Bethesda demo’d The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the other week and while we already discussed some of what was shown, we’d thought we’d clarify a few more facts about the next Elder Scrolls RPG adventure.

Skyrim is bringing with it a lot of changes to gameplay, from how combat works to how players level up their characters and gain skills. While those gameplay mechanics have been the focus of much of the recent news about the game, we cannot forget that the game is also bringing a lot of change to the world of Tamriel.

Let’s recap what’s been confirmed about Skyrim so if you’ve not been paying attention, you know what to expect:

The World

  • There is no multiplayer. At all.
  • World is same size as Oblivion as we already know, but will feature infinitely more diverse lands and nature.
  • Skyrim has 5 major cities, 8-9 smaller towns.
  • Players will be able to purchase properties.
  • You absolutely cannot ride dragons, and horse mounts [Unconfirmed] are still up in the air.
  • You cannot sail or paddle boats that you see.
  • Your actions will affect the world around you. If you kill the owner of a wood mill, that town’s supply falters as does the quality of the arrows in its shops. If you spend money in that town, the economy improves and they’ll have more higher quality products.
  • The character’s name “Dovahkiin” is the only pre-determined character trait, the rest is up for you to mold as you progress.
  • Skyrim will feature a better level-scaling system, so certain areas maintain enemies of a certain level as opposed to the world around you becoming equally more challenging as you level up. This way, you can’t just explore anywhere and it forces you to become better then go back.
  • There’s not a finite number of dragons, so you can’t kill them all.
  • New creatures include serpents, Ice Wraiths and Mammoths.
  • There are children in Skyrim as there were in Fallout 3.
  • Different NPCs will be used for different quests, depending on your actions and relationships. If you kill someone you’re not supposed to, someone else will fill that role so you can still do said quest.
  • There are at least 120 different dungeons and 100 “points of interest.”

Gameplay

  • Despite removal of the Acrobatics and Aerobics skills, you can still jump and run as normal.
  • Weapon skills have been replaced by perk trees.
  • Combat is much more dynamic and tactical.
  • If you land a clean hit on a foe, they will take additional damage over time.
  • Players can perform execution special moves on enemies.
  • Don’t be surprised to see dismemberment in Skyrim [Unconfirmed].
  • Gameplay performance/framerate is greatly improved over Skyrim on the consoles, thanks to lots of patching and the new engine
  • Each Dragon Shout requires one to three words spoken to perform the ability.
  • Players have a menu on each hand, allowing them to switch between types of attack and spells.
  • Book reading has been replaced by a 3D system where you actually pick up items to look at, open up, flip through pages and read the text zoomed in as opposed to reading text on screen. This works for all inventory items.
  • Third person mode vastly improved so you can really play that way instead of first person if that’s your preference.
  • Conversations with NPCs aren’t locked in from first-person perspective. They’re dynamic and can be interrupted.

The visuals we’ve seen have looked very impressive and Skyrim is certainly a world we at Game Rant are eager to jump into, sword and staff in hand, but we are surprised by some of the changes and limitations. How can horse riding not be confirmed? Red Dead Redemption, Two Worlds II and even Assassin’s Creed all have it, so why would the next Elder Scrolls? Even the lack of being able to use more real-world objects like boats is somewhat of a minor disappointment when compared to the fast-travel substitutes. These aren’t game defining elements however, and the focus is clearly on the story, combat, exploration… and capturing the souls of dragons to become stronger.

We’ve seen some layers of depth from the RPG side of Skyrim removed when it comes to classes, but they’ve still not answered the question of spell-making and whether that’s returning for the next Elder Scrolls as well.

We can expect Bethesda to reveal a lot more in June, come time for E3 and we’ll be on hand to find out. If you missed it, check out the Skyrim gameplay trailer.

What do you want to know about the game so we can ask?

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim releases November 11, 2011 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Xbox 360 Achievements, IGN

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