TESV: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls games have always been the calling for RPG-lovers worldwide. With their sprawling worlds, goblins, monsters, and trolls, the “TES” universe was a place where people can let their imaginations run wild. However, it wasn’t until the release of the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, that many non-RPG fanatics got into the franchise. It was no coincidence that more than 3 million copies of the game sold within the first week! Skyrim’s biggest attraction, its world, speaks to each gamer’s adventurous side. There are so many place to go, many others to see and explore that Skyrim seems like an endless universe in and of itself. With a strong historical narrative, Skyrim sticks to its true TES roots in its story and gameplay but allows newcomers to feel at home in the labyrinthine world. Yet, the greatest aspect of Skyrim, especially on the PC version, is the modding community that transforms the game quite dramatically quite analogous to what the GTA IV community did for that game.



The game itself is an enrapturing adventure in the fantasy world of Skyrim; a vast mythical world with strange beasts, people, and of course, dragons. Skyrim is the latest in the series known as The Elder Scrolls, or TES for short. It is undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series simply because of the sheer size of the ‘world’ that the brains at Bethesda Softworks in Marlyand have created. The level of detail, variety, and complexity of the landscape of Skyrim is simply a marvel to behold. Apart from the sheer magnitude of the world in Skyrim, the amount of gameplay variety is in and of itself something to admire. The side quests, treasure hunts, guild quests etc. are sure to keep one busy for weeks on end. Skyrim was touted as a ‘game that never ends’ by some due to the number of things one can do in the game. After choosing a particular ‘race’, one can acquire skills, gold, weapons, armor, and various other items in Skyrim that defies any narrow definition.


Skyrim is ultimately a fantasy RPG game for those who love open world exploration and character development (in terms of skills etc.). Its main storyline is riveting enough for one to stay focused but if one wishes so, one can wander around Skyrim without touching the main quest for days on end. The choice is in the hands of the gamer and that is what makes Skyrim really stand apart from all the other RPG games out there. Perhaps one of the more subtle but most powerful aspects of the game is the score. Jeremy Soule, who composed the music for Skyrim, has really set the benchmark in video game scoring. The nostalgic Celtic music to the raging emotions of a dragon attack are supremely executed by him and his team. It is so captivating in fact, that we have the Skyrim soundtrack on our iPods and listen to it when we are not playing the game! I think that is a first for us at Thirty Inch Reviews!



On one 30″ monitor, Skyrim is simply spectacular. Of course, with all the latest updates applied, the game looks gorgeous and plays smoothly. However, we at Thirty Inch Reviews are never satisfied with the ‘factory version’ of any game if we can help it. And that is what makes Skyrim such an awesome game! The modding community for this game is just jaw-droppingly sweet! Developers around the world have shown off their skills in making various kinds of armor, weapons, and other items enhancing the main game to look even better than factory! One of the premier mods of Skyrim is ENB, created by the Russian maestro Boris Voronstrov. His ENB series for the game just transform it into something that even Bethesda were unable to do; make the game utterly captivating visually. With the ENB mod as well as about 30 – 35 other mods, we played the hell out of Skyrim and made several tweaks to the configuration files to really make the game shine. By increasing the uGrids to ’9′, setting the ENB ambient occlusion to “on” and having the Anisotropic Filter set to x16, the game is stunning. With all the mods and the ENB running, the Uber Rig was able to keep the game running at a solid 60 – 65 FPS on one 30″ monitor. Take a peek at the gallery below and grab some wallpapers for your desktop!


nVidia Surround:


At Thirty Inch Reviews, getting Skyrim to run properly at 8100×1600 or 7680×1600 proved to be a waste of time. Without using the ENB mod, running everything maxed out and using the FXAA Injector (pre-configured), the game ran at around 25 – 30 FPS which was just terrible IOO (In Our Opinion). The side monitors stretched the image and the FoV (field of view) was never right and the stuttering was horrendous. Running more than 30 mods with all the graphics turned up (especially with the uGrids = 9) tested the Uber Rig and brought along with it a miserable experience. Hence, we decided to stick to single monitor gaming for Skyrim. Using some hack to fix the menus and the FoV was not worth our trouble and quite honestly, one would think that in 2011 (now 2013), companies would support Surround/Eyefinity configurations from the factory! Unfortunately, Bethesda had a lapse of common sense and didn’t do so which only caused misery as far as Surround gaming in Skyrim was concerned.



When the Dell U3011 monitors are in Portrait mode, as this how our setup is nowadays, many of the previously unplayable games (like GTA IV) in Surround now work fantastically well! TESV Skyrim is no exception! With so many new mods, ENB profiles, and configurations out there, we gave Skyrim another whirl in Surround and to our amazement, everything worked perfectly and looked even better.


Using the same Redguard character, now at an impressive Level 81, we rampaged through several areas of the Skyrim world. The game, with uGrids = 9, all the settings turned to Ultra, and running Unreal Cinema ENB (0.139 DLL), we were able to get around 55 FPS on average (45 – 60). Most of the areas were smooth although there is still some stuttering from time to time. Yet, Skyrim looks gorgeous with ENB and a ton of texture mods (among many others)! If you have a Surround/Eyefinity setup, especially in Portrait orientation, give Skyrim another chance and have some fun with it.

Here we are battling baddies in the world of Skyrim:


Skryim is a must have for any gaming enthusiast. Whether you like RPGs or not, Skyrim is a game you must at least try at your friend’s place to experience the fantasy world of dragons, khajits, and brass machines. Its incredible level of detail, vastness, and musical score transport the gamer into that world. If you aren’t enjoying school too much, Skyrim is a great place to take a vacation! Slashing dragons with one hand while casting spells with another to ward off those annoying Forsworn marauders is an experience that can hardly be replicated with words. Once more into the world of Skyrim dear friends…! Wait, I swear Shakespeare himself wrote that!





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