The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview

After spending nearly three hours with the PlayStation 3 version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, CVG has cranked out a three-page preview that will likely be followed by their full review of the game in the coming days. A few paragraphs on character progression:
A quick note on levelling up. Every time you gain a level (by using your skills and magic - basically just doing stuff) you're prompted to visit the abilities menu by tapping Circle and pushing up on the Left Stick. You're whooshed up to a star chart, where all your skills are shown, and you can opt to increase either your base health, magicka or stamina. Beyond that, you can then enter a specific skill (so, for example, Destruction magic) and add 'perks' to that skill. In the case of Destruction, you can get bonuses for dual-wielding spells, decrease the drain on magicka, increase range, power and much more.

So, to put this in perspective, you're micromanaging every skill by choosing from roughly 8-10 perks each - and some of these can be upgraded more than once. The scope for specialisation is incredible. Me? I opt to increase my magicka and bump up Destruction to boost the power of fireball spells.

Pockets full, and with the ancient book safely in my possession, I head back to Solitude to give Viarmo the good news. He seems pleased at first, but soon discovers that half the verses have become illegible over time. I plump for the conversation option that suggests he just makes the rest up - after all, the thing's been in a dungeon for hundreds of years, right? Who's going to check?

Viarmo gets onboard with the idea. He reads through the existing text and asks for my suggestions on how to complete bits of the poem. It's a fun little mini-game, and he makes comments on my ideas: "Hmm, that seems a bit farfetched" or even less enthusiastically, "Yes, that's probably what happened, although it seems a bit dull."