Screenshot from outside the Mercy of Stendarr, Charley, Daggerfall.
(Open the picture in a new window for more detail.) Not your grandpa’s Daggerfall: The sky is high-resolution, with birds flying in it. The temple sign is haindpainted in loving detail and does not devolve into blocks when seen fairly close. The house walls are in high resolution, with the house to the left in the background having a whole new texture. The snowy trees have a painted look. The wilderness beyond the village limit is rendered with vegetation and terrain rather than a standard background picture.
After yesterday’s update I downloaded around 3 GB of mods for Daggerfall Unity, most of them high-resolution graphics, but also a couple hundred new quests and the Archaeologist Guild. Yes, a whole new guild for the game, aimed at intelligent characters who don’t use magic or weapons much but prefer to talk their way out of things. Language skills and high intelligence are requisites for advancing in this guild. Unfortunately it is a rival of the Mages Guild, so I haven’t gotten to test it yet. It definitely looks like a guild Language Grrl would have loved, for those who remember her. (OK, that would be deeply disturbing if you did – it’s been around two decades. I barely remember her myself.)
Despite the massive graphics upgrades, the game looks very much like old Daggerfall, just less blocky. The artists are generally very faithful to the original look and atmosphere of the game, and have gone for a “painting” look rather than a “photo” look when adding detail. The result is that if you don’t replace every part of the graphics, the new high-resolution items blend very well with the machine-expanded original sprites.
That said, there are sure to be people who prefer the “old school” graphics. In that case, the graphic mods are not for you. And there are even various degree of “retro” settings in the game for those who want the blocky, low-resolution style. Me, I like it shiny.
I haven’t had time to test out the new quests and the new guild. Maybe I’ll never take the time for that. I know I said that I’d like to play this game for a thousand years, but as my actual years run out, I get a bit more picky. Still, as games go, Daggerfall holds a special place in my heart, so I take some pleasure in seeing people still playing it and expanding on it in 2019.