The Official Playstation Magazine is carrying a long feature on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim revealing a ton of new gameplay information.
We already know that encounters with dragons are completely unscripted and they appear at random in the gameworld, but we didn’t know injured dragons won’t be able to fly, allowing you to fight them on the ground.
There are some new Dragon Shouts mentioned the article – Yol Toor, Fire Breath, Iiz Slen, Ice Crystals, Strun Bah Qo, Lightning Storm, Slow Time and Whirlwind Spirit, which allows you to quickly move in one direction. Dragon Shouts are abilities learned throughout the game.
Some dual wielding combinations have also been revealed. You can also use torches as a combat weapon now. The combinations are:
- Weapon and weapon
- Weapon and shield
- Weapon and torch
- Spell and weapon
- Spell and spell
- Two-handed weapon
Bethesda says in the article that the random quests generated by the game’s Radiant Story mechanic are inspired by the random encounters in Fallout 3. This was done because the developers didn’t like how “fake” some of the quests in Oblivion felt, and hope to make the ones in Skyrim feel more “real”.
You’ll be able to use 13 different types of ore for crafting. In a not so pleasant revelation, Bethesda has confirmed that Hand to Hand has been removed.
Three new factions are mentioned in the article (alongside the Dark Brotherhood), and the stories told in these faction questlines will be interwoven with one another, and with the main questline. The new factions are:
- The Thieves Guild
- The College of Winter Hold (for Mages)
- The Companions (for Warriors)
Each city in the world of Skyrim has an unique economy and can be sabotaged by the player, if they so desire. Guards still patrol the cities, however they aren’t the near-invincible killing machines they were in Oblivion. Bounties placed on players are no longer valid throughout the land: for instance, if you kill someone in Hold A, the guards in Hold B will not arrest you for it.
There are more than 60,000 lines of recorded dialog in the game, with a lot more voice actors than in Oblivion or Fallout 3.
You’ll be getting multiple travel options in Skyrim. The article confirms that horses are back, and actually handle like horses this time round. The fast-travel system from Morrowind is making a return, with carriages able to transport you to all the major settlements in Skyrim right from the start. Oblivion’s fast-travel is there as well, but only for locations you’ve already discovered.
There are some new screenshots in the article. These include a battle with a Draugr, a campsite near a river, a new type of fire spell, a female human character walking towards a city, a close-up of a female (possibly Imperial) warrior, a guard in Legionnaire armor and a bearded Nord in a castle, armed with a warhammer.