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…
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.”
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.”
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?
Learn about some of the things you’ll find while exploring Skyrim’s massive landscape, and see how Bethesda artists upped their game in over three years of dedicated work. Head over there now to check it out.
You can also listen to the third developer podcast separately in the regular places:
Alongside Skyrim’s release, you’ll also be able to purchase the mammoth-sized, 656-page (in full color) game guide from Prima. To learn about the guide’s contents, here’s the guide’s co-author, David Hodgson…
Overview. The Sky’s the Limit
Work began on the official guide in early May, when I commenced an overwhelming trek into every frigid corner of Skyrim. Initially, I was thinking this would be a similar experience to my work on the Fallout 3 guide. But then phrases like “even more epic” and “five times the size” were whispered to me. More than five months, close to 2,000 man-hours of work (between myself and co-author Steve Stratton), several thousand cups of tea and packets of Monster Munch later, and with a massive support structure from both Bethesda and Prima, the guide is complete.
With less than five days until Skyrim’s launch, here’s some good stuff from around the web to occupy .01% of the remaining wait time. In the video above, watch Dan Bull’s Epic Skyrim Rap. If the name sounds familiar, Dan also did an Oblivion rap late last year.
Live in the UK? Below are details on special midnight launch events at GAME London on Oxford Street and gamestation Birmingham on New Street.
The first 250 people to join the queue at each store will receive a Skyrim goody bag, whilst the first 100 people in the queue will also receive a Skyrim strategy guide and Skyrim music CD.
Adding further excitement on the night, fans who turn up dressed in Skyrim cosplay will have the chance to win five special prizes! The Best Cosplay winner will receive an Xbox 360, free upgrade to the Skyrim Collector’s Edition, Skyrim t-shirts, Skyrim strategy guide, Skyrim music CD, and Skyrim goody bag. The first four runners up will also receive a free upgrade to the Skyrim Collector’s Edition, Skyrim t-shirts, Skyrim strategy guide, Skyrim music CD, and Skyrim goody bag.
In addition the goodies and costume contest, folks that visit GAME London on Oxford Street will have a chance to get a photo with a real-life Elder Scroll!