I wasn’t expecting too much from the latest Elder Scrolls: V Skyrim (Sky-rim) and I was pleasantly surprised. At first I noticed a big degredation in quality… as in half the textures were up to par for the full resolution of 2560×1600 – many were not, most notibly the objects and inner textures. I swear they took some right from oblivion (Elder Scrolls: IV). However, if you put on 8X AA it fixes it. 2X and even 4X was stretching it, and FAXX didn’t seem to do much at all, shadows and transparent textures (fences, brush and greenery) were the most noticible. Once activating the AA all seemed right in the virtual world. The mechanics are better, there are many more random objects, and you intereact with them. For exmaple, if you happen to jump on a table with dishes and food, you are more then likely to send a silver pitcher and some dishes accross the room, if not at least off the table.

Bushes and trees still do not interact (a la Crysis) but they do flush out the scenery very nicely. There is a great effect put on by rain, I suppose it’s the fog, but it makes all the distance much greener. I am playing with full Ultra 2560×1600 8x AA, no FXAA but otherwise the view distance on everything is up. It’s perfect, very much unlike my experience with IV with comparable hardware for the time. I am very pleased. The story is great, the quests are great, they made everything that you loved about IV better, and eliminated much of what didn’t work.

Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Alchemy, even Cooking feels new. It all has a new twist, simpler, but relying on the same general concepts you are familiar with from the previous game(s). If you liked Oblivion, even the slightest, I highly recommend this latest offering.

It’s very beautiful, and if you’re in it for more then just pretty graphics you’ll be entertained for hours… and hours… and hours…

We’ll start with the screenshots:

*11/15/2011 – added more screenshots* It really is pretty

Gameplay Video:

It appears I need to do something to increase the framerate on the videos. I believe this is restricted to 30, and I know I dropped it down to half size. If I’m playing at 2560×1600 it does not fit to 16:9 without side bars – at least with this particular video editor (Live Movie Maker). 4:3 looks right, but as soon as it hits YouTube it then has side bars and top/bottom bars. So I’m still working out the right combo so it doesn’t look shuddery, or low quality. At least with this game, though – you can see where they need better textures.

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