With less than a month until the worldwide release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, more and more details surrounding Bethesda’s epic masterpiece continue to appear on an almost daily basis. In recent days, the manual included with the game was leaked online, and some interesting new features were brought to light that have excited many players.
The most intriguing gameplay mechanic that has been announced is the addition of a deeper crime and punishment focus from the AI citizens within the game. If you commit a crime in broad daylight, and in front of a witness, they have the ability to go and report you to the nearest constabulary as soon as they can, at which point a bounty is placed upon your head and you become a wanted man/woman/whatever.
The fun, however, comes in the simple fact that, without a witness, there is no crime. Silence the poor soul who is grassing you up and you will get away scot-free. Of course if you kill them in front of another witness then you’re gonna have to kill them too, but you get the idea. So next time you decide to boot a chicken up the backside, or give the back of your hand to some bar wench, thus severing her tiny, golden-locked head from her slender neck, you’re going to have to make damn sure there are no witnesses to this, or at the very least you’ve got you best boots on.
It’s nice to see a game almost egging the player on to be bad, without having to have those awful, forced moral choice game mechanics, which do no more than make you wonder whether the “good” rewards are going to be any sweeter than the “bad” rewards. There’s even a trophy included in the game for escaping from jail, and now we’ve also got covering up crime and perverting the course of justice to add to that list. No one likes a goody two-shoes, particularly Bethesda, it would seem.
And as well as wanting you to be bad, Bethesda are also throwing down the gauntlet for you to be fast. The Elder Scrolls speed run, organised by Bethesda for two employees of the game to go head-to-head for completion of the main campaign, took place in the past few days. The two results are astounding, not just because they are fast, but because the two players were only 20 seconds apart from each other, with the winner, Sam Bernstein, completing the game in a paltry 2 hours 16 minutes and 10 seconds. That. Is. Nuts! Fear not though, worried consumers, because these guys have spent the better part of three years studying and playing through the various components of this game. All y’all are still gonna have to put a good twenty-thirty hours in for your speed runs, not to mention and extra hundred or so hours if you’re going for full completion.
Finally, in the last week we have also gotten our first look at the world map for the game, which shows itself to be just as big, if not bigger, than that of Oblivion. The major difference here is the inclusion of a much larger mountainous region to be explored, right across the continent. We are certain every square inch of this map will be traversable in some way, and many can barely contain themselves for what else we might see before the release of the game on November 11th.
For now, I will leave you with that shot of the world map. If we get any more Skyrim news, you guys will be the first to know!