Fallout 4 came out in November 2015 to massive success and quite a fair bit of criticism. Being the first title after Skyrim that was developed by Bethesda, anticipation was high for the newest installment in the Fallout series. While the reviews were generally favorable, critics have cited various issues that plague this title. These include the inventory management, simplified dialogue, new perk system, and the dated graphics. Most people have compared the game negatively with Skyrim, labeling it to be vastly inferior to the legendary game.
However, this assessment can get extremely harsh. There are a lot of things that Fallout 4 does well that have been wrongly ignored in the favor of facilitating yet another useless comparison that has been done countless times. And yes, while most of the criticism is justified, there's so much more that's simply not. Skyrim, while a great game, is certainly showing its age, and Fallout 4 has managed to surpass it in more ways than one. Here are 15 reasons why Fallout 4 is better than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
15 The Inclusion Of A Voiced Protagonist
While this has been a point of major contention, a protagonist with a voice is a huge step ahead for Bethesda games. The silent hero is a thing of the past. There are only a handful of games that can properly pull of a silent protagonist in today's day and age. In games that tell a story, controlling someone who can speak does wonders giving your epic journey a voice.
Immersion is also an important part of most games. Following a story that you're invested in is important for a game, especially RPGs that generally have a focus on plot. This immersion is easily broken if, for some reason, your character can't utter a single word from his lips.
14 The World And Setting Is More Appealing
The post-apocalyptic setting is in full force right now, perforating many forms of entertainment such as comics, movies, books, TV shows and — most importantly — video games. While the fantasy setting is obviously appealing, there's no question that a post-apocalyptic setting provides a lot of creative freedom for the developers to craft an interesting world that will impress and immerse people from all around the world.
The fantasy genre has already been wildly populated with various worlds, and doing something fundamentally new with it is a challenging affair. While The Elder Scrolls has a unique, and well throughout the world (that has immersed many players from around the world), it still pales in comparison to the ravaged landscape of Fallout after a nuclear war.
13 Companions Are More Fleshed Out
Including DLC, there are 16 companions in Fallout 4. This is markedly down from the 50 or so followers you can find in Skyrim. On its face, this might seem like a win for Skyrim, but there's an important reason for the decrease — all of the companions in Fallout 4 are well-written and completely fleshed out.
While there are a few standout followers whom you can recruit — Cicero and Serana (a DLC character to boot) come to mind — the majority of the followers in Skyrim are pretty forgettable. Meanwhile, in Fallout 4 you have companions that react to your actions due to an affinity system that gauges their overall impression of you. Maxing your affinity provides you with a companion-specific perk as well, and perhaps even the option of romance. The depth of the companions in Fallout 4 are miles ahead of any character in Skyrim.
12 Easier Accessibility To Lore
Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of lore for interested gamers to find in Skyrim. The problem is that the only way to figure out the majority of this fascinating lore is by (*shudder*) reading, which can get quite arduous over time.
Fallout 4 solves this dilemma by providing a well-balanced supply of holotapes and terminals in order to provide little snippets and let the player figure out the back-story of a certain location or character on his/her own. This is a better way of providing information to the player that isn't time-consuming or boring — serving as a sharp contrast to the reading sessions that you're forced to comply with in Skyrim if you're hell-bent on researching the lore.
Because of this ease of accessibility, there's another aspect of Fallout 4 that trumps Skyrim...
11 Locations Are More Interesting
The locations in Fallout 4 can be fun, disturbing, rewarding, or challenging to explore. The post-apocalyptic world allows for a developer to flex their creative muscles as they try and form stories for various locations that many players can come across in their adventure. These stories are up to the player to discover as they rummage through the wreckage. The combination of an interesting world and lore accessibility means that most gamers would be invested in learning more about their surroundings.
While Skyrim has many locations that allow a player to be enveloped in the same sense of wonder, they are too few and far between to have any major impact on the overall quality of the game. The vast amount of locations also means that most players will notice a number of instances in which textures have been repeated lazily, while in Fallout 4 this is less noticeable.
10 The Game Was More Polished Than Skyrim At Launch
To call something more technically sound than Skyrim is not exactly a great compliment. Bethesda games have become notorious for their sheer number of bugs and glitches — some funny, others... not so much — and Skyrim was no exception. While the game wasn't exactly broken on PC and Xbox, the PlayStation was a whole another story.
Now, fast forward to 2015 and Fallout 4 releases. PC gamers rejoice, while console gamers warily play the game... before realizing that the game isn't all that bad from a technical standpoint. In fact, Fallout 4 is perhaps one of the most polished releases by Bethesda in recent times. It's not bug-free, but nothing's serious enough to make it absolutely unplayable.
9 Combat Is Better By A Long Shot
If you want the short answer as to why Fallout 4's combat is better than Skyrim's, think about it like this — Fallout 4 is basically Skyrim with guns.
While that might be a gross oversimplification, it's still a sound one. In Skyrim, combat basically means spamming the attack button until the enemy is dead if you're a melee character, or hiding in the shadows and silently picking off monsters with your bow if you're an archer (who obviously does stealth as well). There's magic as well, but that's not particularly fun to use.
Meanwhile, Fallout 4 has tons of different guns, an improved combat system, VATS, grenades... the list goes on and on. These things would be enough to signify a marked improvement over Skyrim, but there's one huge gameplay feature that seals it for Fallout 4 in the combat department.
