The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Previews

We have two more previews for Bethesda Game Studios' fifth main installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim, and while to my knowledge they both don't contain anything we didn't know already they should still serve as good refreshers.

All of the quests are governed by the new quest system called Radiant Story which basically tailors the entire game to your specific character. This system helps blend random encounters and quests more seamlessly into the game. Depending on your character type, where you've explored, and what you've done in the past, the game will custom-tailor missions for you. If you happened to stumble upon a dungeon and murder every living thing within, as you should, but later come to find out a major quest was supposed to take place in that very dungeon, the game will shift the destination to another dungeon you have yet to explore. The new systems ultimately makes it impossible for you to have a mission where you already killed the enemies prior to starting.

Random encounters, not only with enemies, will also be custom tailored to your character. If you find yourself to be particularly good at one skill, you may be approached by a random villager who wishes to challenge you to a duel or asked to do them a favor in relation to that skill. On the same note, you may also be given random assassination quests where you must choose the best course of action as the target may be an old friend or a prior client. If you decide to kill the client who is a shopkeeper, the store will not cease to operate, but the next owner, perhaps a family member, will more than likely recognize you and frown upon your presence.

Many of the quests will be given by random NPCs but a vast majority will be featured in different factions or guilds. Only a handful of confirmed factions have been revealed such as the Thieves Guild, The Companions (a Warriors guild), and the College of Winter's Hold (a Mages Guild).

For once, the game does not revolve entirely around you. The team is working more towards creating a virtual world where things happen outside of your control and you are simply part of the experience rather than the center of it.

Atomic MPC:
Skills progress and improve based on usage patterns, and since the game is class-less, what you use will shape the way your character grows. Even simply wearing armour will boost your skill in moving and fighting in those armour types.

There are of course many non-combat skills, and you can empower yourself with the many standing stones that can found throughout the world. The skills also tie back into the game world, with many of them mapping to a constellation you're literally looking up at the sky for inspiration as you unlock and improve the up to 280 perks that the game is going to feature.

With all this richness, the game's inventory and menu system is going to need to be smooth. Luckily, it's not just smooth, it's positively slick. There's pretty much no HUD to speak of, unless you're in some situation where your health or stamina is being deleted. Items and spells can be easily book-marked and mapped to the Xbox controller's D-pad, and we're sure it'll be even easier to map items to a fully-fledged keyboard in the PC version of the game.