Has Bethesda made Skyrim too easy with new spells / shouts?

By Alan Ng - Oct 24, 2011

It looks like things just got a whole lot easier for new players in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, as new dragon shout spells will allow players to freeze an entire group of enemies in one hit, decreasing the chance of you having to run for your life as you perhaps did in Oblivion.

Bethesda has showcased a new gameplay video over the last few days, showing various ways to takedown the enemy. One of these ways which Bethesda chose to focus on, was a new frost type of dragon shout, as you can see in the video below.

We’re not sure how far in the game players can gain access to this shout, but it does seem like one of the best and useful spells to use in the game, as one usage can render the enemy completely useless for a period of time, allowing players to quickly finish the job without getting damage in return.

We feel particularly sorry for the massive bear at 0.30 who tries to intimidate the player, but after one of these new spells, you’ll see the bear just freeze instantly, which although we didn’t see it in the video, we’re guessing the player can just finish off quickly.

Is there perhaps a danger of Skyrim being slightly too easy with spells like this in the game? Bethesda has said that they want to make the game more accessible to everyone this time around, but we hope that access to these spells doesn’t come at the very start of the game as it would obviously make things too easy with access to an instant paralysis spell that can hit an entire group of enemies.

Having said that, there is likely to be a harder difficuly option for those that require it, so perhaps Bethesda will be accomodating those who wish for a harder challenge in that way. Watch the clip below and let us know what you think of this new frost shout.

We certainly didn’t see that in Oblivion, did we?

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  • If the gameplay is too easy on the beginner level crank it up to expert there is no lack of challange at the higher difficulties.

    • Alca380

      Exactly. I can’t believe they put this garbage up.  smh -_-

  • Redscorcher

    Dragons are not terribly hard to kill and are quite common in Skyrim, so to everyonesaying it will be really hard to get dragon souls they are wrong. Also, you only need a soul to unlock the shout, after that, its just a cooldown period, which is usually around 20-60 seconds depending on the shout. Dragons are also availble very early in the game, the only problem is finding the different shouts.  Some shouts are unlocked quite early, but at first are weak.  You must progress further and find more walls to make them more powerful.

    But everyone saying things about dragons and shouts before they’ve even played the game, please actually play the game before acting like you actually know how it is.  Dragons are not as hard to kill as some of you are claiming.

    Edit: haha my bad you guys’ posts are like a month old

  • SkyrimFan

    Alan Ng all of your Skyrim reviews suck! Please stop writing about it, or RESEARCH it properly first. It’s almost offensive reading your articles!

  • Thetomato13

    Keep in mind that you have to kill dragons to get these shouts. DRAGONS.

  • Phantomvoxx

    not to mention that you have to find walls to learn shouts…and there are three words to the hardest levels of shouts which that one probably is and if you think that shout makes the game too easy there is a simple solution…dont …use …it

  • staars

    tod howard already said that the shouts are seperate to ‘spells’ and cant be regenerated i believe by anything other than time …. so u would more than likely use that shout as a last ditch effort ….and have to think about where and when you would use it …as it would prevent u from using any other shouts for a period of time …maybe appears ‘easy’ in the trailers because there is frequent examples from seperate occasions. Also i think most of the trailers ….todds character is completely maxed out and near invincible so there is less chance of dying whilst trying to show the game.

  • Anon

    Skyrim too easy??? Ok, I obviously haven’t played it yet, but anyone who has spent just 5 minutes listening to Tod Howard in interviews will know how much the Bethesda guys put into making the game play fair and balanced. That is why they have confirmed you can’t attack whilst on horses, or ride on dragons. Even if these new shouts and spells make combat game play easier, you always have the option in Bethesda games to play how you want to play. Come on.

  • guest

    I cant see this being something you have at the start, perhaps after slaying a few dragons. If Oblivion & Fallout is anything to go by then I would imagine the game will be a great challenge.

  • ANON

    Well you still have to be able to kill at least a couple of difficult dragons just to get the souls needed to unlock the ice shout PLUS you have to find the shout wall so it’s not going to be easy to get these shouts.

  • Will skyrim be easier with dragon shouts? Not easier than walking out of the sewers in oblivion, learning an invisibility spell, then simply walking through the entire main quest without ever being attacked once.

  • Kwanto

    Don’t read the article if u think it is stupid. But you have to read it to know what it’s about. So just don’t reply. 

    Here’s a speculation: what happens when you use the freeze shout on a flying dragon 😛

  • Alex B

    It’s basically just a breath version of paralysis which was in past Elder Scrolls games. The Daedric Crescent for example in Morrowind paralysed on touch – no one complained about that? I don’t think it will be overpowered – it’ll be mainly used for crowd control.

