Oblivion was one of the first truly epic games of this current console generation, and Bethesda have been improving on the formula since then with Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Now they move on to the fifth chapter in The Elder Scrolls series, so just in case you haven’t been keeping up to date on the new features in Skyrim, here are ten facts you need to know to get yourself in a suitably excited mindset for Skyrim’s release this November.
How many RPGs pretend to have dragons but then don’t really deliver these days? Dragon Age? Yeah I guess there were a few dragons here and there, but I’d be lying if I said the title wasn’t somewhat misleading. Skyrim seems set to bring the bad-assery of flying lizards who breathe fire, but it’s also making sure that this is a meaningful gameplay mechanic. Rather than just throwing in an overpowered boss here and there, dragons will roam the lands of Skyrim of their own accord and interact (probably in a violent way) with the game’s locations and people in unscripted events. You may be there to protect a city from a dragon menace, but you may not all the same. It’s a tough world out there, but it sounds like an exciting prospect because of it.
More open ended levelling up
The previous Elder Scrolls games really dumped a lot on players in the opening section. Right from the word go you had to choose which class you would be, a series of specializations that would stick with you and shape your entire adventure. Decided you wanted a change halfway through the game? Too bad, no versatility for you. Thankfully Bethesda are taking a different route in Skyrim, instead opting for more versatile skill trees that branch out via a classless levelling up mechanic. This means you can get the chance to adapt your character as you go through the game and see what works for you.
New combat mechanics
It’s all well and good having these new skill trees, but it makes little difference if the combat itself isn’t all that fun. Some things seem to be changing though in Skyrim to improve upon the criticisms of Oblivion. You now assign weapons and spells to each hand, allowing for dual wielding and combos involving both weapons and magic. There are also a variety of smaller changes afoot. Arrows now do more damage but have been balanced to become more of a rare treat than a combat staple. Shields have also become more useful in the grand scheme of things, as you can now use them to attack directly with shield bashes. Enhanced animations will also round off the package, bringing a visceral nature to the game’s combat, the likes of which will not have been seen in previous instalments of the series.