A Closer Look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

IGN has conjured up a new editorial that provides brief, screenshot-laden comparisons of the character models, spell effects, interface, dungeon crawling, and environments in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim versus its immediate predecessor, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. There isn't really any new information to be taken in, but, hey, it's something more to read about Skyrim:
Hitting someone with a fireball in Oblivion was a satisfying act. It dealt damage, made you feel like a badass, and sometimes caused the targets to fly across the landscape like victims of fatal trampoline accidents. In Skyrim, judging by this screenshot and the small flecks of flame around the impact point, it looks as though the spell effects will be much more detailed. Bethesda decided to reduce the total schools of magic from Oblivion, dropping Mysticism, but that doesn't mean there'll be less to choose from in terms of combat options. Leveling will be faster and Skyrim will include Fallout-like perks.

Hacking apart horrors in the depths of the earth is a big part of many fantasy role-playing games, and looks to be a part of Skyrim, as would be expected. The cool part is checking out all the graphical detail packed in. Notice how each enemy is distinctly detailed, from the armor to the weapons down the rotting neck muscles. Notice also the curvilinear designs etched into the rock walls and the shadows and lighting effects caused by the torch. This screen makes me kind of scared about system requirements, but I suppose that's par for the course with Elder Scrolls games.