We won't be surprising anybody by saying that when it comes to enemies in fantasy epics, dragons are king. Bethesda is tackling the beasts in a way that few games have with the upcoming Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The importance of creating a unique take on the legendary creatures isn't lost on the game's director Todd Howard, and he recently revealed an embarrassment of riches concerning the details of Skyrim in a Game Informer podcast. At the top of the list? What fans can expect from the dragons of Skyrim.
The plot of the game was revealed in a hymn sung in the dragon tongue, recounting the events of the previous games in The Elder Scrolls series that have culminated in the unleashing of Alduin, the dragon who will swallow the world.
If the player is meant to take the role of 'Dragonborn,' the last warrior able to wield the shout of the dragons in combat against them, it helps to know what you're going to be up against.
Howard sadly confirmed that players won't be getting a chance to ride any dragons through the skies of Skyrim, but that doesn't mean that the terrifying creatures aren't set to exceed fans' wildest hopes.
Dragons have appeared in just about every tale of fantasy quests, so it isn't easy to bring something new to the table. Howard explained that while nearly every aspect of dragons has been seen at one time or another, it's Bethesda's implementations of the beasts that will truly wow their audience:
"We wanted to do them in a way that they were part of the world, and put them on screen and fight them in a way that you conjure up in your head when you read fantasy, that you haven't really seen in a game. And that's what we're trying to pull off- that they are these fierce beasts, that they do become kind of boss fights. Like a mix between a Big Daddy and a helicopter in Half-Life 2... these things that you see coming and you're like 'Oh. Oh no.' So they are really difficult to kill."
The intention of the game's designers is to make dragons the most feared creature in the game, something that could turn even the most hardcore of gamers into ham-fisted crybabies. You might be wondering how the developers could be populating their world with such incredibly powerful creatures, yet still expect to bring in newcomers with their streamlined menu and leveling systems. But the truth is, to be the best you have to beat the best, so the title of Dragonborn won't come without a price.
Bethesda's new Creation Engine will be bringing the creatures to life with incredible details, but the tech is only as good as the designer implementing it. Apparently, some of Bethesda's best designers have spent the last two years working on dragons, and their results have exceeded even Howard's expectations:
"We're just ecstatic with how they came out. They can dive-bomb, and breathe fire down a street, they can get on the ground and march around now. They can pretty much go anywhere, so we can call them and do random encounters with them... We can throw multiples of them in a scene... When I get bored with the game, I just summon dragons and watch them terrorize a town. You know, it's always cool."
Howard explained that Skyrim may also be of particular interest to those who preferred Fallout 3 to Oblivion, as its environments will be far less traditional or standard than the last game in TES series. The terrifying take on dragons will make it clear that players will be experiencing something new, and Skyrim definitely looks to improve and modernize nearly every aspect of past games.
The entire podcast is an absolute must-listen for fans of the game, so make sure that you head over to hear it in full.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim puts the fear of dragons into gamers' hearts on November 11, for the Xbox 360, PC, and Playstation 3.
Source: Game Informer