It’s half past 2 a.m. on Middas and you’ve got a job to do. Your cloak, torn and stained, assists you in becoming invisible as you sneak through shadows of the Port District in Solitude. A pair of guards walk past as you flatten yourself against the stone walls of the port authority, they pass without noticing. You quickly run down the docks spotting your next challenge; the large locked door between you and your mission. You take your last lockpick from your pocket and begin to work your way through the lock, you hear it unlatch; you’re in.
Slyly sneaking through the house moving step-by-step up the staircase making not even the slightest noise. You’ve spotted your target, he’s sleeping soundly to your pair of Daedric daggers pointing at him. You call upon the Night Mother to assist you just before you dig your first dagger into his unprotected chest, without much of a peep the target has expired. It’s to run, his dog has been alerted and is now alerting the neighbors with its horrid barking. You escape through a second story window, jumping from roof to roof before you drop down and disappear into the shadows.
The life of a criminal in Skyrim is much more exciting than in previous Elder Scrolls titles. Lock picking, sneaking and assassination have been completely revamped. You’re no longer automatically reported for your crimes and guards from the other cities will not care about your diabolic actions. Witnesses can be extinguished if you spot them in time allowing you to completely avoid a bounty and being harassed by guards.
The Art of Picking Locks
The new lock picking system now requires you to use the right joystick to turn the lock and the left to rotate the lock pick itself. The lock picking mini-game screen shows the inserted lock pick and the lock itself, you will no longer have to time up your button pressing in order to crack a lock. Picks will break if you turn the lock incorrectly.
The sneaking system has been improved and the sneak detector eye has been changed. There are now three stages to the eye detector which allows you to tell when your fully detected (The eye is completely open), when you’ve been noticed but can’t be spotted directly (The eye is half way shut) and when you’re completely invisible to anyone else (The eye is shut). The system is also more realistic as people won’t be able to spot you miles away like in previous Elder Scrolls titles.
Assassinating with the new finishing move animations takes assassination to a whole new level. It takes time to attain these stealthy finishing moves, but they are well worth the struggle. Taking an enemy from behind and slitting his throat is a great addition to The Elder Scrolls series and will not go unappreciated.
At the beginning of your criminal career there’s a good chance you’ll get caught. The jailing system is much the same as it has been in previous titles. There are minor tweaks like the witness system and your individual city reputations. Jail will still lower certain stats and there is the possibility of escape either with a lock pick or sometimes by tearing a wall down.
Whether you plan to be the leader of the Dark Brotherhood or a petty market district thief you will be ecstatic by the new systems. Bethesda has truly outdone themselves this time around.