Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Tons of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Info Pours onto the Internet

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Following Bethesda’s unveiling of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at last month’s VGAs, Game Informer have the scoop on the game in their February edition of the magazine, which is making its way out to subscribers now.

The article itself is chock full of screenshots and information on the title, which is set to dominate your life this coming November. The magazine covers a few of the upgraded aspects in its 14 page piece, a good chunk of which we’ve plucked out of the cracks to get you up to speed, ranging from how they’ve tweaked the combat to how you’ll have the chance to explore 5 new cities. Yes, I said 5.

Get ready, this is what I call information overload...


  • Skyrim will take place 200 years after Oblivion and isn’t a direct sequel in the traditional sense of things – from a story perspective.
  • You take the role of one of the supposed last remaining Dragonborn, a true dragon hunter, and will no doubt be tasked to stop the huge dragon God, Alduin, also known as the World Eater.
  • Esbern, your in-game mentor of sorts, is one of the last surviving Blades and will be voiced by Max Von Sydow (Minority Report, etc)
  • Your hero will be tasked with walking 7,000 steps to the high retreat of High Hrothgar to get dragon slaying training from a group of mysterious old men that reside there called the Greybeards.

Game World

  • There are said to be “six or seven really different environment looks” in Skyrim, says Bethesda's Todd Howard.
  • There are 5 massive cities to explore. Yes, you can fast travel to previously explored places.
  • There are 10 races in Skyrim.
  • There are a variety of tasks to do in Skyrim as well, including crafting new weapons at the forge, creating poisons and potions through alchemy and you can enchant items with magical powers.
  • You can also get involved in mundane tasks if you wish, like farming, woodcutting, mining and even cooking.
  • Dropping weapons in the street can end in different outcomes; for instance, it could remain there forgotten, it could be picked up by a small boy and returned to you, or two men could fight over its ownership.
  • The game world is said to be much more alive and detailed than in Oblivion, and boast incredible draw distances. Everything is said to be traversable.
  • The game world is populated with a variety of animals from saber-tooth cats to woolly mammoths.
  • Lesser dragons roam the game world, meaning they will play a far more significant part this time around. They are a big part of Skyrim and won’t be held back until the end.


  • Thanks to something Bethesda are calling the Radiant story system, the game’s lesser missions will react to who you are and where you are, and present you with quests that are “flavoured dynamically.”
  • That’ll take into account where you’ve been, who you’ve killed, what skills you’ve upgraded, who are your friends and who are your enemies. For instance, a magic user may give a fellow magic user a quest, but not someone who levelled up their weapon skill.
  • If you kill a shopkeeper that was going to give you a quest, his sister will inherit the store and may give you the quest out of anger or frustration instead.
  • The ability to duel in the streets is mentioned.
  • Through missions, the game will encourage players to go places they’ve never visited. For instance, a woman might ask you to save her kidnapped offspring and the game will send you to a dungeon you’ve never been before. It’ll then set enemies that are appropriately matched to your strengths and weaknesses.


  • Faces have been dramatically overhauled, giving them more emotion and making them as realistic as they ever have been in a Bethesda game.
  • Conversations are revamped and no longer zoom in on a rigid character. Instead, characters will often get on with what they are doing with the occasional glances at the player character, for instance.
  • Characters can overhear details from other people’s conversations that they can do with as they see fit, from hearing about missing items or unusual situations. All of which are stored in a log.


  • Skyrim welcomes the two hands/two options approach, enabling players to mix and match what each hand holds, whether it’s a spell/weapon combo, a weapon/weapon combo, a spell/spell combo or a weapon/shield combo. Whatever you want is possible.
  • You can setup loadouts and change them in combat with only a momentary pause.
  • There are finishing moves now that are weapon and opponent specific.
  • Bows take longer to draw back this time, but are much more powerful.
  • There are only 5 schools of magic in Skyrim – there was 6 in Oblivion – with Mysticism being cut. Howard insisted that with them jiggling stuff around, it became redundant.
  • Bethesda has slowed down how fast you move backwards too, so you can’t just backpedal in combat. Apparently being able to move as fast backwards as you can forwards made your character look ridiculous in third-person view.
  • Enemies don’t necessarily charge at the player when they see him this time and some will have unique patterns and tendencies.
  • Players can learn unique abilities called “dragon shouts” by absorbing the souls of dragons – one of the benefits of the dragonborn - of which there are over 20 in the game and each is formed from three words of power. They can push enemies away, slow down time, transport you and even summon a dragon, amongst other things.

Levelling Up

  • There is no class system per se in Skyrim and how a player plays depends on what skills the character gains. Use a one-handed weapon, watch that skill increase, etc. You get experience for everything.
  • Skill increases contribute to your overall level growth. Each level gives you a boost in health and a chance to boost health, magika or stamina.
  • There are 18 separate skills in Skyrim, including such things like Illusion, Destruction, Restoration, Enchanting, etc.
  • It seems like there are 50 main levels, with Howard mentioning levelling up to 50 is roughly the same time as it would be to level an Oblivion or Fallout character to 25.
  • You can level up past 50, but it’s a dramatically slower increase than before once you get past that threshold.
  • Todd Howard confirms that Skyrim will use the perk system that they used in Fallout 3, noting that there was an automated perk system in place in Oblivion, but in Skyrim, the user has control over it. There are dozens of perks to choose from, that may increase dagger damage during stealth attacks and may mean your mace attack may ignore your foe’s armour skills.
  • On the official forums, Bethesda responded to questions about the game’s scaling system that many didn’t like in the original. “All our games have had some amount of randomness/levelling based on player level. Skyrim's is similar to Fallout 3's, not Oblivion's,” said Bethesda’s Senior Community Manager on the forums.


  • You can play Skyrim HUD free.
  • The third person perspective is said to be improved.
  • Characters can now sprint, using up stamina from their stamina supply.

If you want to get the proper inside look and check out the new screens – before they undoubtedly make it online – you’ll have to pick up February’s edition of Game Informer.

[Via Game Informer]


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US November 11, 2011

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