Bethesda CEO Todd Howard on Skyrim: “The PC Version Looks Better”

PC gamers feverishly augmenting their rigs to keep up with this fall’s slate of AAA titles will be pleased to hear that Skyrim “has higher textures…much higher resolution and a lot more graphic features.” according to a recent interview between the Bethesda boss and AusGamers. Due to logistical concerns, recent public demos of the game have run on the Xbox 360, but Howard is keen to reassure his GPU-hoarding public that their version of Skyrim will significantly outstrip that of their console cousins.

Bethesda have been hard at work on their follow-up to Oblivion for a while now, starting with the new Creation Engine. Instead of building a new engine from the ground up, the company’s coders began by re-writing various pieces of their old Gamebryo engine as needed. Eventually, they realized that the end product was different enough to be worthy of its own name. Regardless of the process, our early impressions of Skyrim at E3 suggest some spectacular results.

Questing is one of the new game’s many strengths; a new “Radiant Story” system will change quest structure to tailor the experience to each player. Inspired, as Howard explained, by the Fallout 3 random event system, the game will parse information about recent player behavior, making alterations as needed. If you haven’t fought a particular enemy type in a while, for example, Skyrim’s Radiant Story can re-work a quest to ensure that you do.

The rest of the interview contained more good news for PC users. Full mod support will return (via download), which was sort of a no-brainer — Oblivion was one of the most heavily modded games of all time. So much so, in fact, that Skyrim’s designers actually incorporated some of the most popular changes into the new game. As Howard explains, “someone made a mod that made the bows a lot more powerful, but you couldn’t shoot them as fast…they just felt better and you felt more powerful…that was one of the things where we said ‘oh, we need to do that in Skyrim; it needs to work like this.’”

In keeping with the Fallout 3 tradition, the game will also include post-release DLC, though probably not on the scale of the company’s post-apocalyptic romp. The ending will be more carefully crafted, allowing players to experience downloaded content without reverting to an old save. The DLC packs will be fewer, but longer.

So far, the news about Skyrim has been all to the good. Stay tuned to GameFront for all the details as they become available, and check out the embedded trailer below. Or, if you prefer download an HD copy for yourself.

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5 Comments on Bethesda CEO Todd Howard on Skyrim: “The PC Version Looks Better”


On June 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Thank god they are bringing the mod tools.

Was kinda worried this was going to be a Oblivion TC for console kiddies who can never experience a fully modded Oblivion.


On June 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Console fan boys eat you read it here the PC version will look better BOOYAH!


On June 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I meant to say eat your hearts out!


On June 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I thought they were using a totally new engine.

I liked the Gamebyro engine, but it obviously had its flaws, namely instability when heavily modding your game.

And a lot of those problems lasted, thru Morrowind and Oblivion, and into both Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

If they are rebuilding the engine this much, hopefully they fixed the old instability gremlins hiding in the old code.


On August 19, 2011 at 11:16 am

Three things to make awesome into perfect:
1) Staff combat. Can we hit things with our staffs?
2) Detail. Can you add scratches on your character from battle and dents on your swords and armour from battle?
3) Horse combat. Not to the extent of Assassins Creed, but like casting “on self” spells on a horse.