The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim details surface

The latest issue of Game Informer has lifted the veil on the first concrete details on Bethesda’s upcoming fantasy sequel, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Once again, we have the chaps over at neogaf to thank for cobbling together a meaty list of details plucked straight from the magazine to digest. See below for the full skinny on what is sure to be a worthy follow-up to Oblivion.

First up, the mag notes that Skyrim elbows the class selection system to one side at the start of the game, with “every skill you level contributes to your overall level”. Levels no longer max out at 50; instead, you’ll simply beef up at a slower rate than usual. When you level up, you’ll get a health boost along with the chance to further increase this attribute, or chose from either magicka or stamina.

Bethesda’s trimmed down the number of skills you’ll be able to acquire, with mysticism among those confirmed to have been shelved. As such, Skyrim’ll boast a total of 18 skills, putting it at slightly lower than Oblivion (21) and considerably fewer than Morrowind’s meaty 27. You’ll be able to specialise in certain professions or be a Jack-of-all-Trades, as it were.

As for the story, the game takes place 200 years after the events of its predecessor, signalling the return of the dragons as foreseen long ago. The player’s character is a dragonborn, and is tasked with subverting the dastardly dragon god. And yes, dragons will indeed form part of the roster of ravenous beasties you’ll be up against, alongside spiders, yetis, zombies, skeletons, trolls, wolves, mammoths and more.

Speaking of enemies, combat has been spiced up from the sound of things, having been described as more “dynamic and tactical.” Furthermore, players can assign each hand its own function, with stamina burned by sprinting (yes, you’ll be able to actually run this time around).
The quests themselves have also been beefed up. Examples include the fact if you slay a shop owner who was destined to give you a quest at some point, a relative will inherit the store and pass it on to you. However, they’ll understandably be more than a little cheesed of at you for murdering their kin, so you’ll need to charm the pants off them to get them to comply. Similarly, if you are a mage, a local magician may come to you for assistance, whereas if you were a warrior, this event would likely never transpire.
Meanwhile, dumping weapons and unwanted equipment in the middle of the street will also yield different results. Rather than just staying there like in Oblivion, objects may disappear, or some chap could wonder past, pick them up and return them to you, or scrap it out with another citizen over who gets possession of the item(s).
That’s the lengthy stuff out of the way, so see below for a boatload of other tidbits.

-Third-person view has been improved
-A total of five cities will be available – and they’ll be massive.
-No HUD option included.
-Conversations are no longer done in the zoomed perspective, and will instead unfold more naturally.
-Players can craft new weapons by visiting a weapons smithy.
-You can duel with NPCs in the middle of the street, ala the Wild West.
-The Enchanting skill makes a return, while mysticism is out.
-"Radiant Storytelling"/ Level Scaling 2.0 – The game tailors content to your capabilities and experience.
-Fast-Travel is making a comeback.
-You can now sprint.
-Dynamic Shadows confirmed
-Character models have been beefed up, with NPCs showing more emotion and improved distinction between races.
-Radiant AI is back.
-The game engine has been tweaked to accomodate effects such as trees and branches that sway independtly in the wind, while snow falls in a much more realistic manner.
-10 races confirmed
-Dungeons are more unique this time around
-Finishing moves included
-Children will be featured in the game (they were conspicuously abscent from Oblivion)
-Dialogue will commence when you approach a threat
-More to do in towns, such as cooking, mining, woodcutting/blacksmithing.

Stay tuned for more details as we get them.