Editorial

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 Trailer Was Probably the Most Honest Trailer We’ve Had in Years

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Fallout 4 has finally been revealed, and while most fans of the series are totally ecstatic about it, there’s already talk about the game not looking as good graphically as people hoped it would. To that I say, stop it!

Let’s look back at just a couple weeks ago shall we? The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was released, and was immediately met with complaints about a downgrade, which is readily apparent from the trailer just below. CD Projekt RED has defended themselves over and over again in regards to the change in visual quality since that trailer was released all the way back in 2013. Games change over time as they’re developed, and by now you should know that. Even with the changes, however, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is still the best looking open world game to date, hands down.

But here lies the problem: most developers show off their game too early and thus “downgrades” occur overtime. They set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and for gamers, and when the game is finally released, you see the results. Developers are harassed, gaming outlets create comparison after comparison to cash in on the controversy, and so on.

Fallout 4 has been in development for over four years now, and the first trailer for the game was released today. And, it’s the most honest game reveal trailer I think we’ve seen in a long time. The game looks great, the environments are more varied than any previous Fallout game, the lighting has been immensely improved and yet, a select number of people are already calling out the game’s graphics.

From the looks of it, Fallout 4 is continuing to use Bethesda’s Creation Engine, albeit an obviously updated version of the engine, which has been used since the days of Fallout 3. The animations in the game look eerily similar, and there’s the final scene at the end of the trailer which looks pretty bad, but other than that, the game is looking great, and real for that matter. There’s definitely noticeable flaws in the trailer, and that’s something you should really take note of.

Bethesda could have come out with a trailer that stunned you just as much as CD Projekt RED’s did for The Witcher 3, but they didn’t, and I heartily applaud them for that. I’m actually more excited now for Fallout 4 than most other games simply because Bethesda was honest about what we’re getting with the game. Now, we just have to wait until June 14th to see the game in action.

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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54 Comments

  1. I like being shown what I will actually receive and not some “perfect” version of it which will never exist. Especially for huge triple-A titles. If someone is going to pay 60+ dollars for something, you better let them know what that hard-earned money goes to.

    That said, I better start saving and hope my PC can run it. XD

  2. Honest comment is honest – I have never been here before. I have never seen your writing/work before. What I just read is the smartest, most intellectually balanced reaction to a game trailer of any sort I have EVER read, and I have read a fair share of them in the last thirty odd years. Am I a huge fan of Bethesda, and Fallout long before then (since the first by Interplay, 1996), and delighted to see them given even a possibly back-handed compliment? Yes, unashamedly. Which does nothing to diminish how honest and realistic a view of “hype” you express. You show a degree of “level-headedness” that is frankly refreshing to see in a market over-saturated with the “drama at all costs” crowd. So, sincerely, thank you, great job, and I will likely be back! =)

    1. Thanks for the comment and that probably just made my day haha. And, it really wasn’t back handed at all actually. As part of the games industry, I’m probably more annoyed with what I read on the internet on a daily basis than any other person I know, and seeing NeoGAF comments and Youtube comments bashing a trailer for being honest is something that pisses me off to no end.

      Developers have no idea how to please gamers anymore it seems like, and this trailer proves to me, that there really is no pleasing the vocal audience. But, honesty is always the route that should be taken, I think gamers will appreciate it in the end.

      Also, when you see noticeable flaws in a trailer like this, you can only hope that the game will look even better at launch.

  3. I assumed this was using the iD Tech5 engine….maybe they managed to create a hybrid engine from Creation and Tech5?

    1. they don’t use that engine for fallout/TES games.

    2. Nope, the new DOOM is actually using ID Tech 6 for that matter :)

  4. I completely agree. This looks like a game that can picture on my ps4 right now and that’s a good thing. There’s no “this is too good to be true” feeling, which is also good. It realistically looks like something I want to drop hundreds of hours into and I cannot wait.

  5. lol its not just the graphics that are bad in that trailer. the animations are BAD. really bad. and the coloring looks like a 12 year old shaded it. for a game thats supposed to be current gen and pc only they could do alot better than this. and comparing the witcher 3 and this is just ridiculous. witcher 3 blows this away by light years.

    1. You realize games use resources right? Typically games with super high quality animations and character models tend to be less flexible in terms of what you, the player, can actually do in the game. TES series and Fallout have had weak animations in the past but as a result, you can do damn near anything in these games you want. Virtually NOTHING is off limits. Whereas a game with super high polished animations, models & textures tend to bring about more boundaries with them. You compare the graphics but I’ll be comparing the gameplay.

