There’s an entire laundry list of changes that Bethesda is making to the usual Elder Scrolls formula, and surprisingly, most of them seem for the better.

If you’re a fan of the Elder Scrolls games, you’ve probably come across the game’s psychic guardsmen who know whether you’ve committed a crime, regardless of whether it happened right under their nose, or on the other side of the country. You’ve probably also had to put a torch away to fight some murderous monster, rather than jabbing it in the face with the burning stick in your hand. If either of those are true, then you’ll be pleased to know that, in Skyrim, neither will happen.

The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine contains a whole bunch of new information about the fifth Elder Scrolls game, including changes to the way crime is handled, and what you can fight with. Bounties in Skyrim will not be global, and will instead only apply in the city in which the crime was committed. This means that hiding out in another town will finally be a great way to avoid being arrested. Guards won’t be as strong as they’ve been in previous Elder Scrolls games either, so resisting arrest won’t be quite as difficult.

You’ll also be able to use your torch in combat, although perhaps not quite as freely as you might like. The list of possible dual-wielding combinations that appears in OPM suggests that a torch can only be used as an offhand weapon, and that you won’t be able to use one at all alongside magic. That’s probably just an oversight though, as it doesn’t make sense that a holding torch would prevent spell casting, but holding a weapon wouldn’t. Unfortunately for all the would-be Bruce Lees out there, Bethesda has confirmed that it has removed Hand to Hand as a skill. It seems very unlikely that you won’t be able to swing a punch in the game – you have to be able to do something to defend yourself if your weapon breaks – but you won’t have a skill telling you how well you punch anymore.

Bethesda also seems to be working hard to give Skyrim’s setting more life then we’ve seen in previous Elder Scrolls games. The studio said that it didn’t like how artificial some of the quests felt in Oblivion so it has tweaked them to make them feel more real. The game will also feature more voice actors than previous Bethesda games, which should alleviate the problem of everyone sounding the same. Additionally, Bethesda has given the mages and fighters guild more character, replacing their generic names with the “College of Winter Hold” for mages, and “The Companions” for warriors.

As a long time fan of the Elder Scrolls games, it’s wonderful to see so many of the game’s wrinkles getting ironed out for Skyrim. With the dragons, the new factions and more the detailed economy, Skyrim sounds like it’s going to have more ways to play than any of the Elder Scrolls games so far.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim comes out for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on November 11th.

Source: via VG247

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