Yet another version of Skyrim is here, as one fan has remade a portion of the acclaimed RPG in Unreal Engine 5.
Skyrim’s Riverwood has been rebuilt in Epic Games’s recently released top-of-the-line engine, which is the prefect fodder while we wait for The Elder Scrolls 6. The Redditor (opens in new tab) responsible shared their creation in a 5-minute video (spotted by GamesRadar (opens in new tab)).
The clip walks through the classic Skyrim settlement, showing off a few of its buildings and streets in dazzling graphical fidelity. It then cuts to what looks like the Western Watchtower in Whiterun, although this ruined outpost is a lot more detailed than the one you might be used to seeing.
The graphical upgrade is remarkably impressive. All the textures are rendered at a higher resolution, the lighting is crisper, and the shadows punchier. It certainly doesn’t look like a game that was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Watch the clip below to see for yourself.
A glimpse into the future
The video doesn’t only serve as an impressive tech demo; it’s an exciting glimpse into what games could one day look like. As developers become practiced with Unreal Engine 5, its technical potential will only be pushed to the limit.
However, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any Elder Scrolls game that looks like this anytime soon. Bethesda tends to use its in-house Creation Engine to construct its games. And while Starfield will use a new version of the software, we don’t expect it will match the graphical potential of Unreal Engine 5.
As fan-made projects like this one show, Epic's recently released engine is top of the pack. In fact, it can produce such lifelike renders that a recent demo created with the software tricked viewers into believing it was real footage taken with a mobile phone.
But while Bethesda might not be leaping on Unreal Engine 5, plenty of other developers are. CD Projekt Red previously announced it’ll be ditching its own REDengine in favor of Epic’s software for The Witcher 4. The news came as a surprise to many, given just how successfully the REDengine had been employed to create the vibrant world of The Witcher 3, but goes to show how much faith the studio's putting in the tech.
Similarly, BioWare is using the engine to develop Mass Effect 4 – placing another feather in Epic’s game-building cap.
Don’t expect those games to look quite as brilliant as this fan-made Skyrim project, though. As sprawling RPGs, they’ll have to sacrifice graphical fidelity in favor of fast asset loading, high framerates, and other player-facing considerations. But the redditor’s demo certainly goes some way to suggest what our favorite video games might one day look like.