Wolfenstein is up for Best Gaming Moment, Best Story, and the big one… Game of the Year! Voting for the Golden Joysticks ends tomorrow (10/20)… so show your support today!

Safe to say this is awesome

In celebration of The Evil Within’s launch, the crazy-awesome statue makers at GamingHeads.com have created an all-new resin statue for the uber challenging and soon-to-be-cosplay star, The Keeper (a.k.a. Boxman). Oh yeah, and as part of the game’s season pass, you’ll actually take control of him.

The statue comes in two varieties — both standing standing 15 inches tall and created by Goran Sadojevich. The standard version, limited to 750 pieces, is the safe way to go if you don’t want to gross out family or coworkers (which you still might do). But if you want to go crazy with it, pre-order the exclusive edition which only has 350 pieces worldwide. In this one, the safe is open and all sorts of nasty are spilling out.

Pre-order your regular edition Keeper statue

Pre-Order the exclusive edition Keeper statue

The Evil Within Launch Day — Reviews & More!

The game is out!! When taking a break from playing The Evil Within, there’s plenty to watch/read/share about the game online!

We start with a *groundbreaking report* from The Onion, who look at how the game’s terrors stack up with real world problems. You. Must. Watch.

Speaking of reporting, early reviews are in! Among the highlights, Game Informer’s Tim Turi scored the game a 9/10, calling it a, “a wonderfully horrifying experience”. For more in-depth thoughts from Game Informer, watch their Test Chamber video below.

Elsewhere, AusGamers honored the game with a perfect score, 10/10 (!!). Here’s an intense snippet from the review:

“Where BioShock Infinite aggressively tugged on heartstrings, The Evil Within tears them from your chest and crucifies you. It strangles you with your own tendrils and feeds you your own beating heart, mouth locked shut and tied with entrails, forcing you to chew and swallow.”

And more reviews below…

IGN (8.7/10) — “The Evil Within is a brutal, challenging, and remarkably fun game.”

Game Informer (9/10) — “A Masterwork of Absolute Insanity”

Gametrailers (9/10) — “Tense pacing, stunning atmosphere, and terrifying enemy encounters come together to create a journey you may never forget.”

The Sixth Axis (8/10) — “The introduction of new weapons and enemies, such as the squid-like Quell and horrendous Devil Dog keeps the pace up during the fifteen or so hours of game time and a couple of difficulty levels mean the game has some replay value.”

We The Nerdy (8/10) — “… The Evil Within managed to win me over through smart design decisions, varied boss fights and gameplay, and its insane unpredictability.”

PlayStation LifeStyle (8/10) – “Playing on Survival difficulty or higher is a true challenge, and you need to make quick decisions about which enemies to take out first, when to run and hide, and which crossbow bolts to make in semi-real time.”

Entertainment Buddha (86/100) – “The Evil Within is a brutal, terrifying game that boasts some of the most impressive atmosphere in video game history.”

Pocket-lint (8/10) – “But the crossbow is the cleverest weapon: you can craft bolts which immobilise zombies by giving them an electric shock or freezing them, or which pack an explosive punch. And you can craft the precise bolts you need.”

MMGN (8/5/10) – “…the well balanced gameplay and unrelenting atmosphere makeThe Evil Within one of the best survival horror games in years for just that: stingy survival and creepy horror.”

GameZone (8/20) – “Much of what makes The Evil Within scary is the environment. From the grainy filter to the eerie ambiance, Tango Gameworks simply nailed it. ”

HardcoreGamer (8/10) – “The Evil Within is a breath of fresh air that deserves to be inhaled by every survival horror fan.”

God is a Geek – “… the art direction is often incredible, helped by the decision to use a letterbox aspect ratio. It’s surprisingly effective and the visual impact is clear. ”

Stevivor (9/10) — “The Evil Within is incredible example of going above and beyond expectations. Living up to hype is always a difficult task and it’s particularly hard in this case because The Evil Within falls somewhere between the categories of a Resident Evil reboot while still remaining to be a completely separate and new IP.”

Need more gameplay? Be sure to check out Giant Bomb’s Quick Look and check out PewDiePie’s Walkthrough #1.

Evil Takes Hold Today!

Turn out the lights and crank up the sound. The terrors and screams of Halloween come early with the release of The Evil Within — Shinji Mikami’s return to the genre he created — survival horror!

Huge congrats to Mikami-san, his team at Tango Gameworks, and everyone else involved in releasing the game today in North America and Europe across five platforms — PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 –

Throughout the week, keep an eye out for updates on the game — tips for survival, reviews, and highlights from the community.

