Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - New levelling system, dual-wielding, non-rubbish people, octogenarian Swedes

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim has us excited. Being the sequel to Oblivion, it's going to be quite the large deal. But being the sequel to Oblivion, it already has us trotting out all the hoary old Bethesda jokes about rubbish mannequin people, horse armour, and killing people by walking backwards a lot.

But now it seems we need not worry. A motherlode of Skyrim details have come our way via GameInformer via several NeoGAF users, and by the looks of it, TES is getting a mighty overhaul with part V. Levelling, combat, skills and character animation have all been reworked, and the class system has gone altogether. Also, Fallout 3's influence has not gone unfelt and Max Von Sydow is in it. Hurrah!

As for the exact natures of these excitedly talked-up overhauls, you will find them below, via the medium of bullet-points because there are loads.


  • Dual wielding is in. You'll be able to bash goblin brain wih any combination of weapons, spells and defence you can squeeze into your gauntleted hands.
  • There are new finishing moves which vary depending on weapon used and enemy boshed.
  • Your backward walking speed is now greatly reduced, partially to avoid all that backward-walking combat and partly because it looked crap in Oblivion's third-person camera.
  • You can now sprint to reach tactically advantageous positions.


  • People will apparently now not look as rubbish as they do in every other Bethesda game. When in conversation with you, they'll move, look around, and generally act like real people rather than terrifying, human-skin-wrapped shop window dummies. Races will be more distinct and people will actually show emotion.
  • Third-person animation is being improved. Praise the lord.
  • NPC relationships now extend to inheritence. If you kill a shopkeeper for instance, his daughter may take over the business, and give you a whole boatload of aggro next time you go in there.

Character creation

  • There's no more class selection at the start of the game. Every skill you level contributes to your overall level, and every level-up adds health, magic or stamina boosts.
  • Fallout 3-style perks also come with level-ups.
  • The level cap is currently 50.
  • 18 skills are available, down from the 21 in Oblivion.


  • Quests will now be generated more organically based upon your character progression. For example a magic user may be challenged by an NPC mage where a more melee-focused character may not. Similarly, quest locations may change to accomodate areas you haven't explored yet. Even dropping items is said to spur on quest events. For instance dropping a weapon in the street may lead to a fight over the spoils, or perhaps your meeting with a new character who brings it back to you.


  • Skyrim is set 200 years after Oblivion.
  • Max Von Sydow plays your mentor.
  • There are five full-sized cities.
  • Mysticism has been dropped.
  • Level-scaling is back, but is apparently closer to that used in Fallout 3 than the stuff we saw in Oblivion.

Still excited? Or has Bethesda changed something fundamental that you just cannot forgive it for?


  • oryandymackie - January 10, 2011 6:14 p.m.

  • Helios - January 10, 2011 6:16 p.m.

    I loved Oblivion, even its faults. This one can only be better.
  • Dexsus - January 10, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    "Still excited? Or has Bethesda changed something fundamental that you just cannot forgive it for?" When it comes to The Elder Scrolls series theres nothing I can't forgive Bethesda for........except for that god damn adoring fan, WHY WON'T HE JUST DIE?
  • mrjoe1986 - January 10, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    @David Houghton, When can we expect a gameplay trailer? I'm guessing perhaps E3?
  • skeletalbutton - January 10, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    Yes!! Normally I would say more, but considering it's Skyrim we're talking about, that's all I can really say.
  • Manguy17 - January 10, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    I want the adoring fan back, where you must save him from a dark torture chamber..and have the option not to..
  • KrEid - January 10, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Level scaling :(
  • IcelandMaelstrom - January 10, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    being an enormous fan of ingmar bergman, i'm most excited about Max Von Sydow. i just hope he doesn't go the way of the king, and that he gets to say cynical, depressing things
  • Turboash - January 10, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    SKYRIM... sound like some sort of crazy trapeze artist sex act.
  • Longnuts - January 10, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    I just hope that the leveling system is no longer counter-intuitive
  • RicePuddingUK - January 10, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    Please! I want Elder Scrolls equivalent of "Bloody Mess", that perk alone makes senseless killing in Fallout all the better
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 10, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    A lot of promises, let's hope they deliver.
  • Robx - January 10, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    By Azura, by Azura, by Azuuuraaaaa!! HEY, LISTEN, HEY, HEY, HEY, LISTEN, LISTEN!!
  • KaiokenKid - January 10, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    ... I liked Mysticism. :(
  • Andrewwwww - January 10, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    I like it. I like it a lot.
  • usmovers_02 - January 10, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    Level Scaling is back plus even FEWER skills than Oblivion?!? Oh snap! And only 5 full sized cities?? And dont forget people, they said they had fixed the third person animations last time around too... looks like I'll be relying heavily on modders again... Still a day one purchase just for the new graphics engine.
  • gamedingo - January 10, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    In my eyes, Bethesda can do no wrong, I loved Fallout 3, Oblivion, Morrowind, and I'm currently enjoying New Vegas, so any news of Skyrim is awesome, I don't really care if they change some of the stuff, just as long as I can do as I please, it's all good.
  • Fuzunga - January 10, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    I have to read the magazine myself because every site I check, the facts are different. Another site, for example, states there are 10 classes to choose from, but here it says you don't get a choice.
  • GAYMER - January 10, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    @CH3BURASHKA It"s Bethesda. Of course they'll deliver :)
  • buttercupforpresident - January 10, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    thank god Bethesda knows how to stagger their sequels

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