Almost seven long, torturous years have slipped by since the blight of Alduin and his crusade against the Dovahkiin was brought to a halt. The frigid winds billowing across Skyrim have settled, the dragons have had their fun, and arrows have ceased ending the careers of aspiring adventurers.
It's time for a new chapter to begin.
But what's to be expected of the next epic fantasy tale due to unfold in Nirn? Are we to assume iteration - rather than innovation - will be the order of the day, or is The Elder Scrolls VI to be the turning point; a blank slate facilitated by new hardware to replace the ageing Creation Engine?
With any luck, the latter's exactly what's in store. Skyrim was genre-defining for its time, but the world has moved on since 2011. Looking back now, much of its systems look and feel antiquated by comparison to modern-day RPGs. Combat feels sluggish and simplistic, NPCs roll off of a mass produced assembly line and the world, full of dungeons to uncover and winged reptiles to slay, somehow feels ever so empty.
These hangovers from yesteryear must be modernized if ESO VI is to ever truly justify its long gestation period, and we can only hope that Bethesda has spent the better part of a decade making sure Skyrim looks like an ancient relic by comparison.