BE SURE TO PLAY USING THE NATURAL'S REAL SKYRIM PARAMETERS (LISTED IN SPOILER)
♦ Reduce HUD visibility to 0%.
Not being able to seethe amount of stamina, health, and magic you have sounds dangerous.Itis.
But it is within this danger that we find excitement. The peril that comes with "not knowing" allows you to better appreciate each victory. In real life, we do not know how close we are to death. Furthermore, we do not know how close we are to defeating our enemies until we physically see them falling. If we bring these principles from real life to Skyrim, we bring to Skyrim a level of immersion that makes it more of an experience than a "game." Knowing the math and numbers going into your health/stamina/magicka is like seeing the strings in a puppet show. It doesn't ruin the experience entirely but it does degrade the performance, if only slightly. Let's cut the strings.
♦ Increase difficulty to Master (or Hard, just not Adept).
This one I'm flexible on. Not everyone has played Elder Scrolls before and furthermore, not everyone is inherently good at the games. So feel free to use the difficulty of your choice, even Adept, despite what you see between the parenthesis above. The reason I recommend hard is that it turns every battle into a fight for your life, and in doing so, makes every encounter, enemy, and mission feel just as important as any other. It really does give you the best bang for your buck with this game.
♦ Do not use fast travel except for carriages.
This is just a roleplay choice but I highly recommend it. This game is so rich and beautiful that if you're just fast traveling all over the place you're missing a substantial part of the game. Use carriages when they are nearby and walk or use a horse when they are not. Playing it this way helps to introduce new opportunities to the character as they travel while giving the player an appreciation for the size, scope, and design of this world.
♦ Play characters with specific goals, and play a few of them.
First, play a nice khajiit thief who uses illusion magic and does Thieves Guild and College of Winterhold quests, then play an evil Orc warrior who wields a battleaxe and kills at the drop of a hat. You don't have to use these scenarios specifically and you are more than welcome to color outside the lines or destroy fantasy tropes. Just make sure to play characters as they should be rather than what is convenient for you as the player and you will find a very rewarding challenge (RP isfun!).
The idea is that these game sessions allow you to explore the world and play them in a realistic fashion without becoming too strong or breaking the game world - it makes for exciting, sometimes heart-wrenching gaming. No more "jack of all trade" characters who are essentially the fantasy equivalent of Neo.There will surely be PC mods that streamline this idea but for 360 we are on our own. Real Skyrim is intended to bring about the best gameplay experience possible for this Elder Scrolls game. It effectively makes the game more realistic and enhances the fun exponentially.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a role-playing video game being developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls action role-playing video game series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Skyrim is set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion, in the eponymous land of Skyrim. The province has erupted into civil war after the assassination of its king. Concurrently, the god Alduin, who takes the form of a massive dragon, has arisen to destroy the world. The player character is the last living Dovahkiin (Dragonborn), and must fend off Alduin and save Skyrim from destruction.
Skyrim retains the traditional open world gameplay found in the Elder Scrolls series. The player is free to roam the land of Skyrim at will. Within Skyrim lie five cities, and expanses of wilderness and mountainous ranges. When visiting cities, the player can complete activities such as cooking, farming and mining. The player levels up by raising skills, and doing so allows for better items to be bought or looted from dungeons; it also increases the strength and variety of wilderness monsters. Eighteen skills are present in Skyrim, and the class system from Oblivion has been removed. Perks are skill-specific abilities, organized in a system of branching groups called "skill trees". Each rise in level allows for another perk to be picked. There are 280 perks, which are selected over the course of fifty levels; however, the player's level can be raised past fifty indefinitely. The on-screen heads-up display only appears when the player's health, stamina, or magicka is being depleted. Items and equipment layouts can be saved to a quick-access menu, and the pause-screen inventory menu is presented in a compass-style overlay; while in the inventory, the player can rotate and zoom in on acquired items.
Weapons can be created by the player at a forge and are assigned to each hand individually, allowing for dual-wielding. At the cost of stamina, the player can sprint and jump. Shields can be used with a bashing attack, and timing is required for blocking with a shield. Blunt, bladed, hacking and stabbing weapons each have specific advantages and roles; as an example, the player is granted the ability to perform finishing moves. Spells can be used in ranged and close combat forms. Spell types have specific qualities; a cold spell slows and drains stamina, whilst a fire spell causes prolonged damage through burning, and may also ignite the environment. When practicing archery, arrows take longer to draw back than in previous Elder Scrolls games, but do greater damage. Because of this, arrows are expensive and considered rarities. A player equipped with a bow can use it defensively in close combat, in a charging counterattack. The player can sneak, and if non-player characters (NPCs) detect player movement, they will become alerted and actively seek the player. Daggers are specifically effective when used in a sneak attack, inflicting devastating damage.
Predecessors to Skyrim made use of an artificial intelligence system known as Radiant AI. Skyrim makes use of an updated system known as Radiant Story. As stated by creative director Todd Howard, "we take the paradigm for reading AI, but we let people do what they want under extra parameters". This allows side-quests to be dynamically altered based on player actions; they are tailored to the player's abilities and progress within the game. As an example, the player might be sent off to a dungeon that has not been previously explored, and face enemies that are tailored to the player's preferred combat style. Aside from dynamically altering side-quests, Radiant Story furthers the personality of NPCs. They will interact with their environment, such as by working at farms, mills, woodcutting camps and mines. They will also interact with the player character, such as by requesting favours, asking for training, or challenging the player character to a duel; these random encounters are inspired by Fallout 3, an earlier game created by Bethesda.
