Fallout 4 exploded onto the scene in the build up to E3, touting settlement building, vastly improved FPS combat and an invincible dog companion.
Despite the awesomeness, Fallout 4 has drawn criticism for its graphics, which some think lacks the detail found in other new-gen only titles. Bethesda has now responded.
In an interview with Gamesradar, Bethesda's Pete Hines discussed the criticism, stating that it was never their intention to be "the best looking" game:
..."We push it visually as much as we can, while realising that we are not making a game just for the sake of having it be the best looking game out there, it's not meant to be the most stunning RPG ever. That's not the stated goal. We want this massive interactive world, where you can talk to people, choose your own path and everything in the world has meaning and is an actual object."...
I'm no game developer, but I'd imagine that having every object be interactive has at least some impact on system resources. The same interactivity is true for Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but it's taken to new extremes in Fallout 4 as every object can be deconstructed for use in the game's crafting system. The objects in Fallout 4's world aren't part of a static backdrop, as Pete Hines describes:
..."Everything in the world [is] something tangible - you don't walk into a room and see lots of stuff, and it's all fake. All the items are actual items. You set off a grenade in a room? It's going to blow shit around and knock it all over the place. You have to spend cycles and stuff tracking where all of that went, and how it's going to bounce around."...
It certainly sounds as though any perceived graphical trade-off is due to the nature of Fallout 4's interactivity. In the interview, Pete describes the freedom their engines allow for, citing rolling cheese wheels down a hill in Skyrim as an example. I haven't seen too many complaints about Fallout 4's graphics, but it's easy to imagine how the average viewer might not take these things into consideration when seeing screenshots or trailers.
Using The Witcher 3 as a contemporary RPG example - it's gorgeous, but very few of the world's objects can be manipulated in real-time. Geralt can destroy specific walls using his magic, but use the same powers on everyday household objects and you'll find them mysteriously glued to the tables.
"If you're going to hold us up to any other game and compare us side by side then it had better be a game that does all the same things. If you can deconstruct and reconstruct the world in real time, in the game, and you can pick up every single item, and it's not just a texture, then we can talk.".
Frankly, I think Fallout 4 looks just dandy from what we've seen so far - but if all that freedom comes at a price, it's one I'm personally willing to pay. What do you think? Let us know below!
Fallout 4 launches on Nov 10th, 2015 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.