What a night. What a flurry of information we have been given. WHAT A PREVIEW! I watched the Bethesda conference on my lunch break at work and I will be perfectly honest, I raised a few heads with my excited whoops and hollering. For my report however I should go back, and start at the beginning of the preview and the beginning of any game. Character Creation.
Character creation is something I’ve always struggled with. Of course I try and make my in game avatar look as much like me as possible but some time some of the options you go though are a little tedious and strange. Brow Depth? Fulcrum Width? Fallout 4 has changed this process complete and just let you run a cursor over your in-game face, male or female of course, and just select items you want to change. You no longer have to know how many degrees your ears are from vertical, you can just tweak them till you look just right. Being Fallout of course we have the Classic S.P.E.C.I.A.L system for your basic stats (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck) which is all set up in the normal way but one great feature is your name. Normally games like this no matter what name you pick the game will continually refer to you as “The One” or “Stranger” or “Something really vague” (OK, that last on is a lie but you get the idea). For the first time ever in a Role Playing Game Fallout will call you by name. Bethesda have programmed into Fallout 4 1000s of different names so as long as your not being crazy and calling yourself Princess Consuela Banana Hammock the game will talk to you.
The Fact the game talks to you brings me onto a fantastic truth about Fallout 4 (and something I’ve suspected since the first trailer). Your character has a voice! Every vocal response you give to conversation will be verbalized. Now although I’m sure the female and male characters will have different voices Bethesda didn’t reveal whether you can choice your voice or if its set. I can understand it being set but it would be amazing to be able to change your voice.
Now my Dear reader what you have read so far has been improvements on what we already love in Fallout. Its time to start talking about the new and exceptionally exciting things…..
First up Bethesda announced a special edition of the game for all platforms which will include a full sized and wearable Pipboy! What makes this item truly special is the fact that not only can you put fit your phone inside it but you will also have access to an app so you can link your mobile to your game and use your phone as your Pipboy! Accessing your inventory and stats in the real world! Personally I don’t think I will use this only when I’m playing the new fallout, it may end up just being my new smart watch.
Continuing on a phone theme Bethesda have also announced a new mobile phone game which is free to play with no adverts and doesn’t have to be connected to the internet to work. Fallout Shelter is a brand new Sim game were you create and control your own vault as Overseer. The styling is perfect for the Fallout universe with all the characters taking the form of Pip-people if you will. You have full control over your Dwellers and can help them level up, get kitted up and explore around the vault to find you supply. It seems fantastically well made and is out now on I-phone, those of us on Android will have to wait until the end of the month.
A few things have been previewed in game as well. Three of the biggest announcements all came around modifying your kit. Of course you can modify your guns as in Fallout 3 and New Vegas but now there are over 90 base weapons to choose from and to those you can add 100s of modifications, making what ever weapon you wish. Secondly is the new aspect of Amour modification, as hinted in the preview art you get access to a workshop were you fix and repair your very own set of power armour. In previous games you got access to different set of armour but now you can combine them. Although at the moment it seems to only be a stylistic choice this may infer in game mechanics to serve different perks to the player. Thirdly is the most interesting for me, Settlement Modification. At some point in the game you will get the chance to settle down and create your own base of operations. Now this isn’t just a case of choosing a safe house or buying a property, as show in the game-play at E3 you will be able to tear down an old structure and its surrounding and recycle its parts into new modules that you put together to create your own home. It seems that all the parts are ‘magnetized’ so they stick together really well and the controls look easy to manage but some of the examples shown are amazing. You will even have the ability to install power generators and have lighting, security and defences to protect yourself and your friends from the evils of the wasteland.
Of all the previews we’ve seen from E3 so far this has been the most exciting for me. The Fallout series has always been a very entertaining escape from the mundane world and there was a chance that some of its charm might have been lost in a modern reincarnation. From what Bethesda have shown us I think they have created another fantastic game in a new and exciting setting. The new additions to the game do not take away from its original story telling style and I think will introduce a lot of new fans to the Saga. The fact that if you buy Fallout 4 on Xbox One you get a free copy of Fallout 3 is also kinda amazing.
Fallout 4 will be released on the 11th November 2015 and if you want the Pipboy edition I recommend pre-ordering it now, I know I will be!
See you in the wasteland stranger.
Fallout 4 is Copyright of Bethesda, all images and footage belong to them.