The year 2006 saw the release of one game which many people consider a classic. This is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a high fantasy role-playing game from Bethesda Game Studios which was loved by both gamers and critics alike, and picked up many Game of the Year awards when it launched back in 2006.
The thing is, Oblivion is looking rather dated these days, while it’s gameplay too feels dated when compared to modern AAA games. People were hoping that game makers Bethesda would release a remastered edition of Oblivion, something that Bethesda exec Pete Hines said would not be happening due to the work involved in bringing the classic RPG up to modern standards.
So it seemed people would be consigned to playing Oblivion in its original form until a group of enthusiasts began work on a project known as Skyblivion back in 2012.
The “Sky” part of the name refers to the fact that the project’s goal is remaking Oblivion using Skyrim’s game engine and associated tools, as it’s explained in the developer video below.
Aside from bringing the ageing Oblivion up to scratch when it comes to visuals, the team behind Skyblivion is also adding new music to the game. As is highlighted in the video, the original game only had about half an hour of exploration music (even though Jeremy Soule’s soundtrack was still great though), vs Skyrim’s hour and a half. So a team of dedicated composers working on Skyblivion is adding more music to the game.
But even if Skyblivion will have fancy new tunes to please the ear, the visual side of the game is getting a significant overhaul though. This is because while quite a bit of Oblivion’s terrain was randomly generated, each of the different regions of Cyrodiil (the fantasy world where Oblivion takes place) seems to be being fine-tuned by hand in Skyblivion. And this is certainly no mean feat taking into account that Oblivion’s world is even bigger than Skyrim’s (22 square miles vs 14.5 square miles as pointed out in the video). Also, treasures have been added to the world in not so obvious places in order to reward exploration.
The Skyblivion team also seems to be going to put a lot of work into interiors – there were literally thousands of these in Skyrim, but here extra work is being put in to make sure that a Noble’s house looks like one for instance, or that the caves found all over the map have a purpose, some serving as goblin dens for example, while others will be mined by the locals, etc.
It is also nice to know that some gameplay mechanics like underwater combat are being preserved in Skyblivion – a nice touch by the development team, as without it Skyblivion would feel more like Skyrim than Oblivion. Also, Skyrim’s dark, Nordic user interface is being remodeled to make it look more like Oblivion’s, and the result does seem pretty good judging by this preview.
The big question, though, is when will gamers be able to get their hands on Skyblivion. There still seems to be much work to be done, but it seems likely we’ll get to play this before the next Elder Scrolls game by Bethesda arrives, which is unlikely to be released before 2022, with Bethesda still focused on their sci-fi RPG Starfield. Skyblivion is something to look forward to for sure, so it would be a great thing if the team behind it is able to come up with something truly special that lives up to Bethesda’s classic Oblivion RPG.