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Bethesda surprise releases new Elder Scrolls game

Fus Roh management sim

A screenshot of cutaway property management sim The Elder Scrolls: Castles
Image credit: Bethesda

A new Elder Scrolls game has been released! Is it The Elder Scrolls VI??? No you poor, sweet summer child, it's another spin-off mobile game, of course. The Elder Scrolls: Castles is a Tamriel-set spiritual sequel to Bethesda's 2015-released touchscreen property sim Fallout Shelter, which swaps the latter's underground Vaults for big gorgeous hunks of medieval masonry, yours to expand, decorate and lord over as you please.

Downloadable on Android in early access form- though sadly, only in the US at the time of writing - the game sees you adding rooms, dropping monuments, and positioning your subjects so as to help your Elder Scrolls kingdom flourish. There are familiar Elder Scrolls races such as Argonians, and you can hire and train up warriors equipped with Elder Scrolls abilities like Whirlwind.

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Overarching goals include appointing an heir, managing the food supply and not getting assassinated by those disgusting peasants. There are quests, too, with dragons and such, but the emphasis is on being a manager rather than a hero. It looks very jolly, though I do wish the art direction were a shade more Skyrimmy - it's closer to My Time At Portia right now. Fallout Shelter had the advantage of leaning into Fallout's satirical VaultBoy art, whereas Castles is more generic. Still, perhaps they could have modelled it after one of the Elder Scrolls series' in-game lorebooks?

Assuming history repeats itself, The Elder Scrolls: Castle will eventually end up on PC, after languishing for a few months in that plane of Oblivion known as mobile gaming. I'll keep you posted.

As for The Elder Scrolls VI, we learned from Microsoft's legal fight with the FTC over the Activision buyout that the much-demanded RPG is at least five years away. "It’s so far out it’s hard to understand what the platforms will even be at this point," Thane of Xbox Phil Spencer told audiences, to much lamenting.

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