A new 2017 video shows the ambitious Skyblivion project - The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion recreated as a Skyrim mod - going from strength to strength. Apparently the increased attention has attracted more voluntary help so progress has sped as a result.
But, whew, Skyblivion is taking on a lot. Hardly a small game, Oblivion, is it? When on earth are we going to be able to play this? I asked the Skyblivion team for an update.
"At this point the base game is done," Kyle Rebel, project PR, told me. "this means Oblivion's game has been completely recreated and can be explored freely.
"However," he added, "this is still a 1:1 recreation. As you can see in the video we are currently overhauling the world of Oblivion to bring it up to par with, for instance, Skyrim's landscape and interior design. We do this by going over every single interior and exterior location and rebuilding them using the new assets and concept art as our guide.
"We're getting closer every day. We recently made a breakthrough in the questing department ... [and] all other departments are chugging along simultaneously. But it's hard to give any ETAs on when every department will conclude their work.
"All in all, I can't really give release dates but our current goal is to have either a beta or full release in 2018."
It's possible, however, something could be playable this year - something earlier, more raw - but only if lots of voluntary contributions pour in. Nudge nudge.
Skyblivion is a mod for the original version of Skyrim from 2011, although a version is planned for the newer Skyrim Special Edition. The mod will be free but requires you not only own Skyrim but also Oblivion.
Gameplay-wise, the team is trying to recreate Oblivion as authentically as possible, which means changing some Skyrim systems rather than the other way around.
"Oblivion had a lot of neat mechanics which didn't make a return in Skyrim (quick spellcasting for example) and since we plan on capturing the Oblivion feel as closely as we can we are going to be bringing back some classic Oblivion mechanics players have missed in Skyrim," said Rebel. "Now, we aren't recreating every mechanic ... but anything that we think will enhance the gameplay experience should make a return in one form or another. "
There's a fancy new Skyblivion website where you can find out more.
While we're on the topic of retro Elder Scrolls games, Bethesda recently announced a Morrowind expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online. This will have its own 30 hour story set in the Vvardenfell land. Enticing, eh?
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