The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Previews and Gameplay Footage

Since last time we checked we have managed to round up some more coverage for Bethesda's highly anticipated open-world action-RPG Skyrim, the fifth installment in their The Elder Scrolls franchise, in the form of two new previews and some commented gameplay footage.

We kick off things with a second piece coming from IGN, titled "chasing a dragon":
Battling the dragon was a stressful, confusing, and ultimately awesome experience. My team of NPCs and I were investigating a sighting of the creature at a watchtower outside of a nearby castle, when suddenly the beast swooped down and began blazing my companions with his fire breath. He would touch down for a few brief moments, unload a firestorm, then immediately take to the skies and circle us like a hungry shark. In a deep, booming voice the dragon would taunt my fellow warriors and I, sometimes in an unrecognizable dragon language and other times in plain English (with what sounded like a thick Slavic accent).

The fight took place in the middle of the night, with only scattered stars and the moon giving us some light for the battle. It became easy to lose the dragon as he'd circle our group, disappearing from sight as the watchtower would obstruct our view; the very object we had been sent to protect had become an obstacle. We struggled for higher ground, but the creature was relentless in his assault.

Often dropping into view before I had a chance to draw an arrow, the screen would go black following his flame attack, leaving me struggling to sprint off in any direction to get clear of him. Trying to take shots at him in midair was almost as fruitless, and we had to keep to higher ground and be constantly moving in order to avoid his onslaught.

Then we move on to Wizard World:
Exiting town was where I spent time in the river (hence the name) catching fish, and then strode off in search of shenanigans. Along the way I encountered a very unfriendly giant (result: I died), a family of vicious Sabre Cats (result: I died) some Whiterun Guards who I wasn't very friendly with (result: I died). Of course, I dispatched plenty of wolves and rabbits before moving up to bandits, including one tower stronghold that had roughly six bandits guarding it. Inside, I found the Lunar Forge, where you can create weapons with magical properties, if forged in the moonlight. That gives your weapons the vampiric ability to leech health from enemies and bestow it upon yourself. Of course, these weapons only work themselves in the moonlight, but still... awesome.

Further adventuring led me deep inside a cairn that had a mysterious stone altar inside. Around it were three dead bodies, while a mysterious blue force blasted up from the altar into a grate set high above. A journal nearby explained part of what happened, but left a mystery behind. Investigating further, I was set upon by ghosts who left behind only an ethereal glob of jelly when dispatched. Sadly, my time with the game drew to a close inside the cairn, and I'll have to wait until the game comes out to see what was going on.

Just be prepared to hike up a steep learning curve when you pick this up, especially for you console players out there. Skyrim has a brand-new interface that isn't quite intuitive at first. If you're used to clicking on the left stick to run, you'll find yourself crouching now. Need to pull up a menu for items, magic, or to level up? You'll have to hit the B button (on the Xbox).

Finally we have some, unfortunately commented, gameplay footage coming from GameSpot, which appears to be an extended version of what was spliced in GTTV's recent video interview, so expect more dragons, draugr, shouting and.. resurrected chickens.