The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action role-playing open world video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls action role-playing video game series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Skyrim s main story revolves around the player character's efforts to defeat Alduin, a Dragon who is prophesied to destroy the world. Set two hundred years after Oblivion, the game takes place in the fictional province of Skyrim, upon the continent of Tamriel, and the planet of Nirn. The open world gameplay of The Elder Scrolls series returns in Skyrim; the player can explore the land at will and ignore or postpone the main quest indefinitely. Skyrim was a critical and commercial success, shipping over 7 million copies to retailers within the first week of release.
The nonlinear gameplay traditional in The Elder Scrolls series is incorporated in Skyrim. The game may be played from a first-person perspective, viewing the game world through the eyes of their character, or from a third-person perspective, with the player character visible on the screen, and the camera able to be freely rotated. The player can explore the open world of Skyrim on foot or on horse, and fast-travel to cities, towns, and dungeons after they have been discovered. Quests are given to the player by non-player character (NPCs) in the world, and through the Radiant Story system, the quests can be dynamically altered to accommodate for player actions which may influence the quests, characters, and objectives. The Radiant Story then further directs the player's interaction with the world by setting unexplored dungeons as quest locations. In addition to scripted quests certain ones will be dynamically generated, providing a limitless number to the player. Some NPCs can become companions to the player to aid in combat. The player may choose to join factions, which are organized groups of NPCs such as the Dark Brotherhood, a band of assassins. Each of the factions has a headquarters, and they have their own quest paths which the player can progress through. The economy of cities and towns can be stimulated by completing jobs such as farming and mining, or spending large amounts of gold in the stores. Alternatively, the economy may be harmed by forging business ledgers and robbing the safes of stores. Additionally, the player's actions or statements often have an impact on their interactions with NPCs – such as taking sides in the Civil War or fighting dragons. When exploring the game world, the player may encounter wildlife. Many creatures in the wilderness are immediately hostile towards the player. The inclusion of Dragons in Skyrim affords a major influence on both story and gameplay.
Character development is a primary element of Skyrim. At the beginning of the game, the player selects one of several human, elven, or anthropomorphic cat and lizard races, each of which has different natural abilities, and customizes their character's appearance. When their character levels, the player may choose to select a skill-specific ability called a perk, or store perks for later use. Upon levelling fifty times, the player character can continue to level and earn perks, but the rate of levelling is slowed significantly. Skills can be reset over and over again, effectively meaning there is no level cap.
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