Developer: Bethesda Game Studios Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 Release Date: 11/11/11 worldwide Description: Massive, open world, single player, fantasy RPG primarily designed to be played in 1st person (you can switch to 3rd person at any time)
Tamriel. It is a name we all know and all take for granted. Yet our continent has had many names over the course of history: the Arena; Starry Heart; Dawn’s Beauty. It has seen great unity and great strife. During the last years of the third era, in the time leading up to the Oblivion crisis, the land was relatively peaceful. To be true, even then there was unrest between the provinces, but the Elder Council handled their grievances while the Legion kept their more violent client states in line. After the collapse of the Empire, however, unrest between the provinces increased. Black Marsh annexed part of Morrowind, while the rest became an uninhabitable wasteland when Red Mountain erupted. Valenwood has agents in every province, looking to expand its dominion outward. A new Empire has arisen in Cyrodiill and now slowly tries to recapture the grandeur of the old, unfortunately meeting resistance every step of the way. These are uncertain times, for all of us.
Skyrim has an abundance of two things: freezing cold and ancient history. Long ago, the rugged land was inhabited by ancient elves. When humans first arrived in Tamriel from the northern continent of Atmora, they arived on Skyrim's frozen shores. There, they came into contact with the Snow Elves. Despite their differences, the races were initially at peace with one another. As time went on, however, the elves began to feel threatened by the ever increasing human population. In an event that later came to be known as the Night of Tears, the elves attacked, nearly wiping out all humans in the process. Only King Ysgramor and his sons escaped with their lives. They returned to Skyrim with a new Atmoran fleet and drove the elves away in a bloody war of conquest. And so, Skyrim became the first human kingdom on the continent.
Today, Skyrim is the home of the descendants of those first humans to set foot on the continent: the Nords. It is a cold land, but far from the frozen wasteland it’s sometimes made out to be: from the grassy tundra of Whiterun to the rocky badlands of the Reach, Skyrim is a province with a diverse geography. The province is divided into nine Holds, each ruled by a Jarl. Above the Jarls stands the High King, a Jarl elected to the highest seat of office by his peers. However, the land has been leaderless since the untimely death (or, to be more precise, assassination) of the previous High King. The Jarls will not agree upon a successor, as some - like the charismatic Ulfric Stormcloak - seek to rid the land of Imperial influence. Others believe the return of the Empire is a blessing, and wish Skyrim to remain an Imperial province. This disagreement between Imperial loyalists and separatists has sparked a civil war. The Empire seeks to quell the Stormcloak Rebellion before it can inspire other provinces to revolt, but the Stormcloaks are determined to reclaim their land for their own. Both sides await the coming of a hero that can change the tide of the war...
The Stormcloaks and Imperials are not the only factions in Skyrim. The Blades, the ancient protectors of the Dragonborn Emperor, have survived well into the fourth era, though greatly diminished in number. Skyrim’s mages have organized into the College of Winterhold. The Companions offer swords and axes for hire. The Thieves Guild, hidden in plain sight, is always looking for new ways to make the poor richer and the rich poorer. The Dark Brotherhood, shrouded in shadows, recruits individuals with a knack for ending lives. And atop the Throat of the World, the highest mountain in Tamriel, reside the enigmatic Greybeards, masters of the Voice.
You should have acted. They're already here. The Elder Scrolls told of their return. Their defeat was merely delay Til the time after Oblivion opened, When the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood. But no-one wanted to believe. Believe they even existed. And when the truth finally dawns: It dawns in fire. But, There's one they fear. In their tongue, he's Dovahkiin: Dragon Born!
It has been 200 years since Martin Septim sacrificed himself to permanently seal the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion. With the death of the last Septim, the Empire lost its last legitimate leader. As each province tried to reassert its independence, it pulled itself apart. It was the dawn of the Fourth Era, but there was no Empire left to greet it.