  • Polafox

    How can you possibly make an article about this without playing the damn game!

  • SMthebold

    Uhm, David, first of all you have to FIND these shouts. You don’t know where they could be. Second of all you have to activate them with dragon souls. Todd said dragons are like bosses in the game so I think it would be safe to believe they aren’t easy. Lastly you have a timer for these things. So it’s not like they throw you in the game as a god and say do whatever you want. You have to work your way up to get the powers and they will still have limitations

  • Dammooo

    I think you guys need to learn how to review, considering when you hit the opponent they un-freeze. Idiots 

  • Laughingfortune

    It may look easy,but we also dont know what level he was set to, or what the difficulty level was…

  • Experience Hendrix

    this reporter has no idea what he/shes talking about. listen to todd howard

  • Jameyalmb144

    also bro, you need to kill dragons to use these shouts, YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS!!!!???

    • Do you? Of course not, so that’s a stupid thing to say. Also, of what relevance is it
      how hard it is to kill a dragon when the subject is how easy a skill
      makes the game once you have it? How hard the dragon was doesn’t factor
      into things.

      • Yuki

        Hi David, others said there’s a cooldown period that’s correct and you also need dragon souls to use shouts like cars need gasoline I saw that in the demo videos.  But Alan Ng is right, too easy is too boring so I really hope there are different difficulties or well it’s a RPG we can always pretend we don’t have powerful spells even if we do : ) 

  • kayjay

    i really liked that hit the kneez/hit the face tecnique that he did to the troll in the video. Also i really like how you can usethe freeze shout to hunt anamals. After all this time trying to make that perfect kill shot on a deer in oblivion, i nver thought to just use a paralysation spell on them. im so doing that from now on lol.

  • Noahmatthews1994

    todd howard says you can shatter the ice not the people

  • Chris Dodge

    This is pretty ridiculous speculation. You have no idea WHEN in the game you get the skill or how difficult they’ve made the enemies. They’ve repeatedly emphasized that dragons will be extremely hard to kill. It also might be a spell with a huge cool down time. Obviously it doesn’t come across that way when they clip together someone using it 100 times…

  • Speedymank

    No, it does not make the game too easy. Reason one: Oblivion had spells that paralyzed your enemies… this is the same exact thing, only the graphics show them as frozen instead of merely paralyzed. No change there. Granted, Hines said you can shatter your enemies when they are frozen, but that only makes sense. In Oblivion, you should have been able to slit the throats of paralyzed enemies. So really, this is just an improvement on the paralysis spell. Reason two: dragon shouts have a long cooldown time compared to magica regeneration (you can’t use them over and over again in quick succession). 

  • Mike Palmer

    There is a recharge time in the game. In the demo you will see a shout that calls a storm. The final version of this has a recharge time of 300 seconds, so it is something you can only use once in a while. This means you will be forced to use it in only tight situations, so I don’t think it will be too easy. Also, you can always raise the difficulty or just not use shouts at all.

  • Dmbow

    Don’t you mean it INCREASES the chance of escape?

  • Guest

    You kinda have to kill three dragons and find the three words for this shout across the massive land of Skyrim to even be able to use it. At Pax Prime, I’m pretty sure very few people were actually able to kill a dragon. Even after 4 tries most people just died and died. It’s going to be hard to even get a single dragon shout, that’s why they are so powerful.

  • Rashadmilan

    i think the frost shout is cool for certain desperate situations if you are cornered with low health but come on that dosent make the game too easy only if you abuse the power and use it way too much especially if you know you are gonna win a fight if you dont like the shout or think it makes the game too easy dont use the shout at all but i think it will come in handy later on in the game they just didnt put the shout in the game for nothing it can be used for fun and battle. i get tired of people complaining about the things about the game just be happy with what you get and if you dont like certain  attacks dont use them i swear people be so ungrateful these days  

  • Dahakka

    Elder Scrolls games have always had a difficulty slider, so you can make the game as hard or as difficult as you like. You unlock your first shout in about 1 hours worth of gameplay but cant use it until you have killed a dragon and absorbed it soul, even then you can only use 30% of its potential. 

    Im sure what they meant by more accessible to more people is the radicalised interface for items, equipment and spells. Making it easier to use for people who haven’t played too manny open world RPGs before and might feel the menus are all too complex.

  • James Corwin

    It’s highly likely the more powerful shouts won’t be available until later in the game.  It’s also likely that the cooldown time for the shout will depend on the shout in question.  Additionally, to my knowledge you can only have one shout equipped at a time.  

