Of course they were. But my opinion aside, GameZone poses that very question in a new editorial that analyzes the company's history to come up with a "smart money" guess as to what sort of fate this latest Fallout entry carries with it.
Their first original IP, espionage themed RPG Alpha Protocol, is also the worst received of all Obsidian's games. Wildly over-ambitious, Protocol succeeded in terms of offering the player a coherent, non-linear narrative with plenty of choice and consequence, but failed to impress when it came to the core gameplay. Yes, let's hand out a near perfect review score for Fallout 3, and then find fault with the engine less than two years later.
The bulk of the game was a terribly constructed, unbalanced melange of third person shooter with underlying RPG mechanics that resulted in bizarre, nonsensical situations; shooting someone point blank with a shotgun could leave them almost uninjured, because you hadn't sunk enough points into the requisite skill; stealth (powers) could be used to walk straight past unsuspecting guards in plain view; some boss fights were virtually unbeatable without the (right) skills.
It's also Obsidian's most recent work, released earlier this year, and developed by overlapping personnel to New Vegas. This stinker is the one thing that bodes really, really badly for their Fallout project.
The Gamebryo engine and the codebase that powered Fallout 3 were inherited from Oblivion, a Bethesda game dating from 2006.
When Fallout 3 was released, it impressed graphically, but mainly because of the top-notch visual design; the nuts and bolts of the graphic tech was already looking a little long in the tooth.
The bad news is, the new game employs the same underlying tech; and it's really showing its age in the screenshots. Line it up next to id software's RAGE, another upcoming post-apocalypse adventure, and Fallout: New Vegas looks almost quaintly old-fashioned.