When Skyrim released we said, "Yeah, it looks pretty, but just wait until the modders get to it." A Reddit post (opens in new tab) this morning reminded us to check and, yep, they got to it. A blogger going by Unreal has been posting Dead End Thrills-like (opens in new tab) screenshots from a Skyrim world augmented by up to 100 mods at a time, and oh man, Bob Ross would have approved, rest his soul.
Unreal has "around 800" mods installed, but only uses varying combinations of 100 of them to produce these screenshots. If you want to achieve similar results, Unreal's FAQ (opens in new tab) points landscape lovers to the Skyrim Total Enhancement Project (opens in new tab) and lists a sampling of the "more than 300 mods" tested. That beautifully lush grass is "a WIP mod so there's no download link," but others work in its place.
Keep in mind that when that grass fills the screen Unreal reports framerates as low as 5 fps, so super-modded Skyrim isn't always playable. But think of it as a preview of the near-future: new hardware and engines should be able to render equally detailed worlds at 60 fps, at least if those worlds are created by PC-focused developers. And even without the grass, the screenshots are beautiful, and Unreal boasts 40-60 fps with an overclocked Core i5-2500k and GeForce GTX 670.
We've posted a few more screens below, but see all the Skyrim magic at Unreal's blog, A State of Trance (opens in new tab) , and check out our 25 favorite Skyrim mods (opens in new tab) for another resource.