Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles set for spring release

by W. Andrew Powell

One of the biggest, and best, roleplaying games around is about to get even bigger. With over 3 million copies sold in 2006, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has been a huge hit on both the PC and Xbox 360 and although the massive game already features at least 50-70 hours of gameplay in just the main quests (there are dozens and dozens of side quests), there’s still more to come. That news came last week when Bethesda Softworks confirmed that the expansion, Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, will drop this Spring.

Featuring an additional 30 hours of fresh gameplay, Shivering Isles lets players delve into a brand new plane of Oblivion known as Madgod which is ruled by Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. Gamers can choose to continue on into the Shivering Isles using their existing character, or they can choose to create new characters to explore the realm.

As players explore they’ll encounter new creatures, weapons and armor, potion ingredients, and quests throughout the land of Mania and Dementia.

“Inside this torn plane reside the sublimely creative and the completely psychotic. Something is happening to the Shivering Isles and Sheogorath himself looks to you to be his champion and defend his realm and its inhabitants from destruction. Do you have the strength to survive his trials, to tame a realm fraught with paranoia and despair, and wear the mantle of a God?”

Gamers can also expect the Shivering Isles to also offer a whole lot of new enemies to take on too, including “hideous insects”, Flesh Atronachs, skeletal Shambles, amphibeous Grummites, and apparently, many more.

The new realm even lets players strike out and get special armour or weapons forged for them by craftsmen of the areas.

For the uninitiated, Oblivion lets gamers create almost any combination of character, letting the user choose what race they want to be, and then adding in the stats and characteristics they want to have. The main story then entreats the player with saving the land of Cyrodiil from the clutches of Oblivion, a dark and evil dimension, but it’s up to you what you want to do next. There are literally hours upon hours of side quests based around the guilds and people you meet in the land, and you can endlessly customize your character, armour, weapons, and attributes.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has already won numerous awards, but it received 8 fresh nominations for this year’s 10th annual Interactive Achievement Awards, which will be held in February.

For more details you can check out the Official Xbox Magazine’s February issue (in the U.S.) or stay tuned to the official website at www.elderscrolls.com. The PC version of Shivering Isles will hit store shelves sometime this Spring, while the Xbox 360 version will launch at the same time through Xbox Live.

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