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Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is one of the best games we saw at E3. It also may be one of the best looking games we've ever seen.

Designed with High Definition televisions and Microsoft's next generation Xbox 360 in mind, Bethesda has created a world that looks almost too good to be true. Every object, all 9,000 of them, and surface has multiple maps layered over it to create unprecedented visuals. Metal, glass, fire and wood actually look like their real-world counterparts.

The environments are so detailed and immersive that when you're wandering through a forest, it actually looks like a forest.

And those forests grow all by themselves. They also react to climate shifts and wind. If you look up to the treetops, you will see them swaying in the digital breeze.

According to Bethesda, Oblivion boasts hours of gameplay in the hundreds, more than 200 handcrafted dungeons, 1,000 non-player characters, and 60,000 lines of spoken dialogue from well-known actors like Patrick Stewart.

We can look for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion around the Christmas season.

From Bethesda:

What does the name "Oblivion" mean?
Oblivion is the equivalent of Hell in Tamriel, the main world in The Elder Scrolls series.

What's the storyline?
Demons are released from Oblivion and are taking over the world. Through a series of tasks and quests determined by you, it is your challenge to rid Tamriel of the demons.

What platforms will Oblivion appear on?
Oblivion will be available on PC and future generation consoles.

Where does Oblivion take place?
Oblivion takes place in Cyrodiil, the Imperial Province and heart of Tamriel, as well as parts of Oblivion itself. Much of the game has a more "classic fantasy feel" with Cryodiil having a mystic, enchanted-forest type feeling.

Does the story in Oblivion pick-up where Morrowind ended?
No. Each chapter of The Elder Scrolls series is a different story unto itself and isn't directly connected to any of the other storylines. All of it adds to the lore and history of The Elder Scrolls, but you don't have to play previous games to know what's going on in this one.

What perspective do I play the game in, first or third-person?
Both. The game is meant to be played first person. However, you can toggle the view with the press of a button/key. Both views are available throughout the entire game.

Will Oblivion include multiplayer?
For now, Oblivion is a single-player game only. Rather than split our focus between two different types of gameplay, we'd rather focus on one and make it the best single-player experience possible.

What are the PC system requirements?
Oblivion will certainly look the best on the latest hardware available when the game is released. In developing the game, we were very forward-thinking and tried to push the envelope technologically. So, the latest hardware will best showcase all that Oblivion has to offer.

Will the The Elder Scrolls Construction Set be included again?
Yes, the TES Construction Set will be included with the PC version. It will not be available on a console.

Are those real screenshots or are they renders?
All the screenshots are 100% authentic screenshots taken while playing the game.

Can I import my character from a Morrowind?
No, each game in The Elder Scrolls series is a completely separate game unto itself. You don't have to have played any of the previous games to play the next chapter, and none of the games are compatible with each other, including save games and characters.

What races will be playable in the game?
You can expect all the classic Elder Scrolls races to be available. But, character generation is very different than the previous games. Oblivion follows the Morrowind paradigm – that you play the character generation – even further.

How do you level up in the game?
Instead of earning experience points for killing things, in Oblivion your rewards are skill-based. So, by using your sword to kill something you get better at using a sword. Stealing things increases your Stealth skill, and using different kinds of magic will increase the corresponding skill. The more you raise your skills, the more you level up.

By William Vitka and Chad Chamberlain

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