8 Gun Mods Add A Ridiculous Amount Of Combat Depth
If the variety of guns wasn't enough, then there's an absolute crapload of gun mods that can completely alter the damage, clip capacity, stability and even the type of ammo your gun uses. With the right materials, you can turn a rifle from a fairly useless weapon into a lethal silenced sniper rifle with which you can pick off enemies from a distance in a single shot.
This level of customization keeps the combat fresh and encourages experimentation, which is not what one can say about Skyrim. Yes, you can enchant your weapon in order to do additional damage, afflict a status or something else of the sort, but in the end, all you're going to do is mash the same attack over and over again until the enemy's life reaches zero.
7 Every Item Has A Purpose
A person uninitiated to the general manner of Bethesda games will quickly find their inventory cluttered with useless stuff that barely has any resale value. This will lead to the dreaded micro-management in these games where you'll need to start prioritizing and drop the items you don't need, no matter how enticing they might be.
Fallout 4 mitigates this problem by having every item consist of a crafting material you might need if you decide to get into settlement construction. If an item is taking up too much space, you can always break it down to its basic components at the workshop, or just build something that conveniently happens to use those same materials. With this system, the line between useless and useful items become rather blurry.
Of course, if crafting isn't your thing then you can always load up the junk jet with useless stuff for a laugh.
6 Survival Mode Revamps The Entire Fallout Experience
Fallout 4 is a challenging game at some points, although hardcore players might find the overall experience somewhat lacking. If that is the case, then Bethesda's got that covered for you as well. On March 29, 2016, Bethesda released a brand new difficulty named 'Survivor Mode' for the most hardcore of players. This difficulty setting completely revamps the entire Fallout experience.
There are a number of features that are added in Survival Mode (too many for us to list here). This option is not available in Skyrim, and the only thing the difficulty slider does is alter the damage dealt and received multipliers, which is nothing compared to the number of extra features Survival Mode provides in Fallout 4.
5 Power Armor Is Awesome
Power Armor is an awesome mainstay of the Fallout universe. Your scrawny, weak Vault Dweller can turn into an absolute freak of nature once he/she steps into this suit of armor, wreaking havoc as the boosted defenses mean you'll suffer almost negligible damage. You will also suffer zero falling damage, letting you attempt some rather impressive free-falls.
This suit of armor would be a boon in Skyrim, what with its large mountains and deadly cliffs. The negation of falling damage would be extremely useful, as will the increased damage defenses. Alas, this is unfortunately not the case, and Skyrim has to bear with the absence of this godly armor.
4 Nothing Quite Like Dogmeat In Skyrim
Dogmeat is one of the first companions you meet in Fallout 4, and he's arguably the best. He's got decent carry capacity, but he can't use any weapons (meaning that you can store your Fat Man and rest assured that it won't be used to kill a radroach). Our canine hero can also sniff out useful items for you and has his own specific perk that allows for greater accuracy in VATS.
It's a shame that there are no followers like Dogmeat in Skyrim. The closest you can get is by adopting a pet in the Hearthfire DLC, although that pretty much fails to capture the essence of what makes Dogmeat such a great character. To add to his awesomeness, Dogmeat also doesn't qualify as a companion when you use the Lone Wanderer perk, meaning that you can gain +100 carry weight with no penalties whatsoever.
3 Settlement Building Is Addictive
Skyrim's Hearthfire DLC allowed you to construct a home on various plots of land, among various other paltry features. Gamers had to wait until Fallout 4 to finally see this system used to its full potential in the form of settlement building.
This is where the junk you've been hoarding all this time becomes extremely useful. You can alter or construct an entire settlement using nothing but the materials you've gathered in your journey. With some effort, you can turn a desolate landscape into a thriving settlement that's powered up and connected to other settlements through trade routes. Fallout 4 always manages to freshen up its gameplay in various ways, and settlement building is perhaps the biggest example of this.
2 Procedurally-Generated Quests Are Handled Well
Skyrim has one major flaw that can completely break immersion — narrative disconnect. You might've ended the Civil War, become the Dragonborn, and be wearing the most impressive set of Daedric Armor possible... but Brenuin needs that Argonian Ale, and he needs it now dammit.
This is an area that Bethesda needs to improve on, and the fruits of their labor do show in Fallout 4, where procedurally generated quests actually make sense (instead of being random things that you're told to do by inconsequential NPCs). The system still needs to improve, but if Fallout 4 is anything to go by, then one need not worry about it — Bethesda clearly knows what they're doing.
This coherence allows a major part of Fallout 4 to improve substantially when compared to Skyrim...
1 The Story Is Better Than Skyrim's
Just like its stability, Bethesda's games are not known for having the best stories. The games are more about exploration and making your mark in their respective worlds. However, it would be nice if Bethesda paid more attention to their rather haphazard story structures. You're supposed to be the Dragonborn in Skyrim, but the story isn't as epic as one would hope, and most of the time you'd be doing something completely different, not even bothering about the main story.
While Fallout 4 doesn't have the greatest of stories, it still manages to tell a great tale nevertheless. While narrative disconnect is still present (saving Shaun becomes a second thought when you dress up as a fictional superhero in order to fight crime), it can be confidently said that Fallout 4 has a better story than Skyrim.