One of the more interesting wrinkles of the game is that the player character is dragonborn. Howard refused to offer much on what exactly that means except to say that it signifies being anointed by the Gods and born with the soul of a dragon. It also imbues the ability to use magic-like shouts, which add another layer to a character's powers. These shouts come in the form of three word phrases, each word of which constitutes a level of power. With something like two-dozen shouts in the game, the system promises to add both a significant option to combat and ample reason to go adventuring in quest of the individual words. From the powered-up character Howard used in the demo, the combination of weaponry, magic, and shouts makes for a lethal character, but don't think it will make the game a cakewalk. Skyrim includes a number of new enemies, not the least of which are the dragons who have returned to the land. Dragons will figure prominently in the game and they are not just individual boss fights. There's no finite number of dragons in the game and in fact Howard related a story of inadvertently drawing the attention of a trio of dragons he ran into while out adventuring. It didn't end well for him. So, adventuring around a massive mountainous region, wielding exotic weapons and casting dramatic spells, using power shouts to turn the tide of battle, interacting with a dynamic, living world, and facing dragons in battle--yeah, sounds like Skyrim is pretty well on track.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim helps Bethesda usher in a new game engine.