      1. That’s totally baseless. GTA V and Witcher 3 both have higher quality animations and models than any Bethesda game by miles, and they also have more variety in those animations…

    2. Didn’t compare the two games at all. I compared how they were represented when they were revealed.

  6. Yea, the terrain is fantastic. Especially at 2:25, almost thought it was a expasion for fallout 3!!! Oh, wait….

  7. “Bethesda could have come out with a trailer that stunned you just as
    much as CD Projekt RED’s did for The Witcher 3, but they didn’t, and I
    heartily applaud them for that.”
    No, they probably couldn’t. What CDPR showed was in-game. Fallout 4 didn’t have such an option. They seem to be using the same engine which like it or not looks mediocre. How exactly could they have made an in-game trailer as impressive as the witcher with their engine not even remotely as good? Like I said, they couldn’t.

    Mediocrity is nothing to applaud over. I’d rather take someone who reaches for the stars, fails and still delivers something better than everything else, rather than someone who sets their sights on mediocrity and achieve it with no problem

    1. No, what CDPR showed was in-engine, not in-game. Until you see the game in action with someone controlling it at that graphical fidelity, it’s not in-game. That’s what people need to understand when looking at these trailers. Engines can produce those graphics you’re seeing in the trailers, but when it comes to actual gameplay, how often do they really look that good?

      Not often.

      1. In-engine, in game … it’s how the game looked at that point during development. with the engine they had in place, and it was actual captured footage not pre-rendered for the sake of eye candy
        http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-05-19-cd-projekt-red-tackles-the-witcher-3-graphics-downgrade-issue-head-on

        Bethesda’s engine has been and keeps being outdated, Its technical limitations are apparent. If somehow they faked a demo using highly improved textures, extra effects and, higher poly models I doubt they would have fooled many people since
        a) they have a history of making games that are not all that visually impressive
        b) the end results would be a far cry from this video, as opposed to the witcher which after a few patches patches and with sweet fx is pretty close to the original look

        And again, the fact that they aimed for mediocrity is nothing special the way I see it. I’d much rather appreciate the work of someone who pushes the limits

        1. Yep pretty much this, im not concerned about the graphics at all, im concerned about the fact that we are going to be stuck for another 3-4 years with a decade old engine full of bugs and limitations.
          No honesty here, just…engine limitation…

          1. The engine has weird limitations too. Like weather effects are a pain. I’m talking about actual weather opposed to textures falling from the sky. Modders already reached the limit of Gamebryo back in the Oblivion days and they already reached the Creation engines limits too.

        2. Pushing the limits and lying to fucking customers like Ubisoft does are 2 different things. I respect CDProject Red still, but companies like EA and Ubisoft use those “Limit Pushing Trailers and Games” to lie and sell people on looks alone. If you’re cool with that, then maybe find a new hobby because you’re not helping the attitude that most gamers have these days. And again, Gameplay absolutely trumps graphics. 10-20 year old games still are far more well done and interesting games than a lot of the graphical powerhouses today. The fucking Source engine kept pace for nearly 10 years and game made recently with Source still look fine. Fallout 4’s trailer also doesn’t look mediocre, it looks good, certainly not great though. And while you drool over high res textures, bullshots and fake expectations (as if this gens consoles will somehow produce amazing graphics), I’ll be content to enjoy games that look like shit, but are fucking amazing and groundbreaking in other facets that you wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at.

        3. Yeah. They said that they would upgrade the engine after two uses. Skyrim and Fallout 4 (they didn’t say Fallout 4 at the time because well it was unannounced).

    2. It looks pretty good but not great, in terms of content though this game will be epic.

    3. Yeah… “Reaches for the stars, fails and still delivers something better”. Wasn’t that what The Order tried to do? Killzone Shadowfall? Not the greatest games and one of them was 5-6 hours with no replay value. If they’d put more resources into the actual narrative, gameplay, world and story as they did into dumb fucking graphical FI delity, they could have been superb games. You can find games with both great graphics and great gameplay, but gameplay trumps the fuck out of graphics and if a game has amazing gameplay, story, environment and everything other than graphics then who the fuck needs graphics? Shove those nice graphics up your ass, Witcher 3 could have looked a lot worse and still be an amazing game.

  8. can we get some high quality screens of this game and make a comparison with Fallout 3 and New Vegas to shut up all these people saying the graphics aren’t that good? It would be much appreciated, cause honestly, graphically, it’s not bad looking at all, someone on another site said it looked worse than CoD: Ghosts…

    1. Nobody’s saying it looks worse than F3. They’re just saying it doesn’t look any better than Skyrim which is a 2011 game.

      1. it looks a lot better than skyrim..

        1. Prove it then. Point out the technical improvements you see in the engine.

          1. lighting, polygon count on characters and buildings/trees/environment etc, texture resolution, the amount of foliage on screen and the detail of said foliage…

          2. The lighting is the same – see 2:03 of the trailer where the shadows fade in on the rooftops. Texture resolution is the same – see 2:15 of the trailer (dog, sidewalk, bricks, Nuka Cola machine).

