Personally I think they look much meaner and dirtier now... Much more what you would expect from a violent and dangerous place!
Oh, and what do you guys think about this?
For the time-poor, such an addictive and potentially confusing game can seem intimidating, which explains Bethesda's decision to make Skyrim much more accessible and user-friendly. Not dumbeddown, just focused, elegant. Anyone who sits outside the 'hardcore' crowd would be forgiven for stumbling out of Oblivion's opening sewer section, taking one look at the vast world map and the rather brown menu system, and just giving up.That's why those fusty old menus have been replaced with easy to navigate, cool-coloured, Apple-inspired interfaces - it's like managing your character via an iPhone as opposed to a weighty old hardback of Oblivion. Your core stats appear as a star chart, you can flick through kit, rotate and examine every item you've picked up - it just feels good.
I'll be honest, when I read that I groaned... WHY does everything these days seem to be i-inspired? Anyway, the full article I got that from is actually a very good read and just about made me cry with anticipation :