Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - First details

Levelling, conversations and combat overhauled

As promised the first Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim details have arrived via US retailer mag Game Informer.

According to the mag, the fifth instalment is set 200 years after Oblivion, taking place in a region north of the Imperial City (that's Skyrim) and as suggested in the debut teaser trailer Dragon's are returning to the world. Playing as 'Dragonborn', it's up to you and your mentor (voiced by Shutter Island's Max von Sydow) to defeat the wicked dragon god. Ooh-eer.


Of the many revamped systems in the game, levelling sounds like a particularly large one. Skyrim no longer has you opting for a class at the start of the game, instead granting the player extra points for either health, magicka or stamina upon levelling up. Each level is also hinted to gift perks, which are said to be similar to abilities in Fallout 3.

18 skills will feature in Skyrim, down from the 21 in Oblivion and 27 in Morrowind. Bethesda says it's attempting to accommodate players who want to specialise into a certain profession, such as mage or thief.

Those who still cringe at the dodgy-looking conversations in previous Bethesda RPGs will be pleased to know that dialogue exchanges now look more natural, with AI characters moving around a bit and carrying on with their business if you've interrupted them at work.

Quests are much more dynamic now than those of Oblivion, says Bethesda, plus determined on your character choices and player actions. Heavy magic users, for example, may be approached by a mage with a quest, and if you killed a shop owner his relatives will inherit the store, and heavilly resent you when offering a task.

The developer's also putting an emphasis on improving the game's combat, it's said, with more tactical assignment of weapon hands (for magic, shields or even dual wielding) and extra care put on how each weapons works and feels.

Good stuff. Skyrim's been given a release date of November 11, along with a debut teaser trailer which you can see here.

Here are a few more scraps of info, care of the NeoGAF forum:

Yet another recap:

-A variation of level scaling.
-Dynamic Shadows
-Overhauled Combat-system
-Improved Faces/Improved Models Example: Faces have been dramatically overhauled. Characters now exhibit more emotion show of distinctions between different races and just plain looks better.
-Radiant AI
-Updated Engine Snow falls dynamically (not as a basic texture on the ground)
Trees and branches move independently with the wind
Water flows
-Randomly generated quests.
-You can't run backwards as fast as you do forward.
-10 races to choose from
-confirmed creatures: zombies, skeletons, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, dragons, wolves, horses Elk, mammoth, saber-toothed cats
-presumeably open cities (as dragons can attack)
-Hud-free first-person view and improved third-person perspective
-very unique landscapes! Also unique dungeons! In other words, lots of uniqueness!
-Character creation improved, body features customizable
-2-handed weapons and duel wielding confirmed.
-Finishing moves, unique to each weapon and enemy you fight.
-Sprint is added !
- Dialog will pop up when you approach an enemy
- cooking/farming/mining/woodcutting/blacksmithing
-18 skills.
-Perk picking at every level-up
-5 Magic Schools Destruction Alteration Conjuration Restoration Illusion