Presenting a high profile title like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim at crowded a Gamescomm isn't an easy task. Bethesda's Pete Morgan gave a presentation of the company's upcoming first-person RPG - the latest installment in the Elder scrolls franchise. The presentation started right from the beginning of the game with character creation.
The character editor in Oblivion wasn't very well received, despite being inherited by Fallout 3. Skyrim, however, starts off by offering the player the ability to edit all the conceivable options of character. While facial and physical modeling can be customized to the smallest detail , character creation isn't just aesthetics, but also greatly affects your skills. Much like previous Elder Scrolls titles, each race has its own racial abilities. The Imperia l ,for example, has the Voice of the Emperor ability, that calms down attackers, but only once a day. The feline Khajit has the claw blow and night vision.
After the character creation came the obligatory tutorial dungeon. The emphasis is still on the first person view, even though the third person perspective has been greatly improved. Another thing of note is that the classes are gone, which means complete freedom of approach to combat, whether you choose two-handed weapons, single weapons with shields, or even dual wielded spells. Quick management of these solutions is accessible at any time by pausing the game. You can ,for example, hit an unsuspecting enemy with a bow from the shadows get in that sudden strike bonus, then equip a meele weapon or a spell to finish the job. The combat system itself doesn't show any significant improvements over its predecessor, other than magic. There's a large number of spells available, such as the classic fireball that can be turned into a continuous stream of fire by keeping the trigger held down. this looks especially effective for dual-wielding magic. The animations, however, left a little to be desired – there was a little bit of lag between the player attack animation and the NPC's hurt animation. Hopefully this will be improved prior to the launch.
After the tutorial dungeon came the outside world. Bethesda doesn't disappoint here – the snow-covered world of Skyrim has impressive visuals with its own ecosystem. The wild animals can be either Hunter or prey to both the player and other animals. This time around, the player can also interact with insects. If you catch a butterfly, for example, you can use its wings as crafting ingredients. Just like Oblivion, the main part of the game is open-world exploration with all the quests and activities it entails. All the locations can be fast traveled to after they've been discovered. The game world doesn't appear nearly as vast as it was in Oblivion, but it seems much more rich with activities and hidden places to find.
The presentation was concluded with the crafting system. Collecting minerals, herbs, animal meat and plants gives the player access to many creative possibilities with the right recipe. The player can forge metals, as well prepare food and potions. The latter involves the most tinkering – you don't know the recipes to begin with, but instead mix ingredients at random and take the potion to see what affects it gives you, after which then the recipe will become a valuable. The enhancement system involves the reverse engineering this time around. Any magical weapons the player finds can be dismantled to obtain the recipe.
The hour-long presentation showed a lot of improvements over Oblivion in a product that's almost ready for launch. This is a true sequel to Oblivion – long-time fans of the series will find the gameplay improved and evolved in many ways