The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition vs Vanilla Graphics Comparison

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has released a new article that compares the footage and screenshots released so far for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition with the vanilla release for PC. As far as I can tell, the differences aren't massive, but the new lighting effects and assets do mark an improvement over the 2011 original. An excerpt:

In terms of image quality, all these shots come in at 1920x1080, as backed by FXAA. Shader effects are reworked for water and snow-capped surfaces too, and it's here we see a more substantive change than the regular textures shown so far. Icy surfaces are inflected by a sparkle - a reflective quality missing from the original release's flatter normal maps. It's also in Skyrim's frostier areas that the addition of volumetric fog is most obvious, used to great effect here by creating a sense of rising condensation in the air.

The trailer also boasts new screen-space reflections for this special edition, but this isn't a massive visual boost per se. In fact, the current PC version already has reflections on floors and walls at the same quality, with light-emitting spells mirrored on most surfaces. The only change is a subtle lens flare effect that plays across light points, something that's missing outright from the original game. Of course, a similar effect can be achieved on PC already - alongside many of the Special Edition enhancements we've mentioned- with ENB mods widely available online.