Art Style Admiration – Fallout 4′s Graphics Are Far From Horrible
With all of the excitement and discussion that came with the Fallout 4 hype train, the visuals were often a hot topic. The modern market is often packed with games striving for realism, be it on the front lines of a fictional war or the cold hard Gothic streets of something more fantastical. The minor backlash towards Fallout 4 never felt like it came from concern, more confusion, but where those concerns justified?
After spending over 20 hours roaming around the Commonwealth, I have seen sights that stand out from other videos games of this current generation. Lifeless towns, covered in memoires of the past, brimming with a genuine sense of wonder. Broken bridges, littered with vehicles and make-shift camps. Churches twisted into slaughter houses, decorated with limbs and mutilated corpses. Slices of bliss, clean corridors and halls, hosting life and community. Fallout 4′s visual all allowed to this to be.
In all fairness, I did express slight concern over the direction Fallout 4 was going with it’s visual during E3 2015. The jump from the relativity dark and gritty Fallout 3, to the lush colours of Fallout 4, was jarring to say the least. These concerns were squashed within the following weeks. Keeping in tone with the art style and colour palette of 50′s propaganda, Fallout 4′s look started to resonate with me. The cries of the game ‘looking bad’ quickly became drowned out by the appreciation for a genuine art direction, rather than just another realistic gritty visual style.
The first few steps into the Commonwealth aren’t exactly blessed with wonderful imagery, it’s a mask for the rest of the game world. Do yourself a favour, don’t follow the path laid out by missions and landmarks, just simply walk to a random spot on the map. Walk through the crumbling towns, displaying the signs of a life that was, and the brutality of the life that is. Walk beside the irritated lakes, there’s stunning scenery just waiting to be discovered.
Lighting plays a vital part in creating such fantastic scenery. The way it bounces between building, trees and statues frames each shot perfectly. A number of times I’d find myself admiring the way in which the sun would blaze down onto the desecrated streets below, breathing life into the world. It’s the little moments of visual glee that allow Fallout 4 to feel more than just another video game world. The colours, the architecture, even the culture all combine to create the effect of a once vibrant world.
It’s hard to buy into the questions over the visuals, even more so when I find myself observing the trickles of light between the branches, or designs of Vault-Tec’s creations. Fallout 4′s art style is something to praise and appreciate. In a market full of games that all try their best to look as realistic as they can, Fallout’s marriage of 50s aesthetic and sci-fi is hugely refreshing.