The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dragon Shouts Explained

GameInformer's in-depth coverage for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues, this time offering some new pieces of concept art and a three-page explanation of the game's interesting new feature, Dragon Shouts.
Tiber Septim would use the dragon shouts to lead his troops into battle and unite Tamriel under one empire. Hundreds of years later, the Septim line has died out, and no other dragonborn have been seen for many years. That is, until the hero of Skyrim arrives on the scene. (There are other people in the world who can use the dragon shouts, but it's very rare. It's like arcane knowledge. It used to be done more in the past,) Howard explains. (The Greybeards know it. But your ability to absorb the dragon souls and do the shouts on the level that you can is beyond them.)

In the game, players will guide their hero to learn ever more powerful dragon shouts, and then use these arcane powers to supplement other combat and magic skills. Upon defeating a dragon, Skyrim's hero absorbs the soul of the fallen creature, which fuels his ability to learn a new shout. Later, players can search out long lost walls covered in dragon script. Upon these walls, individual runes stand out to the hero because he or she is dragonborn. (There are these words of power, and if you learn how to say them right, they have a powerful effect,) Howard says.

Over time, players will build a vast arsenal of shouts: over 20 complete shouts in all, each with multiple words that must be gathered from different places around the world. (There are three words for each shout, and there are three levels to them. The amount of time you hold down the shout button is how many words come out,) Howard continues. (It becomes a bit of a collection mechanic to collect all the words.)