Skyrim: It Just Gets Better & Better

Every time I hear something new about the latest in the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim, I just keep getting more and more excited for November 11th.  When the new information came out from Gamescom, I nearly screamed with excitement.  Now, with the full 20 minute gameplay video narrated by Skyrim’s game director Todd Howard himself, I can guarantee you, it was (and is) hard to hold back shouts of glee, and cry that it’s not November 11th.  I actually found myself tearing up a bit at how amazing this game looks.

Skyrim Khajiit Male

Let's see: Regal-looking cat-person wielding axe and holding glowing ball of flames? Yeah, I wouldn't mess with him.

First of all, a bunch of pictures were released detailing the Elder Scrolls’ races, and let me say that these characters look incredible.  The detail that goes in to each race (of which there are many) is amazing!  The artists over at Bethesda really deserve commending, because they do great work.  And the graphics in general are incredibly crisp and bright, with running water and shadows being cast appropriately.  I am in love with just the look of Skyrim alone.  I’m a huge sucker for good-looking games, and Skyrim is visually breathtaking.  There’s a very minimalist HUD in the gameplay video, leaving the screen free of excess clutter and nothing to block the incredible vistas.  Which I like.  Once you dive into battle, your health bar is shown on the lower portion of the screen in red, so while you can easily keep an eye on your health, it also doesn’t feel overly intrusive.

One of the gameplay video highlights was the visually dynamic spell casting.  A fireball spell swirls and surrounds an enemy in an appropriately vicious manner.  You can also choose… an uber spell.  Okay, it’s actually called dual wielding.  But if you choose the same spell to dual wield, the result is an upgraded, more powerful version of that spell, and the example shown in the gameplay video slows the action down, focuses in on the magic, and explodes against the victim, similar to a finishing move.  AWESOME.  The Storm Call ‘Shout’, a powerful magical weapon in the game, takes over the screen with dark storm clouds and rain, and lightning bolts down to strike the enemy, in this case a dragon, as it sweeps by.  And it doesn’t end with just one hit; the lightning strikes over and over in intervals, and looks incredibly powerful.

Skyrim Whiterun

The City of Rohan... err, I mean Whiterun. Got my Skyrim and LOTR mixed up.

This may be old news, but it’s worth repeating: there are over one hundred and fifty (that’s 150) hand crafted dungeons in Skyrim, each detailed with care by artists to make them unique.  The world of Skyrim will certainly feel much, much larger on just that fact alone.  Eat your heart out, Dragon Age II.  In terms of size, the physical map size is approximately the same as Oblivion, but Skyrim will be jam packed with more content, more things to do within the map, so again, Skyrim will definitely feel much more expansive.  Oh, you feel like cooking up that meat you just found on an animal you just killed to vary the effects and/or make them more potent?  Cool, have at it.  You’re going to enchant your own weapon?  Do it.  You feel like mining that ore on the wall there to eventually use to make a weapon?  You absolutely should.

Did I mention how insanely awesome everything looks?  Yeah?  Well, it does.  You should watch the gameplay videos below for yourself.  Try not to squeal like a little girl too much.



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Posted On
Sep 17, 2011
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Need a tissue?

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Posted On
Sep 18, 2011
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In the words of Chrissy Amphlett, “When I think about you, I touch myself”

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Posted On
Sep 30, 2011
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Every time I get eager over the next little tidbit they talk about, a little voice inside is going “don’t forget the bugs!”

Having been burned by Bethsoft games in the past I’m wondering if I should just hold off a little while and let other people report the damage. This is one of the few games I want to buy right when it’s released, but if it needs fixing I don’t want to think of myself as having paid for a chance to beta test.

Not that I’m unwilling to do that in principle…

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