I'm disappointed with the apparent inability to block while dual-wielding weapons. This precludes the dual-wielding character concepts I had in mind, forcing instead some kind of all-offense dual-wielding berserker. It's all the more ludicrous considering that cumbersome two-handed weapons such as greatswords can be used to block. I didn't have enough time to experiment as much as I'd have preferred, but I guess that one can't block if a spell is equipped in the off-hand? From my initial impression, I far prefer the cast-while-armed system used in Oblivion. Not sure what if any benefit this new system provides.
The two-hand system provides immeasurable tactical options. I can't even begin to tell you honestly. For my character type, a spellsword, it is almost a revelation. Spell in one hand, short sword in the other, going to town. Light enemies up as they close in on you and then pounce with a stamina leap. Heal with your left hand while you attack with your right, negating damage. Etc. etc.
No, you cannot block with a weapon or spell in each hand. The style of play you choose has negatives, that's what makes it fun IMO.
In-game, the engine doesn't seem much different from that of Oblivion, and the graphics aren't wowing me either (on Xbox).
Game looks amazing on PC. Can't speak to the Xbox version. Pretty much every forum post I have read says the game looks amazing though, so you're in the minority either way.
I don't like the new menus and especially don't like the map (sorely missing the paper map) but maybe these grow on you in time?
The map is kind of a bummer. It is neat how it's the real game world zoomed out, but it lacks fine details. Also it doesn't uncover areas as you explore, which I loved in Morrowind and missed in Oblivion. The various icons are nice though and if you're looking for a fort it's easy to only scan for forts.
The UI I have talked a lot about. Once you get used to it I think it's a really great UI.
First, the dragon landed facing away from him. It did not turn around, and he hit it around ten times with a warhammer before it decided to launch into flight. At this point, it had around fifty percent health. He then hid while the dragon circled around. After it landed, he pelted the dragon with arrows from his hiding spot behind a rock. The dragon did nothing, simply stood in place, until it was killed by continuous fire of arrows. Didn't move in the direction of the shots, didn't take to the air for increased visual range and mobility. Just sat there and died.
That's typical Bethesda jank, honestly. The game will do that kind of thing from time to time, just like every Bethesda game before it did. If that's a deal-breaker for you well... there it is I guess.
Again, not outright condemning the game as a whole, have only played/watched a small portion of it.
I think you're over-thinking it, to be honest. It's a typical Bethesda RPG. There are improvements of course, and it's much better than Oblivion, but overall you either like their games or you don't. If you're worried it's another Oblivion then I can assure you it's not, just buy the dang thing. If you're iffy on their RPGs in the first place and are wondering if those one transcends... well... probably not, honestly.