The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Preview [X’11]

This August, I had the distinct pleasure of being asked to attend Microsoft’s X’11 Holiday Preview Event. It was where I went hands-on with RAGE. However, that wasn’t the only game Bethesda Softworks had available for preview.

Bethesda‘s other offering was another one of the floor’s hottest titles: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Shown on a large screen positioned behind the two demo units set up for RAGE, it was unfortunately a hands-off affair. Though that didn’t mean it was any less exciting. A PR representative walked us through some of its interesting action, spell-weaving, horse riding and landscape traversal.

What I saw of the game was not overly long, but it was very impressive. The new engine and its effects showed quite an upgrade in terms of texture work, added details and overall visual fidelity. Not to mention some great and stylish looking spells, which can be dual-wielded for extra power. Though, if you’re like me, you’ll probably have a spell in one hand and a sword in another when the game ships this November. Of course, everybody plays these games differently and that’s the great thing about the series: it allows for that.

I noted that a lot of focus was put into how players select their spells and weapons, through a simple menu system. On the fly, this method will come in very handy. It will allow for quicker selection of the required attack device, when dealing with heinous foes.

There wasn’t a lot of action shown while I watched, but I did get to experience a brief battle with a dragon and an interaction with the large, hulking wooly mammoths. Based on their large size and scary stature, I’d recommend never attacking one, unless you feel like being turned into paste by one of their gigantic legs. The dragon, on the other hand, was also very daunting. Though his fire attacks could be avoided, and the intimidation could be returned with attacks the player had available.

Fans of the Elder Scrolls franchise have a lot to look forward to, as they eagerly anticipated the game’s November 11 release date. Based on this brief showcase demo, it’s certainly well-worth looking forward to.