It's been one of the highest rated games in recent memory and early sales figures are showing that it's a popular game as well. Now that Bethesda Softwork's landmark PC-Xbox 360 RPG Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is out, FiringSquad decided to contact it's PR head Pete Hines to get their reactions and get some hints about what the future of Oblivion might be.
FiringSquad: First, the critical notices for Oblivion are by far the best for any Elder Scrolls game and indeed for any game over the past few years. While you must have known the game would be good were you surprised by the amount of praise that's being given to Oblivion?
Pete Hines: I'm not sure we're surprised. I can tell you we're definitely relieved and pleased that so many people are playing it and enjoying it. Certainly we all thought the game was really good, but until it's out there and lots of folks start playing it "for real," you never really know.
FiringSquad: The game was released the same week as EA's The Godfather game which got a lot of mainstream publicity. Was BethSoft afraid at first about going up against such a game and in a related question, can you comment about the inital sales of the game and how they compare to sales of Morrowind?
Pete Hines: No, we weren't really worried about what anybody else was doing. We tend to focus on what we can control and not worry about what we can't control. Given the level of interest and the number of pre-orders and so forth, we had a pretty good idea we'd be just fine no matter what else was happening that week.
FiringSquad: Some people have wondered about some of the stuttering in the Xbox 360 version of the game. Can you comment about some of the frame rate issues and how they might be fixed?
Pete Hines: That’s usually caused by the game loading something it does not expect, which depending on how you play, can happen from time to time. In this kind of game, I’m not sure there’s much we can do about it except not let the player do as many things at once.
FiringSquad: The game's construction kit was released alongside the PC version. So far have there been any interesting mods released for the game that have come to Bethesda's attention?
Pete Hines: My favorite one so far is a very simple, very cool mod that allows you to cast a spell on a target and see how hostile (or friendly) they are towards you based on the color of the magic effect that will appear around them. Between the number of established modders we have who did some great stuff with Morrowind, and our new Wiki that allows folks to better share and contribute information with the rest of the community, I think the Oblivion mod scene is going to crush the fairly substantial one that we had for Morrowind.
FiringSquad: Oblivion was released online in the PC version via IGN's Direct2Drive service. How have sales of that version of the game been compared to the retail boxed version of the game?
Pete Hines: I think the sales there have been fantastic, but given the enormous sales of the boxed version, worldwide, the two don't really compare.
FiringSquad: What plans, if any, does Bethesda Softworks have for any patches for the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game?
Pete Hines: We’re planning on doing an update for both eventually, but don’t know exactly when yet.
FiringSquad: The last Elder Scrolls game, Morrowind, had two expansion packs released for the PC version. What plans if any can you tell us about any commercial expansion packs for the PC and Xbox 360 version?
Pete Hines: We're going to enjoy the game being out there for right now. It's only been a little over a week. We'll talk about what's next at a later date.
FiringSquad: Will there be any extra content released for free on the Internet for the PC and for the Xbox 360 version via Xbox Live?
Pete Hines: At present we don't have any plans
FiringSquad: Are there any plans for a Revolution or PS3 version of the game in the works?
Pete Hines: Anything is possible but right now it is just for PC and Xbox 360.
FiringSquad: Everyone is wondering about the status of Fallout 3. With the completion of Oblivion is that game on the front burner of development at BethSoft?
Pete Hines: It has been, and will continue to be, under development. We still aren't talking about what we're up to and won't be for a while. We'll let people know when we're ready.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about the reactions BethSoft has gotten about Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion?
Pete Hines: Not really. Just thanks to everyone who bought Oblivion.
We’d like to thank Bethesda’s Pete Hines for answering our questions about Oblivion for this interview. Be on the lookout for our full review coming up shortly!
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Hear that? It's the sound of the largest computer chip manufacturer in the world churning out new processors to power your gaming rig. This week, Intel is launching their next generation of Core CPUs, code-named Ivy Bridge. Like last year's Sandy Bridge chips, they're low-power, quad-core powerhouses that also feature integrated graphics processors. Want to find out more? Maybe check out a whole bunch of performance benchmarks on both the CPU and graphics sides of things? Well you can, in today's review!
Intel Z77 Chipset & DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview
Looking forward to those new Ivy Bridge CPUs? In anticipation of their release later this month, Intel has already unveiled the new Series 7 chipsets designed especially to take advantage of what will be the 3rd-generation of Core processors. In today's article, we take a look at the architecture of the enthusiast variant, the Z77, and how it's used in the Intel Desktop Extreme DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Even if you're not particularly interested in the motherboard itself, you'll probably want to see some of the new features that come along with it, so read on!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!