October 26, 2021

Xbox One X

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Skyrim on Xbox One X gets the job done – but we expected more

2 min read
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We’ve already looked at the Fallout 4 patch for Xbox One X, and the impression there is that although massively improved over the turn-out on base console, perhaps the visual sliders were pushed up a little too high, resulting in some issues with performance. Now the verdict is in on Bethesda’s companion Skyrim release – and the end result is essentially the opposite: the consistent frame-rate is admirable, and the developer is willing to be flexible on resolution to get there.

If there’s a surprise with this patch, it’s that Skyrim Special Edition patch for Xbox One X looks essentially identical to the existing PlayStation 4 Pro game, which already delivers a native 4K presentation. The same TAA solution is in place too, smoothing off edges, and reducing flicker on sub-pixel elements like foliage. The overall impression is detail-rich and very attractive overall, but it is essentially a 4K version of the existing console game, further bolstered – just a touch – by the inclusion of tweaks to draw distance, which can see vegetation elements pushed further out into the background.

But if you’re looking for further visual enhancements, Skyrim on Xbox One X offers very little. Side-by-side with PS4 Pro, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference and while some elements like shadow quality could possibly be improved with higher level presets imported from the PC game, that’s not on the table here. All we could spot in terms of further visual tweaks comes down to a shift in ambient occlusion, which seems to get a subtle upgrade in terms of additional shadowing in the nooks and crannies.

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