The official announcement of The Elder Scrolls VI was met with huge excitement from long-term fans of the series. Although the franchise's fifth iteration, Skyrim, has been re-released for everything under the sun, the game's initial launch was way back in 2011, and so fans have been waiting a very long time for another entirely new game in the core series.
That wait will be going on a little while longer, though. The Elder Scrolls VI may have been announced during Bethesda's E3 2018 presentation, but the same statement also confirmed that not only was the game going to release for the next console generation, but that it would also launch after Bethesda's brand new property Starfield. For now, fans may have to find solace in upcoming mobile game The Elder Scrolls: Blades instead.
Even though the game is some time away fans of the series have been looking over the brief announcement trailer looking for any clues as to the content of The Elder Scrolls VI. At face value there's little to go on at first, aside from the brief view of a distant landscape, but in reality there's enough significant information for Elder Scrolls experts to potentially narrow down the list of possible locations. The trailer in question can be seen below.
Perhaps the main takeaway of this new trailer is that the space looks rather varied. The view of this mysterious land not only shows off what appears to be arid plains, but also some lush greens leading up to a city, some distant mountains, and a far-off coastline. With that in mind, it's clear that the province of Tamriel that is being visited next is going to be one with lots of variety.
It also immediately rules out certain areas within The Elder Scrolls. It's clearly not Skyrim, Cyrodiil, or Morrowind based on what has been seen of those provinces in other games, and the descriptions given of the Black Marsh rule it out entirely as well; after all, it's an area of swampland and rainforest, so it appears as though gamers will be waiting a while longer to visit the Argonian homeland. Equally, the lack of dense forest seems to rule out Valenwood, and the location doesn't look right for the Summerset Isles either.
That leaves just a handful of provinces that match the landscape shown in the trailer. One potential answer is Elsweyr. The home of the Khajiit is a varied clime, with some arid, dry plains that lead into more vibrant areas and then onto jungle and rainforest to the south. However, the emphasis on the mountains in the trailer may suggest that Elsweyr isn't the right fit either.
That leaves two potential locations for the title, with both offering enough variety to make for a great open world game. One is High Rock, the home of the magic-based Bretons. Located in the north west of Tamriel, High Rock does have the variety to potentially showcase what appears in the trailer, with mountainous areas alongside a coastline and greenlands. As such, it could certainly be a good fit, but there's one province that may well work even better with the information shown so far.
Hammerfell is a neighbour to High Rock, and also has a rather large variety of different regions. Although the Alik'r Desert takes up a fairly decent portion of the province as a whole, there's still plenty of other sections of Hammerfell that almost perfectly match what was seen in the trailer for The Elder Scrolls VI. From mountain ranges to a temperate coastline in the west of Tamriel, as well as that apparent badlands look, that ever-so-brief view of the game would could certainly be a fit for Hammerfell.
One other aspect that may point towards Hammerfell over High Rock is the architecture of a city seen in the trailer. Although it was on screen for but a fraction of the runtime, the design of the buildings in this region is quite clearly identified, and they look very different from what is expected of the architecture in the Breton region. High Rock's influences come from a place of medieval fantasy, which doesn't appear to match with the buildings seen in the trailer. However, the flat roofs of the city in question could certainly equate to the architecture of Hammerfell.
Either way, it does raise an interesting question, as areas of both High Rock and Hammerfell were visited in the second Elder Scrolls game, Daggerfall. This would be the first time that Bethesda had returned to a province in the main series of games, aside from Arena or certain DLC such as Skyrim's Dragonborn content. If The Elder Scrolls is going to return to a previously-visited province, then there could be a good reason for it, or perhaps Bethesda would simply like to go back to that part of Tamriel now that The Elder Scrolls has found such mainstream appeal.
As far as plot goes, both High Rock and Hammerfell could provide plenty of room for Bethesda to expand the lore of the series. Indeed, Hammerfell in particular would be an excellent place to set the next game from a story perspective. The Redguard province was one of the few to push back against the Aldmeri Dominion which appears to be the driving force behind the politics of Skyrim, and now sits as an independent, but damaged, state separate from the Empire. Whether fighting off further attempts of domination from Summerset Isles or leading a larger fight against the Altmer, there's lots of scope here for Bethesda to build upon.
Of course, it's not likely that Bethesda is going to be confirming the setting of The Elder Scrolls VI any time soon. Indeed, the vague nature of the trailer itself will no doubt help Bethesda when it comes to its design of the game, giving the team enough wiggle room to work creatively between now and when more finite details about the game are shown off. However, at the very least there's enough here for Elder Scrolls experts to sink their teeth into.
What do you make of the trailer for The Elder Scrolls VI? Where would you like The Elder Scrolls VI to be set? Do you think that our predictions are right, or do you think that another province is the answer?