Also, be sure to watch our Twitch livestream today as we tackle early chapters from the game. The fun starts at 1pm.

And after the break, officially celebrate with our release day press release! Continue reading full article ›

The Evil Within – The World Within

By this time next week, you’ll be hearing of horror stories that extend beyond the terrifying tale the The Evil Within tells. Sure to present a challenge to even seasoned veterans of the survival horror genre, we expect some great water cooler stories about the game’s challenges.

Looking for some tips for survival? Watch our newest video, The World Within, and guest editor Fran Reyes returns one more time to help you before evil takes hold of your gaming console/pc. This time around, she covers off on knowing your surroundings, the all-important choice of fighting our fleeing to survive another day, and how to tackle (and take advantage) of the game’s menacing traps.

If you missed them, be sure to read Fran’s first two features — Every Last Bullet & Fight for Life. You’ll thank us later.

Preparing for the unexpected in The Evil Within

There’s a moment near the very start of The Evil Within when Krimson City homicide detective Sebastian Castellanos realizes that something bigger is afoot than the gruesome mass murder case he’s working on. The foundation of the mental asylum he’s investigating starts to violently shake, and upon reaching the hospital’s entrance to escape, you discover that the surrounding landscape has irrevocably changed — the ground outside has given way, creating giant chasms now swallowing surrounding skyscrapers whole.

Is it really happening? Or is this part of some twisted nightmare? You’ll spend the rest of your journey trying to answer those questions, while diving deeper into the game’s central mystery and constantly fighting for your survival amid a dangerous, ever-changing landscape. Whenever you think you know where you are or where you’re heading, the world shifts, putting you in unexpected peril in, say, an open arena-type area, or pitting you against brutal new adversaries. Or both. In fact, the game seems to relish in keeping you guessing.

Attacked from afar

A great example of how The Evil Within keeps you on your toes occurs about midway through the campaign; after dashing through dim-lit hallways and cramped rooms while dodging a particularly devilish boss creature at the end of a stage, you eventually find yourself in a sun-lit, multi-level set of ruins. Makeshift bridges and stone staircases lead to locked doors and outcroppings from which hostile Haunteds — the name for many of the enemies that wander the game world — attack.

FranSniperZeroing in on distant enemies with the sniper rifle takes time and patience — two things you might not always have when you’re under siege — but every hit is incredibly powerful.

As you make your way through open-air rooms and rooftops, combat ebbs and flows until you reach a particularly tough impasse: in the distance, a new threat emerges in the form of enemy snipers. If they spot you out in the open, you’ll be inundated with a cloud of lethal bolts. Luckily, this is also where you’ll come across a sniper rifle of your own. But juggling the timing of when these ranged enemies are both vulnerable to a clear shot from your new firearm, with having to take cover to avoid getting impaled by a flood of their arrows isn’t an easy feat. Mixing stealth, cover, and action is something that The Evil Within enforces at every turn; you won’t survive for very long if you don’t mix up your approach to combat, and this is one of many instances where patience and being methodical is rewarded over all-out run-’n-gun tactics.

In fact, haste rarely ever pays off in a game that harbors so many surprises and twists. Wasting too much ammo or inventory in one fight can leave you unprepared and incredibly vulnerable for what might just be waiting around the corner. And as a word of warning for the uninitiated: In this specific instance with the snipers, making sure that every rifle shot hits its mark means you won’t have wasted shotgun shells or bolts for the threats ahead. You’ll need them.

Fight or flight: Know which to choose

It’s good to note, though, that not all fights can be won: no one will call you a coward for simply running to avoid conflict. In some areas, hiding under a bed or inside a locker can help you catch your breath and assess what you’re up against. If you’re low on ammo or health syringes, ducking into a nearby wardrobe can help you shake some enemies off your trail, which is something you can gauge with the help of the game’s “detection” meter. (Note: This meter is automatically enabled in Casual difficulty, but must be manually turned on in Survival difficulty.)

FranSneakV3Going into any situation with guns blazing is a bad idea, so always scope out an area by sticking to the shadows to see what you’re up against.

If a creature is in your vicinity, an “eye” icon appears on the screen showing that there’s a Haunted sniffing around nearby. If it hasn’t detected you, the it’s fight or flight, so ducking into a hidey-hole or getting a good amount of distance from the hostile and into cover, will often help you slip back into “undetected” mode. Keeping your cool is tough — panic is understandable, especially when you have only a handful of bullets left in your inventory — but keeping a level head gives you the chance to re-approach an “unaware” enemy for a stealth kill, which are win-win as you won’t consume any ammo.

