The latest Elder Scrolls adventure, Skyrim,
will fix nagging gameplay issues from Oblivion as well as well as
presenting players with a lush, dynamic world they can truly get lost
For awhile now, the game publisher has been talking about the size of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and comparing it to the last Elder Scrolls adventure, Oblivion.
In actuality, the size of the virtual worlds are the same, but with the
mountain region of the new game, the way players will navigate the
world will take longer (Oblivion offered flatter terrain for more direct
routes). But Skyrim has been designed to offer a larger adventure to
gamers in a scope that goes beyond square miles.
Skyrim will offer more dense quests for players to explore
through its new Radiant Story System. This technology will serve up
random encounters, quests and towns depending on each player’s actions
in the game and where they are. It should ensure that players will have a
very different experience when playing the game, and offer up replay
value for those who want to journey back to Skyrim.
No more dead ends
Those who played Oblivion may have, on numerous occasions,
tired of a quest because the game literally broke the adventure. With so
many quests built into that game, once in awhile a quest would require
the player to vanquish the very person who sent them on the adventure,
thus breaking the chain of the quest. That will never happen in Skyrim.
In Skyrim, the new dynamic system will ensure that even if a
merchant originates a quest, which later develops into an adventure
from the Dark Brotherhood to kill said merchant, other virtual
characters will take over the quest-giver role. It could be a relative
or a spouse that steps in so that players can seamlessly finish the
quest, rather than being left high and dry after a lot of time invested
in that particular journey. The ability to talk to NPCs while looking
around and taking in your surroundings further envelopes the player
within this universe.
This new mechanic should encourage more gamers to engage in more
quests. And Skyrim will come packed with them. In fact, that’s partly
where the size and scope of the new game comes to play. While getting
from point A to point B might take a little bit longer because of the
landscape, the developer is also enticing players to experience engaging
side quests that should take up a lot of time.
Deeper dungeons, deeper customization
There’s also the matter of dungeons. In Oblivion, dungeons
were there for those who wanted to grab some loot, but they didn’t offer
engagement. Part of the reason was that artists created the dungeons in
Oblivion. But for Skyrim, each dungeon is being
designed by level designers. The end result should be unique experiences
complete with back stories that the team hopes will encourage more
players to spend yet more time underground, exploring for more than just
One thing you can find in dungeons is ore, which can be used to create custom weapons from scratch. The open world nature of Skyrim
is also likely going to make players lose track of time. Bethesda has
showed off the depth of this world, which includes the ability to go off
and become a specialist in any number of jobs. At E3, Bethesda showed
off Riverwood, where players could become a logger and earn virtual
currency chopping wood. At Gamescom, the developer talked about how
everything in the game can be used to create weapons, potions, and other
items that take on an important purpose. Getting back to that ore,
players can use a pick axe to collect enough of the raw materials to
create a dagger or sword – once they find a weapons forge. Kill an
animal, find a tannery, and you have leather, as well as fur. There are
plenty of details to play through in this massive game.
Players can specialize in 18 different skills, including one and
two-handed swords, archery, enchantment, and heavy and light armor. The
sky is literally the limit, as constellations serve as perk trees for
each individual skill. There are over 280 perks in the game. Again,
plenty to get caught up with as you explore the world.
A world waiting to be explored
Getting around Skyrim will be a little bit easier thanks to
horses. Bethesda spent a lot of time creating believable animals, which
opens up all-new controls that handle a lot different than the on-foot
portion of the game. Shown from a third-person perspective, horses allow
players to more quickly navigate this huge area.
Built with the Creation Engine, Skyrim is really starting to
show off its polish. Anywhere players look in the game world, no matter
how far in the distance, is open for exploration. The game’s weather
system adds more realism to the world, while the real-time shadows
brings minute details to life as you explore both above ground and in
the dungeons below.