The Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda has today revealed the details surrounding a huge title update for Skyrim that will see the game undergo a flood of well-deserved changes. While added functionality is a given, the developer also dropped a metaphorical bombshell on those who thought third-party support for Microsoft's hands-free motion control device had ground to a halt. That's right, soon we'll all get to shout our “Fus Ra”'s and our “Iiz Slen Nus”'s like the magical wizards we profess to be: Skyrim is being overhauled for Kinect.
Set amongst the snowy mountains, disparate villages and dragon-tormented lands of one of Tamriel's northernmost regions, Skyrim proved to be as beautiful as it was gritty and real, as deep as it was well refined for the masses' palettes and as breathtaking a game with dragons ought to be. But it wasn't quite perfect. Hidden beneath the surface were aggravating niggles that clouded over some of the better aspects of the experience - the slightly cumbersome direction to the map, slightly laggy menus, finding an item amongst the raft of trinkets picked up across your journey was a quest in itself – so to hear Bethesda has chosen to reward fans of the game with, let's face it, an update that we didn't really need is one that is well received. An 800 Microsoft Points charge for the privilege is one we might also have expected, but one proven unfounded with confirmation the update is entirely free. Not bad for a developer who once charged 200 MSP for horse armour.
When we first spoke about the way Kinect could possibly find its way into the sprawling wilderness of Skyrim in December, never did we think it'd make its way over to consoles in the form of an official patch. But here it is, and it looks really quite spectacular. You can see the promotional video of the new content below for an in-game demonstration, but as a quick overview Bethesda has added voice functionality for over 200 commands - including those for dragon shouts, follower commands, menus, hotkeys and the ability to create new saves or load existing games (efficient) – and, aside from Kinect support; re-designed the inventory system to allow items to be filtered by name, weight and value; boosted hotkey options and even tagged on 'special map functions'. Skyrim, how we've missed you.