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 characters (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. When not completing quests, the player can interact with NPCs through conversation, and they may request favors or offer the player training in skills. 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.
-info from Wikipedia