Bethesda’s Skyrim, released just last year, is far from a bad-looking game any which way you look at it, but even so the standard version of the game can not come anywhere close to the kind of visual fidelity arising from installing some of the more graphically-intense mods around. Taking it one step further, a gamer going by the name of ‘Unreal’ has posted some of the most absurdly-detailed, gloriously picturesque screenshots we’ve ever seen of the game, the result of hand-picking over 100 different mods from a list of over 800 he has installed on his PC rig.
Sufficient to say, if this is what the future of videogames looks like then we all have something truly special to look forward to. Because while Unreal boasts an otherwise impressive over-clocked Core i5-2500k and GeForce GTX 670, what it would take to run the whole shebang with playable frame-rates is something much more powerful. As he explains on blog ‘A State of Trance’, it’s the grass on show that gives the frame-rate the biggest hit from around 40-60fps without it to 5 to 30fps with. “You can try lush grass and glorious grasses, but don’t cry if you get unplayable frame-rates,” he says.
So for the time being, super-modded Skyrim is a glimpse into the future, where new, more powerful hardware and advanced game engines will be able to render the kind of visuals Unreal is teasing here at 60fps. But until then, we'll have to stick by our unplayable frame-rates and only dream of what the future of gaming holds...