Bethesda Thursdays

It’s been an exciting week for Bethesda Game Studios. From Skyrim fans discovering details about upcoming DLC additions — Crossbows! Snow Elves! — in patch files, to the tenth anniversary of the release of Morrowind, to the announcement of the release date of Arkane Studios’ Dishonored, there has been a lot of excitement for fans of the makers of the The Elder Scrolls series. Kinect support for the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim is now available, and the game’s first DLC expansion — Dawnguard — was announced as well.

However, all of that pales in comparison to the news that The Elder Scrolls Online is very much in production and slated for a 2013 release!

The Elder Scrolls Online merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Players will discover an entirely new chapter of Elder Scrolls history in this ambitious world, set a millennium before the events of Skyrim as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm.

“It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years,” said game director and MMO veteran Matt Firor, whose previous work includes Mythic’s well-received Dark Age of Camelot. “The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”

Well…that’s exciting! Of course, that’s also all there is to say; other gaming sites are just linking to the GameInformer piece quoted above.

Geeze…how do I even follow that up with anything? Let’s see…PC Gamer is messing around with Skyrim’s alchemy system…someone took it upon himself to re-create many of the foods featured in the gameKotaku has a list of all the Kinect-supported Dragon Shouts (as well as a pair of other voice commands you can use to mess with your friends)…hmmn.

Oh! This is moderately exciting: Over thirteen million Skyrim mods have been downloaded from Steam; PC Gamer has a list of the most popular ones. Also, this guy plays a pretty mean game of Skyrim.

There are also some new Dishonored screenshots at the Bethesda blog, and it’s worth noting that the game sounds like it could be rather hardcore in nature…this in addition to offering what might just be some real flexibility in play style. RPGWatch has a few other odds and ends related to the game, including descriptions of a couple very cool-sounding in-game features.

And coming back to the matter of Morrowind’s tenth anniversary for just a moment, Forbes has an article up about the game’s virtues as compared to its successors, while GameBanshee (and Kotaku) have published articles praising Morrowind’s soundtrack. Which, let’s face it, was pretty awesome.

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