Just thought this would be something our readers would be interested in seeing if they’re one of the six or seven people who haven’t bought Skyrim yet, which has made headlines since its release on 11/11/11. Graphical and player count comparison after the jump along with a message from Bethesda regarding XBox users.
The Low setting has the map be bland with no real flora to it and little detail on the textures, the bit rate of trees are also heavily sacrificed but it still looks pretty good.
The Medium setting adds random scatters of foilage and also improves the quality of the textures on the ground. Not a major difference and unless your computer is highly outdated it will likely run medium if it can run Low without any real problems or hiccups.
The High setting makes an increase to the draw distance. The draw distance is basically how far you can see until the engine stops rendering graphics. Also added at this point are shadows from each individual piece of scenery like the trees and rocks, but they themselves appear to be exempt from shadow.
The Ultra setting turns this game into pure visual pornography. The draw distance is maximized, and there are even more shadows, this time on objects rather than exclusively on the ground. Hope you put down good money for a PC recently as only the best models available can run this if I’m reading the system specs right.
Another comparison, how popular is Skyrim? Well a good while ago, Team Fortress 2 became Free To Play for all Steam users. Its popularity went straight up, but despite being a really fun FPS that quickly took a top slot for a while until Skyrim was released and was utterly dominated as you can see below.
That’s right, 270,000 players on Skyrim when this image was generated. A quarter of a million people on the day the game was officially released. This is a real testament to a game’s quality when it sells this many copies that quickly after all the hype. As a general rule apparently, you can multiply the number of Steam players of a game by 10 to get an estimate on the total sales, but as the official numbers haven’t been released yet, all we have is an estimate. Regardless, Skyrim looks good, sells good, and plays good. Except for dead bodies hiring contracted killers.
On the subject of graphics, XBox users of the game are having some graphical issues. The game when installed to the 360 improves the graphical quality due to the 360’s inferior disk technology compared to PCs and the PS3, but a streaming graphics issue has resulted in graphics scaling down for performance reasons, but not scaling back up when you get close to them. This problem doesn’t happen if you play Skyrim straight from the disk and the game is cached. Skyrim’s use of the 360’s caching system is extensive and needed for the full graphical experience. As you can see, Bethesda will release a patch to repair this issue on the graphic engine.