The Elder Scrolls VI is likely far away from release, but Bethesda should ensure it makes it distinct from its hugely successful predecessor, Skyrim.
The Elder Scrolls VI is currently in the works at Bethesda, and it'll likely be a long time before it launches. Other than a teaser trailer shown during E3 2018 confirming its existence, there has been no other official information about the game. There might be some temptation for the developer to try and emulate its monumental success with Skyrim, but it would make more sense for Bethesda to take Elder Scrolls VI in a different direction to make it distinct from its predecessor.
Since its original release in 2011, Skyrim has achieved major success and received several re-releases. Skyrim is still a popular playground for modders, which could hold some gamers over until the release of Elder Scrolls VI. Development on the new game is expected to pick up pace after Starfield launches in 2023, and gamers are hoping that it'll feature changes to make it stand out among the other entries in the series.
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The province of Skyrim in The Elder Scrolls V has become iconic in gaming, with its fjords, mountains, and forests being instantly recognizable to gamers. For Bethesda to capture this lightning in a bottle once again, the developer's best bet would be to set The Elder Scrolls VI in a very different environment.
The world of The Elder Scrolls has many interesting locations, but Hammerfell could be the best option to follow up Skyrim. Its jungles and deserts would give players exotic new locales to explore, and its grasslands and mountain ranges would bring some familiarity from past games. The Redguard-inhabited Hammerfell is one of the largest regions of the continent of Tamriel, featuring plenty of cities and deadly creatures. This makes it a perfect choice in which to set the next Elder Scrolls adventure.
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The skill system in Skyrim was intuitive and allowed players to level up specific abilities as they used them. This change was divisive among fans, with some missing the more in-depth RPG mechanics from earlier games in the series. Using the system from Skyrim could certainly work in The Elder Scrolls VI, but it might be time for Bethesda to reintegrate some RPG features seen in past Elder Scrolls titles.
Fans have been clamoring to see the return of spellcrafting in The Elder Scrolls. It allows players to combine magical effects to make unique spells, and it was a fan favorite feature from Morrowind and Oblivion. Some fans also want to see classes return in the next game. While classes are more limited because of their specific skill sets, some players prefer this over being able to theoretically master every ability in the game, as was the case in Skyrim.
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One of the most common issues critics and fans have found with The Elder Scrolls games is melee combat. Criticism has centered around players feeling that it's weightless and lacks variety. While Skyrim improved on these issues, Bethesda could do more in The Elder Scrolls VI.
Melee combat in RPG games has evolved over the years since Skyrim's release. The Dark Souls and Witcher franchises are credited as being flag bearers for RPG melee combat, and The Elder Scrolls VI should look to these titles for inspiration. Both franchises empower players to use a variety of moves and tactics beyond the basics of attacking and blocking. The Soulsborne games offer diverse builds using different types of weapons and attack animations, and Bethesda should take note of this for The Elder Scrolls VI.
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In Skyrim, players could become the leader of each faction without any repercussions or roleplaying implications. Some players considered this to be immersion-breaking, and Bethesda should look to change this in The Elder Scrolls VI.
While being the leader of different factions means players get access to different perks and powers, it might make more sense for factions and the player's membership to have more interplay. For instance, if the player is the leader of the Thieves Guild, they could gain unique quests to loot other faction headquarters, risking discovery and being ousted from other groups. This could make for unique NPC interactions in The Elder Scrolls VI.
Even though Skyrim was a huge hit, Bethesda should differentiate The Elder Scrolls VI from it. Fans have been excited to see updates to the franchise's melee combat and the return of some RPG mechanics, combined with a fresh setting like Hammerfell, The Elder Scrolls VI could be another tent pole release from Bethesda if it's different enough from what's come before.
Paul is a Gaming Features Writer at CBR with over two years of experience. His work has been featured on Game Rant and WhatCulture over the last few years. As a lifelong gamer, it's a dream come true for him to have the opportunity to write about gaming. Paul is currently working on finishing a Masters's in Journalism, and when he occasionally has some free time, he dives head first into in-depth RPG games like Pillars of Eternity and Baldur's Gate and continues his journey of getting good at Elden Ring.
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