VGA nominations announced

The full list of nominees for the 2011 VGAs have been announced and we’ve been honored with eight nominations in the following categories

Congrats to all the nominees! Winners will be announced on 12.10.11 — live in SPIKE.

Around the web: Skyrim edition

If you haven’t watched Giant Bomb’s highly-entertaining quick look for Skyrim, watch the embedded video above. I’ve gone ahead and set it to the 28:45 mark, so you can catch the clip I’ve been watching over and over.

Elsewhere, check out Skyrim coolness at these sites:

And then there’s plenty of new reviews. Check out the latest at these sites:

  • OXM US (10/10) — “If you aren’t normally drawn to role-playing games, get over it — to miss out on this extraordinary gaming experience would be positively criminal.”
  • Wizard World — “The Greatest Video Game Role-Playing Game Ever”
  • The Onion AV Club (A) — “Where many games with lavish production values seek to direct players’ imaginations, Skyrim seeks to ignite them.”
  • Game Shark (A) — “Skyrim is a role-playing masterpiece.”
  • Huffington Post/AP (4/4) — “Skyrim is one of the most ambitious video games ever developed, and it lives up to its ambitions in every way.”
  • Dual Shockers (10/10) — “The electrifying world comes alive from the very beginning, inviting you to get swept up in the endless adventures that await you.”
  • Student Life (5/5) — “This is the game of the year, hands down.”
  • USA Today (4/4) — “Even when you think you’ve spent hundreds of hours exploring, there’s always one more fresh face to meet, or dragon to slay, or thrilling adventure waiting.”
  • Associated Press (4/4) — “Skyrim has taken over my life. But, hey, it’s a good life.”
  • NZ Gamer (9.5/10) — “Playing Skyrim is like getting lost in a massive series of fantasy novels, only this time you’re writing them yourself.”
  • Game Chronicles (9.9/10) — Editor’s Choice
  • MSNBC’s Gaming Zone (9/10) — “Whether you like swords and sorcery or not, whether you’re a role-playing gamer or not, if you don’t buy Skyrim, you’re missing out.”
  • Mirror UK (5/5) — “A truly unforgettable adventure.”
  • Impulse Gamer (9.9/10) — Editor’s Choice
  • Gamers Haven (9.5/10)
  • Stuff.co.nz (9.5/10) —  “… without any shadow of doubt, the best RPG experience available right now.”
  • Now Gamer(93%) — “Building upon everything that made Oblivion such a joy, Skyrim has easily secured the crown as the biggest game this gen and also as one of the best. Even if you don’t ordinarily like ye olde fantasy RPGs, this is brilliant.”

For more reviews, check out our previous roundup.

The wait is almost over!!

It seems like only yesterday we were first teasing Skyrim at the 2010 VGAs. Now we’re hours away from the game being available globally!As folks in North America countdown the final hours, check out all the new coverage up today…

  • Giant Bomb – 12 hour stream still going strong
  • PC Gamer — Cool video showing a character traverse from one side of the map to the other
  • Revision3 (for Destructoid) — 20 minute video review
  • G4TV — Beginner’s Guide To The People And Places Of Elder Scrolls 5
  • GameTrailers – Tune in at 9PM EST for their “Hour One” presentation
And if that’s not enough, check out the numerous reviews posted for the game.
  • Shacknews — “I simply fell in love with the world of Skyrim, and I plan to lose myself in it for some time to come.”
  • PC Gamer (94/100) — “It’s the best open world game I’ve ever played, the most liberating RPG I’ve ever played, and one of my favourite places in this or any other world.”
  • Joystiq (5/5) — “This is the deepest, loveliest world ever created for a single player to explore, and one that no one should deny themselves.”
  • G4TV (5/5) — “Skyrim offers the single most impressive gaming landscape I have ever seen, not just in its scope, but in the variety and detail, a truly monumental achievement that allows for sublime absorption of the player in its verisimilitude.”
  • USA Today (4/4) — “Even when you think you’ve spent hundreds of hours exploring, there’s always one more fresh face to meet, or dragon to slay, or thrilling adventure waiting.”
  • Associated Press (4/4) — “Skyrim has taken over my life. But, hey, it’s a good life.”
  • Destructoid(10/10) — “Submit you will, for The Elder Scrolls V is the new zenith of role-playing games and it commands you to look up.”
  • Eurogamer (10/10) — “a masterpiece”
  • IGN (9.5/10) — “playing Skyrim is a rare kind of intensely personal, deeply rewarding experience, and one of the best role-playing games yet produced”
  • UGO — “Skyrim is the closest Bethesda has made it to making a perfect open-world game.”
  • Wired (10/10) — “Boundless Skyrim Will Become Your Life”
  • NZ Gamer (9.5/10) — “Playing Skyrim is like getting lost in a massive series of fantasy novels, only this time you’re writing them yourself.”
  • Machinima (9.5/10) — “Quit your job. Divorce your spouse. Give your children up for adoption. Do whatever you need to do to find the time to play Skyrim.”
  • Giant Bomb (5/5) — “The sheer amount of content packed into the game is a true marvel of video game production; it’s even more marvelous that all of it is so well executed that you want to see and do everything, and better still that you’re free to play it all in whatever way you want.”
  • Xbox 360 Achievements (99/100): “Simply put, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has raised the bar in the RPG genre.”
  • GamesRadar (10/10) — “Skyrim is sprawling, generous, gorgeous and ambitious.”
  • Team Xbox (9.8/10) — “This is easily one of the best RPGs to come out in this generation of consoles. You must own this game.”
  • The Escapist (5/5) — “An absolutely first-rate roleplaying game that combines an abundance of content with an abundance of quality.”
  • Game Informer (9.5/10) — “It’s one of the biggest, most content rich games I’ve had the pleasure of playing.”
More reviews after the break…

A Big Mountain to Climb: Animating Skyrim

During Skyrim’s pre-production, the team set lofty goals for improving animations. In the fourth Skyrim team diary — “A Big Mountain to Climb: Animating Skyrim” — learn how they achieved those goals.

The diary can be read on the Elder Scrolls community page, and is accommodated by a new video and podcast.

You can also listen to the latest podcast separately in the regular places:

Subscribe on iTunes
Direct Download
Streaming
RSS

Skyrim Official Strategy Guide Blog #2: Sanity-Sapping Mapping

Skyrim game guide co-author David Hodgson returns to discuss mapping Skyrim’s world. 

Take it away, David…

One of the most impressive aspects of Skyrim is its three-dimensional world map. Access it in the game, and you’re transported to the heavens, peering down at the landscape you’re still standing on. From here, you can view locations you’ve found or cleared, as well as hold capitals. But early on in the creation of the guide, I realized we’d have to create an entire world map completely from scratch. This was the point when terror set in.

Fortunately, our map makers (the good folks at 99 Lives studio, with over 20 years of map-making experience) decided they didn’t need much of a summer, and stitched together every single section of the game world from about 20 feet off the ground; resulting in a messy, but workable tapestry of landscapes. While I spent my evenings checking, plotting, and referencing all the topography and locations, our cartographers painstakingly transformed the map into a gigantic, useable, and highly accurate representation of the Province of Skyrim itself. This is a map you’ll find exclusively in the guide, online map tool, and iPad app. But just how much detail is there?

Glad you asked.

Continue reading full article ›