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More Skyrim details wriggle out

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 23:33 GMT By Brenna Hillier

20110125skyrim

A Dutch magazine has provided another info dump on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, touching on graphical upgrades, the size of the game world, and the ever-fascinating dragons.

The Skyrim feature, which originally appeared in Dutch Power Unlimited and includes an interview with producer Todd Howard, was translated and compiled in a post on Neogaf.

Graphics

Howard told the magazine that Bethesda had specific goals in mind for updating the series’ graphics in Skyrim.

“We primarily look at how we can improve facial expressions and animations, graphics-wise,” he said.

“We are working at pop-up issues, and we want to make sure that the graphics of the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 are alike. All three will look just as good, aside from the higher resolution and the anti-aliasing of the PC of course.”

But the inventory menu has also enjoyed a bit of a polish, with flash-based previews allowing you to rotate and examine every single item in the game from weapons and armour to accessories and ingredients. Occasionally, this feature will be the basis for puzzle-solving.

The series’ famous collection of books and texts makes a return as readable 3D models, rather than the flat text walls of earlier games.

World, Story, and Mechanics

The “low fantasy” world of Skyrim is “approximately” the size of Oblivion’s, is equipped with fast travel for previously visited locations, and contains five major cities and 130 dungeons, each featuring a greater variety of traps and puzzles.

Although there is no level cap, each of these dungeons will lock at the level of your first visit, putting an end to limitless easy grinding. In any case, as perks are restricted, no one character can obtain them all.

The main story jots up at around twenty hours of gameplay, while side quests can provide hundreds of hours. To reduce the feeling of guilt and distraction when side-questing, the game’s overall plot will be less prominent than Oblivion.

Nevertheless, dragons are not rare – and every dragon you take out will make your character more powerful, adding a piece of its soul to your own and unlocking further dragonborn abilities.

Miscellaneous

Todd Howard has confirmed that the Xbox 360 version of the game will not support Kinect, and that the fan-favourite Dark Brotherhood makes a return.

Contrary to statements made in Game Informer, Howard denied the possibility of combined magical effects.

Bethesda’s Pete Hines has commented that future Bethesda titles will take advantage of the advances of Skyrim’s Creaton engine.

Thanks, TheDutchSlayer.

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25 Comments

  1. Moonwalker1982

    I SO cannot wait for this game. For me…i just know already this will be GOTY. Yes even with games like Batman : AC and Mass Effect 3 coming.

    It’s about DAMN time for a new Elder Scrolls.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Stardog

    A bit disappointed with the 20 hour main story. I completed New Vegas in 23 hours and going around doing the side missions (which I had already done loads of in the 23 hours) got dull and I haven’t played it since.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Hunam

    The main story in Oblivion was probably 12 hours at best. Bethesda games tend to have sidequests in big chains though, like Fallout 3 did.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Blandock

    @1
    Agreed.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. satsugai

    ‘each of these dungeons will lock at the level of your first visit’

    I don’t like the sound of that, it’s just going to make me avoid dungeons altogether at lower levels… don’t want the dungeon locked at when I’m level 5 etc. =[

    #5 4 years ago
  6. jacobvandy

    @5
    So get it on PC, removing that sounds like a Day 1 mod to me.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Maxey

    @5

    I don’t think they meant literally locked, as in not able to get out of the dungeon.

    They mean that if you visit a dungeon at level 5, it’ll have level 5 NPCs inside and will stay that way forever, so you can level up in the meantime and beat the dungeon easily later.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    ” 130 dungeons, each featuring a greater variety of traps and puzzles.”

    They never learn…. If it’s going to be another… MMORPG with dungeons…

    I like how people say that Elder Scrolls is GOTY, that shows that people are not familiar here with absolutely fantastic sandbox RPG games. Sad.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. GwynbleiddiuM

    @8 well we don’t have much choice in RPG market today, it’s either this or nothing. and what can we really do?! nothing…

    @6 Hell yeah, PC FTW.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @9 we have this year Witcher 2. Pretty much the beggining of the year.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. jaffa11

    @10 The Witcher 2? Really? A story-driven, non-immersive RPG that doesn’t even allow character customization, leaving you stuck with some gimpy looking man with a high ponytail? The multiple choice/consequences system is basically on the same level as Fable in terms of creating a shallow illusion of immersion. Like Fable, it’s probably fun to play as an action game (mostly for the combat and storyline) for 30-50 hours, but don’t even try and argue that it’s on the same level as elder scrolls. You just have an irrational grudge against a series you’ve probably barely played and know little about; perhaps you’re just trying to be different, who knows.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Erthazus

    @11 that just shows that you never played Witcher. Or just don’t like these types of RPG experiences. Don’t even compare Fable to Witcher, they are different. One is casual, other is hardcore experience. Sure they are a little bit different from the Sandbox RPG experiences, but they are awesome for what they are.

