Fans fall out with Fallout’s graphics

Fallout 4’s recent trailer has caused some fall-outs with the fandom. The series adopts a graphic ability vastly overshadowed by recent triple-A titles such as the Witcher 3, released by CD Projekt RED. As such, many gamers wonder why it couldn’t match the Witcher’s graphical prowess.

A viewing of the trailer presents clips entirely filmed in-game. Eagled-eyed viewings reveal jagged lines and flattened textures around character models; perhaps notably, the dog at the beginning.

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Screenshot taken from Fallout 4 trailer; owned by Bethesda.

The flat texturing has been labelled “low-res” by many gaming aficionados, and questions arise as to why Bethesda hasn’t invested in better graphics.

Fallout’s Reddit forum sparked discussion about the game’s graphical ability. Assuming defensive positions, many Redditors believe that the game’s lack of aesthetic quality is a result of the expansive land it boasts – allegedly double the size of Bethesda’s most recent hit, Skyrim, according to The Vault Tec Inc. website.

The same source dares to speculate that the world might even be three times bigger than Skyrim. With such a sizeable trade-off, can Bethesda be forgiven for sacrificing graphics in lieu of better gameplay?

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Screenshot taken from Fallout 4 trailer; owned by Bethesda

Perhaps a more believable idea is down to compatibility. Being a cross-platform release – PC, PS4, and Xbox One – the game might ideally cater to a similar aesthetic quality between all of its supported platforms.

One redditor named nickpettit speculates that the Fallout 4 team attempted, but never completed, a new texturing technique called PBR. Time constraints got the better of them, however, and resulted in the final graphics witnessed in the trailer.

The Tech Times takes a disappointed stance, calling the graphics “underwhelming, as if an Xbox 360 game”. They argue that PC gaming, accompanied by the new-gen consoles, is entirely capable of supporting the high-res graphics that the Witcher 3 managed to pull off so well. If the technology is there, why not work with it? In the case of a triple-A developer like Bethesda, gamers could expect more emphasis on graphics.

Pete Hines, Vice President of Bethesda, tweeted in response to comments claiming it “looks bad” with the following: “I’m not spending any time or energy caring what they think. [ref.]” Additionally, he went on to say, “Game looks amazing. I don’t know what [graphic critics are] looking at. [ref.]” In other words: ‘haters gunna hate.’

A much generalized overview of the situation separates the aesthetically-hungry from the gameplay-centred players. Public opinion seems to favour the enhanced gameplay over the pretty-looking graphics, notably giving credit to the bright colour scheme – a departure from the drab brown hue of the previous post-apocalyptic adventure.

However, some gamers are understandably upset; lively graphics from a triple-A title could be considered a prerequisite in this modern age of gaming. One thing is for sure, though; these graphics are likely here to stay, perhaps until the next modding revolution.

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