We've finally got our first look at the next Elder Scrolls adventure, with Bethesda debuting footage of Skyrim over on their website. It's a spectacular glimpse into what the game has to offer for fans come the end of the year, and here at Dealspwn we're so damn generous we thought we'd pick through the footage, second by second, moment for moment, to suss out any little details that may have eluded you. Read on!
You Should Have Acted...
The trailer begins with a flyover of a snowy forest wreathed in mist, the camera bobbing from side to side. A booming voice-over - who I believe is Max Von Sydow - warns us of the dragon's impending arrival, before switching to a breathless first-person perspective dashing through the snowy woods. We return to the overhead view, sighting a horn-helmeted warrior running to the edge of a cliff. Snapping to the warrior's perspective, as he holds out hand and shield, righting his balance to avoid toppling off the cliff.
The looming view begins to drop towards the warrior, as the unmistakable profile of a dragon's shadow slides over his prey below. We see the stone-carved murals revealed in the first Skyrim trailer, as they begin to stir from their slumber, reptilian eyes cracking open to glower menacingly. Flashing back to the original view, man and beast finally do battle, with the dragon unleashing a roar of flames.
"But, there is one they fear..." intones Von Sydow, as the warrior emerges from the flames of the dragon's attack, unharmed, and utters a resounding 'Dragonshout', a powerful attack you can attain in Skyrim by defeating their namesakes. The camera swoops back, following the Dragonborn's cry and capturing the majesty of the landscape.
What follows is a spectacular montage of scenes and vistas we've only squinted at in screenshots thus far. The camera spins around an elegant tower perched precipitously in what I believe is the Throat of the World mountaintop, where the legendary Greybeards dwell. In change of scenery and colour, we pan through a verdant forest where what seem to be goats or sheep graze.
Then we glimpse a town sitting in the shadow of a mountain, raging fires and oil lamps burning in the darkness against the stone bulk of the buildings. A second city is then shown, far more grand regal, gold-roofed houses with Viking-esque features. Finally, a rural town with a ticking windmill on Skyrim's coastline, a massive arched rock-formation glimpsed in the background, and stone ruins amidst the whirl of a snowstorm.
Once Bethesda have quite finished showing off advances in the engine, we're treated to some actual gameplay! First, the improved third-person camera, which really does look miles better. The positioning of the camera is closer and more dramatic, and the character animation more solid and dynamic and clearly less 'floaty'. Then the lauded dual-wielding mechanics are shown, with one character boasting a longsword in one hand and a fire-spell in the other. A man standing guard by a fire has his throat slit from behind, and another clip shows the player jamming a sword into a monster's chest.
The montage ends with a quick-cut of room-clearing fire spells, a gigantic spider, Ice Wraiths materializing from the snow, and the player performing an elegant spin attack. Then we return to the original conflict, with the dragon crashing to the ground, ostensibly slain by the Dragonborn. The dragon then begins to disintegrate, its scales and flesh and bone flickering away in orange-blue light which swirls to the Dragonborn. If this is how we're awarded with 'Dragonshouts' then I know what's first on the agenda come November 11th!
Overall, the first glimpse at Skyrim was better than I could have expected. Not only is it beautiful and obviously far along into development - much further than I first thought - but it shows a more stylish, cinematic take on the usually stilted Elder Scrolls experience. If you're encounters with dragons are anything like what's shown here then I think we should all start planning ahead for some time off in November!
Like what you saw in the first Skyrim footage? Or were you expecting more? As always, sign off in the comments section below!