    I love Elder Scrolls, but i love them if they are Elder Scrolls II or III, while 4 was stripped to death and was abomination to the previous work. Dumbed down version at best. AT BEST.

    If Skyrim will be at least as good as the Third: No Problem

    you want awesome Sandbox RPG experience? Gothic series or wait for Risen 2 that is in development.
    Risen 1 was OK…

    “you’ve probably barely played and know little about;”

    Wrong statement. Because i’m a big fan of second and third installment, while Oblivion is a dumbed down consolized piece of *put disgusting word here*. Thats it.
    I repeat myself again, if SKYRIM will be at least as good as the third game, it’s going to be awesome.
    But i don’t expect that when they talk about graphics, battle system and dungeons – the things that series don’t need an improvement much, when there are other problems that they need to rebuild, balance or solve. RPG system and roleplaying in Elder Scrolls 4 was broken.
    Same goes to Fallout 3 that was also designed by Todd Howard. Two uninspired RPG games, while Fallout:New Vegas from Obsidian was a really big deal.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. jaffa11

    Calling TESIV dumbed down and consolized is a bit much. Admittedly, it lost some of the RPG elements of TESIII but in my opinion more than made up for it with drastic improvements on the randomly generated map of TESII and the somewhat bland, generic map of TESIII. Mods fixed a lot of Oblivions flaws for me – a sign of a true PC game as opposed to a well-polished ‘stuck as it is’ console game. In fact, it’s exactly that attitude of expecting perfectly polished games upon release which is completely characteristic of the console generation. I could live with the awful levelling system, and completely ignored OPTIONAL breaks in immersion like fast travelling. With any luck, Skyrim will meet somewhere between TESIII and TESIV, and so far I have yet to see or hear anything that warrants calling it anything but an improvement on previous elder scrolls games.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    “Calling TESIV dumbed down and consolized is a bit much. ”

    1) There are almost no dialogs at all. With stupid conversation mini game.

    2) A lot of skills are missing that were great.

    3) Uninspired Cyrodil land where are tons of Dungeons and ruins and nothing more then that, while Morrowind offered much more.

    4) Where is levitation?

    5) Stupid level scaling. I think i don’t need to remind you that with each level you see bandits wearing DAEDRIC ARMOR or bandits with enchantment weaponry…

    6) Weak level design (homes and other stuff) is almost identical

    7) Cities have loading. I understand that this was made because console have not enough Ram, so they did this and of course got rid of the levitation spell

    8 ) Character customization is also retarded.

    9) Dumbed down interface (because of consoles)

    10) Some weapons are missing at all like spears or throwing knives

    11) for the NEXT Generation TES series NPC were dumb as hell.

    “the somewhat bland, generic map of TESIII”

    Exactly opposite. There are much more level design in TES III then in all Oblivion and addons campaign combined. Each segment: Hlaalu, Telvanni and Redoran are different to each other and have absolutely different pallete () (Bloodmoon addon also offered SKYRIMish land of werewolves and cool quest where you need to construct your own mining facility.)

    and what is Cyrodil? Generic green landscape full of trees. (MMO design) and with copy paste dungeons, ruins with 5 generic cities that at least have different feel, psychology and ethnicity (Nice design of buildings or castles).

    TES 2 is just old and it’s acceptable for classic to have that design. Bak in the day it was great for what it was.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. StolenGlory

    @14

    I fucking HATED that dialog system that they had in Oblivion.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. jaffa11

    Sorry, but a lot of those issues seem kind of petty to me, and didn’t detract from an otherwise great game.

    1) Dialogue was definately poorer than it should have been, that i’ll concede.
    2) The number and variety of skills was fine.
    3) The land of Cyrodiil was stunning. Beautiful, varied landscape unlike previous TES games. I’ve yet to see a better game world.
    4) Who cares?
    5) Annoying? yes. Game-breaking? Hardly. Only petty nitpickers deliberately looking to run the game down would consider it game-breaking.
    6) Better than previous TES titles, and no worse than most other RPG games i’ve played. Name me a game that has hundreds of completely unique houses (both exterior and interior) because I can’t think of any.
    7) Loading screens were perfectly acceptable in Oblivion. Only buildings, not areas, which was great – and quick loads too. Unlike the Witcher *cough*.
    8) Character customization was fine. Great even, with the use of mods and visual enhancements.
    9) Slightly dumbed down from Morrowind, yes. Still perfectly acceptable though and I refuse to believe that anyone could be so absurd as to find a game-breaking fault with this.
    10) Oh dear?
    11) As with the first point, i’ll concede this. NPCs weren’t exactly smart in Morrowind either though, and thankfully this is something that’s getting a lot of attention in Skyrim.

