Bethesda Talks ‘Fallout 4’ Graphics Following Leaks, Includes ‘Dynamic Dismemberment’

Fallout 4 has already made its way into the hands of some gamers, and video plus images of the post-apocalyptic role-playing game have already leaked out ahead of next week’s official release to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Bethesda Softworks responded by providing some context to its approach for the game’s graphics, along with some sumptuous screenshots showcasing the Creation Engine’s new features.

As previously covered by Inquisitr, the leaked Fallout 4 images were a mixed bag of low-resolution images from the PlayStation 4 edition of the game that resulted in fans badmouthing the game’s graphics. Later images were of higher quality, and video has since leaked out, too, but the negative first impression has lingered.

The quality of the graphics on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are still largely a mystery, but Bethesda has given a fresh look at Fallout 4, presumably running at ultra-high graphics on the PC. The images of a partially devastated Boston showcase the many different technologies and techniques used by the development and art teams.

Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
The following is a bullet list of what is used in Fallout 4.

  • Tiled Deferred Lighting
  • Temporal Anti-Aliasing
  • Screen Space Reflections
  • Bokeh Depth of Field
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion
  • Height Fog
  • Motion Blur
  • Filmic Tonemapping
  • Custom Skin and Hair Shading
  • Dynamic Dismemberment using Hardware Tessellation
  • Volumetric Lighting
  • Gamma Correct Physically Based Shading

“If you’re not sure what all of that means, don’t worry,” Bethesda explained. “What’s important is how this technology comes together with the art and gameplay of Fallout 4 to create a dynamic, immersive experience – no matter your gaming system. We pride ourselves in being a highly collaborative team, always balancing graphics, gameplay, art, and performance.”

One of the bullet points that is getting quite a bit of attention is the “Dynamic Dismemberment using Hardware Tesselation.” There’s no explanation of what exactly this means for the game, but it invokes memories of the shock players had when the Fallout 3 V.A.T.S. system was first debuted with an exploding head. Presumably, this feature has something to do with bodies being torn to bits by the most powerful weapons in Fallout 4.

Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Much attention was also paid to the new dynamic lighting system added to the Creation Engine for Fallout 4.

“This new [physically based deferred] renderer allows us to add many more dynamic lights to every scene, and paint our surfaces with realistic materials. We want objects and characters in the world to feel tactile and grounded, and a big part of that is ensuring that these materials are distinct – that metal reflects light in a distinct manner from wood, for example,” Bethesda detailed.

This allows for dynamic time of day and weather changes in Fallout 4. Director Todd Howard previously discussed the weather and lighting in this Inquisitrarticle. Radiation storms can flare up from and blow in from the Glowing Sea, the place in the game world where one of the nuclear bombs dropped. This gives the world an irradiated green glow and highlights the danger of living in a post-apocalyptic Fallout universe.

Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Bethesda also boasted about is new cloth simulation system. The intent is to make cloth, hair, and vegetation blow naturally in the wind.

Interestingly, Nvidia was consulted for features such as the volumetric lighting in Fallout 4. PC gamers with AMD graphics cards are likely to get a bit squeamish hearing this news, as there’s been a bit of war of words between the two GPU makers over Nvidia’s Gameworks system and whether it’s been designed to hinder AMD graphics cards, as covered by Hot Hardware. This appears to be the reason why Bethesda went out its way to mention: “Like all the other features here, we’ve made it work great regardless of your platform.”

What do you think of the new Fallout 4 screenshots? Have they increased or lessened your anticipation of the game? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Bethesda]