Game Informer magazine has run a feature article which debuts gameplay details and screen shots for the latest in the Elder Scrolls series: Skyrim. Scans of the article are pretty easy to find online, but for those who couldn’t be bothered, here’s all the information that is known so far.
The biggest changes have come to the levelling and combat systems. As far as story is concerned however, Skyrim is set 200 years after the events of Oblivion, and dragons have returned to the world. And yes, you’re going to have to kill lots of them.
Your character is a dragonborn and is the first one to be seen in decades. The dragonborn were initially responsible for ridding the world of dragons a long time ago, but most of them have since been wiped out and you are all that remains. At the start of Skyrim, a civil war is breaking out between the citizens, which is the final portent in a series of events (which are the events from previous Elder Scrolls games in fact) heralding the return of the dragons and Alduin, the meanest one of them all. As a dragonborn your character has to, you guessed it, rid Skyrim of this new threat.
There is no longer a class selection at the start of the game but rather the levelling works along the ethos of â€œthe more you do something, the better you get at it.â€ Every character will start out the same insofar as skills are concerned, but there are ten races to choose from. If you want to become a mage you simply use more spells. The higher your stats in a particular skill get, the faster your character levels up. Once you reach a new level you’ll get a boost to stamina, health or magicka. There will be 18 skills in Skyrim which is three less than the amount found in Oblivion.
Each time you gain a level, you’ll also get to choose a perk similar to the system found in Bethesda’s other RPGs, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. The perks bring you added features and abilities for use while you play the game.
Combat has also undergone a big change. You can now equip different weapons or spells (or a combination of both) into each hand. This obviously allows you to create a much more personalised character. A thief that uses a dagger in one hand and a shock spell in the other is completely possible. The combat itself sounds as if it will be a lot more visceral and the Oblivion exploit of simply running backwards and swinging wildly at your pursuer has been removed as you no longer run backwards as fast as you do forwards. There will also be finishing moves specific to enemies and weapons.
It’s all sounding really good so far. Here’s hoping some gameplay footage sees the light of day soon!
Last Updated: January 10, 2011