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Stanshall

There's Something About Skyrim (Vanilla)

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Having spent another lazy hour tinkering with mods on the One X version and finding it all very pretty while romping around the place, and having barely completed a single quest after twenty hours or whatever, I've gone back to vanilla Skyrim and my conclusion is that I prefer it.

 

As beautiful as the 4K tree bark textures are and so on, they do raise a Trigger's Broom/Ship of Theseus question where I feel that all of the disparate enhancements add up to less than the original vision. I should say that this is having gone through lots of different mods over the couple of years and having settled on 'vanilla, but a bit better' as my aim. This isn't Thomas the Tank Engine and psychedelic sky boxes.

 

I suspect it's about little more than a cohesive aesthetic being more immersive than a wide range of slightly distracting elements, but it's also testament to quite how atmospheric that original vision is. Those slightly muddy textures, blurry mountains and basic lighting are Skyrim, and they draw me into the world far more than Divine Cities or Realistic Water Two et al.

 

I'm not sure what this thread really is beyond wanting to figure out why I'm more drawn to playing Skyrim on the Switch than on the One X, but I'd be interested to know if anyone has similar feelings. More broadly, I suppose it's noting an aversion to modding in general. I prefer to experience the original vision and intention, warts and all, than one polished up by someone unrelated to the work. 

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Back in the day I remember arguing with a colleague about why, graphically, Metroid Prime on the GameCube was better than something super duper hi-res on the PC that had just been released. I can't remember what game it was but it was something with the latest lighting and shadows and whatnot like Severance.

 

Metroid Prime was a bit fuzzy and low-res by comparison but it was *beautiful* with an aesthetic that was not only harmonious but creatively imaginative.

 

So, yes, I can see why vanilla Skyrim would be 'better'.

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It’s not just the graphics either. There’s a reason that they’ve been able to sell it over and over again. Between the crazy first person and the massive, functioning, non apocalyptic world there’s nothing else quite like it.

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It definitely has something indefinable. I won't  even try to verbalise it but there is 'something about it'. 

 

And nice one @Ste Pickford for putting into concrete terms what I was trying to figure out. 

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2 hours ago, Broker said:

It’s not just the graphics either. There’s a reason that they’ve been able to sell it over and over again. Between the crazy first person and the massive, functioning, non apocalyptic world there’s nothing else quite like it.

 

Hmm...

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

Hmm...

 

 


That’s fair, I should clarify that there’s very little like that on modern machines with relatively modern graphics and controls.

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7 hours ago, Ste Pickford said:

I'm not a big fan of mods or upscaling or adding higher res textures, etc.

 

There are times when it's an objective improvement, but generally I believe that 3D worlds are created with a kind of harmony of poly-count and texture resolution and display resolution and other effects.  The artists make a million micro decisions about the look of the world when they're building it, and the world they've built is generally just 'right'.  Adding super high res textures to the same poly count model can throw off that harmony, and make something look worse, even if the technical specs are now higher.

 

I never liked the look of old first-person PC games like Half Life and Deus Ex, because the sharpness of the models was at odds with the blurriness of the textures. The N64 was like that too. The PS1 was the sweet spot for me in terms of graphics - the pixelation only added to to the atmosphere by making you use your imagination a bit.

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Skyrim is a timeless classic, the only truly essential mods these days are the unofficial patch, and the enhanced static mesh mod, the latter only adds a little extra detail without altering Skyrim's overall aesthetic. 

 

There's no need to do ENB overhauls or add ray Tracing etc. The world of Skyrim is magnificent. :wub:

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I got this with Monster hunter Generations on Switch.  On 3DS the pixels are just right for the poly count and your brain kinda fills in the gaps to imagine it as how it might look in an arcade . I feel like your brain cant fill in the gaps so much when youve seen the same thing look much more cohesive as a whole before. It may be that new players won't notice it so much

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I prefer the sort of improvements that fix issues - shorter loading, better UI, improved controls, etc. than massive graphical overhauls. That’s not to say I don’t like HD remasters and stuff, but I don’t really see the need to make graphics better much of the time.

 

That said, Mario 64 HD would be a glorious thing.

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Have to agree. I actually started a new vanilla save on the Xbox version this evening without mods. The standard game just has a more cohesive look. The animation is clunky as hell but the game is still very impressive visually is places. 

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