It could be said that Fallout and Starfield are sister franchises, with both of them now sitting under Bethesda Game Studios’ umbrella and bearing plenty of similarities. Some have gone so far as to label BGS’ new space-faring epic ‘Fallfield’ or – to name a less inventive term – ‘Fallout in Space’.
I’ve been a die-hard Fallout fan for 15 years – ever since Fallout 3 introduced me to the series. I like to think I’ve got a keen eye for the franchise and its nuances, but how many of those nuances and mannerisms have I seen surface in Starfield? It’s no big secret that there are crossovers between the two games, but how deep does that go, and how much does Starfield borrow from Fallout?
Everything Starfield Borrows From Fallout (That I’ve Found)
I’m neck-deep in Starfield and loving every minute – here’s what I’ve found that makes it feel like Fallout in Space.
There’s a Robot That Can ‘Say Your Name’
Meet Vasco, a lovable, gangly robot with the ability to say your character’s name once it has been set. It’s a direct throwback to 2015’s Fallout 4 and the ‘Codsworth’ character who has the exact same functionality. It goes deeper, though – Vasco says almost word for the word the exact same list of names that Codsworth can utter in 2015.
Yes, that includes ‘Fuckface’, ‘Boobies’, ‘Orgasmo’, ‘Slaughter’, ‘Nipple’, ‘Humungus’, and Mudguts.
Legendary Weapon Variants Are Ripped From Fallout 4 and Fallout 76
In Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, there are ‘legendary’ weapon variants – special weapons that boast unique and powerful attributes. Those same attributes can be found on weapons in Starfield, and it’s such a like-for-like copy that the naming conventions and what those attributes deliver are exactly the same, for the most part.
The Game’s Photo Mode Feels Familiar
It’s essentially the same photo mode that can be found in Fallout 76, right down to the effects applied when you tweak brightness, contrast, and saturation – it’s a carbon copy, and even most of the character poses are the same. In a way, it’s weaker than Fallout 76’s photo mode, as it doesn’t offer the ability to change the player character’s facial expression.
The images you take will also become your loading screens at times, which is another feature that made Fallout 76 so great.
There Are Sounds Ported Over
There are some sound effects that have been ‘lifted and shifted’ into Starfield. One that I noticed particularly early on is the sound of tossing a grenade – the pin pull and throw sound effects are almost identical to those heard in 2015’s Fallout 4 (and beyond).
Dialogue Options Aren’t Far Off
Fallout 4 was ripped to shreds because it had a voiced protagonist, and that meant that there were fewer dialogue options. It basically came down to negative, positive, sarcastic, and ‘other’, and that’s almost always how it feels in Starfield, despite the protagonist not having a voice. There’s a lot of sarcasm and almost every conversation has one positive and one negative option to choose from.
Favourites Are The Same
In Fallout 4, weapons, items, and other equipment are favourited and added to slots controlled by the d-pad – in Starfield, it’s the exact same function, and it even defaults to offering the same base default that Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 do, by ‘auto-favouriting’ the game’s most fundamental healing item – the Med Kit.
Looting Is Identical
In Starfield, you loot in the exact same way that you do in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 – it’s ‘live looting’, which means you can see the inventory of a container or a defeated enemy simply by looking at it, and you can pick whatever you want to take out or open up a secondary menu that pauses the game, allowing you to transfer items back and forth.
You Can Still ‘Float’ Things
Made popular in TES: Skyrim and then again in Fallout 4 (it wasn’t in Fallout 76), players have the ability to ‘float’ items, moving them around in almost a telekinetic manner, resulting in some hilarious outcomes. For years, players have used a trick to cover a shopkeeper or a guard’s head with a bucket or a barrel and then steal from under their noses as their vision is obscured.
It’s a feature in Starfield, but while you can slot things over the heads of NPCs, it doesn’t seem to obscure their vision.
Sneaking Seem Too Similar
In Starfield, you have to “unlock” stealth, and when you’ve done so, you get an enemy awareness bar and you can do bonus damage for stealth attacks. It’s the same formula that has been used in BGS RPGs for years, right down to the ‘2.00 x damage for stealth attack’ boost. It’s not a bad formula by any means, but it isn’t an improvement on what exists.
The Power of Reading
Like in Fallout, Starfield features “skill magazines” that can be found scattered around the universe. These magazines apply permanent buffs or skill upgrades when ‘consumed’, which has been a staple feature in Fallout for years. Some of the benefits and boosts are even the same.
That’s what I have after more than twelve hours in the game – I’m curious if you’ve spotted anything else that you recognise from the Fallout games. It’s also important to stress that I’m a huge fan of Starfield – I love the delivery and I’m having a blast exploring the game, I’m just pointing out how much content has been pulled over from Fallout – but it totally makes sense.