The Elder Scrolls 6 may be years away at this point, but it sounds like when it does release — presumably via the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X — it will boast an impressive, immersive, and reactive open-world. Speaking in a new interview, series director Todd Howard revealed that he wants to see less scale for scale’s sake from open-world games and more reactivity. Of course, the former isn’t very hard to achieve, but the latter is quite challenging to pull off. In 2015, The Witcher 3 took a great stab at it, and in 2018 Red Dead Redemption 2 set a bar for open-world systems and reactivity. And it sounds like The Elder Scrolls VI wants to be the next open-world game to push the genre forward in this regard.
In addition to this, Howard reveals he wants gaming to continue to tear down barriers and make the medium even more accessible than it already is. That said, it’s unclear how The Elder Scrolls VI specifically will facilitate this.
“Let’s just cast forward to the next five to 10 years of gaming – for me, it’s more about access than clock cycles,” said Howard. “Just the time it takes to even turn a console on and load up some of these games is a barrier – it’s time that you’re not enjoying being in that world … The kind of games we make are ones that people are going to sit down and play for hours at a time. If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about. I’d like to see more reactivity in-game worlds, more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with. I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal.”
As you can see, Howard doesn’t directly mention The Elder Scrolls 6 here, but if he, the director of the game, wants to see “more systems clashing together” and “more reactivity,” it’s safe to assume The Elder Scrolls 6 will be chasing these goals. Will the game still have a massive open world? Of course, but it sounds like the team wants to take a page out of the RDR2 notebook and make this open-world meaningful and allow players to express themselves within it.
The last time out for The Elder Scrolls series was 2011’s Skyrim. In 2011, it set a bar for open-world games, but since then the same team also released Fallout 4 in 2015, which mimicked Skyrim’s open-world in just about every way. Despite this, it felt severely dated and stilted. The industry has moved beyond Bethesda Game Studios, and now the team needs to play catch up. Thankfully, it sounds like Howard and co. aren’t resting on their laurels as they did with Fallout 4, evident not only by these ambitions, but by the new engine being built for the game.
H/T, The Guardian.