Gamespot: PS3 Fallout 3 is “shockingly inferior” to 360 and PC versions

Wednesday, 29th October 2008 07:02 GMT By Patrick Garratt


While the scores for Fallout 3 may have dazzled yesterday, Gamespot wasn’t shied off the truth. No sir. And, according to the site, the truth is that the PS3 version is technically “shockingly inferior” to both the 360 and PC games. Don’t mince those words, now.

From Gamespot’s review:

It’s a shame, in light of these impressive design elements, that the PlayStation 3 version is shockingly inferior to the others from a technical perspective. Although the Xbox 360 and PC versions display the occasional visual oddity and bland texture, these nitpicks are easy to overlook. Sadly, the jagged edges, washed-out lighting, and slightly diminished draw distance of the PS3 release aren’t so easy to dismiss. We also experienced a number of visual bugs on the PS3. Character faces disappeared several times, leaving only eyeballs and hair; limbs on robots went missing; some character models had an odd outline around them as if they were cel-shaded; and the day-to-night transition may cause odd streaks on the screen as you move the camera around. This version doesn’t even offer trophies, whereas the Xbox 360 and PC versions offer Xbox Live/Windows Live achievements.


Thanks, MaxConsole.



  1. MesserWolf

    good job Bethesda -.-”

    #1 6 years ago
  2. XDamage

    I am very close to just sending back the game when I recieve it, but I highly doubt it is as bad as they say. At least they say in the article that “no matter what platform you own, you should play Fallout 3, which overcomes its issues by offering a deep and involving journey through a world that’s hard to forget.”

    Anyways, why don’t game journalists do some investigation into why the second PS3 outing from a multi-platform studio ends up being apparently worse than the first one? It makes no sense. Did they unlearn development techniques or something?? :|

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Herlock

    It’s really exaggerate on Ign UK the test on PS3 and 360 are the same!

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Blerk

    I’ve seen one friend cancel their pre-order this week based on this. I wonder if it really is quite as bad as they’re making out? If you’d never seen the other versions would you even notice? Well…. aside from missing limbs and faces.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Robo_1

    I know the Orange Box impressions for PS3 were blown out of all proportion, so I’m very cautious regarding “OMG PS3 LOL” style comparisons.

    With the exclusive 360 DLC and lack of trophy support, this is one I probably would nab on 360 though. Not that I’ve any real interest in the game anyhoo, simply too many games on the way to play them all!

    #5 6 years ago
  6. pjmaybe

    What I don’t quite understand with this is: Why is anyone surprised?

    The PS3 has played host to the weakest versions of far too many multiplatform titles, so it’s not exactly a massive surprise. I do feel a bit sorry for a lot of friends who chose it as their sole gaming platform and really want to play this as it looks like you’ve got a choice – stick the blinkers on and just DO NOT LOOK at the other versions for comparison, or just do yourself out of one of the gaming experiences of the year (possibly – not played it yet but my copy’s sat at home – and it’s the 360 version because with no element of trollishness here, if it’s cross platform and console it’s gotta be 360)

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Blerk

    There is a slight difference between ‘slightly ropey compared to the 360 version’ and ‘chock full of nasty bugs’, though. I think PS3 owners are used to getting a slightly wonkier experience, but they surely don’t deserve one that’s not actually finished. Which appears to be the case here.

    I wonder if the review copies are ‘final’ code, or if the retail versions will be better?

    #7 6 years ago
  8. pjmaybe

    Hmmm good point.

    Surely though, even ropey as it is, it can’t be wholly unplayable. The thing is – review teams probably have the luxury of being able to run side by side comparisons. A single-platform owning PS3 bod won’t actually notice the bugs and glitches, probably because they’re already well and truly used to them from playing other PS3 multiplatform titles.

    Some devs get it right. EA seem to do a fantastic job with most of their PS3 ports (Burnout Paradise, Skate, even dreck like Army of Two was pretty much as good on PS3 as 360). Other devs just cannot seem to get a handle on the innards of the thing and just do the best porting job they can in the timescale.

    What naffs me off is when a dev team have a whole year to polish and develop a PS3 version of something and it still ends up inferior to other versions (Bioshock, I’m lookin’ at you kid!)

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Esha

    The reactions regarding Bethesda amaze me, sometimes.

    Their voice actors are mostly horrid unknowns, it’s a well-known fact that they never bothered to hire an animation team, the amazing plenitude of bugs show that their scripting/deisgn people aren’t as competent as they could be… and yet somehow they still leave people surprised that their programmers aren’t of the best stock?

    Bethesda can throw together a good game, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve had a long-standing love affair with Morrowind despite all this, because somehow a great deal of creativity seeped into Morrowind (something that was lacking in Oblivion). And from the sounds of it, some of the Morrowind creativity might’ve seeped into Fallout 3, as I’ve heard that it can be quite funny from various sources.

