Obsidian: Consoles Held Back Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas' lead world builder, Scott Everts, reckons the game would have performed better, looked better, and been different if it was PC-only and didn't need to support consoles.
In 2008, we got Fallout 3 from Bethesda and its internal studio Bethesda Game Studios. It was very big deal. Then two years later we got another Fallout title, Fallout: New Vegas, except this one wasn’t from Bethesda itself, it was from contracted developer Obsidian Entertainment. It also was a very big deal.
Heavily decorated and estimated to have shipped at least 12 million copies, Fallout: New Vegas was very succesful on multiple measuring levels.
That said, last month, it was revealed that the game wasn’t always the game that wound up shipping. More specifically, it had three playable races: human, ghoul, and super mutant and was called Fallout: Sin City. However, it eventually morphed into the product we all know due to multiple different reasons that are neither here nor there for the point of this article.
That said, Obsidian and Fallout: New Vegas are back in the headlines, and it once again has to deal with the difference between the game that was (at one point) vs. the game that shipped, specifically, how the game was different when it was just on PC.
In short, Fallout: New Vegas would have likely been a better game, at least in the eyes of Obisidan, if it was PC exclusive, according to the game’s lead world builder, Scott Everts, who says that the restrictions of the game engine ushered in by console support forced his team to scrap and scale back a lot of their original ideas.
“We had a lot of plans early on,” said Everts. “Like, ‘Here’s where the water is stored, here’s where the farms are, here’s where the government is centralized’. We had it all planned out – it wasn’t just a bunch of random stuff.”
Everts says that some of this content made its way into the game, but the team “could have gone further” with it. The designer adds that he and co. had to simplify in order to not bog down the game engine. Further, there would have apparently been fewer performance issues if it wasn’t for console development.
“We would have had fewer performance issues,” said Everts. “We did break it up a bit, but from my point of view it was a performance-related game and we had to fix things.”
The game would have also simply looked different if it was PC-only, with Everts saying “it would have been more separate zones,” with a “big wall around the whole thing and you just see the big tower and it’s a bunch of little zones.”
Fallout: New Vegas is available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, as well as Xbox One via Backwards Compatibility.