The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Pre-E3 2011 Preview -- Mammoths and Ice Dragons? Yes Please!By Nikole Zivalich - Posted Jun 07, 2011
Last time we saw The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, we were just beginning to understand the duel wielding, the weather system, and more. Jake "Twinkle Toes" Gaskill wrote three detailed previews (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) describing the world Bethesda has created for Skyrim. It has been in production since Bethesda wrapped up production on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting what they created for years.
What We're Seeing Now:
One of the elements of Skyrim that makes it unique is if you see it you can explore it. This means endless landscapes with as assortment of shrubbery and wildlife. But since this is a fantasy RPG, the wildlife isn't just your run of the mill foxes and rabbits, although they're in the game too. More exceptional creatures of the northern province of Tamriel are quite large and surprisingly friendly, as long as you don't attack first.
In the new gameplay demo we got to check out, Dovahkiin wandered across a vast meadow. I was initially taken aback by the lavender flowers scattered across the grass. Upon realizing how utterly lame I was for looking at flowers, I looked around to notice a giant woolly mammoth. Oh, and, hey, a giant is walking right next to him. I named them Snuffleupagus and Grawp. I never claimed to be creative.
If Dovahkiin is six feet tall then the giant was at least 14 feet tall. He was slow and seemed oblivious of my existence. His skin was the color of bandages. The giant didn't seem to even notice me. Many creatures go about their business without wanting to attack you at all. The giant clearly had other concerns; maybe he’s really into flowers too.
The woolly mammoth was at least five times taller than I was. It had a mythological quality to it, like a mix between what an actual prehistoric mammoth may have looked like and a Mûmakil from Lord of the Rings. I could see the detail of every coarse hair covering its body. The mammal was so peaceful, so majestic, so at one with nature that I was this close to actually feeling bad when Dovahkiin shot a fire ball in his furry face. So close.
A few overpowered spells and slashes later both of my new friends were near death. Apparently, we had disturbed the peace; a huge fire breathing dragon flew overhead, spewing his flames as it passed. Suddenly my new friends didn't matter as we began running away from the dragon. We came across a lone, run-down tower. Dovahkiin summoned a storm using one of his dragon calls. Dark clouds filled the sky as lightning began shooting down onto the dragon. Dovahkiin ran down as the dragon lay dying. Since he is dragon born, he can absorb the souls of dragons. As he began absorbing the soul, the dragon burst into what looked like flames. He burned until there was nothing left but bones. With a newly acquired soul, Dovahkiin could learn a new word to complete another dragon yell.
I was beginning to feel happy at all that had been accomplished, but then an ice dragon flew over and ruined the mood. He was as cold as ice, and he was willing to sacrifice our love. Dragons often remind me of Foreigner. For the purpose of this demo, Dovahkiin was basically in god mode and took down this dragon with ease. Before he was taken down, though, a few breaths of ice narrowly missed Dovahkiin. Another dragon down, another dragon shout was closer to completion.
The demo ended right as I was getting an idea of how many ways there are to interact with Skyrim. The backdrop and the environment will surely be just as important of a character as the other people in the world. Is it November yet?