Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion E3 2005 Preshow Report

We finally get a peek at Oblivion during the Microsoft E3 2005 press conference; here are our impressions.

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One of the videos shown by Microsoft during its E3 2005 press conference demo reel was the eagerly anticipated Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Our first look at the game in motion left us eager to see more. Here are some initial impressions.

The clip of the game isn't very coherent; it's a sequence of second-long impressions, lasting only around 10 seconds in all, with a number of short scenes displayed. The first is an atmosphere shot of the player, presumably in the familiar first-person viewpoint of Morrowind, approaching a set of stony ruins. The second scene shows a snippet of bow-and-arrow action as the player takes aim at an approaching enemy; the entire action is fairly quick. Next up is a one-on-one duel between a pair of fighters in what appears to be some kind of arena; this is where the game flips to a third-person view, although it's from an over-the-shoulder perspective, which seems to imply that this is intended solely for looking-pretty purposes.

A skeleton in a sewer appears next, and although we've seen plenty of instances of that scene in games over the years, this is arguably the most impressive, as the skeleton is well animated and shuffles toward you with a convincing amount of slowness. Next up is another third-person viewpoint, this time of a single soldier taking on a half-dozen enemies at once. Since he's armed with only a sword, it's doubtful that the soldier can survive, but as is often the case, the view cuts away before the fight can resolve.

From there, the pace of the images seems to speed up, revealing more split-second clips of enemies and scenery. The last image is the most memorable, as it showcases what appears to be a Daedric warrior coming out of a red portal, similar to those that appeared in Diablo II, save for its reddish tinge. This is presumably one of the gates that the creatures from Oblivion are using to warp into Tamriel and launch their invasion of this mortal coil.

No footage of Oblivion itself was shown, so far as we could tell; all of the footage in the video appeared to take place in Tamriel, or at least in landscapes that didn't appear too different from those of Morrowind. Keep your Daedric heavy plate at hand, though, as GameSpot will have more details on the game as they become available.

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