Bethesda has come a long way from its earliest games, producing monumentally popular games year after year. They continue to be one of the leading companies in today’s highly demanding gaming market and have struck gold in recent years with the completely redesigned sequels to two memorable series; Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. We patiently await news of more titles in these two remarkably addictive series and since word of the sequel to 2006’s Oblivion; Skyrim, the internet has been going crazy over any little bit of info released from the much anticipated game, just released this November.
Radiant Story System
Probably the biggest change to have been made from Oblivion to Skyrim is the inclusion of what the game developers are calling a “Radiant Story System”. Basically what this mean’s is a quest will be different every time so a play through is never the same twice. In Oblivion, accidentally killing certain NPCs could relate to the termination of certain quests, meaning you would never be able to partake in them. It made it pretty frustrating when someone would be out in the woods and get killed by an animal or bandit. Now with the radiant story system, if you were to “accidentally” kill the town’s local blacksmith, who was to give you a side quest, the quest would be passed on to someone else in his family. This also works for quest locations. If you are told to rescue a woman from a certain cave tha you’ve already visited, it will change the location to a cave you’ve never been to before. The options are extremely vast, which will makeplaying through the game fresh for years to come.
New “Creation” Engine
Bethesda has completely rebuilt the graphics engine for Skyrim and the results are well…see for yourself. People look more realistic and show more realistic facial expressions based on how they’re feeling. It also apparently means that the women of Skyrim will actually look like women and not deformed men. Besides the women, the overall game has had a very obvious facelift with this new engine as you can see by looking at the races in Skyrim. Compare those with the same races in Oblivion and let your jaw hit the ground as you stare in amazement. Now if we could only get this technology into flash games.
A completely overhauled character creation system means Skyrim will not follow the “racism” of its predecessor. Basically it means that being an Orc doesn’t stereotype you as a brute with the ability to excel greater in heavy armor and blunt skills. Although each race in Skyrim will have certain perks, such as an Argonian’s ability to breathe underwater, you can choose any race and be the best at any sort of fighting style you want, whether it be a Nord with a bow or a Dark Elf with a Warhammer. Skyrim will also allow you to mould your character as you see fit as the game progresses. It should definitely add an extra something to the game in itself.
The environments in Skyrim will no longer begin to bore you after a while. The new engine has made its 120+ dungeons and caves very unique and detailed. Not everything will look like the same dull stone walls of Oblivion. This also means that the overall environment will change somewhat drastically as you make your way across the land. Skyrim will have five major towns and eight or nine smaller towns, each very much completely different from every other one. Diversity also means that you
will have more choices in the enemies you face. There will be everything from bandits and goblins to giant spiders and mammoths. Speaking of new enemies…
Dragons are the focal point of Skyrim. The game has based its entirety around the return of these mystical dragon creatures. We still don’t know exactly why they are back but what we do know is that they are massive, powerful, and overall just pretty badass. The dragons will appear randomly throughout the game and attack on sight. Some can be extremely powerful and cause you to desperately attempt to run and hide until they leave but if you can manage to slay a dragon, you can absorb it’s soul and learn a new “special” move which they call “shouts”. The dragons have been the main topic of interest amongst fans of the series and are sure to be the most talked about element of the game upon its release.
Back when Two Worlds came out, one of the exciting aspects of it was the ability to dual wield, which was one of the things Oblivion was really missing. Sure, you could have a sword and a shield but that was literally the only case of having something different in either hand. Needless to say, Two Worlds ended up kicking the bucket…big time. No one knows why they made a sequel, which also failed, but the point is that Oblivion needed it. Well now Skyrim has it, and it looks epic. The developers made it so the dual wielding possibilities were only limited by what you can think of. There are, of course, certain weapons that require both hands but everything else can be wielded together,
including spells (similar to Fable 3 for those who’ve played it).
EDITORS NOTE: Special thanks to Nerd Bastards contributor Travis Shuman who pulled himself from Skyrim long enough to give us this list.