Zack Snyder’s 300 gets a Skyrim facelift

zack snyders 300 gets a skyrim facelift

Since the halcyon days of the first Quake, fans have been making movies within the familiar, easy-to-use confines of gaming’s most popular 3D engines. As it takes decades of work and millions of dollars to make a real feature film, budding auteurs are turning to these simple yet surprisingly powerful tools to make their cinematic visions a reality. Or, in the case of today’s video, fans are employing these engines in an effort to recreate other people’s celluloid efforts.

Specifically, Zack Snyder’s 300. The heavily computer generated 2006 film tells the story of the 300 Spartan warriors who held off a massive Persian invasion force at Thermopylae. Well, to be more accurate, it tells the gently fictionalized version of that story created by comic book scribe Frank Miller for his 1998 graphic novel. Fans of the comic will tell you that what Miller’s tale lacks in historical authenticity, it more than makes up for in wildly over-the-top, theatrical violence and affectionate, totally macho homoeroticism, and Snyder’s film took these ideas and ran with them, resulting in a movie that’s quite an accurate account of its source material, as well as hyperkinetic, graphically violent and full of half-naked, muscular dudes.

To accomplish this, Snyder’s production team relied heavily on blue screen technology and computer generated graphics. This abundance of CGI gives the film an otherworldly appearance, like a video game painted entirely in shades of sandy brown. Thus, it should come as no surprise that someone would see Snyder’s film and decide that they could do just as well with readily available gaming technology.

The clip you see below was created by YouTube user “Tyrannicon.” Instead of attempting to recreate the entirety of Snyder’s film, Tyrannicon took the best bits (i.e., the battles), dropped them into the engine behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and published the results to the ‘net. Surprisingly, he managed to hit all the key notes featured in his source material. Blood splatters linger on the virtual camera lense, heads are hacked off with aplomb and every few moments the entire thing will either slow down or speed up, depending entirely on the Ritalin-fueled whims of its creator.

The end result is very watchable, even if it lacks a solid semblance of a plot. Though the Skyrim engine wasn’t initially built with massive pitched battles in mind, with a bit of tweaking and a powerful computer Tyrannicon is able to not just film scenes featuring dozens of characters on screen simultaneously, he is also able to zoom in, pan and twirl around the chaotic action without any noticeable framerate dips. The use of audio samples directly from the film is slightly distracting, given the quality difference between these clips and the engine they’re being mashed into, but once you realize that the video is primarily meant to depict over-the-top, historically questionable battles, your brain can comfortably power down and enjoy the pretty visuals.

Oh, and to whoever posts the first “This is Sparta!” joke in the comments: Good job. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t totally original and hilarious.


Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with these 12 romantic video games

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we take a look at games that offer heartfelt romances. From the Mass Effect series to Stardew Valley, each of these romantic video games offers a layered depiction of love and relationships.

Take some time to reminisce with the 25 best Sega Genesis games of all time

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?