    On top of that, while the player character may have the ability to become more powerful – it is also true that it looks like the enemies could be more difficult than they were in Oblivion as well.  I assume as an example you won’t simply be able to freeze a dragon solid with that dragon shout like you might be able to your average zombie or bear in the forest.  This is all combined with various other gameplay changes – such as moving significantly slower when moving backwards, stamina playing a more prominent role in (melee) combat, etc.

    And on top of ALL of that, let’s not forget the confirmed difficulty slider – presumably similar to Oblivion.  If anyone remembers, turning the difficulty up in Oblivion made enemies take 6 times longer to kill while the player character died 6 times faster.

    …I’m not worried.

    • James Corwin

      …additionally, now that I think about it – why in the hell is this article about being able to shout ice at people?  I mean, you do know there’s a shout to summon a damn dragon, right (confirmed late in the game’s story).  In addition to that, you have ALWAYS been able to freeze enemies in Elder Scrolls games – paralyze anyone?  You could do the same thing in Oblivion, without a cooldown timer – so long as you had the magicka available.

      …the more I think about it, the more I can’t wrap my head around this article.  I mean hell you could play through nearly the entirety of Oblivion without actually fighting yourself – through the use of conjuration, or even singularly through the use of Illusion magic in 99% of cases.  By level 10 or 12, you could effectively cast 100% reflect damage AND reflect/absorb magic spells on yourself, you didn’t even have to wait for high level sigil stones you could enchant the clothing to give you more than enough magicka yourself (touch the mage stone, access to fortify magicka in enchantments, etc).  

      I’ve created characters that never killed anything themselves, characters that made it through nearly the entire game simply by casting some illusion magic to calm/command/enrage my enemies to do everything for me.  I’ve created mystics that couldn’t be hurt by anything but arrows – and I could get said character set up to do so without even completing a single quest before I hit level 10 or 12.  You can create a blade that doubles the HUNDREDS of points of damage the poison (that also paralyzes them) you put on your next swing will do (using a different blade).  

      You had a staff in the Shivering Isles that would freeze ANYTHING in place.  One button – bam, the entire room is frozen, doesn’t even know you’re there yet.  You loot it all, you leave before the spell wears off.  …and Skyrim is going to make things too…easy?

      …the whole point of Elder Scrolls games is to be able to be who you want to be, to play the game as you like, to do as you please.  The “power” of this dragon shout and similar features has always been in the games, it’s what makes them Elder Scrolls games.   

      Sorry for the lengthy post, but seriously, let’s use our brains a bit.

  • Echo11

    This article is just stupid! It’s obvious that we won’t get this shout early in the game and that there is still a cool down time between shouts, so it’s not like we can just run into every battle freezing our enemies the entire time! And in another clip i noticed that one of the enemies unfroze after about three seconds!

  • Daveallen10

    There is a cooldown time between shouts, but I suspect you will become pretty powerful eventually

  • BadNews

    The freezing ability is a Dragon Shout. To use a Dragon Shout you need to collect dragon souls and locate words of power. Freezing a group of enemies isn’t something you will be able to use for every encounter, it’s a costly ability.

  • Zeus331

    Shouts are gained after killing dragons!  Of course it wouldn’t be early game that you have access to these things!  Also, it never showed them attacking units after freezing them so my bet is that once they take a certain amount of damage they unfreeze and shouts have a much longer cooldown than spells, I’m sure you would be unable to immobilize one enemy twice in any given fight.

    • Davidb5x

      Todd Howard talks about this Ice shout in the November 2011 issue of PC Gamer (UK edition anyway, probably US one too, I dunno for sure). “…it acts as paralysation for a period of time…   …. during the time in the ice they are taking a little bit of cold damage – not enough to kill. When the ice is done it kind of shatters and hurts  alot.  So you can use the shout and incapacitate people and move on and hope when it shatters it kills them.    If you hit the ice then it will shatter and hurt them a lot. ”

      As others have stated there is a cooldown period between uses of shouts, probably longer for the more powerful ones I would expect.  So you’re not gonna be firing them off at will at everything in sight. Their use will be more strategic. The Ice shout will let you pretty much take out weak foes really easily or help if you need to escape from larger groups of medium level foes or really tough single opponents. Or you could freeze them then stick around and use the breathing time to heal up and reposition yourself behind them for a sneaky stealth attack.

      So it’s really not a game killer, simply another tool in your arsenal. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on the game and try it out….Vah-Nush !!