Bigger, Badder, More Immersive
The Fallout game series takes players on a journey through a setting decades after nuclear war. The RPG's style has become a favorite for many, capturing the feel of a world that peaked in the 50's only to fall into chaos. The premise has citizens sequestered in underground vaults to survive the coming nuclear attacks. Set in the distant future from those events, players experience the world above as an alien landscape they must traverse. The sprawling open world design allows the player to explore and discover all the good, bad and strange that they can handle. The upcoming release of Fallout 4 from developer Bethesda Game Studios is set to begin a new story delivering a fresh experience making it a great start for first-time players while at the same time satisfying long-term fans of the series. There are many exciting things to look forward to and here are just a few that we know of so far.
The game has been said to have more than 400 hours worth of gameplay and contains more than 111,000 lines of vocal dialog for players to experience. The developers have also decided to move in a new direction with regard to the player character. Traditional conventions in games with player controlled characters have leaned towards having that main character remain silent so that players can immerse themselves fully. Fallout 4 will feature fully voiced characters instead, to provide more emotional impact and connection with story events. With the sheer amount of dialog built in that should make for quite an experience. Like any RPG though, individual development of your character is important. The game will still feature a leveling system that allows players to build up strengths and abilities to survive and thrive in the world. The developers have promised improvements over the previous Fallout 3 system that should provide more variety and choices as to how you make your character grow.
One of the signature elements introduced in Fallout 3 was the V.A.T.S. system (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) where players in confrontations could quickly stop the action to target specific points of an enemy before shooting, allowing you to focus on weak points of a particularly fierce opponent. The system returns but with some tweaks. The developers felt that stopping the action made the system a little too easy so rather than being able to freeze things they will slow down instead. Additionally, a critical hit bar has been added which replenishes and when full can be triggered by the player for an extra wallop of damage to an opponent. This seems to support a more action-oriented emphasis for combat and pushing that turn-based format a little bit further into the background.
Locations for Fallout games have included Southern California, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and even Anchorage Alaska. (Well...kind of. The Operation Anchorage add-on for Fallout 3 had players playing a simulation of the battle to liberate Anchorage Alaska) Fallout 4 takes things all the way back east to the birthplace of the American Revolution: Boston Massachussetts. Hailed by many as "America's Walking City", Boston is rich with history and has it's own distinct feel. Reimagining the city as a post-apocalyptic zone in the future should provide many interesting locales both new and familiar. Who would have thought the USS Constitution would be dry-docked and retro-fitted with what look like rocket boosters?
This last category takes an already content-rich game and takes making the game your own to a whole other level. Customization. Bethesda developers have gone ahead and added new tools to manipulate resources and build new things. The in-game crafting system allows players to dismantle just about anything in the game and use components to build other things such as weapon modifications or even entire buildings. The team does not expect to launch these modification tools until later, focusing on producing the best game possible first. This follows the same pattern as Skyrim with the release of the Creation Kit 3 months after launch. While this feature may not be utilized by the majority of players it does add even more activity and content to an already ambitious game.
With a new location and fresh new features Fallout 4 should be a grand adventure that delivers what fans have come to adore about it. We look forward to spending some time in the wasteland and kicking some mutant butt. Now dust off that Pip-Boy and strap it to your wrist. It's almost "Go Time"!
Fallout 4 releases Tuesday, November 10th on PS4, XBox One and PC.