November 9, 2015
First 'Fallout 4' Mod Hits Prior To Official Release

Fallout 4 isn't even officially out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, yet the first mod for the game was released over the weekend. While the mod doesn't turn a Deathclaw into Randy "Macho Man" Savage, it does give Bethesda Softworks' role-playing game a post-apocalyptic facelift.

The "Enhanced Wasteland Preset" mod was uploaded to Nexusmods over the weekend, and is a Fallout 4 spin on using existing ReShade and SweetFX visual tweaks. Don't expect a new set of textures or the addition of in-game objects or characters. This is a straightforward visual enhancement.

Here is the description of the mod from the author, Raz3d.

"The goal of this preset was to slightly add more vibrance to the wasteland environment in Fallout 4 and make it appear less washed out. There is also usage of other settings that I think make the game look better."
For those wondering how the Raz3d managed to get a mod out before Fallout 4 was available, he did not illegally obtain the PC version of the game. He received a review copy instead, which allowed him to start with the relatively simple task of applying ReShade and SweetFX to subtly alter the look of the in-game graphics. While not officially announced, it's likely that some modders that established themselves with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were given copies of Fallout 4 to get the mod-scene rolling.

The primary effect of the "Enhanced Wasteland Preset" mod appears to be to remove some of the in-game haze from Fallout 4's visuals. Meanwhile, red and blue colors in the game world are oversaturated to cause them to "pop" more dramatically in outdoor scenes.

You can see a visual before and after comparison for the Fallout 4"Enhanced Wasteland Preset" mod here.

Fallout 4 Enhanced Wasteland Preset Mod
[Image via Nexus Mods]Support from the mod scene has been a major driving force behind the popularity of Bethesda titles like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, so it comes as no surprise that it is a much touted feature of Fallout 4. Owners of the PC game should expect a torrent of mods to become available through sites like Nexusmods in the coming weeks, despite official mod tools not arriving this year.

Bethesda is still building the official Fallout 4 mod tools, and waited until the game launched before turning its focus on supporting the mod scene. Part of the system to support mods includes the recently launched Bethesda.net. This is more of a public relations site right now, but Bethesda's goal is to turn it into a place where mods can be shared and distributed for Fallout 4, Doom, and other titles. This includes the ability to distribute mods to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

For comparison, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched on November 11, 2011, and its official mod tool, the Creation Kit, wasn't released until February 6, 2012, which included support for the Steam Workshop. The game was still well-supported through mods delivered via popular mods sites such as Nexus mods, and is still to this day.

Fallout 4 Enhanced Wasteland Preset Mod
[Image via Nexus Mods]One of the more interesting aspect of Fallout 4 is Bethesda's planned ability to share mods created for the PC with the Xbox One and eventually the PlayStation 4. The studio hasn't specified exactly what kind of mods will be available for console, but presumably it will not be any graphics heavy mods such as high resolution textures or scripts that will change the game's visuals.

A Digital Foundry performance analysis of the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Fallout 4 found both consoles struggling to maintain a steady 30 frames per second. Anything that causes further strain on the consoles will likely be filtered out.

Fallout 4 release Tuesday, November 10, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

[Image via NexusMods]