In arguably the biggest thing to happen to gaming in 2015, Fallout 4 was finally announced earlier this week much to the huge excitement of many gamers.

Despite the fact that the three minute trailer is absolutely splendid, showcasing in-game footage as well as hinting at one or two other things, some people will always find something to complain about. Rather than being relieved that Fallout 4 is actually going to be playable in the near future or giggling with glee at the fact that it looks fantastic, a select few have been complaining about, you guessed it, the graphics.

In short, it’s a joke and the complaints are extremely pointless. Take no note of them.

The lighting looks superb in Fallout 4.

This week – much like many fellow Fallout fans, no doubt – I have been playing Fallout 3. Much like the announcement of XCOM 2 earlier this week put me in the mood to revisit Enemy Unknown, the Fallout 4 reveal got me so psyched that I simply had to start up Fallout 3 one more time. For the record, I have never finished Fallout 3 or New Vegas, despite owning and playing both. Now that Fallout 4 is definitely on its way, I have set myself the goal of seeing them both through to their conclusion.

Anyway, the point is, playing Fallout 3 remains an extremely enjoyable experience. It’s testament to Bethesda that the near-eight year old game holds up as well as it does. The game is incredibly fun to play but many criticised it, and rightly so, for its fairly drab color palette. The Wasteland in Fallout 3 is filled with browns and greys and whilst these do help to create a distinct atmosphere and tone, they’re not particularly pleasurable to look at. Nevertheless, the lighting is still impressive and the visual spectacle and draw distance for a game from 2008 cannot be ignored.

For reference, this is what 2008’s Fallout 3 looks like.

Alas, Fallout 4 appears to be a massive improvement in terms of the art style. Fallout 4’s trailer focuses on color-filled areas and locations, almost reminiscent of Destiny. The primary colors such as the beautiful blue of the sky create a Boston that looks incredibly attractive, despite it being fairly run down due to the nature of Fallout. Someone pointed out that it shares similarities with Bioshock Infinite, at least visually, and that can only be a good thing. Frankly, Fallout 4 looks like a game that I really want to run around in, picking up quests and seeing all there is to see. One of the images from the trailer is so pretty that it has now found itself as my desktop wallpaper.

So why are people still complaining about Fallout 4’s graphics? I’m not going to claim that Fallout 4 is the best looking game ever made because judging by the trailer, it’s not going to be, but since when did Fallout games have to be the visual benchmark for a console generation?

I could talk about how pretty Fallout 4 looks for hours, but the reason we’re all going to be playing the RPG, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, is because the Fallout games are just so damn fun to play. The fact is, Fallout 3 isn’t a very pretty game but it doesn’t matter. It’s so much fun to play and that’s what counts. This brings us on to the age-old debate of whether or not graphics more important than gameplay, but ultimately, anyone who thinks that they are, especially in a Fallout game, is quite frankly deluded. Some people expected Fallout 4 to be the pinnacle of gaming visuals because they’ve had eight years to make it, but Skyrim never set the benchmark and nor will this because it’s not supposed to.

Anyone else getting a Los Santos vibe from the buildings in the background?

Moreover, many have rightly pointed out that some people just won’t be satisfied regardless. The worrying thing is, not all of the people who complain about the graphics are just trolls – they are people who genuinely believe that the graphics are a problem. See the Tech Times’ “Fallout 4 Graphics Look Underwhelming Compared With The Witcher 3” for evidence of this idiocy. I recently wrote a piece on visual downgrades and whether or not we should accept them, as well as how CD Projekt RED sees them as an “inevitable” part of games development. What you must understand here is that Bethesda has not shown off the best-looking game of all time in its first Fallout 4 trailer, rather, it has opted to be honest and to show what the game will actually look like when we get our hands on it (and more gameplay is expected to be shown at E3). Would you rather we were shown a product that won’t exist like most game trailers insist on doing? No, of course you wouldn’t. It’s refreshing to see a big-budget studio show off a legitimate product.

