Fallout 4 May Not Have the Best Graphics, But Here's Why That's OK

"Everything that we do is a balance."

368 Comments

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The Fallout series is not known for having the best graphics, and Fallout 4 will be no different. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, Bethesda marketing executive Pete Hines said today at E3 2015.

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Speaking during a panel presentation attended by GameSpot, Hines said it's not the graphics that set Fallout apart from other role-playing games, but rather its deep level of interactivity.

He said no other RPG today allow players to interact with objects in the world in the way that Fallout does.

The system that allows for this kind of interactivity, along with a new building system for Fallout 4, meant that Bethesda needed to dial things back in the graphics department.

"Everything that we do is a balance," Hines said. "We could make the best looking game possible, but we dial some of that back in order to allow for all of these other things."

Earlier this week, Fallout 4 game director Todd Howard discussed the game's graphics, saying they "matter" as part of the game's ability to suspend your disbelief.

Hines went on to say that player choice and freedom is a critical component to the Fallout series, and players can expect to be able to do whatever they want in Fallout 4.

"If you want to pick flowers and make potions all day, then that's what you're role-playing," he said. "If you want to go shoot everybody in the head with a laser-musket, then that's what you're role-playing."

Bethesda has confirmed the Fallout 4 release date as November 10 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

For more on Fallout 4, check out some stories and the image gallery below.

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Gerrard_W

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Edited By Gerrard_W

>Hines said. "We could make the best looking game possible

HAHAHAHAHAHA

No. Not in a hundred years.

Meanwhile, in Poland...

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jay30mcr

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Its quite funny reading everyone trying to justify why Bethseda cheaped out on the graphics. You don't need to answer for them.

The world itself is pleasing enough but the animations and lip sync are god awful. Once you've played TW3 you know how high the bar should be set now and as usual Bethseda are leaving that part to the unpaid modders whilst they rake in a billion dollars in the first 24 hours.

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LazyGamerX

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@pandabearjelly7@Dethby1200cutz@normanislost@Gravity_Slave Its because of apologists like your selves that developers dont push their graphic engine as far as they can and hide behind excuses. Its the reason we get new more powerful video cards, because we want to have the best visuals that we can. If it wasn't then we'd still be playing 8bit looking games and focusing only on story. Instead they add a little more effects ability call it a day and make the modders pickup where they left off and try to improve the graphics.I dont believe graphics make the whole game but I do know that playing a dated looking game from the start holds it back from what it could have been.

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PandaBearJelly7

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Edited By PandaBearJelly7

@LazyGamerX: Perhaps you should be working in the video game industry if you feel you know so much about it. Shape those lazy, good for nothing game developers up! Lets be real here dude. You know nothing about what these people actually do for a living. To call them "lazy" as you did in your previous post is just insulting. If this game delivers on just a fraction of what it is promising in terms of gameplay, I will take slightly outdated graphics with a smile. Gamers are so spoiled these days.

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Edward_Footlong

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lmao at 'balance'..from the people who made Fallout 3 and Skyrim.

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Mizarzeug

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Eddie makuch you dont need to force the idea that the opposite is the standard thought cause market analyst know the mayority of the consumers doesnt care about graphics but the gameplay and genre itself.

It is not to be confused that consumers rightfully demand a smooth running game derivative of a good programming and quality work.

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Stoney29z

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The graphics still look better than the last Fallout and that is all you can hope for.

The 400 hours of gameplay is the part the matters,And a good story. Fallout fans always knew it was never about graphics.

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Beasthunt

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It's a shame you even have to write and article like this.

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Sarkissamuel666

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I live in reality, which has the greatest graphics of all. But, I gotta tell you...the gameplay is horrible.

Is the game FUN? That's what should really matter.

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Clovergirl227

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Edited By Clovergirl227

Another reason why I always play on the PC when I can help it. Our modding communities are like duct tape. They solve all problems and issues. Skyrim used to be one of the ugliest games of the year when it was released and now, after mods, it's one of the most beautiful games that can be played in 2015.

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Stoney29z

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Edited By Stoney29z

@Clovergirl227: Fallout 4 on Xbox One will have access to Mods, Sadly Sony has not said anything about allowing mods yet on PS4. Hopefully they will too.

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danytarg

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@stoney29z: They have said mods will be on PS4...eventually. But they apparently still have to figure out the details and yeah they will be on Xbox One sooner (perhaps much sooner). I got it for PS4 but I'll be playing through the vanilla game first anyway which will take a good long while I imagine. Then plan to pick it up for PC on a Steam sale some time in the future.

