Great news for Elder Scrolls fans: Skyblivion, the ambitious, fan-made recreation of Oblivion on the Skyrim engine, has finally been released after years of updates. Skyblivion is an attempt to rebuild the entirety of Skyrim’s predecessor in a modern engine.
The latest Skyblivion trailer reveals that the project, which has been in development since 2017, is set to release in 2025. While it’s still a bit far off, it’s reassuring to know that the mod has a confirmed release window. At this rate, Skyblivion could come out ahead of Elder Scrolls 6.
The sunny horizons of the RPG setting Cyrodiil make a welcome change from the harsh winter landscapes of Skyrim. The trailer also offers us all sorts of goodies, such as footage of the empire’s neoclassical capital, the dominating palace tower that sits at its center, and glimpses of the sinister assassins guild, the Dark Brotherhood. In the film’s closing moments, we even get a glimpse of the Daedric prince Mehrunes Dagon, the final boss of Oblivion. As scary as it can be, this demon colossus really should consider wearing a shirt.
Behind the gate
As you’d expect, recreating the entirety of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion in Skyrim is no mean feat. As mod official website (opens in a new tab) puts it: “Game development takes time, [and] that’s double the value for a game-sized AAA volunteer project that took a team of full-time developers years to create.”
The Skyblivion development logs attest to the astronomical work these dedicated fans turned developers put into the project. All of Oblivion’s original 3D assets had to be reworked, along with every single environment on the massive map. Although released in 2006, Oblivion is a game with a huge scope, full of content.
Skyblivion is part of a group of volunteer projects entitled: Renewal of The Elder Scrolls (opens in a new tab). A group dedicated to recreating all major, recent Elder Scrolls games using modern Bethesda tools. In addition to Skyblivion, TES Renewal supports the Morroblivion and Skywind projects, mods that bring Morrowind to the Oblivion engine and Morrowind to the Skyrim engine, respectively. Apparently, the participants in The Elder Scrolls Renewal projects have a lot on their minds.
Oblivion holds a special place in my heart. The game crashed around my 13th birthday, I had just started a new school and life was pretty scary. Enter: Bethesda’s brand new open world RPG. The dungeon opening tutorial pulled me in deeply. I played tirelessly, spending hundreds of hours in Cyrodiil. I joined the Fighters Guild, explored long-lost ruins, and ultimately saved the world.
Oblivion was far from perfect. The voice acting was notoriously lackluster, and the overlapping systems that made up the open-world RPG often led to goofy cheats. Even so, I feel that Cyrodiil has a certain charm that is worth capturing.
Oblivion was a magical game that set the bar for modern open-world experiences and welcomed a whole new generation of RPG players. The prospect of seeing the world of Oblivion realized with modern graphics has me counting down the days in my Elder Scrolls themed almanac to 2025.