TES: Skyrim Blowout: Game length, gameplay and more detailed
Recently, Dutch Power Unlimited magazine have released lots of information regarding the fifth installment of Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim.
Essentially, the developers have said that “Skyrim is an evolution within The Elder Scrolls, and not a revolution”, meaning it would be more of the same breathtaking experienceÂ usheredÂ in the series, with the “magic of the world that Bethesda has created unequivocally present”.
Graphically, the game would look fabulous, as a lot of progress has been made since Oblivion. “Even in third person, animations look really good”, stated the developers. 3-D plays a big part, with every item having a 3D-preview option in the Flash based inventory, where you can twist, turn, rotate every item in the game and preview it from all possible angles. Sometimes you will solve puzzles by analyzing these 3D-previews. You can even read in-game books in 3-D.
Gameplay wise, lots of new features have been implemented. There is no level cap, however you will not be able to choose all perks with one character. All weapons have different properties, which you can take advantage of by choosing the right perks. Maces ignore a percentage of armor, and axes have bleed damage over time. Fast Travel has beenÂ incorporatedÂ to revisit the visited places instantly. There is also Active blocking, which makes melee more fun to play with.
Skyrim is approximately as big as Oblivion, with five big cities and more than 130 dungeons. Dungeons in this case are not rare, however, they will be locked at their level once you have been there. Story wise, the Dark Brotherhood is back, with “the overarching narrative of the Dragons being less prominent than the Oblivion Gates were in Oblivion, which won’t give you the feeling that you are doing ‘useless’ quests when you lay aside the Main Quest”. However, every dragon you kill will make you stronger. A piece of his soul will be transferred to yours. Overall, Main Story is approximately 20 hours long, with hundreds of hours for other quests.
For the lazy, here’s the new info in bullet-point format:
- “There is no level cap. You will nevertheless not be able to choose all perks with one character.”
- “Technically speaking, Skyrim is an evolution within The Elder Scrolls, and not a revolution (but everything looks fabulous). The magic of the world that Bethesda has created is nevertheless unequivocally present.”
- “All weapons have different properties, which you can take advantage of by choosing the right perks. Maces ignore a percentage of armor, and axes have bleed damage over time.”
- “You can use fast travel to revisit places you have visited earlier.”
- “Skyrim is approximately as big as Oblivion.”
- “Five big cities and more than 130 dungeons.”
- “The overarching narrative of the Dragons is less prominent than the Oblivion Gates were in Oblivion, which does not give you the feeling that you are doing ‘useless’ quests when you lay aside the Main Quest.”
- “Dragons are not rare.”
- “Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there.”
- “Even in third person, animations look really good. There has been a lot of progress since Oblivion.”
- “You can read in-game books in 3-D.”
- “Every item has a 3D-preview in the Flash based inventory, which you can twist, turn, rotate, etc. Sometimes you will solve puzzles by analyzing these 3D-previews. Not only armor and weapons can be explored in great detail, also small rings and herbs can be investigated from all possible angles. Every single item in the game can be previewed in the inventory screen.”
- “The Dark Brotherhood is back.”
- “Active blocking makes melee more fun to play.”
- “More traps and puzzles.”
- “Main Story is approximately 20 hours. Hundreds of hours for other quests.”
- “Every dragon you kill will make you stronger. A piece of his soul will be transferred to yours.”
Here’s some key points derived from an interview in the Mag with Todd Howard
- “There are special animations for sneak kills with daggers.” (The way it is written in Dutch does not imply that there are no special animations for other weapons btw…)
- “We primarily look at how we can improve facial expressions and animations, graphics-wise.”
- “The game won’t support Kinect. It takes too much memory.”
- “We are working at pop-up issues, and we want to make sure that the graphics of the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 are alike. All three will look just as good, aside from the higher resolution and the anti-aliasing of the PC of course.”
- “It is not yet possible to combine forms of magic. It is difficult. Frost magic makes an enemy move slower, and fire does damage over time, and the fire remains on the ground for additional damage. If we would allow the player to use fire magic in one hand, and frost magic in the other, it becomes much more complex. Maybe we will implement this though, but for the time being, ‘No’.
- “Someone modded Oblivion by changing the physics of shooting an arrow. It made you shoot slower and you almost had to remain stationary to shoot, which increased the arrow’s impact. We liked this mod so much, that we implemented it in Skyrim by default.”
With even more traps and puzzles, Skyrim shows a lot of promise.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.