One of the common refrains in all of our coverage for The Elder Scrolls 6 on this site has been our insistence that it take from Skyrim. That makes sense, too- the fifth installment of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series remains the most popular, and is also perhaps the perfect representation of the symbiosis between depth and accessibility that Bethesda have been trying to achieve with their games. Their previous games could be daunting for newcomers, while something like Fallout 4 sacrifices too much nuance and depth for accessibility- it is barely an RPG at this point.
Skyrim, then, represents the perfect template for Bethesda to follow with The Elder Scrolls 6. But there are certain disclaimers that need to be made with any proclamation such as that- when we refer to an Elder Scrolls 6 as a Skyrim 2, we are not literally asking for a Skyrim 2, in that we’re not asking for a direct sequel, or a game set in the province of Skyrim, or continuing the story of Skyrim. Indeed, part of the charm of The Elder Scrolls games comes from being able to explore new areas in the land of Tamriel- a game returning to a province we have already explored would be missing a big part of the allure of Bethesda’s games, which is the ability to explore an all new world.
No, with The Elder Scrolls 6, Bethesda must, by necessity, move beyond the frozen confines of Skyrim, and take us to a new area, perhaps one yet unexplored by any game in the series yet- what that may be remains to be seen (though the process of elimination leaves us with only a few likely candidates), but having The Elder Scrolls 6 be a literal Skyrim 2 would be a grave mistake.
Bethesda should, rather, look at everything Skyrim did well – its balance of nuance and accessibility, its wealth of well designed content, its incredible music and graphics, and its compelling atmosphere – and try to replicate that with their next game. Skyrim 2 is what they should aspire for- but only in spirit, not in name.