First Juicy Details Arrive For Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The first details of Bethesda's next huge project Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have been spotted in the new Game Informer magazine. It seems that there may be more familiar aspects from Fallout 3 making an appearance as opposed to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
The story of Skyrim will take place 200 years after Oblivion. The titled Skyrim is a location on the Elder Scrolls map - it is a region north of the imperial city, where the Nords live. As if this was not obvious by the trailer, dragons are returning and you will be playing as one of the last Dovakhiin (dragon slayer) referred to as 'Dragonborn' so it seems.
You will be trying to stop the evil Nordic dragon god Alduin, with the help of one of the last surviving members of The Blades (voiced by Max Von Sydow of Shutter Island and Minority Report), who also serves as your mentor. As the King of Skyrim has died, there is also a civil war taking place between the native Nordic race, just to throw you off course from time to time no doubt. The war is the last in a sequence of events that fulfill a prophecy foretold by the Elder Scrolls; the Nordic god Alduin arises to destroy the world.
Third person view has been improved, how it is improved is not revealed. There will be no visible HUD whilst in first person view. Faces and models have been improved and characters now exhibit more emotion and will show distinctions between different races. An updated engine means that snow falls dynamically (not as a basic texture on the ground). Dynamic shadows have been added and trees and branches move independently with the wind. Water also flows realistically.
There will be ten different races to choose from and there are further customizable options including making changes to the body.
When you talk to someone they will also act more like they do in reality. You know, walking about and doing what they are doing, whilst occasionally giving you eye contact. No more zoomed static shots for us. Beards and kids have been added to the mix, separately of course...no kids with beards I'm afraid.
In game details start with the leveling system - it's been revamped to say the least. No more will you pick a class at the start of the game; every skill you upgrade contributes to your overall level. And with every level comes a health upgrade, plus a choice of either more health, magicka or stamina. It is also rumored that, much like in Fallout 3, every time you level up you can choose a perk to enhance your abilities. Leveling has been changed to 1-50, but 50 is soft-capped so you just advance really slowly after that.
The Mysticism skill has been dropped altogether but the Enchanting skill returns. There are now only 18 skills instead of the 21 in Oblivion, and 27 in Morrowind. This is an attempt to allow players to become more specialized in a certain profession (like mage or thief), but this also allows players to dip into most of these different areas if desired.
Combat seems to be much improved and looks to be more exciting, tactical and dynamic. Each hand can be equipped with a variety of different things, from magic spells, weapons and shields. Mix it up as much as you want! You can also go to a forger and carve your own weapon from red hot metal. You can finally sprint as well which will make things a bit more speedy, this does drain your stamina though.
Enemies confirmed so far include include zombies, skeletons, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, dragons, wolves, horses, elks, mammoths and saber-toothed cats. There will also be finishing moves, unique to each weapon and enemy you fight. And you can start a fight with any NPC.
Quests are reported to be much more dynamic this time around as well. They are determined by how you build your character and certain actions that you may do.
Examples provided: If you are more of a magic user, another mage may approach you who may not have had if you were a strong melee character. Or if you killed someone who owned a store that was going to give you a quest, his sister would inherit the store, but she may resent you before giving you the quest.
A more intuitive example is if you drop a weapon in the street instead of selling it, it may just disappear, or a child may pick it up and give it back to you, which would lead to a series of events, or some guys may fight over who gets it.
The most prominent example of dynamism though is what Bethesda are calling 'Radiant storytelling' or Level Scaling 2.0.
The game eventually logs a huge storehouse of knowledge about how you've played, and subsequently tailors content to your capabilities and experiences. Entering a city, a young woman might approach you and beg you to save her daughter from kidnappers. The game will look at the nearby dungeons you've explored, automatically set the mission in a place you've never visited, and designate opponents that are appropriately matched to your strengths and weaknesses.
Whilst you are in about towns you can also interact with many more things like mining, farming and cooking but there are no other details on this as of yet.
There will be 5 massive cities and all the underground areas and caves will be much more varied.
You can't run backwards as fast as you do forward.
And that is all of it! If that is not enough to keep you satisfied for now, then I cannot help you. Looking pretty good so far though, right?