I feel ashamed in this day and age that I even had to write that last sentence; that in 2015 publishers can’t abide by the Sales of Goods Act by selling a product that matches its description, but we all know that that is a habit many of the biggest studios have unfortunately gotten into.

This is Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Although in Fallout 4, it’s probably not.

Long story short, you can’t have it both ways. Either you’re shown an overwhelmingly good-looking game in initial trailers and then get let down (I’m looking at you Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and just about every other Ubisoft game), or we can be realistic and get excited for a product that will actually live up to its own advertizing. It seems that all too often gamers are not making the smart choice and that needs to change. If you’re one of those unhappy with the way Fallout 4 looks and I haven’t changed your mind, consider this. Nothing is perfect to look at. Not even you. It’s time to get a grip.

  • Tobi Kun

    …as a direct Quote from New Vegas:

    “Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have.”

    – Thomas Hildern

    • Steve Wright

      Hmm. An interesting point.

  • asbofive

    No, the GXF are fine!! Im glad they didnt pad what what was shown, to many devs give us a fake idea of what they have and thats not what Bethesda did, they showed it as it is NOW. They arent trying to hide anything.

    • Steve Wright

      That’s exactly it. Anyone who prefers seeing an amazing trailer and then being let down is deluded.

      • ffaxdavid

        like many i reloaded fallout 3 in anticipation of 4 coming out soon…was abit like a memory of excellent game in the 80’s only to see it in late 90’s and think wtf why did i think this was good at the time? lol…after hour of playing fo3,am now more than ever looking forward to fo4 coz 3 now seems dated,boring graphics that made me not be bothered to re explore the enviroment like i did originaly.
        fo4 is a massive improvement and although not as pretty as some games,i am more than happy with the improvements and cannot wait to play when comes out,as i could not bring myself to look at fo3 for more than an hour with the graphics they had originally,much as i loved them at the time

  • dimka

    What does that have to do with the downgrade? Witcher 3 was downgraded but it still looked awesome. Fallout 4 looks like ass already so the point is moot. Its an ancient engine and considering how much time passed between Vegas and this, its shameful on them to save up on technology by using the same old engine to this day.

    Did you see that dog in the beginning of the trailer? I thought these boxy models were obsolete in 2008. Clearly Bethesda thinks otherwise.

    • Mike Gene Skinner

      It’s not really all that boxy, what I’m happy with is that there animation work is so much better now.

      I re-installed Vegas yesterday to give it a run, it looks horrible compared to this. The animations are running at 10-20 fps very jarring. This looked smooth like the keyframes are actually in place instead of just skipped.

    • JustinConstantino

      you again? you really like to bitch don’t you? it doesn’t look great, but isnt that why you shouldn’t expect it to get worse, cause its not showing fakely amazing graphics that there is no way the will be able to keep if they design for console.

    • Andrew K. Goode

      This is ridiculous. The animations look spectacular. You’d have to be an idiot to think this game looks comparable to the recent titles. You’re all just a bunch of spoiled children. Plus, mods. That’s the solution to any of your complaints. If you felt any disappointment when watching the Fallout 4 trailer, (I personally went ape crap with excitement) then I feel very bad for you. You must never be satisfied.

    • Iconoclasm_

      Frankly I’m glad they spend those 4 years of development working probably on gameplay and the environment and NOT on graphics and optimization. It’s easy to have a game look shiny and pretty when it’s a series of linear hallways like The Order: 1886, much less so when it is a massive open sandbox like Fallout.

      • Devon Brown

        Damn ot you deserve a beer

    • WarNerve

      The dog is the only thing I take issue with. The game certainly does not “look like ass”. The game looks beautiful.

