Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview - Xbox 360, PS3, PC

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Bethesda know how to make a good game, they've shown that with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3, which both won game of the year awards in 2006 and 2008 respectively. And now they're bringing us another instalment of the Elder Scrolls series, with Skyrim, coming to stores near you 11th November.

Skyrim is not a direct sequel to Oblivion; it is actually set 200 years after the award winning prequel. In the prelude to Skyrim, the empire began conceding territory to the Elven nations it once dominated, because there was no heir to the emperor's throne, leading up to the assassination of the king of Skyrim. This resulted in a civil war among the native Nords, which the main character learns about right at the start of the game, on his/her way to be executed.

In an interview with E3, Bethesda game director Todd Howard has said that 'the artists have really gone to town' with the visuals in the game, which can be seen in the 14 minute game play trailer. Each of the 150 dungeons, spread over the 16 square mile map, has been hand drawn, the 'thousands' of items in the inventory are all hand drawn, and are viewable in full 360 degree vision. This is all aided by the improved 'creation' game engine, which installs weathered mountains and flowing clouds in to the game.

There is now the option to get a job in Skyrim, such as blacksmithing which can also be seen in the E3 game play trailer.

There are also dragons in the game, whose souls can be absorbed to learn new 'shouts', similar to spells, which give you the power of the dragon you have recently defeated. You can also duel wield spells, which makes them more powerful in combat. The ability to dual wield weapons is also a new introduction to the game, along with your actions determining the way your character is.

Recently, a collector's edition of the game has been announced, which includes a statue, standing at 30.5cm tall, of the dragon 'Alduin' the world eater. The Art of Skyrim official art book is included as well, with over 200 pages of stunning artwork from the game. Last but not least there is The Making of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a documentary on what goes into making such a brilliant game as Skyrim. However, the collector's edition is very limited, and is available for £129.99 on pre-order from Game and Gamestation.

Bethesda look like they might just have another game of the year on their hands.

Tom Holgate


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