    On your last point, Morrowind had a bland pallette and generic landscape compared to Oblivion, which had lush green areas, dense woodlands, snowy, mountainous terrain (much like Skyrim), swamplands, not to mention the completely contrasting shivering isles. Oblivion also had a decent main city, which really cannot be said of the hideous design monstrosity that was Vivec city in Morrowind. Ugly as hell, and what a waste of space. Huge size, with only a few accessible, generic looking rooms, and some even more generic looking sewer works. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Morrowind, and in terms of RPG elements it was superior to Oblivion. But in terms of the gameworld, Oblivion wins hands down.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Erthazus

    3) The land in Cyrodil was not stunning. If you liked the FOREST then yes it’s cool… but everything else is UNINSPIRED At best.
    Everything (!) is copy pasted.

    4) “Game-breaking? Hardly”

    Game breaking? The balance was broken. When bandits have this type of armor all interest in exloring just vanishes because you can find latest gear on bandits that is absurd.
    Morrowind had excellent level design and to find Daedric full armor or something special you need to know places or really explore the shit out of the land.

    After 30 hours of Oblivion i cared less about exploration when i had the latest gear. (What exploration? When everything was copy pasted). The only thing that was superior (not always) are artifacts from statues.

    7) “Loading screens were perfectly acceptable in Oblivion. ”

    i’m not saying about loading screens, i’m saying that cities had that, while Morrowind didn’t have that and because of that we don’t have levitation in TES 4.
    Lavitation was an innovative spell for RPG games for example.

    ” which had lush green areas, dense woodlands, snowy, mountainous terrain (much like Skyrim), swamplands, not to mention the completely contrasting shivering isles.”

    Where are only RUINS and dungeons. Thats called lazy ass design.
    Morrowind had exactly the same for it’s setting and was done right. There are much more then in Oblivion. From Telvanni farms to the Daedric alien construction buildings where each level design was different.

    “Oblivion also had a decent main city”

    that looked the same in each region? =\ Copy paste at best.

    “cannot be said of the hideous design monstrosity that was Vivec city in Morrowind.”

    Thats already a Matter of taste because i liked it and it was designed for the setting and was done very well. You can read in Bethesda forums. No one complains.

    “generic looking rooms, and some even more generic looking sewer works”

    You just described Oblivion’s main city. Every house had the same shit: upped level (bedroom), main hall and basement. Also if you loot all the house after 24 hours everything is REGENERATED :D and is back to it’s place. – awesome design.

    In Morrowind each house had different design with furniture and some houses had secret entrance to the basement.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Michael O’Connor

    Cyrodil was about as inspiring a place to play in as Generic Enemy Warship #68529 was in Halo-Rip-Off 32: Return to the Same Spaceship.

    The previous Elder Scrolls games all had a unique atmosphere that set them apart from other RPG franchises, so it’s funny and ironic that the human continent turned out to be the most dull, derivative and boring continent seen in the franchise to date.

    Forest. River. More forest. Town. Even more forest. Firey lava place. Cave. Even more forest. Yet even more forest still. More fire. Oh, look, another forest!

    Bethesda do seem to have taken Oblivion’s criticism on board though. The videos I’ve seen so far definitely show some inventive creature design, many of which invoke find memories of Morrowind for me.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. jaffa11

    @18 Each to their own I guess. Personally, I felt Oblivion could have done with a bit more forest. I certainly prefer forest to the barren wastelands of Morrowind.

    That said, I do miss the slightly alien feel of Morrowind. Hopefully Skyrim won’t be too cliche of Norse/barbarian culture and will have some alien elements in it too. If they stick to the lore, there should be.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Michael O’Connor

    @19 There were a bunch of videos posted in a story recently that shows some of the design ideas for Skyrim, and it definitely doesn’t look like it’ll be as derivative and uninspired as Oblivion was.

    The Elder Scrolls has fantastic lore, and it’s one that deserves to be nurtured, instead of being thrown to the side to accommodate the kind of trite Kingdoms and Demons farce we were spoon fed into the last game.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. ududy

    “To reduce the feeling of guilt and distraction when side-questing, the game’s overall plot will be less prominent than Oblivion.”