In some cases, Sebastian must run from a threat in order to survive. Being chased by a quick-footed maniac through shadowy, twisting corridors or in tight spaces is a recipe for raised blood pressure, but some of The Evil Within’s boss creatures can’t be defeated through conventional methods — or at all. So, in these situations, it’s time to put that sprint button to the test. How far and fast you can sprint is determined by your stamina, an ability that can be upgraded in the game’s hub area with all that Green Gel you’ll be collecting throughout your journey.

FranMazeTrap Don’t panic: a cooler head allows you to navigate this trap-laden nightmare maze and avoid getting gibbed by a previously unseen wall-mine.

 A word of caution though: blindly fleeing from a seemingly invulnerable monster without remaining aware of your surroundings isn’t always a wise strategy. Some chase-style fights are more straightforward than others, but not all are the same. In one area, Sebastian may do just fine madly sprinting away from a pursuing hostile while dodging some obstacles. In others — like when you’re fighting against the frightening, mallet-wielding Keeper boss — you’ll have to not only dodge his attacks, but also remain wary of the traps he lays in his wake. Unwittingly step on one of his mines and not only do you take damage, but you’ll have to manually wrestle with the trap’s barbwire clamps to get them off your leg (via wiggling an analog stick) while the Keeper is bearing down on you — not exactly an ideal situation to find yourself in. Quickly disarming or simply destroying these mine-traps may require sharp eyes and a steady aim, but it’s worth it. Your nerves will thank you as well.

The tricky world of traps

While combat is constant throughout most of the campaign, challenges come in all forms. Not all threats present themselves in the form of fights with waves of Haunted; some obstacles are sneakier, more insidious. While the face-off against the mine-laying Keeper keeps you on your toes by introducing traps into a fight, there are battles that pressure you to quickly navigate areas of these lethal obstacles under a time limit of sorts.

FranKeeperTrapsThe Keeper respawns and lays down floor traps every time you encounter him. Outsmart him by steering clear of his mines.

In one particularly tricky area, you’re pursued by a shapeless foe who can seemingly appear at will, easily passing through wire fences and gates in a labyrinth that you’re not able to get through without first finding a clear passage. With jangled nerves at an all-time high, you’re also under threat of being instantly killed by the exploding wall-traps, dead ends, and other death-dealing obstacles that line your escape route. The pressure to constantly outmaneuver your pursuer means you might not have the time to sneak past or hurriedly disarm an obscured mine or explosive, so you’ll have to juggle which threat needs addressing over the other…on the fly. It’s a white-knuckle encounter that manages to differentiate itself from many of the fights you’ve faced up to that point, but it’s no less daunting.

Yet, traps aren’t always your enemy. For as much of a threat they pose in some scenarios, they can also be used to your advantage in others. Of course, disarming them yields all-important parts that can be used to craft bolts for your Agony Crossbow. Nabbing parts for crafting during a fight — which means, you’ll have to remain fleet-footed to do so while dodging attacks — can ensure you’ll always have some arrows at your disposal when you run out of bullets. But in some of the more stealthy stages, simply luring a bloodthirsty Haunted to run across a bear trap can be ridiculously satisfying. Or better yet, getting a group of ghastly thugs to run at you through a hallway opening lined with an acid trap means taking out a handful of hostiles in one fell swoop without sacrificing a single bullet.

TrapDisarmV2Loud noises like an explosion or gunfire will draw Haunted to your location. Disarming traps is both silent and nets you some parts for crafting bolts for your Agony Bow.

Always look to your environment and inventory to find all the ways to approach combat. What may seem impossible at first may just mean you have to be more clever in how you manage and use the resources provided.

Granted, no single stage in all of The Evil Within’s lengthy, challenging 15 chapters ever goes easy on you. But if you do survive, reward comes in the form of New Game+, which brings all sorts of new weapons and perks with it, including the chance to test your skills in two increasingly tougher difficulty settings: Nightmare and “Akumu,” which also translates to “nightmare” in English, and carries with it the notoriety at Bethesda and Tango as being near impossible to finish. Which brave soul will earn the bragging rights in snagging that achievement?

With its wildly shifting realities constantly wreaking havoc on your rattled nerves, paired with the persistent creeping dread of what terror may lay in wait just past the next darkened threshold, perhaps it’s best to always expect — and be prepared for — the unexpected.