Since its recent launch The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has gone on to become one of 2011’s most critically acclaimed titles, with press and gamers alike singing its praises.
Of course, it is not without its flaws, and has been plagued with stability issues as well as other shortcomings which many seem to overlook on the basis that it is an Elder Scrolls game.
The PC version dishes up environment textures that would make a game out of 2005 swell with pride, and the animations and combat have been described as “clunky” (by me).
Fortunately then, Bethesda has kept the game open to the modding community, which means that over time we can expect enthusiasts from around the world to release incremental fixes and tweaks that will hopefully contribute to it becoming the game we were hoping for at release.
One such mod is the HD Retuxture Landscape mod buy Z4G4. The mod is not quite complete, but in its current state it retextures 80% of the game’s terrain with higher resolution variants – up from Skyrim’s default 512×512, to 1024×1024 and 2048×2048 versions. These make a massive difference to the game’s overall visual experience.
I’ve tried the patch out myself, and while there was a slight performance hit, there is also a marked improvement to the way things look.
Unfortunately, the mod only affects ground textures, but it should work in conjunction with other mods which retexture other parts of the world, such as flora and fauna, water, sky, and environment objects.
Modders are working hard on various portions of the game at this point, and many gamers (myself included) may be holding out for the overhaul mods which combine various established and successful mods into full packs.
Below are some more before and after examples from the Z4G4 texture mod.Forum discussion