The news that we were getting an upgraded version of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim wasn’t quite as exciting for PC users as it was for those who primarily play on consoles. On the PC we could already suitably upgrade the assets and lighting to make it far better than it was. And it was already a good-looking game. The land vast, detailed and felt nearly alive. Bethesda outdid itself. The story was the main focus, not the graphics, though the pretty face helped to push Skyrim into being one of the best games around. Ever. With player-created content and mods, now on consoles too, you can get lost almost literally forever. And now it looks even better.

Skyrim Special Edition

Skyrim SE is fairly well optimized for everything

But what have they done to the creation engine? Underneath they’ve added a new framework for physical-based rendering, improved dynamic volumetric lighting by a few orders of magnitude, increased the texture size (you can still find better texture packs through mods), added in screen-space reflections, updated and improved some of the models and added quite a bit more official content. The engine improvements aren’t drastic compared to the original PC version, though the lighting is indeed much better than before.

Theoretically, then, the special edition of Skyrim with all the enhancements should also be a bit more demanding than the normal edition. Perhaps even more so than the upgraded, modded editions you may also be running. Let’s take a look.