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Five Reasons Skyrim is Going to Make You its Bitch

Level 12
I found this article on and thought it's worth sharing :D.

Say goodbye to your spare time come November.

Skyrim is like the John Romero of RPGs: it's going to make you its bitch. Even though 2011's end of year release schedule is as over-encumbered with AAA titles as any holiday season before it – what with the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and the twin towers of Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 all ready to grab your spare time by the balls and squeeze – Skyrim has the size and scope to banish the other big names on your shopping list to a state of shrink-wrapped suspended animation well into the new year. It might be January before you take any other game off the shelf, as you'll be too busy slaying dragons in Bethesda's latest epic.

We sat down with Skyrim's Lead Producer Craig Lafferty, who detailed five reasons why The Elder Scrolls V is going to make you forget about the concept of fresh air.

1. The story is yours to dictate
The open-ended nature of the Elder Scrolls series has been somewhat of a double-edged sword in the past. While the lack of hand-holding and clear story objectives in Morrowind – and to a slightly lesser extent Oblivion – brought a sense of liberation to some, it also spelt intimidation to others who struggled for a sense of purpose without obvious checkpoint markers dragging them through the narrative. It's something that Bethesda is certainly aware of, but the developer is only making some slight tweaks to its open-ended formula.

"I don't know if we're concerned about it," says lead producer Craig Lafferty. "We'd certainly like for people to be able to finish the games. We've gotten better at sort of guiding the player along – almost like the carrot on the stick – guiding them towards how to finish the main quest. But really we make these huge open world games so you can go where you want, be what you want, play what you want, so if you don't ever finish [the main quest] but you're still having a great time then that's fine too. We've heard stories of players playing 200-300 hours of our previous games without ever finishing the core narrative."

At least 100 of those hours will be spent staring enigmatically into the distance.

One of these 'carrots on the stick' is the new Clairvoyance spell that draws a path along the ground to your next objective. Another nice feature of the game is the dynamic class system, which essentially means your character will level up and evolve in an organic manner depending on your actions – so you can just pursue the things that you're interested in and your character will automatically mould to your style, eliminating the need to get bogged down spending stat points.

2. There's an insane amount of things to do and see
One of the best aspects of Oblivion was its abundance of water-cooler moments – because there was so much to see and do off the beaten path, there was always plenty to talk about with friends who were playing the same game at the same time but in an entirely different way. Like that time you became a vampire, or when your friend happened upon a body floating in a stream with a suicide note tucked into his pocket. Then there was that quest – 'A Brush With Death' - that transported you into a painting in search of a missing artist. It was a watercolour water-cooler moment!

"There's definitely lots more stuff like that," says Lafferty. "We don't want to give anything specific away to spoil it, but we've got a big open world to go anywhere and do whatever you want, on top of the main quest which is about 30 hours long. We still have the guilds – so the mage's guild, the thieves' guild, the fighters' guild, those are back. The mage's guild takes place in the College of Winterhold. So we have that as well as 150 handcrafted dungeons, and probably over 500 individual activities to do in the world so there's a lot of that as well as the main focus of the story."

3. The dragons are never-ending
Dragons are the big bosses of Skyrim and the battles with them appear to be suitably intense – at least if the climactic encounter in the game's E3 demo is anything to go by. You can use magic to summon electrical storms to combat them in the air, and when you inflict enough damage upon them they'll crash to the ground with all the heft of a mythical jumbo jet – carving out deep grooves in the earth and churning up dust and topsoil as their hulking bodies grind to a halt. Then once they're dead, you consume their souls and inherit their power. But the dragons will always come back.

"They're not limited, they're like any other creature in the game, they're not scripted – you can come across them as you play through the world but they don't go away," explains Lafferty. "It's not like you can defeat all of the dragons and they'll cease to exist – they'll always be there in the game. And they're also a central focus to the story – it's the first Elder Scrolls game with dragons - and you're dragon born, you can speak the language of the dragon. So it's just trying to figure out why the dragons are back, why they're special and how does that play out in the world?"

4. Dragons won't necessarily all be your enemy
Are all of the dragons in the mythical land of Skyrim evil, or will you be able to tame them for the purposes of fighting alongside you? Bethesda is keeping tight-lipped on the subject for now.

"We're not really getting into a whole lot of specifics about that," says Lafferty. "But they're not all out to kill you, let's just put it that way."

Thus we're willing to bet that there will be friendly fire-breathers to summon using one of your 'dragon shouts' – calling on a friendly dragon to fight an enemy dragon would be the definition of fighting fire with fire. Plus the game's mountains look like they'd take an absolute dragon age to ascend on foot or horseback, but on the back of a saddled dragon it could be a short flight to the summit. It's probably unlikely, but mountable dragons as DLC would definitely have us opening our virtual wallets post-release. How about it, Bethesda?

We wonder what the view is like from up there?

5. The world of Skyrim sure beats your boring real life
The map of Skyrim is said to be roughly the same size as Cyrodiil in Oblivion, but thanks to a complete overhaul of the game engine since then Skyrim is infinitely more detailed and lush in appearance, with an incredible draw distance that doesn't just extend out into the horizon but upward to the peaks of the towering mountains that loom large over the landscape.

"We made Oblivion and then Fallout 3 on the current gen of consoles, so we've learned a lot more about how to bring a lot out of the current systems," says Lafferty. "So now we have a new UI system, a new animation system, a new renderer, the radiant story and then the world itself, so all these things kind of combine and as a result the world of Skyrim really feels like a solid place you can get lost in."

Just how much is there to do and see in Skyrim? With 280 perks to unlock, five major cities to explore, over 300 books to find, 150 unique dungeons to loot and some 500 individual activities to indulge in, it would truly appear that the sky is the limit.

DaemonCantor wrote:
I found a video that tells how I feel about Skyrim...

I demand to know how this person knows this much about me.
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I guess I need to review that solution and get myself setup properly. 😄
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Level 13
MissKocaine Where did you go...we want more info on Skyrim

Level 8
Played for about a half hour today, on ultra.... not at all as sexy as hyped. Crysis looks better, and that's a 4 year old game.
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Jaytheredneck1 wrote:
Played for about a half hour today, on ultra.... not at all as sexy as hyped. Crysis looks better, and that's a 4 year old game.

That's what we get for tolerating console ports.

Rocket_Assist wrote:
That's what we get for tolerating console ports.

The next consoles can't come fast enough so we can get better PC games! LOL
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station…

Level 18
..... so how is the work on my holodeck coming ??? Asus???

Level 13
I need two more Sticks of Dynamite and a Vegemite Sandwich and it'll be Done!

Level 18
great...and all i brought was a coffee..hahahaha