The Elder Scrolls saga is getting another addition in the form of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This game promises to be the best looking and best playing one of the series. From what we?ve seen, this promise will be more than adequately met.
The developers have started from scratch, building the new engine to suit their needs. The Oblivion engine includes over 200 individually crafted dungeons, 1000 Non-Player Characters, and 60,000 lines of spoken dialogue including the voice of Patrick Stewart as the Emperor. Other top notch voice talent is promised to be included in the final version.
In addition to this heap of content, the Oblivion engine supports forests the likes of which games have never seen. The forests take up over 16 square miles of game land, and are constituted by towering trees, wild game, and ruins guarded by ancient warriors. Not only is it huge and great to look at, but the geography of every forest has been generated by a program put together by the developers with help from geologists. Soil erosion, tree growth, and many other aspects of geology have been taken into account to create realistic landscapes.
The NPC?s in Oblivion will be some of the most independent artificial intelligence agents in any game of this caliber. Instead of being given scripted actions, NPC?s are given rules and goals. By following their rules and trying to reach their goals, NPC?s will emulate real people in real ways; sleeping, eating, talking, fighting, all these actions will happen spontaneously amongst the people of the world.
Bethesda is releasing the fourth chapter in the Elder Scrolls series this winter. The game has been in production for three years now and is coming to a tight completion. The world is huge, the graphics are sharp and realistic (providing you have some very high end equipment), and the gameplay is bound to be some of the deepest we have ever seen.