In a traditional speedrun contest with Bethesda, a tester set a record by beating the game’s main storyline in 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 10 seconds, Eurogamer reports. The epic race was documented in words and photos on Bethesda’s blog.
Two testers, Sam Bernstein and Jeff Browne, took on the speed run challenge in what is apparently an honored Bethesda tradition. Previously, they’ve documented battles in Oblivion and Fallout. Sam was the victor this time, as he was with the Fallout race.
In all these cases, the contestants are very much aware of the “ins and outs of the game” and are not simply blindly stumbling through quest lines. That’s an important distinction to make, as it does not mean the main quest is so brief that players will accidentally beat it after just popping the disc in.
These days, players tend to define a game’s worth based on how long it will take them to beat it. It can define whether players will rent or buy. But, in this case, it’s extremely unlikely that any new player will come even close to this time without a little help.
Rather than worry, this news actually has me extremely excited. It suggests that the world is as malleable as advertised. The freedom to complete the game with efficiency suggests that the designers did not create a rigid series of set events that cannot be bypassed. A player sees evil, goes to it, and conquers it, as he or she sees fit. To me, that sounds like the definition of player freedom.