Does Fallout 4 Hold Up in a Post-Starfield World?

One more trip into the wasteland

Alex Rowe


My character views the terrain in Fallout 4.
Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

I finished Starfield’s campaign over the weekend, and immediately dove into its fascinating New Game Plus mode. I also started a second character who I’m roleplaying as an evil chef. I want to talk more about all of those things — but later on, probably in the coming months. There’s just too much to go into that would be unfair to comment on when so relatively few players have yet to see the credits.

All of this endgame Starfield indulgence got me thinking: now that I’ve been spoiled by its many improvements over the Bethesda games of years past, would Fallout 4 still be fun? I was a huge fan of the game at launch. I’ve even wrote a couple of cancelled series about it a whole digital lifetime ago.

But in all this time, in spite of owning its post launch DLC, I’ve never actually made it all the way through all that extra content. I have meant to, but you know how these things go — there’s just too many excellent games out there. Fallout 4 also hopes that you’ll play its main story first before trying the DLC, so I’ve done what any normal person would do in this scenario: reinstalled Fallout 4 to fiddle with alongside my continued Starfield obsession.

Here are my thoughts after one lengthy day with the game. It’s definitely the progenitor of many great things in Starfield, and even has its own special qualities that I think still make it fun to revisit. However, it’s undeniably a creaky game that’s now approaching a decade on the market — and its dialog system is unforgivable!

Talking with Mama Murphy in Fallout 4.
Textures are still good, but man oh man does this game need more shade and shadows. Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

The Good

Artistic Detail

Starfield has an absurd number of high-quality textures in it and lots of great little artistic touches like plastic door flaps that react realistically. This, in spite of the fact that it never uses more than 8 gigs of video memory even on the PC. You’d never know about its light memory footprint to look at it: the artwork is among the best in terms of raw detail that you can see in a game right now.