Bethesda releases brand new screenshots for Fallout 4 that highlight the forthcoming post-apocalyptic RPG’s lighting, environment, and weather effects.
Bethesda has published a new blog post on its official Website about alterations made to its Creation Engine—that is, the studio’s in-house development software—and how the changes have enhanced Fallout 4‘s graphical capabilities. According to Bethesda, the inclusion of a new physically based deferred renderer has given designers and developers the chance to add a bevy of dynamic lighting effects for every scene in Fallout 4.
Taking the upgrades into consideration, not only does it mean the natural world will be given a boost of authenticity, but it also signifies that in-game surfaces will appear more realistic. Basically, Bethesda wished to give the Boston Wasteland a more true-to-life look and feel than it had with past games. Regarding the matter, the studio wrote:
“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.”
In addition to the renderer’s effects, Bethesda worked with Nvidia to build a brilliant new volumetric lighting system—of which the studio refers to as “god rays”—to add “atmospheric depth” and “irradiated air” to the environment. In order to describe how the method functions, Bethesda says, “The technique used here runs on the GPU and leverages hardware tessellation. . . . [and] we’ve made it work great regardless of your platform.” Should such technological terminology outside one’s purview, simply check out the gallery below to get an idea of what the studio’s talking about.
While the lighting is certainly magnificent, perhaps the most impressive addition to the Creation Engine involves its new material system, which causes in-game items and materials to react to the series’ fresh incorporation of changes in the weather and climate. By including the capacity for Fallout 4‘s atmosphere to shift in mood and temperature, Bethesda is ensuring the action-RPG joins the ranks of other open world titles’ realistic treatment of the elements such as Grand Theft Auto 5. In reference to the issue, the studio explained:
“When a rain storm rolls in, our new material system allows the surfaces of the world to get wet, and a new cloth simulation system makes cloth, hair, and vegetation blow in the wind.
“The player can go anywhere in the world at any time of day, so we added dynamic post-process techniques that enhance the vibrancy and color of our scenery for maximum emotional impact. Our virtual cameras received a major upgrade as well.”
Bethesda’s made a swathe of changes to the Creation Engine, and the studio shared a sampling of the new features and systems, including:
- 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
Of course, Fallout 4‘s release draws closer, so it’s obvious Bethesda wants to promote its title with the choicest representations of the game’s visuals. There’s no mention from which platform the images were taken, but we can definitely agree they look better than the leak of PS4 screenshots from a few days ago. As a matter of fact, a lot of the in-game stills revealed today even rival most of the hand-drawn pieces from the game’s art book designs in terms of beauty.
At any rate, Bethesda’s enhancements to its Creation Engine should be a boon for Fallout 4 in the long run, as the title’s Season Pass & DLC content ought to benefit as well. And with less than a week to go before the game drops, it might be wise to start icing down some Nuka-Colas to celebrate its arrival.
Fallout 4 is set to release next Tuesday, November 10, 2015, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.