The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Previews

We have another couple of previews for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim coming from QuakeCon, starting with GameSpy, which heads north and kills couriers:
For lack of anything better to do, I figure I'll just head north. North is one of the best directions to go, because something cool almost always awaits at the top of a map. Well, OK, maybe not Canada so much, but I have volcanoes and polar seas in mind. In a game world, game designers usually know to put cool stuff up at the top of a map. However, due north puts me up into some mountains. I try to stick to my plan, until I get tangled up jumping around rocks. I fall to my death.

Time for a slight adjustment: I follow the path down out of the mountains and then due north. I come to the logging town of Riverwood; I'm familiar with it from previous Skyrim viewings, so I should probably just keep moving. But when one of the non-player characters makes a context-specific remark about the spell I've equipped, I can't help but stop to chat with him for a second. As I skip through the dialogue -- I really should keep heading north -- he asks if I want to join some secret rebel group called the Stormcloak something-or-other. That's a pretty cool name. So I tell him, yeah, I'd be into that.

He then breaks off the conversation and tells me to follow him. A woman joins us. She calls to someone else to join us. Now I'm not just in an NPC dialogue anymore; I'm having a meeting. At this point, it's even more rude to just leave, but I've got some northward movement to get to. So I apologize, duck out of the meeting as it continues without me, and head north along a really lovely river. You don't see many video game rivers like the one in Skyrim.

A few wolves later -- including one that was too preoccupied chasing a rabbit to notice me -- I come across some soldiers. They're escorting a prisoner, who my reticule identifies as a Stormcloak soldier. Hey, I'm in that club! This is one of my club brothers! I have the option to ignore him, free him, or free him and equip him with some of my loot. I take the last choice, handing over my iron longsword and hide armor. He can't have the battle ax and heavier armor, because I'm using those things.

Then we move onto Neowin, which unfortunately doesn't seem to have got some hands-on time with the game:
The player character managed to get inside a mountain based cavern to avoid the dragons where he then proceeded to take out a variety of enemies inside, from zombies via fire spells and a big troll like enemy as well. Howard also took some time to show off the game's interface. One feature lets you examine your inventory items in full 3D detail. In one case the character picked up a golden claw that acted like a key to enter into another part of the dungeon. However you have to solve a puzzle in addition to putting the key in the door slot. But if you look at the claw in the 3D inventory mode you can see the solution to the door puzzle is on the claw itself.

Howard also showed off another aspect of the game, the shout. These are basically very large scale magic spells that the character can use. You learn them via reading the dragon language at various points in the game. Using shouts turned out to be handy as we neared the end of the demo and encountered even more dragons to fight. The player character used a shout that created a huge thunderstorm with the lighting generated by the storm used to help defeat a frost dragon.