            Polygon counts/etc are not an engine improvement and we’ll have to wait for release to see the counts. The point is that this is 2011 graphics.

          3. They look the same? I’m sorry but this game is far ahead of Skyrim. Sure it doesn’t look good. The animation is shit. The hair (one of the things I hate the most) seems to be as rigid as a ghoul.

            But don’t lie, it looks far better than the previous games… All I’m worried about is A) Paid Mods. This is a deal breaker right there. B) Bugs, RPGs are always prone to bugs. But F:NV was fucking ridiculous.

            C) Questing. If it’s as bland as Skyrim, I’m out. Sorry but I’d rather play other games.

            Anyway as long as we can mod the game I think we could deal with shitty graphics… that’s A is so important for me. I can barely afford gaming as it is. I don’t want to spend 100$ on mods that may or may not work. Beth games are risk as it is.

      2. If you watch the half hour demo, you’ll realise Fallout 4 looks much better than Skyrim.

  9. The problem with this criticism is, most devs HAVE to show off early footage, they have to get a vertical slice if they want the money and support to continue their project.

    1. In their search for financial backing, most devs need to show off their early work to specific people, but not the general public.

      1. I somewhat disagree. In some cases those specific people you reference don’t/won’t look at it until enough buzz is created around a project and you don’t create buzz in a vacuum. Sometimes it’s just plain necessary for companies to show things off that early.

  10. Most developers realise that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission and therefore lie about what the graphics will look like in the final build of a game by toting to the public what they wish to achieve rather than what they are able to.
    Show some respect to Bethesda for being restrained in this regard. They’re being honest with the consumers by acknowledging that this generation of gaming is not going to be about graphical leaps but rather developing new technology, immersion, storytelling and the variety of player choice. And of course online connectivity.

    Within two years when Fallout 4 launches it will be one of the few, if not the only game in recent times where people will say; “look at that, a game where the final graphics are better than what was shown in the announcement trailer”. And Bethesda taking that chance this early should be applauded, not chastised and trolled for the lulz.

    1. “Within two years when Fallout 4 launches it will be one of the few, if
      not the only game in recent times where people will say; “look at that, a
      game where the final graphics are better than what was shown in the
      announcement trailer”.”

      Why do you feel the need to lie to yourself? Can I borrow the crystal ball you obviously have?

  11. This generation is filled with whiny crybaby complainers, all these cries of downgrades and graphics issues are do to entitled children who do nothing but complain if things aren’t exactly their way and no one cries louder then the PC elitist who in their own special little way are ruining gaming as a whole, its due to them developers are stuck between a rock and a hard place and that rock better be textured perfectly and lit accurately or their will be hell to pay.

    1. This I commend you on this, I mean don’t get me wrong but I would love to build myself a nice desktop to run some of the games I’ve been really wanting to play especially from Bethesda, mainly just to fiddle with the game itself mods, etc. You are utterly right on so many levels the “first world problem” babies of this Era can never be happy with what they get I’m 100 percent excited for fallout 4 I fellove in love with 3 and NV hell I want to buy the first and second just to see how far the game actually came along. You can’t appease the mass that’s for sure and it does seem like the majority of people are complaining about the most obscure, moronic things imaginable especially with what you just mentioned. I think the game looks fantastic, I’m drooling over every aspect of it and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. People definitely need to calm down and let the developers work, critique is fine this helps them become better but when the people just cuss and threaten and cry where is that going to lead em?

  12. Down with crybabies! This game is well needed medicine. People are having coronaries and strokes every time a bit of leaked info, speculations and hoaxes show up, so it’s a very good thing to have this. Thank God.

  13. The characters don’t look great, but the world looks incredible. There’s no reason to explain or apologize for any of it, it looks great.

  14. Totally agree. Kinda Sims-style character models but I see that as more of the art style of Fallout. They’ve always looked kinda derpy.

    I know what I’m buying now too. It’s not pretending to have the best graphics we’ve ever seen in a game so it can sell. After being disappointed (graphically speaking) with The Witcher, Borderlands 2 and Dark Souls 2 when they were released I’ll be glad to see exactly what was shown before release for a change.

    Also, in now way are those games I mentioned horrible looking they’re just not what the trailer showed is all. The Witcher especially is still awesome looking.

  15. Now THAT’S how you do a reveal trailer proper (wide variety in shown environments/locals being key, less than 3 minutes).