  • Dual

    I swore I wouldn’t participate in the ongoing graphics debate but I’m about to break my own vows. This article has got to be one of the most arrogant and patronizing pieces of ‘journalism’ I have ever had the misfortune of reading. I count myself amongst those unsatisfied with the graphics. No, I did not expect FO4 to set a new benchmark in graphic fidelity, but is it unreasonable that I’d expect Bethesda to have made slightly more significant improvements to their textures and animations (not even going to get into the writing). That dog practically glided across the room and the people running to the vault could have been former members of the North Korean military for all the uniformity there was in their lockstep movements. Bethesda even acquired mo-cap technology in 2013 from Vicon but as far I can tell they’re using as nothing more than a glorified place to hang all their GOTY awards. You have the audacity to brand those of us with legitimate complaints as ‘idiots’, telling us we should be happy we were shown an honest trailer. Who questioned the ‘insert expletive’ authenticity of the thing, it’s the fact that it’s authentic that concerns us. Should we all just sit here with our hands held out for the great gods of game development to toss us whatever scraps they see fit? We’re paying consumers and we have a right to criticize.

    TLDR: Yes I’m buying the game, no the graphics are not up to snuff, yes the author is an arrogant pissant.

    Bring on the internet hate.

    • dapaintrain

      Yes, yes,and yes to everything you said especially regarding the dog animations.

    • Steve Wright

      To suggest that the author is “an arrogant pissant” shows a great lack of judgement on your part. My job is to argue my opinion and it’s great to have people provide feedback, but at least keep it courteous.

      With that out of the way, it pains me to see you and others complaining so much about the graphics of Fallout 4. Look at the screenshots – the game looks amazing. But that doesn’t matter. That’s just a bonus because you play Fallout 4 for the enjoyable gameplay. Perhaps you’ve been playing it wrong, but Fallout games don’t have to have the best animations in the world. How are you to know that Bethesda haven’t spent the time that they could have spent improving animations on improving the actual gameplay? I don’t think the animations are awfully impressive either but it’s easily overlooked.

      I suggest that until we see some proper gameplay or actually get our hands on the game that people like you stop jumping to conclusions. We don’t even know the release date yet so there could be more development time.

      If you consider commenting again, please do so in a less arrogant manner.

      • Dual

        You call me arrogant but in your article you brand my and others concerns as pointless and idiotic so I’m calling pot and kettle on this one, but in the interest of continuing what I believe to be an important discussion on a franchise that I care about, I’ll own up and apologize so we can start fresh on this.

        Now then, I can understand that you’re upset over the complaints being leveled against the graphics of the game, the same way any fan would be upset when something they’re passionate about is criticized. Let me first say that I don’t have a problem with the artistic style of the Fallout series. Believe me, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have bothered commenting in the first place. I do agree that the environments that we have been shown so far look spot on, with fantastic lighting effects and what appear to be decent draw distances (though this may not be reflective of ingame experiences). However, I do feel justified in calling out outdated textures and historically weak animations that appear to not have been improved much if at all over past iterations of the series. The non human/animal models in the game such as the death claws, ghouls and even the protectron appear to have vastly improved animations, but since these do not exist in the real world, we have nothing to compare them against, unlike humans and dogs which clearly move in an unrealistic manner, weightlessly sliding across the terrain. Sure, Bethesda may have spent all their time improving gameplay, narrative and immersion, and that’s effing fantastic. What really bothers me deep down is how it looks like they spent no time improving what in my opinion were the most glaring issues from Oblivion till Skyrim.

        We don’t have any proper to gameplay to judge, all we have is a handful of screenshots and a 3 minute trailer. And since Bethesda put it out there, they have to be prepared to accept criticism, it’s the nature of the beast. When E3 comes and we hopefully get a better look at gameplay, then we can pick that apart instead, but until then, graphics is all we have to discuss.

        Parting thought: It’s 2015 and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for character models whose hands don’t look like their fingers are glued together.

        and since you appear to have a liking for quotes, here’s a fun one.

        “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle

        • Steve Wright

          Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with anyone criticizing something that I am passionate about if it’s justified. But I think to make such a big deal out of a small thing in an otherwise stellar-looking product is verging on insanity.

