Fallout 4: Everything We Know So Far

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Remember a couple of weeks ago when that video of Fallout 4 was released, causing half the gaming public to become apoplectic with rage because the graphics 'weren't very good'? Well, it seems Bethesda's now proved judging an entire game from a three minute cinematic clip is a bit silly.

The company recently showed off Fallout 4 at their E3 presentation to universal acclaim. This isn't just a re-skinned version of the previous two entries, as so many of its detractors claimed it would be, but an entirely new Fallout experience. 

So what exactly has E3 shown us regarding this next instalment? What are the most pertinent facts you need to know about Fallout 4? Read on and find out... 

 

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It will be released on November 10, 2015 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC

When Fallout 4 was first officially revealed as being in existence, the release date was a subject of much debate; Bethesda's own site changed from 'TBA 2015' to just 'TBA'. Some thought that a reveal at this year's E3 would mean the game not seeing the light of day until 2016 - thankfully, this isn't the case.

Fallout 4 will be released on November 10, 2015. It's thought the game has been in development for about four years, so Bethesda were unlikely to give it a big E3 announcement with it still requiring another year of work.

And, of course, the game is only being released on the current generation of consoles/PC. Today's titles are developed without the handicap of the last-gen consoles in mind, and Fallout 4 was never going to be the exception. It's well past the time to finally say "thank you and goodbye" to the 360 and PS4.

 

The character customization is awesome

I've played RPG's before, I know how character facial customization works...now, where are my slide bars? There are none! What madness is this! 

Yes, rather than use the oh-so-common, typical avatar creation tools, your Fallout 4 character's looks are moulded by dragging and re-sizing each individual facial part - no sliders to be seen. And the other big change? You're able to take on the female role in this husband and wife team, should you wish to. The couple's baby will even bare a resemblance to the parents you create, doubtlessly leading to many comically oversized appendages.

The game also introduces a mechanic that has occasionally been seen in other titles, but not memorably so. In this Fallout, over 1000 of the most common names have been recorded into the dialogue; meaning if you have used one, other characters will speak it when talking to you. Excellent news! Unless you're called Agamemnon, or something. 

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The prologue takes place just before the bombs drop

When pre-E3 footage of Fallout 4 showed gameplay that took place before the war, some speculation asked whether this was a prologue to the game - possibly for character creation and as a way to introduce gameplay elements. It seems this is indeed the case. You take control of a family man (or woman) in this world before the wasteland - although the TV hints at the horrors to come.

Once your character's all set up, the alarms sound and so beings an impressive sequence involving a mass exodus to the vault. This cumulates in a simply awesome nuke going off. What happens next, we don't know; what we do know is that the protagonist awakes 200 years later, and probably isn't in a very good mood.

 

 

More control over your dog companion

Having the option to traverse the landscape with a canine companion is not a new feature for the Fallout series. This fourth game promises a lot more options when it comes to interacting with your dog, including contextual commands - point at something in the environment, and he'll interact with it. 

The gameplay demo showed us the German Shepherd collecting items, moving to locations specified by the player, and attacking enemies. There's likely to be a lot more tricks up this pooch's sleeve - maybe he can offer alternative ways to tackle certain missions? 

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Mods created on the PC can be transferred and shared to Xbox One

Bethesda Game Studios chief Todd Howard announced at the Microsoft Xbox conference that Fallout 4 mods created on the PC will be able to be transferred, played and shared for free on Xbox One.

Howard said this was a feature he's been wanting to see on consoles for many years. This means XBox One fans can get the same lifespan from the game as their PC-owning cousins - from graphical overhauls to epic new game modes.

No word on whether this feature will also come to PS4, or how it will even work; could it involve some kind of integration between Windows 10 and XBL?

There's a Pip-Boy companion App

Todd Howard hit the nail on the head when he described the majority of game companion apps as being "usually stupid gimmicks". So will the Pip-Boy companion that is being released for Fallout 4 be the one to really break this trend? Howard seems to think so, as, in his words, it's "the best f**king one I've seen." Although he's always going to say that. 

The same code that is used for the Pip-Boy in the game is used in this app, and it's compatible with all platforms; but the thing that's got a lot of people hot under the collar is the prospect of using the 'real-life' Pip-Boy that comes as part of the collector's edition pack. This device will enable you to slide your iPhone inside, creating your very own Personal Information Processor to wear on your wrist. The Fallout 4 special edition will retail at $120, but remember - it's not actually a real Pip-boy.

 

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Dynamic conversations

How often do games trap you in conversations that you wish you could leave? Quite a lot, really. Well, because the dialogue in Fallout 4 is dynamic, it's possible to leave a boring conversation at any time. In fact, you can even wander away from a character in the middle of conversation, pick up something heavy and/or pointy, and murder them with it.

Whether or not you can do this with major characters is still unclear, although it was stated that you're not 'locked' when talking to someone, so maybe it will be an option - it's certainly a good way to adhere the claim that you can do whatever you please while playing.

JETPACKS!!!

There's nothing that adding a jetpack to doesn't improve, unless you have acrophobia, perhaps. When it comes to Fallout, the idea of soaring over the landscape using one of these beauties - blasting a Deathclaw from the safety of the sky - it's just another aspect of the game that makes November 10 seem so far away.

The jetpack is a new addition to the power armour, and is probably a customization the player can make to this mech-like suit. There's a whole new HUD whenever you're using this armour type, giving the impression you're controlling some kind of vehicle, which it pretty much is.

 

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The crafting system is epic

There are 50 base weapons in Fallout 4 and 700 weapon mods that you can customize them with. These modifications are created with the endless amount of junk you find out in the wasteland.

Unlike previous Fallouts, everything you pick up now can be used in one way or another. All this stuff can be taken apart or combined to create a modification for your weapons. And it's not just your armaments that can be altered, you're even able to make modifications to your power armour; so get ready to create a flying death-tank that fires mini-nukes.

Bethesda are trying to making crafting a much deeper experience this time around, with your character even having a layered armour system. But it's not just guns and armour that can be crafted, there's also the biggest new addition to the Fallout games........

It's also The Sims, Minecraft and a Tower Defence game!

Well, sort of. What is included within Fallout 4 is the option to create your own home and settlement. Here, you can create the layout of your building and decide what kind of filthy, post-nuclear furniture to fill it with. You can even choose a kennel for your dog companion - awwww! 

As your settlement grows, other people will arrive, including traders. This means no more travelling about looking for one, they'll literally be on your doorstep. 

But the most fun aspect of this part of the game looks to be tower defence-style elements. Your settlement will be attacked by bandits at some stage, so you need some good deterrents. These armaments have to be powered and connected to generators, so it's up to you to make sure they're receiving enough juice to work. You can even connect a terminal to this power network, allowing you to control all your electronics from one point. Amazing! 

The Fallout 4 presentation really threw up some surprises that no one predicted. The depth and range of the crafting system, especially, took everyone by surprise. This is a different Fallout to what we've seen before. The fact it doesn't have photo-realistic graphics doesn't matter, that was never what the series was about. This is a game that gives you an incredible world to live in, one that you can put your own mark on; a game with a vastly deep crafting and customization system, something previous titles have been accused of not containing; and it's a game that will, undoubtedly, be one the biggest hits of the year, if not all time. War may never change, but Fallout does. 

Published Jun. 15th 2015

Featured Correspondent

Lover of all things PC and a fan of inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin. Remembers when 'geek' was an insult. Still passionately believes Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was the greatest game ever made. Also works as a reporter/feature writer for TechSpot.com and a producer of YouTube video scripts.

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