Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Hands On: Look Ma, Both Hands
While it may have recently laid claim to one of the industry’s most
storied studios and revived one of the most cherished RPG series in
existence, Bethesda will always be the house that Elder Scrolls
built. As well as the house that built Elder Scrolls. And seeing how
very few studios can manage a proper single-player RPG these days, much
less a sweeping epic with fully explorable vistas that make your knees
wobbly, there was no way we were going to miss a chance for some quality
time with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at Eurogamer Expo.
Visually, it’s not the dramatic step up Oblivion was over Morrowind,
but your breath will still catch when looking at that first horizon
line. Even disregarding the occasional placeholder textures and errant
animation, you can almost feel the crispness of the unfolding titular
patch of Tamriel rub against your eyeballs. But skin-deep isn’t where
Skyrim’s appeal stops, it’s where it begins. Playing through the first
village and immediately being sent after some bandits will quickly lull
you into a sense of business as usual. So much so that you might not
even notice the extra button the first time you futz through the
redesigned inventory to gear up.
That extra button that lets you equip two weapons. That are independently controlled. And can be used in devastating finishing moves.
If you don’t feel like casting two spells at once instead, that is. If
there’s been an RPG in recent memory that can instill a player with a
more personal and visceral sense of overwhelming power, we haven’t
played it. And we’re not counting on playing one where a huge and
meticulously detailed world is just a distraction from frying and
freezing wolves at the same time anytime soon.