Fallout 4's greatest asset is its color palette

Of all the ways Fallout 4 outshines earlier entires in the series, the way it uses color is perhaps the most apparent. The game is a vast improvement over its predecessors in one simple way: It's loads more vibrant. In 2008's Fallout 3, nearly everything in the post-nuclear apocalyptic Washington D.C. was a sickly shade of green, a deliberate choice by the developers at Bethesda Softworks to sell an omnipresent feeling of sickness and decay (it still persists in certain places here). B-team developer Obsidian Entertainment's Fallout: New Vegas introduced a bit of chroma to its irradiated Las Vegas landscape in 2010, but it was still primarily a brown game. Bethesda's triumphant return to the Wastes is what shakes the series' palette up the most. As you'll see in the gallery below, the use of vibrant colors and a tightly defined palette serves a couple of purposes here: It differentiates one room or Boston-area landmark from the next and keeps everything in Fallout 4 looking visually fresh.

Sean Buckley contributed to this report