    Surely a better way of solving this would have been to make the plot more prominent by constructing side/optional quests that tie in into the main story? I always disliked that about Oblivion, how the quests were quite imaginative and well written, but completely random – most of them could’ve have happened in any fantasy world in any point in its history.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Moonwalker1982

    @ 8

    Ever heard of opinion? There’s nothing sad about it. I only play console games, and for console there’s not many other RPG’s like Oblivion and Fallout 3/NV out there. You got these other games like Two Worlds II , and while it’s good, it’s really no Oblivion.

    I wish we’d get The Witcher 2 on consoles, but it doesn’t seem likely. For consoles…i know for myself that The Elder Scrolls games are the best when it comes to RPG. RPG’s where you have turnbased battles don’t count for me, cause i hate turnbased battles with a passion.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. TheWulf

    I don’t know if this is going to be a popular opinion or not but my interest in this game has been deflated by this news. I really was rather hoping that it wouldn’t be a cliche dragon-killing game, but it’s looking more and more like it is. I’m really tired of moral absolutes where you have this shiny and flawless hero versus amoral, evil creatures of the night. You’d think they’d leave plots like that in Saturday morning cartoons, where they belong.

    We’re more mature than that. Aren’t we? Though I suppose it could be that Skyrim is being aimed at a much younger audience than that of the previous games. That would fit what I’ve learned of it thus far.

    It’s just not for me, I suppose.

    Different strokes?

    Instead I’m looking forward to The Witcher 2. The original impressed me when I found a werewolf who was actually a lawman – using his powers to uphold the law rather than the usual ‘Oh hai rawr, I am ebil monstar,’ which gets incredibly old.

    I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want hordes of faceless evil to fight through in his RPGs, surely? This is why I liked New Vegas – not much in the way of true evil, more it was people with motivations, some of which were ethical, some of which were unethical, some of which had means which did not justify their goals. And I could suave my way out of almost every fight.

    I just long for more mature RPGs, I suppose. I’m hoping that The Witcher 2 will be a more mature RPG. The first one was almost there and showed promise.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Michael O’Connor

    Wulf, watch those videos. They’re around here somewhere, just do a search. You won’t be disappointed, I assure you.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. TheWulf

    @24: I will, but I feel I might. Unless one of the videos happens to involve reaching a peaceful consensus with a dragon via conversation, I’m going to be disappointed.

    I want to be able to talk my way out of fights, even with dragons. They’re smart critters, after all, and I want to be able to appeal to them – to bribe them, to appeal to their vanity, to do whatever is necessary to talk my way out of a fight. If I could win the game without having to kill a dragon, then they’d have my interest. But it seems like a more simplistic game than that.

    This is why I tend to cling to New Vegas as my beloved, because it allowed me to do just that. Instead of pointing me at something to kill, it actually allowed me to do whatever was necessary to exit a hostile situation without combat. And this is something I long for dearly.

    I think that the Witcher 2 might give me that. The Witcher 1 did in doses. In fact, the first Witcher game shared a lot of elements I liked with New Vegas. I could actually talk. I have a mouth. My character has a mouth. I just find it so incredibly disappointing when the only way I can resolve a problem is by hacking it to bits and/or blowing it up.

    Edit #1: I mean – don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the option to solve things with violence. New Vegas had that option too, as did The Witcher. But it was an option, it wasn’t something forced upon the player as the only recourse. This is my problem with Bethesda’s offerings. I find that killing is the only way to solve certain problems. And in a role-playing game, I want to be able to find my own way out of different situations.

    Is it really an RPG if I can’t choose what I want to do? That’s what I find the most disappointing. And that’s why I’m not sold on Skyrim. It talks of dragon-killing as though it’s something one has to do to proceed. That’s not what I want from an RPG.

    I must be so damned weird.

    Edit #2: Since I’m rambling, I’ll elucidate.

    What I want from an RPG is to tell me a story – but to let me bend that story in any way I choose, if I see a point in the story that I want to change, I expect to be able to reach in and change that through the avatar of my character. Some choices won’t be easy, and I suspect that occasionally the game might make me really work for those choices. But I expect to be able to imprint myself upon the story through the choices present.

    I could do that in New Vegas – in New Vegas I talked my way out of damn near every fight. I was a pacifist. And one of my favourite mods for New Vegas is War House Warehouse. It’s essentially a five minute long thing – but the choices it gives you to complete it are insane. There’s a way to complete it where everyone wins, and no one dies. It’s one of the slightly more difficult approaches and requires high stats in eloquence, but it can be done.

    My issue with Bethesda games is that they tell me their story and I’m just dragged along for the theme park ride. Which is less like an RPG and more like a first person shooter.

    #25 4 years ago

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