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Headline With A ?: Skyrim Texture Pack?

SO REAL

File under ‘extremely vague online reports that we’re honestly not going to take entirely seriously until there’s more proof’ and ‘oh, that would be lovely, and just the idea of it happening is enough to move me to post wanton rumour-mongering’ and ‘how to immediately upset a load of modders who’ve spent months diligently Photoshopping new high-res textures in pursuit of prettiness and online fame’.

Some news we managed to not report: the Skyrim Creation Kit, i.e. the official omni-mod tool, is ‘on track’ to land on Steam tomorrow. That’s according to Bethesda’s lead person-spoker Pete Hines, who teasingly added that “we also have a special surprise with it. What could it be?” Well, a few folk have dug up partial, alleged evidence to suggest that it’ll be high-res textures for the PC version of the game. Probably not accurate: but, oh, oh! Imagine if it was…

Here’s what a Bethesda forumite uncovered:

This was apparently taken from a deep dive into the Steam Content Description Records, which have at least proven to be accurate sources of upcoming releases in the past (e.g. Alan Wake PC), but it’s also the kind of image that could be fabricated with great ease. So I just can’t tell you anything about whether that image is convincing or not. I’m sorry. Go go data sleuths. But if it’s true: hummanah-hummanah, eh? Skyrim PC launched with rather too many Skyrim Console features ported over wholesale, with textures and interface being the key culprits.

I’m not sure which one I’d prefer to see an official fix for, so I’ll say ‘both’ and remain happy with even this faint and vaguely implausible prospect of the muddy textures being replaced with sharper, crisper official new’uns. Of course, there are multiple mods which aim to redress that problem already, but it’s more than likely that new versions derived from Bethesda’s image source files will be dandier and more of a natural fit than modders’ wholesale replacements. Or perhaps the mods will remain superior to any official update. Choice is a nice thing to have, in any case.

All being well, we’ll find out tomorrow. Fingers crossed. If it’s not textures – what might it be? EH?

Oh, it is worth noting that Bethesda have been pretty good about adding in stuff that the community’s cried for – for instance, using more than 2GB of RAM, improving compiler optimisation settings, having escape set to exit menus, the audio quality crash bug… While they’ve not always been amazingly speedy about it, they do at least seem to be listening – and that hopefully bodes well for other major requests being met.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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