Bethesda QA tester beats Skyrim in just over 2 hours

Internal speed-run competition yields 2:16:10 playtime for studio's latest sprawling Elder Scrolls fantasy role-playing game.

The Elder Scrolls franchise has developed a reputation for offering hours of gameplay spread across reaching open-world environments. However, for Bethesda Softworks QA tester Sam Bernstein, "hours" is just barely plural with his speed run of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Skyrim will likely take a bit longer than two hours for everyone else.

With Skyrim closing in on its November 11 ship date, Bethesda recently held its traditional internal speed-run contest, and Bernstein took the top finishing time at 2:16:10. According to a post on Bethesda's blog, that speed-run time is about an hour longer than the top times for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3.

Bernstein and the development team's Jeff Browne were likely candidates for the top of the speed-run charts, as they also clocked the fastest times in Bethesda's previous release, Fallout 3. Although they took totally different routes through the game, Bernstein finished only a mere 20 seconds sooner than his competitor.

There are no special rules in play when it comes to these speed runs, according to the Bethesda blog. The only stipulation is that no cheats are allowed.

For more on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--due out on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 11--check out GameSpot's most recent preview of the game.

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