Much has happened since then. The Mane was assassinated in Elsweyr. The Argonians, tired of chafing under Dunmer slavemasters, revolted and conquered the south of Morrowind as Red Mountain erupted in the north. The Dunmer scattered to the winds. Titus Mede conquered the Imperial City. The Thalmor arose in Valenwood and re-established the Aldmeri Dominion. Umbriel, a floating city fuelled by the souls of its victims, drew a swath of destruction across all of Tamriel. The High King of Skyrim was murdered, plunging Skyrim into a bloody civil war.
As the sons of Skyrim spilled their own blood, the Elder Scrolls' final prophecy was fulfilled. The chain of events set in motion by the Eternal Champion came to a grinding halt. The Staff of Chaos, the Warp in the West, the rise of the Nerevarine, the opening of the Oblivion gates; all these events were omens that our time on this world is limited. And now our time has run out.
Amidst the chaos of war, dragons have returned to Tamriel. These ancient creatures are the heralds of our end, their message one of fire and death. Now, they sweep across Tamriel, paving the way for their master: Alduin the World Eater, who will bathe the world in flame until nothing but ashes remain.
But, there is still hope. There is one the dragons fear. In their tongue he is "Dovahkiin"...Dragonborn.
Argonian +10 Lockpicking, +5 Restoration, Alteration, Light Armor, Sneak, Pickpocket. Histskin: Invoke the power of the Hist to recover health ten times faster for 60 seconds. Resist Disease: Your Argonian blood is 50% resistant to disease. Water Breathing: Your Argonian Lungs can breath underwater.
Breton +10 Conjuration, +5 Alchemy, Illusion, Restoration, Alteration, Speech Dragonskin: Absorb 50% of magicka from hostile spells for 60 seconds. Magic Resistance: Breton blood grants a 25% resistance to magic.
Dunmer +10 Destruction, +5 Alchemy, Illusion, Alteration, Light Armor, Sneak Ancestor’s Wrath: For 60 seconds, opponents that get too close take 8 points per second of fire damage. Resist Fire: Your Dunmer blood gives you 50% resistance to fire.
Altmer +10 Illusion, +5 Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Enchanting Highborn: Regenerate magicka faster for 60 seconds. High Elves are born with 50 extra magicka.
Imperial +10 Restoration, +5 Destruction, Enchanting, Heavy Armor, Block, One-Handed Voice of the Emperor: Calms nearby people for 60 seconds. Imperial Luck: Anywhere gold coins might be found, Imperials always seem to find a few more.
Khajiit +10 Sneak, +5 Alchemy, One-Handed, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket Night Eye: Improved night vision for 60 seconds. Claws: Khajiit claws do 15 points of damage.
Nord +10 Two-Handed, +5 Smithing, Block, One-Handed, Light Armor, Speech Battle Cry: Target flees for 30 seconds. Resist Frost: Your Nord blood gives you 50% resistance to frost.
Orsimer +10 Heavy Armor, +5 Enchanting, Smithing, Block, Two-Handed, One-Handed Berserker Rage: You take half damage and do double damage for 60 seconds.
Redguard +10 One-Handed, +5 Destruction, Alteration, Smithing, Block, Archery Adrenaline Rush: Stamina regenerates 10x faster for 60 seconds. Resist Poison: Your Redguard blood gives you 50% resistance to poison.
Bosmer +10 Archery, +5 Alchemy, Light Armor, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocket Command Animal: Make an animal an ally for 60 seconds. Resist Disease and Poison: Your Bosmer blood gives you 50% resistance to poison and disease.
Bethesda employed Jeremy Soule to compose Skyrim's soundtrack, after his excellent work on the Morrowind and Oblivion soundtracks. The game's main theme was recorded with a choir of over thirty people, singing in the game world's native language. The soundtrack to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (spanning 4 discs) can be ordered via Jeremy Soule's website Direct Song.
PC System Requirements
Minimum: Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit) Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor 2GB System RAM 6GB free HDD Space Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM DirectX compatible sound card Internet access for Steam activation
Recommended: Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit) Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU 4GB System RAM 6GB free HDD space DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher). DirectX compatible sound card Internet access for Steam activation