          • Rook Stonetower

            I have to say I can see where there are obvious issues with the graphics. I won’t complain about it really, it just leaves me scratching my head. Bethsoft purchased ID for christ’s sake! Aren’t they like, GODS at creating brand new engines that the industry uses for years to come? They are still using the nettlemerse/gamebryo/creation engine that isn’t really keeping up with things. I never cared for its cell based method of handling transitions much but that is just me. Separate from the engine, I have noted that with some of the colors and such MANY things look great! And then…some things suddenly look like plastic! Its like kicking down the 4th wall in a really good movie and suddenly being reminded just how fake something is…yes we know its fake, but its not a good idea to have it obvious in contrast. I HATE the term “stylized art” that devs use to justify low poly count, oversized hands/heads, flat textures and low art budgets. (Yes, I am looking at YOU, world of warcrap).

            But I guess my point is, EVERYONE seems to agree, that Fallout 3 and NV pretty much has awesome fun gameplay and mechanics etc….if that is the case (and I agree it does) Then why are they needing to spend so much effort focusing on that again? I mean, I know they need new content and such that all makes sense. But if their graphics haven’t been a focal point before, and they seemed to hit the nail on the head already to develop working, tried and true mechanics…why then are we giving them a pass for not improving the graphics? Because they are working on gameplay that has already been developed? Everyone is saying the gameplay is good, yourself included Steve Wright…so why are they reinventing the entire wheel to the exclusion of certain areas??

            I would rather play a crappy pixel game with great gameplay than the other way around. But when you get ONE metric where it belongs, is it too much to hope that the other one can follow with it? Again, I am more moderate, and playing devil’s advocate here but before you go and label people as IDIOTS or having idiotic or insane opinions, I think it is just as insane to ignore some obviously valid points. No one likes people being fanboys for fanboys sake just like no one likes someone complaining about things that ultimately are superficial. I think the graphics SHOULD have been better based on bethsoft’s budget and resources which are available to them. I fully EXPECT that they will deliver a game that will cause me to joypuke…so its like having a child…you DO have unconditional love for it regardless because its very likely it will do some pretty amazing things…you just can’t help but feel little pangs of disappointment when they stumble and don’t live up to their FULL potential. I will always push games and companies I care about for more, but I also won’t defecate all over the honest hard work they do to make games that I still love. They CAN be better, admit that….better CAN be done…it doesn’t have to be done, but like all people in all things…we should always aspire to loftier goals and better stations then where we are at. The direction you are headed is more important the the position you are currently in. Bethsoft has MANY resources available to them that most companies do not, I am hoping to see MORE leverage of these resources in the future. Until then, I will be happy with Fallout 4 for what it WILL bring to the table, not what hasn’t moved forward by leaps and bounds.

    • Andrew K. Goode

      You’re either delusional, a troll, or a fool. Either way, Fallout 4 will rock our socks off. Just let it happen. lol

    • Say What!?

      You are right…pissant indeed! By the way Fallout 4 turned out to be a big disappointment for the loyal Fallout PC gamer fans! Bethesda really dropped the ball on this one and made a game for the sheeple. Dumbed it down to the point of ridiculousness. Even the greatness of today’s Modders won’t be able to fix this mess for you Bethesda. Lazy money grabbing mongrel’s!

  • dapaintrain

    It just doesn’t seem like a game I’d expect to see being released this generation. Fallout 3 and nv were never benchmark games either but they looked quite good for 360 and ps3 games when compared to other open world titles.
    However fallout 4 just hasn’t got that wow effect it’s improved but not to the level I’d expect after a hardware jump.

    It looks like the game was intended for previous generation consoles but was so close to the new generation they decided to just port existing work and continue.

    • WarNerve

      I don’t know what you’re looking at. The footage I saw looked great. Aside from the dog,I agree the dog looks like crap.

      • dapaintrain

        Well since its now live I’ve put in about 6 hours since launch day.

        I still stand by my comment it’s not a very good looking game and looks relatively last gen.

        However I can’t put it down its so much fun.

  • Patrick Nguyen

    If I recall, when Fallout 3 came out it had some ass looking graphics; and honestly when it came out it looked fine! Heck people loved the ever living crap out of it. I’m in the same boat with you Steve, have yet to finish playing but I do have it, and am totally willing to go back in. Also for people who still complain, the fact they do means they love the franchise; so they’ll be whining all the way to the store and buying it. Everyone knows it. So oh well!

