If you went into The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion thinking it was going to be exactly just like its predecessor Morrowind, chances are you were surprised it wasn't. Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine, Bethesda's Tood Howard admitted that they had to sacrifice some of what made Morrowind a classic in order to build a more "refined and welcoming" world for Oblivion.
"It should feel alien, kind of 'stranger in a strange' land, with familiar looking elements only rooting you early in the game," said Howard about Morrowind. "The whole tone ends up being one of 'I'm an outsider, I'm uncomfortable'."
"With Oblivion," he continued, "we're dealing with the capital province, and we wanted to get back to the more classic Arena and Daggerfall feel of a fantasy world that felt more refined and welcoming. A place that you instantly understood. But in that, we sacrificed some of what made Morrowind special; the wonder of discovery."
Bethesda's next big RPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, seeks to straddle the middle ground between Morrowind's alien-ness and Oblivion's familiarity. "With Skyrim, we're trying to bring some of that back and walk the line between Morrowind and Oblivion," he said. "Where it's at first familiar looking, but has its own unique culture and spin on it."
Howard also gave a little insight into what gamers can expect from Skyrim's more than 120 dungeons. Not all of them will be flat-out weird, of course, but there will be a few that lean more to the strange side of things. "You need that sometimes to balance things out, to remind you that it is a world of magic and other dimensions, said Howard. "I don't think you'll see it a lot, but just a little."
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be out this November 11 on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.