Fallout 4 Preview
Lest we forget, Fallout 3 was one of the highest-rated and most popular games of the previous generation. Some of the game’s glory faded after the significantly less impressive Fallout: New Vegas but now that Bethesda Game Studios is back at the helm, role-playing aficionados everywhere are champing at the bit for Fallout 4. In development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, the latest entry in the award-winning franchise is scheduled for a November release, and it’s bound to deliver a deeply immersive atmosphere and a ridiculous amount of gameplay. In fact, the current rumor is that it offers over 400 hours of entertainment!
Set in a post-apocalyptic America (Boston, to be specific), the new adventure will once again encourage exploration and experimentation. Open-world sandbox structures are the norm now but Fallout 4 might be even larger and more expansive than any game you’ve played to date (and yes, that might even include The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt). The developers are going to lock in 1080p high-definition and 30 frames per second on both consoles but the title won’t be “limited in any way” on PC. Performance is important, as is the performance of an accomplished and effective voice actor: Ron Perlman is back as the narrator and he’s got the perfect voice for this type of game.
The depth of this production will be keenly felt with an in-depth crafting system, which players will use to construct different weapons and equipment, and in the bulding of various structures and settlements. Players will utilize in-game items to create defenses for their establishments, which will require electricity and other resources. In this way, the first-person action/RPG is actually a heady blend, one that consists of hefty strategy elements. Between crafting, building and modding (the latter feature is confirmed for Xbox One and PC, and it will come to PS4 provided Sony approves it), we’ll spend a fair amount of time planning and collecting. Obviously, it’s not all about combat.
But the combat will be extremely deep as well: The game will offer seven attributes, ranging from strength to luck, and each attribute has ten perks, giving you a total of 70 to unlock and use. On top of which, there are multiple levels for each perk, so the base number quickly swells to a massive 275. And of course, you’re free to customize and build your character however you see fit, so you have full control over your advancement. I wonder if we’ll have an item or feature that allows us to do a “take-back,” so-to-speak, something that would let players reallocate points if they so desire. If not, if your decisions are permanent, I have a bad feeling I’ll be sitting there for a long time hemming and hawing over where to place my points.
Perhaps most appealing about this series is the wonderfully atmospheric environment that captures the player from the outset. Bethesda wants to present us with an excellent narrative as well, which is why, for the first time ever in the franchise, the main characters won’t be silent. Each protagonist – one male and one female – will speak and at last check, they had already recorded over 13,000 lines of dialog. The story will also continue after the primary story ends, which is standard fare for most open-world adventures, and you can continue to explore and build. Post-apocalyptic Boston is a very large area, about the size of the massive fantasy world in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and there’s always lots to do.
In fact, the game is so huge, players might even be able to fly! I mean, there might be machines that let us fly, simply because there’s so much ground to cover. Also, to accompany you in your travels, you will have the four-legged friend you’ve already seen in the trailers. This dog can actually find treasure while you’re doing something else, allowing you to accomplish several things at once. Toss in the trusty robot aide Mister Handy and you’ll have plenty of assistance out there in the dusty wasteland. Fans might also recognize the Brotherhood of Steel (glimpsed in the announcement trailer) and ghouls, mole rats, raiders, deathclaws and super-mutants. In other words and in summation, this game appears to have absolutely everything you could want…hope you can dedicate a chunk of time to this bad boy!
Fallout 4 is scheduled to drop on November 10.
9/1/2015 Ben Dutka