It’s official folks, we have been waiting for this moment for so long and words cannot describe how excited I am right now! Before we get properly started, for those of you who haven’t seen the official announcement trailer from Bethesda, here you go.
Officially announced by Bethesda Game Studios today, the sequel to 2008’s sprawling, post-apocalyptic RPG is set to land on PC, Xbox One and PS4 sometime relatively soon. Hopefully. We don’t have an official release date right now, so it’s purely down to speculation as to whether we’ll be seeing it this year or next. If it is this year, you can guarantee it’ll be towards to holiday season, I’d wager November at the earliest, but with confirmation from Bethesda that we’ll be seeing gameplay at their first ever keynote presentation at E3 this year that they’re pretty close to completing the game, we may even get a solid release date locked in at E3. One can only hope.
Fallout 4 is to be set in The Commonwealth, an area in the Fallout-verse mentioned in previous titles, which I believe is where Massachusetts is(?) so we’re looking at a new zone, one which is ravaged by war and violence, a description handed to it by denizens of the Fallout-verse. If it’s a point those people feel necessary to make then it must be pretty bad, seeing as the nuclear wastelands and violence go hand-in-hand already! Aside from these details, little is known right now. It’s unclear the exact gameplay direction Bethesda are taking, but I sincerely hope they take a few lessons away from Obsidian’s 2010 title, Fallout New Vegas.
Fallout 3 was a hell of an accomplishment, I spent an awful lot of time wandering the wastes and meeting as many of the people in that game as I could, but New Vegas felt a little more, complete maybe? That might not be the right way to describe it, but there were two key features in New Vegas that weren’t in Fallout 3 that I’m really hoping are brought over to Fallout 4, as they simply pulled me further into the game, fully immersed in the wonderful world of Fallout. The first, a fairly simple and maybe quite insignificant addition was the ability to aim down the sights of your gun. As I said, it’s not a huge addition, but that one thing sunk me way further into the game than I thought it would, simply because that’s what people do. If you’ve got a semi automatic rifle and are trying to pick a decent shot from a way out, you’re simply not going to sit just the other side of a rock trying to hit your target with hip fired shot. That’s a sure fire way of wasting your ammo, giving your position away and eventually getting killed. Putting this mechanic in Fallout immersed me so much that, lights off and headset on, it really made you feel like you were there.
The second of New Vegas’ additions I really, really hope Bethesda put in Fallout 4 is hardcore mode. Oh boy, that really put your wasteland survival skills to the test. Requiring to eat, drink and sleep on top of stim packs not insta-healing you and everything weighing a relatively realistic amount, therefore limiting how much ridiculous shit you could carry on you, that was fantastic. You know you’re going off to fight something big and nasty? Well sure, take a Fat-Man and some mini nukes, but don’t expect to be able to take your other plethora of weaponry, you have to make cut backs somewhere. I’d like to see Bethesda expand on this system, bringing in weather effects so long periods of time in the scorching heat will tire you and make you thirsty quicker. Maybe if you spend a long period of time with your pack almost full of stuff that’ll tire you quicker too. Hardcore on New Vegas also presented by with some hilarious moments, one of which resulted in me slowly crawling back to a town after a run in with human enemies, one of which crippled my arm. Those enemies were also accompanied by dogs, who broke both my legs. Then, on my way back, I got attacked by giant bugs and got poisoned by a stinger. It was awful at the time, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the truly dreadful state my character was in. Moments like that set the game above anything I was playing at the time, it’s the RPG equivalent of “Battlefield moments”, situations you’re unlikely to come across in other games that make great stories for gaming friends.
A large amount of customisation will be expected too, not just in terms of your characters appearance but in regards to your gear. Armour, clothing and weapons all need customisation and upgrade paths, whether they take the form of cosmetic changes or full on performance upgrades. No doubt there will be a crafting mechanic in there, and if hardcore mode returns then it’ll be required for making food and staying alive. Only time will tell exactly what we’ll be getting, but since we’re getting a full on gameplay feature at E3, which is about a week and a half away, it looks like we’ll be getting answers to these thoughts and questions very soon.
Exciting times indeed.