The French edition of the official PlayStation Magazine has provided a wealth of new information regarding Bethesda's upcoming RPG "Skyrim." Here's a rundown of the newly announced features, with some descriptions to explain what they all mean.
* Unlike the previous games where melee combat were free-for-alls prone to friendly fire, "Skyrim" will feature a context-sensitive melee system described as "Magnetism" in the French PSN, where your melee attacks will automatically target foes instead of slashing everything in your path. This is somewhat similar to the autotargeting system in "Assassin's Creed Brotherhood."
* Unique weapons will possess hidden effects that you will only discover upon using the weapon.
* Players will be unable to block attacks if they are wielding a weapon in one hand and a spell in the other. Only players who wield two handed weapons or a sword and shield can perform blocks.
* The "Spell Shield" ability will see a return in "Skyrim."
* Taverns will serve as important locations in the game. Players will be able to overhear conversations, collect rumors, begin quests, acquire information and much more.
* Players can stalk non-player characters and chart their routines, and break and enter into their homes when they aren't around.
* The information quest givers provide you will depend upon their disposition towards you. Friendly NPCs will provide you with more information while hostile or distrusting characters will provide you with a lot less.
* A dungeon described as "Bleak Falls Barrow" is inhabited by Draugr–undead Nord warriors. Players can expect to encounter a ghostly dragon priest and fight a giant Frostbite Spider. The dungeon has been described by Bethesda as "terrifying."
* The quest to Bleak Falls Barrow is provided to you by a shopkeeper named Lucan who wants you to retrieve his priceless Draconic family heirloom–a golden claw.
* "Skyrim" will see the inclusion of new area-of-effect spells such as "Ice Trap," which is triggered when an enemy walks over it; "Circle of Protection," an area-of-effect spell which pushes enemies in your vicinity away; and "Fury" which causes enemies to fight amongst themselves.
* With a strong emphasis on melee combat, "Skyrim" will feature the addition of finishing moves, one of which has been described as "plunging your sword into the enemy's chest."
* As a game that's more or less an open sandbox, players will be able to perform free-form activities like cooking, woodcutting, mining, and blacksmithing.
* One of the new "Dragon Shout" abilities slows down time, and is similar to Bullet Time.
* One of the first cities the player visits is called Riverwood, and is decried as "a smattering of timber buildings, including a sawmill."
* The new "Radiant Story" feature of Skyrim–which generates side-quests based on player actions–is inspired by the random encounters in the Fallout series.
* "Skyrim" contains exhaustive environmental effects, such as the effects of wind on water and the creation of waves. The game will also contain meteorological effects, with clouds clustering around mountaintops and so forth.
* It will be possible to raise all skills to the maximum 100 points but it isn't possible to get every perk in a single playthrough.
* With regards to the story, the death of the King of Skyrim has caused a civil war to break out in the country.
* Dragon encounters will not be scripted events. These Dragons may attack towns and cities during its travels, which may cause it to be set ablaze.
* Every large settlement in the land of Skyrim will be unique. The city of Marketh Side is set into a cliffside, with buildings teetering on the edge. Haarfingar is said to be home to the largest trading port in Skyrim. One of the cities in Skyrim is even said to be heavily inspired by the Dunmer architecture of Morrowind.
* Bethesda intends to bring back a sense of eccentricity into the world of Vvardenfell, as each Nord faction will have its own customs and styles instead of being carbon copies.
* The economy of "Skyrim" will be better developed than the one in previous games. If you destroy a city's means of income (for instance, by razing their crops), its inhabitants will have to purchase crops from a nearby city, thereby raising prices.
* Archers will be able to hold their breath–an action which consumes stamina–while aiming in order to increase their accuracy. This ability is similar to the sniping abilities in games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and the Call of Duty series.
* Wounded dragons have a chance of crashing into the ground.
* It is possible to cut dialogue short by simply walking away from a speaking NPC.
* Dragon Shouts are assigned to the R3 button on the PS3 gamepad.
* Most NPCs will not have a complete set of dialogue, with only "important" characters having substantial dialogue.