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Hands on: exploring the impossibly detailed world of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim

Those who have played previous games in the series know it's a sure bet that Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimwill be one of the most sprawling, almost impossibly detailed game worlds ever created.

"We're assuming we're going to be drawing everything," said Skyrimproducer Todd Howard as he led a group of journalists through a demo of the fantasy role-playing game at an E3 Expo preview last month.

"These aren't just backdrops," Howard says as he pans the camera over a mountain range off in the distance. "You can go up to the top of that mountain." The tiny plants at your feet are rendered in loving microdetail, he says, just as the huge, climbable mountains give off the sense of enormity. "We are trying to bring a density to the small things in the world to give it believability."

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