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AGx07

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@stoney29z: They (Bethesda) said they want to get it working on PS4. Right now they are working with Microsoft on getting it on the X1 but even at the current time it's pretty tentative since it doesn't release until some time in 2016 and I imagine they still have to come up with some process for approval. It's simply not realistic to expect all mods (especially the ones that modify the graphics) to end up on the consoles. If you've ever modded you might have an idea of how badly they can break your game if you install just the wrong combination of them. I'm very eager to see how this'll play out.

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Glowhyena

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Graphics are not important, but performance and gameplay are. I don't care about how realistic graphics look.

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vigariox

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@glowhyena: Graphics are important in my eyes, but not the most important thing. And it also depends on the game. For example, "The Cat Lady" had horrible graphics but the experience didn't get affected by it and it was amazing nonetheless. Same thing for games like, "The Wolf Among Us". A game like Fallout will never suffer from it either as long as it doesn't look like a decade old game with blurry textures and all.

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Clovergirl227

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@glowhyena "Graphics are not important"

Said no one ever.

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AGx07

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@Clovergirl227: They are important it's just that we understand balance is more important. Would you play Fallout 4 if it had [original] Doom graphics? Doubt it but like the rest of us you'd be perfectly fine with Fallout 3 graphics as long as you're getting great game-play.

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blkgto

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Edited By blkgto

Huh, I am sure it will be fun, but right now it kind of looks like...a fallout 3 add on

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JohnAL

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Do not, Ever, play fallout or elder scrolls on consoles. U will miss 60% of the game capacity.

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AGx07

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Edited By AGx07

@johnal: Eh. Until the mods start rolling out it's not a big deal. I don't regret, at all, playing Skyrim on PS3 during that first year. Years later I went back to it on PC and enjoyed the mods. I'm in the same boat now as I was back then. I have a PC that can run it but not max it out (unfortunately I'm had to replace my GPU and I'm stuck with an R9 270x for now). I doubt it will run the game very well and in the mean time I can play it in a perfectly acceptable state on the PS4 and I wont miss anything. Next year when there are a ton of available mods (that have been stabilized) and I can afford a new GPU, I'll get it on PC.

The point is, I'm sure there are tons of people (i.e. the majority of console players) who don't have a PC capable of running the game.

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Fallout25

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Edited By Fallout25

@johnal: I have learned that too. I now play all games on PC.

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ishsgames

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Its ok, just make sure the game is amazing and runs at a buttery silky smooth 60 FPS at 1080p across all mid to high end systems :D. Modders will take care of the graphics department lol.

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danytarg

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@ishsgames:Its looking like most midrange graphics cards will be fine. I think it will take a while for modders to make efficient graphics mods that don't kill the system so I'd recommend most people play through the first time unmodded...unless you love spending time playing with a bunch of half working mods :)

I was looking into getting a new graphics card for Fallout 4 and wasn't sure what to get since the official recommended gpu is like a 6 year old model. http://daydull.com/reviews/fallout-4-video-card-buying-guide-the-best-value-and-performance-for-your-budget/ That article gives a really straightforward list of what card to get at each budget level and gives a good estimate of what performance you can expect with it.

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ishsgames

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Edited By ishsgames

@danytarg: Néed some recommendations? It's actually pretty straight forward:

GPU assuming sale/coupon:

Best high end cards:

980 TI > Fury X (for now)

R9 Fury (better than 980 and greatly "futureproof")

R9 390/290x (best bang for 1440p at 60 FPS)

Best mid-high end cards under $250 (all these are more than enough for FO4)

R9 290 ebay (dirt cheap)

R9 280x (faster than 380 and 960)

R9 380 (under $200)

R9 280 (best bang between $150-$175)

HD 7950 ebay (dirt cheap)

R9 270x (best bang between $100-$145)

.....

That pretty much sums it up!!

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strrckshn

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BS. That why the Modders Enhance better Graphics.

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sithalo

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@strrckshn said:

BS. That why the Modders Enhance better Graphics.

not bs. not everyone can use the better graphics that modders make. they could likely make the game look much better while doing what they are already doing in the game. But them some people wont be able to run the game as well as others.

and not everyone likes the same graphics. In fallout 3 there are mods to make the graphics of the games world more bleak and mods to make the game more vibrant and colorful.

if anything weaker graphics are a better starting point for graphic modders so they can take the weaker graphics and push them to be better in certain styles, weather increasing the bleakness or increasing the vibrancy.

well im not a modder so im not sure if it would be so hard to do that if the graphics where higher but seems like its easyer to make graphcis better instead of make graphcis worse.

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chibbygiraffe

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I still play fallout 3 on my Xbox 360 and PC. I don't really say "LOOK AT DEM GRAPHICS!" when I'm being chased by a pack of Foul Ghouls

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rosinmonkekyx17

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@chibbygiraffe: LOL

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MajorMajorMajor

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I don't know about this. I'm from the PC master race and for me graphics are the most important aspect of a game so I'm worried I won't be able to enjoy it unlike console plebs who don't see the true value of slightly better textures.