    So somehow they can and sometimes do put together good games, but they don’t have the best people to do it, that much is clear. The type of programmers who would leave so many bugs that one finds in their kinds of games can’t be expected to match up to the insane standards required by the PS3 and its SDKs. And I’m the first to admit that the PS3 has insipidly weird architecture and an alienating SDK.

    In order to make a truly great multi-platform experience, you need a stable of flawless programmers, and that’s something that we’re seeing less and less of, these days*. Considering that the stable at Bethesda is less so than the average developer, I’m not surprised that these things show up in their games more than any. Why, they couldn’t even figure out how to get DLC onto the PS3!

    I’m really going to get misunderstood over this, but what I’m trying to get at is that for a perfect product, a company needs a hell of a lot of talent, and not every company can have a hell of a lot of talent in every area. Beth’s area is primarily plot-writing, that’s where all their talent lies. No developer within recent memory has had a stable of incredibly talented people, with nary a flaw to tarnish that.

    * I think this is something that a magazine needs to do an article on at some point. I feel that games are becoming increasingly buggy as time goes on, and publishers are likewise becoming less willing to pay for the huge patches that would fix these problems. I also feel that production values on consoles are dropping too, simply because consoles can be patched these days. Because of that, I feel we tend to see a lot of beta-quality content on home consoles, where that wasn’t generally the case a hardware generation or two ago.

    I think this might be why some are shying away from modding too, so that the community doesn’t have to see what lies beneath anymore, and so that the community won’t outperform the development team (as was the case with Oblivion, much less so with Morrowind).

    Anyway, the long and short of this is that we should expect it with dropping standards within the game industry. Sony set themselves on too high of a pedestal with their hardware and few are able to match up with it bar exclusive first and second party developers.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Blerk

    Of course, if Sony hadn’t over-complicated their architecture and tools compared to the competition then developers would’ve probably had a much easier time. They didn’t set the bar too high, they made it curved and wrapped it in barbed wire.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Truk

    I shan’t be playing both versions at the same time, so I don’t really care. Although I doubt I’ll pick this up anyway. I don’t have time to play arcade games, nevermind “epic” games.

    Also, I’m sure the programmers would love to iron out all the bugs, but I’d wager they were not given the chance to do so.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Blerk

    Quite. The Christmas rush is a bitch and the publishers are no doubt bastards.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. DrDamn

    I think surprise in this case has some justification as Oblivion on PS3 was comparable or superior to the 360 – until they patched that to match some of the changes they made. So expecting Fallout 3 to be similar in quality was not way out there.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. pjmaybe

    Yeah but I’m seeing all sorts of tinfoil-hat talk about MS paying Bethesda a premium to nobble the PS3 version. Which is just utterly ridiculous talk, surely?

    Though Fallout 3 shares the same engine tech as Oblivion, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’ll be exactly the same production process. The PS3 is an utter bitch to develop for (just about everyone outside of Guerrilla and a few other PS3-exclusive developers have said so) and Bethesda seem to be firstly and foremostly PC and 360 devs. So I think they just had a heck of a lot of trouble fitting something as complex into the PS3′s pathetically piss poor VRAM and that’s probably where all these reports of buggered textures, low end models etc are coming from.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. XDamage

    In that case Sony should have maintained an army of programmers ready for outsourcing. ;)
    It just seems too easy to blame the PS3 architecture, when others manage it fine, even other multi-platform studios.

    Oh well. I’ll probably just pick up the game later today and see the horrible bugfest with my own eyes, if it exists.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. pjmaybe

    Maybe so.

    Several first-party devs (Insomniac, Guerilla) seem to have got their stuff together on the PS3. Maybe they just need to start flogging their game engine tech to other devs…

    It’s a real shame though. Potential game of the year and a whole slew of single-platform-dependent gamers won’t get to play it or will have to put up with a shonky version of it.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Blerk

    While I don’t think they would purposely nobble the PS3 version, it seems pretty obvious where their priorities were when it came to dev effort and QA time. I’m sure the fact that Microsoft handed them a big bag of cash for exclusive DLC might’ve helped a little in that respect.

    Aaaaanyway. Some people who saw this on the PS3 at the Expo yesterday say it looks really good. So it might all just be a big fuss over nothing.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. pjmaybe

    I can see the logic in them concentrating on the DLC stuff. Extra revenue.

    But sheesh, if it really is as “hideously broken” on the PS3 as the alarmist reports would have you believe, then surely PS3 owners have grounds to get a refund if there are no plans to patch it?

    I’m more than willing to believe there’s a lot of exaggeration going on though as looking at the footage of the PS3 version it doesn’t look “so broken it’s unplayable” as some would have you believe.

    #18 6 years ago
  19. XDamage

    Lol pjmaybe. “Potential game of the year and a whole slew of single-platform-dependent gamers won’t get to play it or will have to put up with a shonky version of it.” What the hell? If you want to be technical, both console versions are “shonky” versions of the PC one according to IGN.

