The latest issue of Game Informer contains fresh gameplay details on Bethesda's next massive title, The Elders scrolls V: Skyrim, set for release this November.
Skyrm's story is set 200 years after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and the world of Tamriel is in shambles. The empire has fallen to the elves, the Blades are gone, the Nords hate each other, and a civil war is about the break out. Oh, and that big dragon the Elder Scrolls prophesied about? Yeah, he's arrived, too. Players will take control of the last remaining Dragonborn, a dragon hunter anointed by the gods to help fend off the threat.
Bethesda's newest title features a brand-spanking new engine where every object in the game now casts a shadow as well as improved draw-distances. Textures are sharper and more detailed and the environments are livelier. There's also the addition of a HUD-less first-person view and "improved" third-person camera option.
There will be five massive cities that span Skyrim's environment, which ranges from frozen tundra to rocky mountain tops. There is also new wildlife, such as Sabre-toothed Cats and Wooly Mammoths.
The combat is getting a bit of an overhaul, too. Players will be able to equip any weapon or spell to either hand at any time and even duel wield two of the same weapon. A new customizable menu is being added to help swap load-outs easily in battle.
Bethesda has also done away with the character class system and reworked the game's leveling mechanic. Players' skills will level up the more they are used, contributing to your overall level growth. "Raising one skill from 34 to 35 is going to level you faster than raising one from 11 to 12," Bethesda designer Todd Howard told the magazine. Players can also level pass 50, but it becomes much slower after that point.
The team has also added Fallout 3's perk system, where each new level gained allows players to add special abilities to their character, including increase in damage to dagger stealth attacks or allowing your mace to ignore enemy armor.
Skyrim's NPC conversations are a lot more realistic. Aside from including even more voice actors, the AI-controlled characters will actually move about and continue on with the activities they were doing before being interrupted. Towns also include more activities to do, such farming, mining, woodcutting and cooking.
Bethesda also revamped the game's menu system. Howard said the team used Apple's iTunes as inspiration and direction. Players will be greeted with a compass-style overlay with four options: Skill, Inventory, Map, and Magic. Weapons and spells can be tagged as a 'favorite' for quick selection. Every item is a 3D object than can be viewed and examined.