Fallout 4 Gameplay And Performance Review

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Fallout 4 Visuals & Benchmarks

Visually Fallout 4 doesn't break much new ground. But it’s a damn good looking game with a working day and night cycle, great draw distance to convey the wide open expanses, and it’s replete with intricate detail worthy of a title whose underpinnings revolve around exploration and looting. 

fallout4 screenshot2
Yes we have stomach trousers in the retro future. What of it?

The visuals really compel the player to explore, if only to see if you can reach that one building there on the horizon. And yup! You can. Now let’s see if we can get to that next satellite-looking thing in the distance. This type of exploring is truly helped by the enormous amount of visual detail. The game makes use of NVIDIA technology such as Volumetric Lighting, but not much more. However there are a solid number of in-game settings to tweak on the PC—texture and shadow quality, decal quantity, Godrays quality, Depth of field, SSAO (ambient occlusion) and you can toggle on/off Screen Space Reflections, Wetness, Rain Occlusion, Motion Blur and Lens Flare. 

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Tell me again why I shouldn't store irradiated food in this irradiated carcass?

Fallout 4 does not come with its own benchmark tool. Plus the random and open nature of the gameplay makes getting consistent framerate data during testing a bit tricky. So, for our tests, we traveled back and forth between some of the more hostile locations in various times of day with plenty heavy bullet-riddled skirmishes. We repeated this several times noting the results with Fraps and MSI Afterburner. Lets see how she does with our NVIDIA-based GPUs...
Fallout4 1080p bench

Fallout4 1440p bench

Fallout4 4K bench

As the results show, Fallout 4 is not a terribly demanding game by any means--even with all settings maxed (aka Ultra in-game) which is what we used for all testing. This includes all draw distance settings as well. Again here, much of our general play-through was conducted on an EVGA GTX 970 SSC, which handled 1080p full HD performance without missing a beat. Things go southward when you start to kick up the resolution though. That is most apparent in the ultra HD 4K (3840x2160) tests where we could only average 26FPS on a GTX 970, which isn't quite what we'd consider playable in this game. However a 980Ti offers much smoother experience at a mildly playable 41FPS. 

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In-games settings are not quite in game.

Testing with max Ultra settings does leave a bit of wiggle room if users would like to dial some of the more demanding setting down, such the ever-hungry ambient occlusion, motion blur, anti-aliasing and such.

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