Putting the Player Creation in Character
When you make something like this, you need to give the player enough options to design their own persona in the world. Bethesda has given this option in spades, with the character creation part of the game featuring a dizzying array of sliders and options, enough to allow you to craft the perfect character visually for your adventure. You can also choose from numerous races and each one brings something different to the table. Vikar is a Redguard from Hammerfell and they make the best warriors, so he naturally became a two-handed warrior with some ranged and magic, who can smith up a storm in terms of magical weapons and normal weapons. He can also make killer potions, cooks up some nice apple cabbage stew and is a generally nice guy.
You could play an Argonian Assassin, Argonians being the reptile race can breathe underwater indefinitely. Perfect for that sneaky water based assassination. The choice is yours and Bethesda has probably crafted the best character generation and levelling system in a game yet with Skyrim in that respect. I can truly say that for the first time, this character is 100% mine and has grown to my wishes and desires over the course of the game and at level 21, I am not even done yet.Talking the Talk: The Art of NPC Interaction
Bethesda went an interesting route with this one, allowing the conversations to happen in real time and letting the world tick on in the background. Thereís no loss of immersion when it comes to talking to NPCs and you can see the folk behind them going about their business, as the NPC talks to you. They have lots to say as well. Even the ones that donít have massive scripts, these will still impart important information and you might even get a quest out of it if Radiant Story thinks youíre bored.
The NPC dialogue system is really simple to use and allows you to interrogate the character, find out information and do the usual things that a dialogue system like this allows. The GUI change
To talk game mechanics for a bit, the GUI for Skyrim is a different beast altogether. Favourites can be assigned at any time from weapons and items, with a press of a button. These can be quickly selected in combat as the game pauses to let you do so, or you can go into the main character menu and quickly select from items, which then brings up another list of stuff to look through. Here you can examine anything you own, with a full screen view of the actual object itself...including any clues that it might have written on it.
Skills are accessed in the same way, as are magic and so forth. Itís all simple and effective, works really well and doesnít really break the immersion. As for the skill screen, where you pick your perks...itís a map of Skyrimís heavens and the various constellations...where you can see instantly what is improving and what perks you have assigned. As you assign the perks, you begin to draw your own constellation in the heavens based on your choices. It looks fantastic and is just another great little addition to the game.
Once you get used to the new GUI it actually feels a lot better.The Sound of Skyrim
Along with the visuals, Skyrim has a host of audio features that combine to immerse you in the game world. I have lost count how many times I stopped to listen to something in the game as night fell, or as the dawn broke. Or as I climbed towards the very Throat of the World and heard the change in the air, as wind howled on past my ears and I could almost feel the frost collect on my fingertips. It is this level of audio that flows through the whole game from every location and there is a diverse palette of sounds that accompany your journey across Skyrim from frozen tundra to the deepest undead infested tombs.