  16. They showed us the lowest settings in the graphic options. Bethesda just trolling CDR.

  17. xbox still 900p

  18. Downgrades are not an obligation though..(regardless of the game’s quality) , i remember back when The Order 1886 was first presented at E3. People used to say , “that can’t be real” , “that’s cg!”….Turned out the final product looked amazing. (too bad it was mediocre though)….How about Infamous Second son ? The final product also looked amazing. (dare I see , i think it’s visually better looking than The Witcher 3 , even though The Witcher is the better game)…. How about Rise son of Rome ? It also looked fantastic (again , mediocre & game , but i’m just talking about the visuals)…. And Batman Arkham Knight also looks great , same goes with Mortal Kombat X (what was shown at E3 ended up being the same at release)….. Some studio companies deliberately lie for sure. But let’s not put them all in the same basket shall we ?

  19. 1) Fallout 3 does not use the Creation Engine. Both FO3 and FONV used the Gamebryo Engine.

    2) Let us not forget some of the technical issues with Gamebryo, as well as Skyrim’s Creation Engine. Gamebryo in particular has terrible physics, even worse light, and some of the worst resource management I have ever seen in a game engine. Creation still isn’t great at handling a high resource PC in terms of taking advantage of what the PC has in it. Consoles too for that matter.

    3) I would suggest watching the trailer again and comparing the animations to FO3 and FONV. They are massively different. Graphics are a hell of a lot better too. Even textures are a lot better, I can not see what people are complaining about. No they are not “4K 60FPS super next gen unf” but they are pretty good the way they are. Physics as well, especially in the ghoul scene. Those are pretty great physics compared to the past Bethesda games. That leads me to think that if it is Creation, it is a massively improved version. No way in hell is that Gamebryo like I keep seeing other game outlets claim. Fact of the matter is, we won’t know for sure until tge 14th.

    4) Yes, the graphics are “worse” than most of the recent releases, but Bethesda has always cared more about making their games can be played on low spec rigs as well. Accessibility is important, especially for a game that will likely be alive and raking money in for years to come.

    Hopefully I have educated some of you on the engines used in the past, and hopefully the rest of you now have a few more talking points and will actually analyze trailers before getting your panties up in a bunch because “it looks like poo because it doesn’t have 1080p textures or Nvidia hair physics.”

    (Also hair is one of the most intense things to do right now so that was likely a performance decision. Just look at the Witcher 3, they have had to update that game like 4 times for hair physics to be anywhere near useable)

    1. 3) Physics in the ghoul scene impress you for some reason? They are unimpressive and no better than Fallout 3’s physics.

      4) The issue is they have billions of dollars in the bank. Better animations and character models that don’t look like Sims does not hurt performance.

      This is the Skyrim engine with minimal (if any) upgrades, which is Gamebryo with small changes to the renderer, so they could implement dynamic shadows. Skyrim was released in 2011, and that’s the level of graphics we’re getting.

      1. >Physics in the ghoul scene impress you for some reason? They are unimpressive and no better than Fallout 3’s physics.
        Not that guy but they look much better than Fallout 3.

        1. Go to the Super-Duper Mart in F3 and lead an enemy or a follower through the trolleys and see what you think. Exactly the same physics.

          1. Well there’d be more NPCs being killed by wildly cartwheeling shopping carts in fallout 3, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it looks EXACTLY the same. It’s definitely not much better, but it is a little more under control.

  20. Problem is that while the witcher 3 was downgraded compared to its trailers even then it looks far better than FO4 pre-release. Also who is to say that FO4 won’t get its own downgrade later on in development when the ancient Gamebryo engine can’t handle the larger areas and they have to cut back on the graphics even more to accommodate this it is still a “pre-release trailer”.

    The main problem isn’t graphics that just is a 100% tell of the re-use of a far past due engine but the fact that in the half a decade they had they didn’t really fix anything wrong with their engine or pick another one and built a game off the same thing basically. That is fine and all but is extremely lazy and does not build confidence in the quality of the gameplay, story, writing, …

    1. Bethesda is a brand. I don’t need to worry about the quality of their gameplay, story, and writing based on a trailer, I need to worry about it based on their historical body of work.

      And ergo, I’m not worried.

      1. You’re not worried about it because modders fix everything that Bethesda was too lazy to.

  21. They better have ***king global environmental shadows this time around. ENBseries sucks at adding them, and the game looks so bad once you realize that nothing casts a shadow, except yourself and other npcs. No shadows from trees, buildings, etc would be my only disappointment. I hate gamebryo and its renamed incarnation, the creation engine.

    1. Gamebryo is what MORROWIND ran on. The Creation Engine being a “tweaked” version of the Gamebryo engine is a fucking disgrace.

  22. I JUST SHIT OUT OF MY BUTT BECAUSE YOU BITCHES EAT SO MUCH ASS

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