Folklore is commonplace within the game world of Skyrim. Creatures such as mammoths and sabre-toothed cats are encountered throughout the game, and can be slain. The legendary dragons have an especial influence on gameplay and story. They are described as being "fierce beasts" and are a challenging opponent for the player. Different races of dragons will be encountered throughout Skyrim, either alone or in small groups. They can speak directly to the player character, and will attack cities and towns at random, non-scripted encounters. They will "merrily ravage towns without warning", often nose-diving to the ground before marching through city streets and breathing fire, which engulfs and causes significant damage to city structures.
Through a course of events, the player character learns that he/she is "Dragonborn." This allows the player to use dragon shouts. These are powerful skills gained by slaying dragons, examples of which include teleportation, slowing down time, and summoning a dragon to aid the player. Dragon shouts are described as "battle cries" spoken in the native language of the dragons. There are over twenty different dragon shouts to be gained throughout the game, and they become more effective as the player absorbs the souls of slain dragons. A minority of non-player characters also have the ability to use dragon shouts.
SKYRIM AS A STORY
Skyrim is not a direct sequel to Oblivion; rather, it is a new chapter in the Elder Scrolls series, set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion. In the premise to Skyrim, the Empire began ceding territory to the Elven nations it once ruled, because there was no heir to the Emperor's throne. The Blades had no one to defend, and gradually died, were murdered, or secluded themselves from the rest of the world. After the king of Skyrim was assassinated, a civil war broke out amongst the native Nord race – the majority being those who wished for Skyrim to secede from the Empire, and the rest being those who wished for Skyrim to stay in the Empire.
As with previous Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim begins with the player character as an unknown prisoner. The player character eventually learns that Skyrim's civil war is last in a sequence of prophetic events foretold by the Elder Scrolls, who also foretell of the return of Alduin, the Nordic god of destruction. Taking the form of a gigantic dragon, Alduin is prophesied to consume the world. The player character is the last Dovahkiin (Dragonborn), a dragon hunter anointed by the gods to help fend off the threat Alduin poses to Skyrim and Tamriel. Aiding the player is Esbern (voiced by Max von Sydow), one of the last of the Blades. The main quest of the game currently takes an estimated twenty hours to complete, in addition to the side-quests and guilds also available across Skyrim.
SKYRIM AS A SETTING
Skyrim's game world is the eponymous province of Skyrim. It is a northern province of Tamriel, the continent on which all the games in the series have taken place. Skyrim is roughly the same size as Oblivion's game world Cyrodiil, which is 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) in area. Within Skyrim lie five cities, larger than Cyrodiil's cities, as well as smaller townships and expanses of wilderness. Much of Skyrim's topography is mountainous, and dragons are frequently encountered when exploring the wilderness. There are over 130 dungeons scattered across Skyrim, and when the player enters a dungeon for the first time, the monsters within will lock to the player's level permanently, even if visited later at a higher level. Fast-travelling is a returning feature, allowing the player to instantly travel to any location that has been previously visited.
VARIOUS TIDBITS THAT ARE AWESOME
- The game world is said to be much more alive and detailed than in Oblivion, and boast incredible draw distances. Everything is said to be traversable.
- Lesser dragons roam the game world, they are a big part of Skyrim and won’t be held back until the end.
- Through quests, the game will encourage players to go places they’ve never visited. For instance, a woman might ask you to save her kidnapped offspring and the game will send you to a dungeon you’ve never been before. It’ll then set enemies that are appropriately matched to your strengths and weaknesses.
- The faces of NPCs have been dramatically overhauled, giving them more emotion and making them as realistic as they have ever been in a Bethesda game.
- Conversations are revamped and no longer zoom in on a rigid character. Instead, characters will often get on with what they are doing with the occasional glances at the player character.
- There are now finishing moves that are weapon- and opponent-specific. (See above trailer.)
- As noted above, players can learn unique abilities called "dragon shouts" by absorbing the souls of dragons. This is but one benefit of being dragonborn. There are over 20 in the game and each is formed from three words of power. They can push enemies away and slow down time, among other things.
- There is no class system in Skyrim and how a player gains skill depends on how the player plays the game. Using a one-handed weapon results in one-handed weaponry skills increasing, etc. You get experience for everything.
- There are 50 main levels and leveling up to 50 is roughly the same time as it would be to level an Oblivion or Fallout character to level 25. You can level up past 50, but it's a dramatically slower increase after you reach that threshold.
- Skyrim will use the perk system that is used in Fallout 3. There was an automated perk system in Oblivion, but Skyrim's gives the user more control over it. There are dozens of perks to choose from that include increased dagger damage during stealth attacks and mace attacks ignore foe's armor skills, among others.
- It has been said that Skyrim will use the Fallout 3 scaling model, not Oblivion's.
- Skyrim features 80 spells and some are entirely new to the Elder Scrolls series.
- In Oblivion, there was only one person working on dungeons. Skyrim has 8 developers working on dungeons and there are over 110 dungeons in the game.
Morrowind was one of the most creative games I've ever played. Oblivion was one of the best experiences I've ever had with a videogame (clocked around 130+ hours on my first playthrough) and I'm hoping this will blow my expectations out of the water.
I'm sure there will be bugs and some of the new things they're trying may fall short of the desired result - but I see this as a game of the year contender for sure. I didn't need to see any gameplay footage before I knew Bethesda had my $60 (or more, when they announce pre-order options) but seeing it is reassuring that I'm not just dreaming... the next Elder Scrolls is just around the corner.
How do you feel? Is this a must buy or are you indifferent?
Last edited by The Natural; 12-08-2011 at 02:26 PM.