Elder Scrolls 6: Creation Engine 2 Needs Full Graphical Overhaul

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Bethesda Can't Release Another Outdated Game!

Story Highlight
  • Starfield’s graphics and presentation, in general, were a complete letdown.
  • Bethesda is sticking to the same Creation Engine for The Elder Scrolls 6, but the team needs to make key changes to its technology.
  • The Elder Scrolls 6 cannot afford to be one step behind the industry in its presentation.

The buzz surrounding Starfield appears to have died down as fast as it was built up before release. While the game was greeted by millions at launch, the recent consensus suggests that most find it mediocre at best.

One major point of contention with this release is the fact that it feels like a remnant of a different era. While most AAA studios broke new ground during the last and current generations, Bethesda seems stuck in the past.

Its reliance on the age-old Creation Engine can be considered part of these dated elements, but the studio has confirmed the same technology’s return for The Elder Scrolls 6, currently in early development.

In my opinion, this is not entirely bad, but the team needs to overhaul its engine in multiple ways for this RPG, with the presentation being a priority.

Why it matters: Modern AAA games have not evolved much in terms of core gameplay and systems over the last decade, so presentation is the key area where developers can flex their talents and expertise.

Starfield
Starfield Features 1000 Planets

Starfield’s Presentation Is Completely Outdated

When playing Starfield, it is easy to be taken aback by the lack of modern elements.

The lack of expressive character animation during conversations, an open world broken into chunks by constant loading screens, and the woefully outdated visuals reminded me of games I would have played on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

These glaring weaknesses are even more obvious when comparing Starfield to modern RPGs like Cyberpunk 2077. While Bethesda has never been the leader in terms of presentation, its inability to evolve has allowed most of the industry to establish a massive lead.

The fact that interacting with NPCs in a modern AAA game from 2023 shifts to a perspective reminiscent of The Elder Scrolls Oblivion does not fill me with a lot of confidence for The Elder Scrolls 6.

YouTube video

I hope Starfield will be a wake-up call this studio sorely needs. Audiences have been vocal about their dislike for the dated parts of the RPG, and a former Bethesda developer has even called the engine crap.

However, with the Creation Engine enabling unique physics-based interactions, Bethesda’s decision to update the technology instead of changing it may be a wise one.

For the Elder Scrolls 6, this means Creation Engine 2 needs more than just a facelift. Retaining its core strength, this team needs to take the next big leap in its technology.

A Bold Step For Bethesda & Elder Scrolls 6

Presentation needs to be a major focus for The Elder Scrolls 6. While Starfield has impacted the excitement around this RPG, the Elder Scrolls name still holds incredible value, making it essential for Bethesda to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

The Elder Scrolls 6 is still many years away, giving the team ample time to work on improvements. For starters, Bethesda desperately needs to do away with the same old camera and dialogue delivery of its past titles.

NPCs need to be more expressive and filled with personality. This would require improved character models and animation quality, potentially through a bigger focus on motion-captured performances.

While Bethesda was unable to use ray tracing in Starfield, this is another technology that should absolutely be part of The Elder Scrolls 6. Whether it be for the lighting or shadows, a proper ray tracing implementation would immediately make this RPG more immersive than past Bethesda titles.

Since Skyrim is often among the games that come to mind when thinking of open-world RPGs, The Elder Scrolls 6 also needs to knock this aspect out of the park, leaving behind the loading screens.

With fast SSDs becoming the norm, there is no longer an excuse for constant loading screens. Bethesda’s Creation Engine 2 needs to mask loading screens better, adding to the illusion of a fully open world at a minimum.

Overall, I remain cautiously optimistic for The Elder Scrolls 6. Bethesda’s willingness to support Starfield with optimizations, bug fixes, and technologies like FSR 3 shows that the team is still striving for betterment.

The team has even improved graphics to an extent. With consistent improvements, these updates could become the building blocks for the major enhancements I long to see in The Elder Scrolls 6.

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