The Fallout Over Fallout: Which Version is Superior?
Forget the quaint notion of great superpowers going toe to toe in a nuclear exchange -- if World War 3 ever takes place it will be ignited by fanboys. This week the hostilities reached a fever pitch, as Bethesda’ post-apocalyptic RPG finally arrived on retail shelves. The multiplatform game is available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. So naturally, the first question every fanboy had before rushing out to snag a copy was: “Which version is better?”
IGN unwittingly fanned the flames of the debate by first slamming and then revoking their complaints about the PS3 version in their review. On the Xbox 360 Fallout 3 received a score of 9.6, while the PS3 received 9.4, a 0.2 point deduction for what the reviewers at first called “significant bugs”. Later they changed their review, but not their final score, leading many observers to suspect that an advertising deal with Bethesda might have given them pause over their harsh comments.
But is the PS3 version really more buggy than the Xbox 360? Other reviewers say that it is. Gamespot for example has pointed out that the PS3 version has many more visible problems, such as missing textures on certain enemies and occasionally muddy textures in other places. Another glitch, which is caused when the PSN sends a friend notification is minor and can be fixed simply by playing the game offline.
Based on what we have seen, it is certain that the Xbox 360 has a slight graphical advantage over the PS3 in Fallout 3, but it is very minor and does not affect gameplay in any meaningful way. While console fanboys squabble over who has the “gimped” port of Fallout 3, the real story is how fantastic the game looks on a capable gaming PC. With anything even approaching the recommended system requirements (Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, Geforce 8800) Fallout 3 looks lightyears better than it does on either of the consoles. Textures are vibrant and contain detailed bumps and crevices. The draw distance extends ridiculously far, and the wasteland is littered with more objects, bushes, and wildlife than the console counterparts. Also, where the console games have very limited reflection and shadows, the PC version at least has some, which help to give the game a more lifelike appearance. Good PCs can run the game at a solid 60 frames per second, while the console versions struggle to maintain 30 fps.
In conclusion, if you are worried about which version has the best performance, the answer is clear: a modern PC with a decent graphics card will run the game better than either of the consoles.
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[Sources: IGN, Gamespot, Neocrisis]