The first images and information from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were at last released. After a long time counting down the days, the wait has finally paid off. The latest issue of the American magazine Game Informer, which will be released tomorrow, brings detailed information on the game. However, we managed to get our hands on the scans of this preview early. Below you can find a detailed report of the scans, with the original work of Game Informer below. So ofcourse, all credit goes to them.
We are aware there is already a similiar article on Gamegasm but that one’s in Dutch. This one is for our international readers. Enjoy!
By Erik Dekker, Niels Dekker and Richard Castro
By reading the original article from the Game Informer issue, we’ve learned that Bethesda has made a lot of changes to the combat system. This time you can dual wield weapons, and even swap the weapons in your hands (like switching your dagger from your left to your right hand). In addition, you can assign a magic spell to one hand, and have a small weapon on the other, like we saw in Bioshock 2. On top of that you can also dual wield spells, which obviously has disastrous consequences for your enemies.
In this game the flow of the fighting mechanics runs much smoother than in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In Skyrim you will actually feel like you are in the heat of the battle. Running backwards has been tweaked as well, ruling out the possibility to keep using cheap evasive maneuvers. In this game you will have a lot of new fighting styles at your disposal and all of them have their own brutal executions.
But what’s the story behind all this? The world of Tamriel was previously guarded by the Dragonborn, individuals whose strengths matched those of dragons. Therefore, these brave warriors were believed to be the only ones with enough power to defeat them. The constant danger that the Dragonborn were exposed to, was so immense that they were nearly exterminated. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes place two centuries after the events of Oblivion. As the last Dragon Born, your primary the role is to slay the remaining Dragons that have gone rogue. The fact that you are one of these warriors, means you have some unique skills at your disposal. Besides the fact that you can communicate with dragons, you have the ability, through “Dragon Shouts”, to absorb the souls of these creatures when you give them the final blow. These ancient souls give you new and incredible powers. “There are words of power thesis, and if you learn how to say them right, They have a powerful effect”, says Todd Howard of Bethesda. “There are several characters that can use dragon shouts, but this phenomenon is very rare. You are the only one that can absorb the souls of dragons and get new shouts. There is a total of about twenty, which grow stronger the more you kill dragons.”
Some nice elements of the Fallout games will also be used in Skyrim. An example is the perk system. At each new level that you achieve with blood, sweat and tears, you can choose from one of dozens of special abilities that can help you in battle. Nice additional fact is that after you hit level 50, you can get the rest of the perks. Because there is no level cap, you can keep going after that point, gaining experience, just drastically slower.
Bethesda wants the player to feel like the actions made in the game have a real impact in the world. Not only the way how ethical the outcome is of your entered battles, but every single small detail has an impact on shaping your world of Skyrim. For example, if you enter a shop and kill the shopkeeper that has a quest for you, there is a chance his sister will take over his merchandise. She may also give you the quest but if she does it will be out of pure frustration. Understandable, because I would not trust the murderer of my loved ones either.
Whenever you’re over-encumbered and drop a heavy weapon on the ground, it will stay there. However, in some cases a couple of idiots will notice the weapon and start a fight over who gets it. Another possibility is that a little kid will see you drop it, after which he’ll run after you to remind you not to forget your weapon. Immersion doesn’t get any better than this!
Imagine you return to a safe haven all covered in dirt and blood from butchering all inhabitants of a particular dungeon. A helpless woman sees you and begs you to rescue a loved one from a cave nearby. Now, the game will keep track of the locations you’ve discovered and finished. It will scan for areas you didn’t visit yet, and use one of them for the new quest. Todd Howard of Bethesda said: “To the players, they’ll get a quest that we feel is appropriate for who they are and what they’re doing at the time. In essence, your version of Skyrim will be built on your specific playing style.”
Skyrim is in the north of Tamriel, just above Cyrodill, where Oblivion took place. You’ll cross huge snowy areas, freezing peaks and defy ice cold temperatures. Dragons will guard the crispy blue skies. The folks living in Skyrim seem to be a bit primitive and it’s clear that these people have adapted to survive the extreme climate for centuries. You could almost compare their way of life to that of Conan the Barbarian. There is some variation to the landscapes in Skyrim though. Besides the snowy wastelands you’ll also see green forests as far as the eye can see, with a healthy diversity in both wildlife and vegetation. Each part of the map has its own climate, with its own flora and fauna.
Like in Oblivion and Fallout 3, you’ll come to see many different settlements, villages and big cities in the game. Whenever you engage in conversation with an inhabitant there’ll be no “pause and zooming” this time. Conversations will happen in real time and people you talk to, now have the opportunity to look away from you or simply continue doing their chores while talking to you. In the friendly areas, like villages, you’ll be able to choose a profession and practice that at your leisure. As a blacksmith you can create all kinds of deadly weapons and armor. And if you want to, there’s also mining, enchanting, cooking, woodcutting and alchemy to choose from. Doing these activities might be a nice break from the norm after all the fighting, questing and collecting outside the city walls.
Good stuff, good stuff! It sure looks like the good people at Bethesda have another winner on their hands. This game will probably rob us from our social lives again for tens or even hundreds of hours. Judging from the pictures below, the new engine has a lot of potential. It’s easy to see the huge steps forward comparing them to what the dated Gamebryo Engine could do. Let’s grab those calendars now and mark 11-11-11 down with a big red marker. Now… where did I put that time machine…?
What do you think of the first images and the new info on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Feel free to leave a comment.
Update: We’ve found scans of much better quality. You can find them below. Enjoy!
Skyrim’s first gameplay footage has been revealed! You can see it all here.