Wednesday, 27 January 2021

OBLIVION remaster inching towards completion

A fan-made remaster of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has released a major update on progress, for the first time making positive noises about completion in the not-too-distant future.

The remaster is called Skyblivion, although that's become a bit of a misnomer. The starting point was remaking Oblivion in the somewhat updated engine of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but in the years since then they have also redone the lighting and rendering engine, so it's even better than Skyrim and looks a lot more modern.

At the moment the exterior worldspace is almost complete and the team are working on the dozens of dungeons and shops in the game. For the dungeons they are going beyond just recreating locations but also redesigning dungeons to be larger and more interesting (Oblivion's dungeons were infamously tiny, often not being more than very modest caves). They are also creating new art assets for the entre project and have integrated every quest from the original into the game, although there are lots of issues and bugs they are tracking down and resolving.

No timeframe for completion is given, but from the look of it and bearing in mind this is a small team working in their own time, this may now be down to a couple of years away. Impressive given the mod's long, long-gestating status.

Bethesda themselves have been supportive of mods, especially mods that update and upgrade their older games. Despite re-releasing Skyrim on multiple platforms with updated graphics, Bethesda have indicated a reluctance to go back and update Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, noting that the technical compromises they made to get those games out were severe and they'd feel the need to completely remake them, which would be a huge amount of work they'd rather divert to working on their new games.

Bethesda are currently working on a new game in a new franchise, Starfield, and Oblivion's successor, The Elder Scrolls VI. Neither project has a timeframe for release at the moment.


Andy said...

In your opinion, is it worth playing from a plot and story perspective? I invested a ridiculous amount of time in Skyrim, and I kind of feel that if I'm going to do that again I want the story to be more engaging. And I have to say, from other comments, that the Dragonborn seems to have a more interesting story than the Hero of Kvach. Of course the real problem is that neither are compelling, because they have to be all things to all players. But this is a modern gaming perspective. I remember trying to play Neverwinter Nights 2 as an evil character, cuz for some reason I'd not done that before, and back then there was no real variation to the game's script, so while you could be evil if you wanted none of the scenarios were written from that perspective and the rest of your adventure party would be entirely unworkable.

Adam Whitehead said...

I'd say it's decent in terms of exploration/side-quests and so on. There's not as many side-activities and the writing is definitely a lot worse (the non-sequitur barks NPCs can engage one another in have their own memes), but it's not hugely far off SKYRIM in quality. The big difference is that the Oblivion Gates are way more annoying than the dragons in SKYRIM, although they do all vanish when you complete the main storyline, and it's fun fighting alongside Sean Bean.

Unknown said...

I was always much more interested in the proposed skywind. Updating morrowind to skyrim specs. Was never that much of a fan of oblivion, especially the leveling, though not played it for awhile.