by Ryan D Lowe
previewed on X360
New Dungeon Designs
Once inside the giant doors are closed just in the nick of time. The hero opens his quest menu to reveal that he's searching for a special key. The dungeon is as impressive as the world that holds it. Amazing technology is at work here and it shows. Instead of drab repetitive hallways, the game is on a much more detailed platform as it draws the world in rich vivid story-like design. You can feel these ruins are ancient and hold the world's forgotten treasures. Our player fights wave after wave of bandits employing the new dual wielding system. With just a quick cycle, the game allows the player to equip and wield anything in his arsenal of shortcut commands. The sky is the limit, two broad swords, maces, clubs, doesn't matter.
The warrior enters the dark labyrinth, he spies a bandit much larger than he has faced thus far. He employs a little cunning and sets a trap within the area. He slowly approaches the fiend trying to slide in for a stealth kill. The bandit foils these plans and rages at him. Our hero holds steadfast and at the last moment uses his dual wielding to combine his fire and ice powers together to create a devastating spell that tears through the bandit, knocking him into the trap for a two-part victory. Upon looting the fallen, the warrior finds a golden key that resembles the talon of an ancient bird.
A short distance into the labyrinth, the hero finds a giant locked door with three cylinders upon its face. The keyhole resembles the talon key that was found earlier. Even though it fits perfectly, the door refuses to budge. The cylinders must be the key Todd tells us. He opens his inventory and dives into mountains of items that are all completely modeled and viewable in 3D. Todd rotates the talon key and we see three separate vertical symbols on the inside face of the key. Using this knowledge, he rotates the cylindrical locks like a combination lock to the right order and the door slides open. The door open and the treasure gained, we are transported outside to a giant green valley, complete with a weathered tower, dug deep into the earth.
A giant towering mammoth crosses the hero's path. We can leave it alone and let it continue on its way or, if we choose to die an early death, attack it and pray he's in a forgiving mood. Just when you're in awe of the enormous mammoth the ground shakes as a foot the size of the aforementioned mammoth slams into view. This foot belongs to a towering giant. It booms off into the distance as it excuses itself (yes they talk!) and continues down the path. The hero continues on.
We slowly approach the weathered ruin as the smell of cinder and ash fills the sky. This be dragon country. Not two more steps and our ferocious friend descends from on high. The battle rages instantly. The warrior utilizes his best dual wielding spells and weapons as the dragon tries to get a good tail swipe into the side of his head. Fangs gnarled, the hero dodges out of the way. He speaks in an ancient tongue and blows the dragon off his feet, then rushes in for a few jabs to its skull. Wounded and angered, the beast again takes to the sky. Our hero chases in hot pursuit. Our hero climbs to the top of the tower as the beast circles overhead. A few long range weapons don't seem to be enough to bring this brute down.
Todd accesses the player's inventory and combines the final rune he found deep in the previous ruins into a series of three, and thus, into one massive spell. He exits the inventory and the warrior screams into the sky. Instantly, the entire valley grows dark and a storm envelops the sky, thunder booms and the wind rips the dragon out of its path. It slowly veers off course and a well placed combined spell brings the dragon screaming out of the sky. The player readies itself as the dragon hits...hard. Rock and debris fly all over the place as the dragon skids through the dirt ever closer to our warrior. At the last moment the dragon comes to an abrupt halt as our hero plunges his axe deep into its skull. The beast bellows its last breath as his very core and essence disintegrate and flow into the body of our hero. He has absorbed the dragon's soul and with a last blood curdling scream into the sky the demonstration ends.
This is Skyrim.