    • Steve Wright

      Haha that’s a good point Patrick! The fact that I even had to write this article shows just how whiny and nit-picky some people can be, despite the fact that the game will undoubtedly be awesome.

  • Alana Fearnall

    “So why are people still complaining about Fallout 4’s graphics? I’m not
    going to claim that Fallout 4 is the best looking game ever made because
    judging by the trailer, it’s not going to be, but since when did
    Fallout games have to be the visual benchmark for a console generation?”

    I don’t think anyone (in their right mind) ever suggested that Fallout 4 has to be the benchmark for graphics on the new consoles. Fallout 4 was (most likely) in development for the previous consoles and has been ported over rather then building a whole new game. Which, fair enough, I totally understand the reasoning behind this.

    HOWEVER, When a game (I will point out that dingle dang german shepherd yet again) is not moving as smoothly as it would be in a game like Left 4 Dead, even, which came out in 2008, that says a lot about a company. Let me be clear: I would never, ever, suggest that a game should be a visual benchmark for the new consoles.

    But, with more then 5gigs extra in the new consoles though (moving from 512mb to 6gb) I’d expect at least a small upgrade in the graphical capabilities of the new consoles. Which we have yet to see.

    The new consoles were supposed to be something ‘stunning’, and that hasn’t been shown to us yet – one of the biggest arguments for the new consoles was that the developers were ready for new hardware.
    They clearly were not.

    “Would you rather we were shown a product that won’t exist like most game
    trailers insist on doing? No, of course you wouldn’t. It’s refreshing
    to see a big-budget studio show off a legitimate product.”

    The thing is, Steve, is people can’t recognize when they are watching a CG teaser trailer (essentially) or a gameplay trailer. For people to propose that because a company produces a beautiful trailer that the game will be bad, is preposterous.

    Games that get a beautifully done trailer are usually pretty good. I can’t think of a game that had an incredible trailer that I didn’t enjoy. The point of a nice trailer is to get HYPE, not to look at how the graphics will be in the game.
    That is what a gameplay trailer is for.

    great games(or in Dead Island 2, a game I’m expecting to be great), with great trailers(that feature CG), by the way:

    Left 4 Dead
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvOGCZPDv7g

    Dying light
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IM3YE0BZuo

    Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzNs4-kRLaE

    Dead Island:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg

    Dead Island 2:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST262ZbNcos

    I expect Fallout 4 never to live up to the hype that it has built. That being said, the game will receive high review numbers regardless – as people have been waiting too long to give it a bad score. I do, however, expect the company to also have certain standards and provide a good visual experience. That can be a downside to having a game in development for so long. A lot of your argument is based on people not understanding what a CG trailer is for, and QQing over some graphics that, to be honest, aren’t very good.

    Gamers will complain. its our duty. our… call of duty. (hahah, that was way funnier in my head)

    • Iconoclasm_

      What kind of hype have they been building? All they’ve released is a single simple trailer after a countdown. It’s the FANS who have created all the hype because they’ve been waiting a while. It’s not like AC Unity that had massive ad campaigns and pre-order deals to mask and compensate sales-wise for the fact the game was a broken mess.

      • Alana Fearnall

        In the end word of mouth is the most powerful advertisement and way of building hype. Even if the company didn’t do it, its something that they have to face: they have a ton of excitement surrounding this game.

        • Iconoclasm_

          So what you’re saying is that we have to be cautious simply because people are excited about the game. I agree with the wisdom of being suspicious and keeping a level head in the face of an overly-hyped game. However, my point is that most of the hype is Fan-created, so we don’t have to worry about the Company over-hyping its game because they know it’s terrible. The game itself isn’t creating the hype, the fans are, because they knew how excellent the last Fallout was, and are expecting something of similar quality (for this day and age of course). Fallout is a big-budget game. All of that money and resources saved up from Skyrim and Fallout 3 had to go somewhere, and it didn’t go into excessive advertising or top-of-the-line graphics. THAT is what has me hyped for the game. The developers have said this is the most ambitious project they have worked on. Of course that means bugs, but those will be resolved with patches, and honestly it was to be expected in massive open world sandboxes like what Bethesda produces. Of course it isn’t going to FULLY live up to the hype the fans have, but I still expect it to be an amazing game no less, one that will keep me on my PS4 longer that AC Unity and The Order.

