Sunday, 9 October 2011

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Exploration and Dragons

The Elder Scrolls games have been around for a long time and from the very beginning have provided the player with a massive playing area and an immersive Role Playing experience focused on making your own choices.

In fact, it's interesting to note that the record for the largest land-based game area is still held by The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall with a total area of 163,492 square kilometres. (roughly the size of two Great Britains.)

The same game also holds the record for largest number of Non-player characters in an RPG with a total of 750,000.   

Set on the fictional continent of Tamriel, they have always been at the pinnacle of fantasy RPG's and always extremely time consuming. (one of the only single player games comparable to an MMORPG in the amount of time needed to discover all content.)

I played the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for many hours when it was first released in 1996. I'm sorry, I think I may have used the wrong phrasing of words there. Did I say hours?.....I meant Days.

Back then, the game was taxing on your hardware to say the least, and even though my PC struggled to handle the graphics at the time, I played it anyway......alot.

Even when I'd finished with the main story arc I continued to play, and with the constant string of mods and additional user generated content there was never any shortage of new things to do.

On the 11th of November this year the fifth installment (named Skyrim) is released and unlike the previous game will be released on the same day on all platforms. (PC, Xbox 360 and PS3).

When the game was showcased at E3 this year, the line to play the demo on display was staggering to say the least, and the response to how it's shaping up is huge, and after what I've glimpsed of the not surprising.

Once again you'll be thrown into a vast and now immensely varied landscape with more cities, towns and locations than ever before. 

All options on how to play the game are left solely for the player to decide. Feel free to style your character to only use magic if you want or maybe only weapons or even a sneaky rogue with daggers and the occasional pickpocketing. With the new addition of being able to dual-wield different weapons or skills for each hand, the possibilities are endless.

It's all up to you, and as you travel around the beautifully crafted world, the options and quests provided to you will begin to unfold. (the map was recently leaked on the internet and although all in Russian is probably worth taking a look at. - )

Skyrim will also be home to Dragons, who have previously never been present in an Elder Scrolls game except for in the lore.

These dragons are the main element of the story, with you being the last of the dragon born. What this means is that when you defeat the dragons, you will be able to utilize their "dragon-shouts" which are magical attacks which can be used to devastate your foes.

Dragons will be able to attack you in any location (including the main cities) which will give the game a greater sense of action than previously.

Like in the previous game, there will be numerous races to choose from and also numerous factions to join as you play. Professions like Herbalism will be returning and you will be able to have different jobs to earn money.

Bethesda was also responsible for the hugely successful Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas and they intend to incorporate some of these elements into the gameplay and levelling. Perks will be introduced like in Fallout and you will be able to choose specific abilities after levelling up on top of your existing upgradeable ones.

Some enemies look to be much larger than in Oblivion and aside from the Dragons, Wooly Mammoths have been shown and some very nasty looking Ogres as well.

Graphics look spectacular to say the least, and like in Oblivion it will be tempting to stop and look around at the scenery every now and again. Of course, that may prove to be a bit more dangerous this time.

I've already warned my girlfriend that much of my time will be taken up after November in playing this game, but she understands and will probably be playing it with me as well. 

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