Bethesda has redesigned the Elder Scrolls series’ menus for Skyrim to streamline the interface and apparently make something Apple would be proud of (closed off and controlled then). “You know in iTunes when you look at all your music you get to flip through it and look at the covers and it becomes tangible? One of our goals was, ‘What if Apple made a fantasy game? How would this look?’ It’s very good at getting through lots of data quickly, which is always a struggle with our stuff,” Skyrim boss Todd Howard said.
Skyrim has a compass menu with just four options. If you press your right button, you will bring up the inventory. Skyrim’s inventory has fully-rendered 3D objects and their respective descriptions. If you press left, it will take you to magical items. This is where you can locate your spells and something about what they do.
What’s interesting with all this is that Bethesda has got rid of the eight-item limit about what can be assigned to the d-pad and have replaced it with a favourites system. With this, you can bookmark as many spells and items as you want. Your favourites will be listed alphabetically.
If you press up, you will see a starry sky that controls hero development. Characters don’t have classes in Skyrim, but the game groups the skills into three key types: thief, warrior and mage. There are six main skills within each of them. Nebulae represent classes and constellations represent skills in this sky. The corresponding stars light up when each of the 18 skills are improved and perks are added to them when you level up.
Finally, if you press down you will access a zoomed out map. You can do all the things you would expect with it, including exploring the world, managing quests, planning routes and partaking in a bit of fast travel.