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Liponade

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@majormajormajor: i will never understand how one can put graphics above a games story or gameplay, have you never played an elder scrolls or fallout game?

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ILSATS

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@majormajormajor: I'm also from the PC master race. For me, graphics are important, especially when "gameplay" is the same on all platforms. Oh no, who am I kidding. Fallout's or any Bethesda game's gameplay is way better on PC due to modding. But of course, we master race should let those peasants think they have "gameplay" and "slightly worse textures". And in b4 peasant's claim about modding on Xbox, it will never be half as good as modding on PC, due to the restricted hardware and software available.

All hails the master race !

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ishsgames

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@ILSATS: As someone who can experience Very High to Ultra graphics on a 1080p+ resolutions, i really would appreciate if Bethesda revised how they develop their games. UR 4 would do a hell lot of justice for FO 4. There is a certain uniqueness and style for development. I guess this is Bethesda's uniqueness lol.

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Soniczero1993

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As someone who's also part of the master race, I have to say you guys are really petty. Seriously, get off that high horse.

Even with my PC, I'll still support my console brothers. Even if I'm alone on the matter.

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johncas89

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For a game this huge the graphics look pretty good imo

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toophat2014

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Graphics have never been the most important aspect of any game and never will be and surely doesn't determine how fun a game is or will be. Personally when I play most games and particularly RPGS which is my favorite genre I look for great and fun gameplay and features first always and if it's an RPG I look for a good storyline and storytelling experience as well and graphics have never been a concern for me unless I'm playing on my high end PC that cost me close to two thousand dollars to build then I might expect more out of the games on that platform but otherwise I could care less. But since this is a multiplatform game honestly I know better and know it will be pretty close accross all platforms and I'm ok with that as I know it will still be fun no matter what platform you play on if it's anything like past fallout titles which btw were never anything special graphics wise yet still great titles and vey successful.

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Ravenlore_basic

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I would Love a Remake of Fallout 1 and 2 on PS4 with improved interaction, AI, and physics. I'll take the graphics as is, or at most, up to Fall out 3 standards.

why not to get people into the franchise. Fall out 3 and New Vegas GoTY edition seem just fine but could be ported and sold on one disk.

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beuneus12

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throw in glitches and a framerate drop and we got ourselves a proper fallout game :p

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jumalan75

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Let me sum up why it doesn't matter

Because it's F%#*in Fallout and Fallout is the shiiiiizznit

Can't wait

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LordCrash88

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People can expect to do whatever they want which means running around without purpose, shooting people in the face without purpose and collecting tons of stuff without purpose. What people can't expect is experiencing a well written story with memorable characters that gives proper context and motivation for everything that you do in the game. That's not what Bethesda means when they talk about freedom...

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Onefai

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I hope they allow game mods to beef up graphic. What else people are going to do their SLI/CRX setups?

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ILSATS

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@onefai: Of course there will be a lot of ways to enhance the graphic on PC, even on day 1. Don't worry about it. Mods or SweetFX will do the job.

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Gaberdude

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Edited By Gaberdude

When I first saw the Fallout 4 graphics, the first thing I thought of wasn't that these graphics aren't that great. What I compared it to was games with cell-shaded graphics, such as Borderlands. Fallout isn't nearly as extreme in using the cell-shade style (obviously), but there is a simplicity in the Fallout 4 graphics that I associate with this specific style.

You can truly tell how excellent the graphics are just by looking for jagged edges. While watching the gameplay trailers, one of the first things I've noticed was the smoothness of the edges and the textures themselves. Because of this, I knew that the lack of detail in some of the textures was on purpose, not because of the lack of attention to detail.

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Litchie

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Edited By Litchie

I don't really mind Elder Scrolls and Fallout having crappy graphics. They are still great and fun games to play, and the mod community always make their games look 10x better anyway. But it would be nice if Bethesda's games were also some of the prettiest, as well as most fun. They definitely need to work on physics.. And some animations are laughable.

Graphics is a very small part of games, though, and far from what makes a game interesting to play.

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so_hai

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If I were a Fallout fan I wouldn't be asking for graphical prowess anyway. After 3 months from release the graphics question is immaterial.

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Ravenlore_basic

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@so_hai said:

If I were a Fallout fan I wouldn't be asking for graphical prowess anyway. After 3 months from release the graphics question is immaterial.

Very True. Its too bad that people do not realize that after the first WOW moment of how great it looks ITS THE PLAYING that keeps people involved. it could be photo realistic with all the power of the system going to looks and physics in charter dynamics. But that will never make a great game, only a great looking Movie.