Bethesda: Skyrim’s landscape is “epic reality”

Thursday, 27th January 2011 05:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier


Art director Matt Carafano has called Bethesda’s approach to Skyrim’s landscape as “epic reality”, highlighting the new title’s visual departure from previous Elder Scrolls titles.

“With Skyrim we’ve come up with something we call internally ‘epic reality’,” Carafano said in a video posted on Game Informer.

“What that means to us is dramatic views wherever you go. With every landscape or region of the game we try to make it look amazing and unique. … Definitely the landscape is something we’re pushing, to get you that sense of epic reality.”

Carafan also commented on the franchises successive thematic makeovers. “With each game, we try to really reinvent the series, and really take it a huge step forward in just the visuals, graphics everything about the game,” he said.

“A lot of that is a direct reaction to the previous game. Oblivion was more kind of standard European fantasy, and with Skyrim, we wanted to do something more. That same feel wouldn’t fit for this game. We wanted to do something that [if] you were living in Skyrim, it is different. It is the home of the Nords. Everything is based off them.”



  1. Erthazus – epic reality.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. UuBuU

    @1 – Cool screenshot for a 2006 game. Unfortunately, this topic is about the landscape of Elder Scrolls Skyrim (2011), not Oblivion. Maybe you misread the topic or is this some failed attempt at trolling a game noones forcing you to buy?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    @2 Cool for 2006 RPG? Is that was your first RPG? Wow…
    In 2006 there was already CRYSIS.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. UuBuU

    @3 – See here’s the thing, Crysis is a crappy fps game that’s main angle is graphics. Elder scrolls games are nonlinear. That means they have vast, open worlds that can be explored from one end to another without loading screens when you enter a new area. By 2006/earlier standards, the downside to this type of game was always distant views. Eventually you’re going to reach a high summit and receive a not so flattering view as the one you have linked. This is something that will be remedied to some extent in Skyrim, however I sense your kind of game is more one that looks flawless, but at the price of loadscreens when entering different parts of the map, limited access ie. climbing hills etc (you go only where the game tells you you can go)etc etc. I dislike such features which in my opinion belong more in console action games than PC rpgs, but I guess people like different things.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    “That means they have vast, open worlds ”

    Crysis also have open world environment that is so called Sandbox.

    “without loading screens when you enter a new area.”

    Aahaha… Joking right? We don’t remember loading screens in the cities ? :D or buildings?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. UuBuU

    @5 – Crysis had a tiny map.

    And few second loading screens when going through a door are hardly anything at all. I’m talking about area-based loading screens, like when you want to go to a new region on the map. This is a common feature of many action RPGs out at the moment, and I hate it. It’s the reason why companies like Bethesda and Rockstar will ALWAYS make better games than companies like Lionhead, etc.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    I… have to admit, I’m with Erth on this one, but not entirely for the same reason. It’s just that Oblivion wasn’t a very interesting game. It was nowhere near as aesthetically interesting as Morrowind. And it looks like Skyrim is making the same mistake.

    It’s not about graphics capabilities, it’s about art direction, and the art direction of Skyrim looks dull, trite, and unimaginative. It’s the detritus of imagination. ‘Epic reality?’ Really Beth?

    Let me show you what I mean…

    Morrowind Example

    Exotic, exciting, adventurous, mysterious, bizarre, and strange. Those are the things that pop into mind when I remember the grown mushroom cities of the elves, the tunnels of the dwarves, and all the sights I saw.

    Oblivion Example

    Pretty as an incredibly boring picture. This describes the entire game. Go to place A, hit B, go to place C. All in the most unimaginatively idyllic environment imaginable.

    I long for the Bethesda who put together Morrowind. If I could have that Bethesda back, perhaps with them taught a thing or two about how to create a game with choices by Obsidian, then I would be a very happy man.

    But Skyrim looks as pretty as a rather boring picture.

    Oblivion II, then. Updated graphics? Yes. The most unimaginative and passionless art direction ever? Yes.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. UuBuU

    @7 – The differences in “art” and landscape in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim aren’t so much down to the designers as they are to lore. Morrowind is always going to be a strange realm compared to the Imperial Cyrodiil. Some liked that strangeness, others prefer the familiar medieval theme of Cyrodiil. Either way, it would be boring if they just recreated the same Morrowind style over and over again for each province.

    Besides, if you watch the video that this topic is concerning, they clearly say that Skyrim won’t be as standard/typical of European fantasy as Oblivion was.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Blerk

    The Shivering Isles add-on for Oblivion was much more artistically diverse. The main game looked really nice a lot of the time but it did tend to get rather samey. I’d like to see greater architectural differences between areas in the new game.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. RoyBrown


    Your a troll and a fuckin tard.

    I have used and modded in the CryEngine 2 extensively.

    Crysis maps can only be 8km square max, but no computers can even run that, Crysis has a ram leak where the editor crashes every 30 minutes, still never fixed. The largest maps you see in the game are 2km, beyond that is a skybox and hardware instanced water(repeated). You dont even see the full 2km, and its not even all used, over the other side of the hill is an empty height map with the default low res texture on it.

    Oblivion has an overworld thats 16 square miles, and has no load times, assuming you dont go in a cave or a city.

    What Oblivion does is impressive.

    Crysis is a tech demo.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. naffgeek

    Not sure how anyone can slag Skyrim yet when we haven’t seen anything of it, except a few pics.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. mightyhokie

    I don’t know why I’m commenting on this because I have found that arguing with trolls is a stupid and pointless task. However, as a fan of Bethesda as well as someone who played Oblivion for over 250 hours, I must speak up.

    It is easy as pie for someone to shoot down Skyrim, especially when that person has never so much as created a single thing that even 5 people would spend $1 much less millions spending $60. So coming from that point of view, people who throw stones on these forums are generally jealous idiots. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach tell everyone just how much better they would have done it had they had the ability, brains, money, and motivation.

    UubuU :: 100% correct. When Oblivion (developed BEFORE the final specs on the 360, btw) first came out I remember seeing it demoed at the store and when you first come out of that cave and see the landscape for the first time…I gasped. It was breathtaking and incredible. Looking back at video games 5 years later is unfair at best. At the time Diablo came out it was incredible looking..but by today’s standards not so much. At the time it came out, Oblivion was a technical marvel on consoles, and the graphics were jaw dropping. Crysis was beautiful, but I specifically remember people complaining that you had to spend $2000 dollars to upgrade a PC to even run the damn thing. UubuU you are trying to hold a conversation using logic with someone who just wants to throw stones.

    naffgeek :: i agree 100%. the game looks incredible. Bethesda has a history of making great games that people spend hundreds of hours playing. But i’m sure this one will be terrible. Maybe Erthazus should go to Maryland and teach those doctors who made a billion dollar business from scratch a thing or two.

    #12 3 years ago

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