The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview

GamesRadar offers us a preview for Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which doesn't sound quite as enthusiastic as the coverage we've seen so far, the result of some hands-on time spent with the game during QuakeCon.
A minute later we had reached the leaning, crumbling stone arches marking the entrance to our possible doom. Ominous text appeared onscreen letting us know we'd reached Bleak Falls Barrow. Ulp. A few elf archers outside couldn't stand up to our gouts of flame (seriously, this spell is hardcore for being immediately available at the game's beginning) and so once again encouraged by our medieval ass-kickery we plunged into the stony depths. Inside we discovered more elves discussing some Golden Claw they were looking for, and thus began our quest phase to take that shit for our own selfish ends (whatever a Golden Claw might be). We promptly murdered the conspiring elves and moved deeper underground. We should note that nowhere in this dungeon did we feel as though we were moving through a level composed of copy-and-paste dungeon pieces as was common in Oblivion. We don't yet know if there are no composite dungeons in the game, but the feel of the one we explored gives us hope, because it felt much more (designed) than anything we saw in Oblivion.

We ended up saving another elf from a giant spider, and of course being a moral paragon got us called a fool as the feed victim ran off with our treasure, but then our moral compass shifted and we torched that punk in the back. We also discovered a locked treasure chest at the bottom of a waterfall-filled cavern, introducing us to Skyrim's very different lock-picking minigame. This time around, you have two separate picks inserted into a lock and your job is to feel out how the lock turns. You rotate one stick gently and then also twist the other stick if the lock begins to turn, you know you're at the sweet spot and can be a bit bolder (sorry PC guys, we don't know how it will work with keyboard and mouse). The lock we tried was of the lowest level, so we're not sure how finicky the higher locks will get, but it certainly was much more tactile and (real) than the systematic tinking from Oblivion. What we don't know is whether it will get tiresome after the hundredth time.