Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Details – Story, Gameplay, and Graphics

By   /   Feb 25, 2011

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Since its reveal in Gameinformer magazine, it has been consistently making buzz about everything Elder Scrolls. The game engine has been improved to provide better visuals. The gameplay has been enhanced to make it more dynamic. Game AI has been improved to make the game world behave more intelligently to every thing that affects them. Skyrim is going to be one of ‘The Games of this Year’ if you take everything you know about the series in perspective and think of Bethesda developing the game. Here is our rundown to all things Skyrim.

The story

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set in the city of Skyrim, located north of Cyrodil. It has snowy climate and is the home of Nords. The story is set 200 years after the events of Oblivion. You play as a Dragonborn (a dragon hunter) mentored by the last living Blade member. This all is the in the midst of a civil war waged by two brothers for the throne after the king dies.


You will fight diversified enemies including zombies, skeletons, trolls, giants, ice wraiths, giant spiders, dragons, wolves, horses Elk, mammoth and saber-toothed cats among others.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Game Engine

Skyrim has been developed on a brand new engine with improved visuals. Trees are more detailed (and they have fixed branches and leaves). Wind is used to determine the flow of water and the direction in which leaves point. Also, there are now dynamic shadows.

Combat Gameplay and Weapons

Combat gameplay is more dynamic in Skyrim. Bethesda are working hard to make sure every weapon type feels different to play with. The game will now allow you to smith your own weapon out of red hot iron. Dual Wield may be present and weapons on top of that will have unique finishing moves.

Magic Schools and Skills

There are now 5 magic schools; Destruction, Alteration, Conjuration, Restoration and Illusion. Mysticism has been removed. Enchanting is now a skill.
Elder Scrolls: V Skyrim – Confirmed Skills

  • Alchemy
  • Illusion
  • Conjuration
  • Destruction
  • Restoration
  • Alteration
  • Enchanting

Game World

There are 5 “massive” cities you can explore. You can do all sorts of things in cities, including cooking, farming, mining, woodcutting and blacksmithing, but exactly how these will work is yet to be described.

Levels and Skills

There are now 18 skills to choose from (3 less than Oblivion). The skills will be tailored to you, so if you would like to be a powerful mage, you would be able to put up the skills relevant to you, but there is also room for people who like all the skills. The game now has perks, similar to Fallout 3. You can choose a perk when you level up, and you can also choose to put up your health, or stamina upon leveling up. Once you have reached level 50, it will be harder to level up, and you won’t be able to select new perks.


NPC’s are more dynamic and interactive. When you talk to someone, the camera won’t zoom into their face, they will instead they will behave like humans and move around do stuff while taking to you. Depending on where you drop something, NPC’s can interact differently with it. For example, dropping a weapon could lead to a child trying to return it to you, it could also spark a fight between men who want to claim it. You can also duel with NPC’s in cities if you get bored.


Quests will be dynamic, multi dimensional. Few of these will be random. For example, an NPC could ask you to find something, the game will check all near-by caves/forts to see which ones you haven’t entered and which ones have suitable enemies, and then the quest would be to go to the selected area and retrieve it. Also, some quests will be tailored to your preferences (magic, combat etc).

Character and Animations

There are several character improvements. 3rd person view has been improved and NPC can may feature beards. While creating your character you can customize their appearance just like Fallout: New Vegas. 10 races to choose from, but your class will be dependent on what skills you choose at the start of the game. You can sprint at the cost of your stamina.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Fact Sheet – Features

  • There is a perk that will lower the sound of your footsteps.
  • Perk for Axe that enables deeper cuts, which means prolonged bleeding. You can hit someone once and they will eventually bleed out.
  • Eventual perk upgrade for Maces that will allow you to hit for full damage, ignoring armor stats.
  • Telekinesis is an available spell.
  • ‘No more agility to build up so don’t have to keep jumping around to level up’.
  • When you kill a dragon you’re able to absorb its soul which will make you learn a new dragon shout.
  • There is a dragon shout called ‘Unrelenting Force’ which pushes anything standing directly in front of you backwards.
  • Dragon shouts have cool down periods after each shout performed. Individual shouts will have their own cool down time.
  • In the northern parts of Solitude is the Bard’s College. The city is a busy port and there’s event similar to bonfire night that has the burning of an effigy of King Olaf.
  • Windhelm is the largest city. It has a palace that should look spectacular. This is also apparently the hangout for the Imperial Guards who monitor the path to Morrowind.
  • Bleak Falls Barrows is a dungeon, with ancient Nord catacombs which features rivers, tree roots coming through the ceiling and light coming through odd cracks.
  • 120 Dungeons and developer claims that ‘no two areas will be alike’.
  • Whole world is hand-crafted. Oblivion had some generated landscapes and there is NONE of that anymore used in Skyrim.
  • The Shivering isles expansion inspired the team that unique, hand-crafted cities, where no two buildings look the same, was the way to go.
  • There are one-off puzzles in certain dungeons.
  • Example of new AI: ‘Wolves have a den. Few times a day they go out and do a patrol and hunt in a pack. If they kill something then they’ll hang out there. If you go outside and they’re on patrol they will come after you. If they’ve killed something they will guard that and not chase you down as they want to look after it.

    Here is some more info about the game from Dutch Power Unlimited magazine.

    • All weapons have different properties, which you can take advantage of by choosing the right perks. Maces ignore a percentage of armor, and axes have bleed damage over time.
    • You can use fast travel to revisit places you have visited earlier.
    • Skyrim is approximately as big as Oblivion.
    • Low-Fantasy
    • The overarching narrative of the Dragons is less prominent than the Oblivion Gates were in Oblivion, which does not give you the feeling that you are doing ‘useless’ quests when you lay aside the Main Quest.
    • Dragons are not rare.
    • Dungeons will be locked at their level once you have been there.
    • Even in third person, animations look really good. There has been a lot of progress since Oblivion.
    • You can read in-game books in 3-D.
    • Every item has a 3D-preview in the Flash based inventory, which you can twist, turn, rotate, etc. Sometimes you will solve puzzles by analyzing these 3D-previews. Not only armor and weapons can be explored in great detail, also small rings and herbs can be investigated from all possible angles. Every single item in the game can be previewed in the inventory screen.
    • The Dark Brotherhood is back.
    • Active blocking makes melee more fun to play.
    • More traps and puzzles.
    • Main Story is approximately 20 hours. Hundreds of hours for other quests.

    Want to experience the graphics and gameplay Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ? watch Elder Scrolls V Gameplay Trailer.

    Source: NeoGAF 1, 2.

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