Why its okay if Fallout 4 looks like Fallout 3

The post apocalyptic future isn't pretty but it probably has a great story.

Let me just start off by saying, Fallout is my jamJam and toast. I've played since the original Fallout was a $10 bargain PC game. So, naturally, I am here to defend it. Recently, Fallout 4 has come under some scrutiny because of the Gamescom gameplay trailer.

Some of the criticisms say that it looks like Fallout 3 dragged some in-game objects over to Fallout 4, close-ups of NPCs look rough, and facial expressions lack realism. All of these things may end up being true. However, the series has always recycled past game objects, textures, and landscapes. Not only did Fallout and Fallout 2 look almost identical, the new gen games look very similar as well. The most dramatic change between the two is just their place from the once lush D.C to the always barren Mojave. 

But graphics aren't why we play Fallout

Honestly, it's not even the main bullet point goal of "find a G.E.C.K." Fallout 2 and Fallout 3 had this same end goal. What makes a Fallout game a Fallout game is the lore, the journey, and the immersion. That's why the replay value is so high; you just know you haven't seen everything or met everyone who might have a problem.

After 400 hours in both 3 and New Vegas, I don't open metal boxes or desks anymore searching for loot. I'm looking for a side quest I may have missed, reading dossiers about NCR rations, or taking in the wasteland and contemplating how the hell it got to this. 

I understand that graphics affect immersion. The smoother and more realistic the graphics are, the better the experience most players will have. However, I'm willing to sacrifice amazing graphics for an even more amazing story and mechanics that Bethesda has always delivered. In the end, I'll remember the story more. 

Fallout is a war game. The post-apocalyptic future isn't pretty, but it is exciting and engaging. That's what keeps us coming back.

Published Aug. 6th 2015
View Comments
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Totally in agreement. I'd much rather next-gen gameplay and next-gen mechanics and next-gen storytelling over next-gen graphics any day of the week.

    Too many people pigeonhole technological advancement to mean mere graphical updates - it can get frustrating.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Gameplay should always take precedence over bleeding-edge graphics. However, the game looks marginally better than Fallout 3, which was released in 2008. I don't think it is too unreasonable to have expected Bethesda to have invested more "oomph" in the graphics and art design. Like always though, wait until release to judge.

    I gotta gripe though. Bethesda and "amazing story" do not really go hand-in-hand.
  • Oh god
    The graphics look great, and I'm not exactly sure why this is even an issue.
  • katlaborde
    Featured Contributor
    Great article! I think you made some really great points about the series. Personally, I don't place too much concern on graphics. My only concern about the game is if I will have enough time to play it during my final semester of school and work.
  • Chelsea Senecal
    Featured Contributor
    I know! That's the real challenge!

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