    From the IGN Insider Fallout 3 Head-to-Head:
    There’s no question that the PC wins this Head-to-Head with the most fully featured, best looking, and best running version of Fallout 3. If you have both a 360 and PS3 I would recommend going with a copy of the game on Xbox but the differences aren’t drastic enough to warrant the purchase of new hardware. The PS3 version is still a great buy.”

    #19 6 years ago
  20. g00nerz

    Jeez another PS3 port botched. Why didn’t they just keep it a 360 exclusive instead of wasting their time and ours in putting out a PS3 bag o’ crap.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. pjmaybe

    Naw, you don’t say. The PC version’s better? Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs ~_~

    #21 6 years ago
  22. XDamage

    Yeah, then why didn’t you say something like “It’s a real shame though. Potential game of the year and a whole slew of PC-less gamers won’t get to play it or will have to put up with a shonky version of it.”?

    Hehe, but anyways, “not getting to play it”, that’s going a bit far.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. pjmaybe

    I dunno, I know people who are OCD enough to actually miss out on games if they feature even the slightest glitch, so I’d put money on there being PS3 owners who will go without rather than put up with the bugs.

    And yes you’re right, I should’ve said “potential game of the year and at least one faction of console owners won’t get to play it or will have to man up and play a shonky version of it”

    Moot point though – most people who saw the PS3 version at the EG Expo didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with it so *shrug*

    #23 6 years ago
  24. Robo_1

    There was a great podcast from the guys at Criterion around the launch of Burnout: Paradise, where they rubbished a lot of myths around PS3 development. They categorically said that Sony had great tools for PS3 development, and were actually ahead of MS in some areas.

    They summed it up by saying that the reason they got Burnout Paradise running so well on both platforms, was that they built a multi core engine from the start, and then tested every aspect of development on both platforms.

    What we’re seeing with current multi platform development, is taking a PC/360 lead (presumably as they both use Direct X tools, it’s a lot easier that way) and then after they’ve established the foundations of the engine on these platforms, they see how they’re going to work it on PS3.

    I understand them taking this approach, as it satisfies the largest market share and probably takes a lot less time to get the work done, but whilst you could certainly argue that it’s Sony who has created this rod for their back by going with such off the wall hardware, the fact that developers like Infinity Ward and Criterion are bringing games of equal quality to both platforms, means the “lazy developers” tag isn’t entirely without merit.

    Personally I don’t think the situation will improve unless PS3 either becomes the most successful platform, or it’s made clear that by leading development on PS3, you can produce better/equal results on both platforms, with no significant extra cost or time.

    The vast majority of multi platform games are approaching parity on both platforms, so it’s a shame when a high profile title like this breaks the trend.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. pjmaybe

    Good post Robo and it makes a lot of sense. Burnout Paradise really is superbly done, and in fact quite a few other high profile EA titles have been equally as good on PS3 as 360…

    #25 6 years ago
  26. warlock7

    Well, screw Gamespot. I picked it up and haven’t seen any of the issues that they are describing. Granted I’m not too far into the game yet, but that doesn’t change the fact that it looks great and seems to play very well.

    Reviewers are getting more and more idiotic as this generation progresses. Seems that those companies that do their initial development on the PS3 never have issues like those described here and they all talk about how the 360 version comes out better due to the initial PS3 dev. Lazy developers not doing the work needed to get a matched version out is the problem. As pointed out by Robo_1, if the developers do it right then there’s no reason to have either system inferior to the other.

    Then again, this game certainly isn’t a “Heavy Rain”, it’s still using the Havok engine and has the same issues of internally lit mouths just like in Oblivion. They tried to cover it up, but instead you get lighting coming from the outside edges of peoples mouths…

    #26 6 years ago
  27. David

    I can’t see why people are surprised at this can’t remember where the article was but Bethesda stated they love the 360 development kit.

    Some developers will draw a line and prefer one kit over the other. Its annoying to ps3 owners but Bethesda just prefer to develop for PC, 360 first and then PS3 last.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. Truk

    “or it’s made clear that by leading development on PS3, you can produce better/equal results on both platforms, with no significant extra cost or time.”

    This is true. I think many devs are coming to realise this is the case.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. Quiiick

    If only someone would publish some comparison screenshots, so we could make up our own mind whether the difference between PS3 & 360 is significant or not.

    #29 6 years ago
  30. David

    I bet its hardly much of a difference. I read the same crap from a oblivion and though the 360 did certain things better than the PS3. The PS3 handled other things better than the 360 version.

    In the end this is a pointless article to full the fanboy idea that one machine is inferior to another. Fallout 3 is good on all platforms. Nothing is set in stone as if there is a glitch or graphical problem it can be patched.

    #30 6 years ago
  31. Quiiick

    … well if the PS3 version does indeed freeze for a moment as soon as a friend logs in/out this would be a real show-stopper and needs to be patched ASAP.

    #31 6 years ago

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