          Also:
          “The thing is, Steve, is people can’t recognize when they are watching a CG teaser trailer (essentially) or a gameplay trailer. For people to propose that because a company produces a beautiful trailer that the game will be bad, is preposterous.”

          Have you heard of Assassin’s Creed: Unity? Also, making a beautiful trailer that in the end, doesn’t reflect the product, is just bad business.

          • Alana Fearnall

            Fingers crossed that this game will not be as buggy as pretty much all of Ubisoft’s recent releases, haha.

            I just don’t want to get super excited about a game that I know has been hyped out of proportion. I’m not suggesting (or at least, don’t mean to) Bethesda thinks the game is garbage – I’m doubting most developers actually believe that about a game published that ends up getting poor reviews. They probably think the work they have done is great. After all, it takes them years and years to work on all of it and actually get it ready for release.

            I’m just cautious because the game has been in development for so long. I know that seems a little odd, but when its been, what, 5? years since Fallout 4 started preproduction stages, I don’t think the game will hold up graphic wise. and when it comes to having a goal of realistic graphics – which most games do now – its a little concerning when they don’t look up to par. If I sit down to play a game with realistic graphics, I do want something nice looking. not choppy.

            • Iconoclasm_

              True, but still, weren’t all games in development (at least AAA ones) before the turn of the generation, supposed to be developed for hardware that wasn’t out yet? AC Unity was in development supposedly since AC Brotherhood and the game looked beautiful (buggy as hell and atrocious framerate problems, but still beautiful). I also think that Fallout isn’t going in the direction of super-realism due to it’s premise as a wacky 50s-based post-apocalyptic survival RPG based on the stuff of Mad Max and Farenheit 451. They are leaning on the art-style here, which makes sense, and is generally a wise choice to make a game age well. Something more akin to Bioshock Infinite and Borderlands than Dead Island or the Witcher.

    • WarNerve

      Watch the trailer again. The footage looks beautiful,especially the environment….

  • Danny Marchell

    Personally I would rather be gameplay be awesome, Good value for money & a long playing game. Witcher 3 graphics are really nice but did not take me 3 months to complete including the side missions and ad-ons like Fallout 3 or even fallout vegas. I have played Fallout 3 about 5 times and did not get bored which is why Fallout 4 is something I am really looking forward to.

  • Scott Altic

    I’m glad I’m not alone in the gameplay over graphics camp. Ubisoft is an excellent thing to point out. Devil may cry is another, Heavy Rain, The CoD series. They all look great, they all still have graphical bugs that crop up and because they are so graphic intensive and “pretty” there isn’t much else to them. They also, don’t age well. Go back and play them, they look dated and crappy but boy were they pretty at the time. I hate games that look great and I beat in an afternoon. I also hate easy to beat games that look great, don’t have much content outside DLC and Still have bugs.

    An example: Dragon Age Inquisition, it is supposed to be a AAA title from a big publisher(EA), with NEW and IMPROVED Graphics. The graphics still suck because the game is so demanding it screws up. It is like those Sims games on low end computers, too pretty of graphics seem to break games. Like open worlds, you have to sacrifice something to have those too. And these are supposedly seamless open worlds if fallout 4, that alone would be taxing, we’re lucky it isn’t 8 bit stick figures, lol. And no I am not the “Take whatever a publisher hands you and be happy” type, but try to put your preconceived notions and your lofty and often unattainable expectations aside and see it for what it is: A 100 man small time studio making a triple A title, and they didn’t buy ID, they partnered with them. If they can’t afford the rights to Elvis music, how could they afford new tech/software/programs, seriously ??? 😀

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