One week ago, Bethesda held their first ever E3 conference and they closed the show with a huge introduction to Fallout 4. This introduction was so large, its going to take TWO articles to cover it all — Let’s review all of the information that was dropped by Mr. Todd Howard!
If you happened to miss the show, here is the Fallout 4 portion of it.
When the reveal trailer debuted two weeks ago, numerous questions were raised about the new installation to the benchmark series. Picking up from 5:00 mark from the video above, we are given an answer to one of the game’s big questions right off the bat! Fallout 4 will begin with a playable introduction set on October 23rd, 2077: “The Day the Bombs Fell.” This will be our first playable experience with the actual pre-war Fallout universe. If you remember, Fallout 3‘s DLC, Operation: Anchorage, had us play through a simulation of the pre-war battle for Alaska, but Fallout 4 will start us in the actual pre-apocalypse past.
Not only did Bethesda and director Todd Howard tell us that we will start playing in the past, they showed us what we are going to do! Starting at 5:32 in the video, we jump into two characters looking at their reflections in the bathroom mirror. Then a cursor pops up and we have been seamlessly transitioned into Fallout 4‘s character creation menu. This new menu has you click on any part of the character’s face or head and adjust their features. This looks to be an amazingly powerful new creation system that will let you have much more freedom than most creation systems to-date. While they were here, they put a big concern to rest: you will be able to play as a male or female character, and by customizing both characters and their baby will change features along with them.)
Once you have finished customizing your character, you can see that your character lives and is walking through the house from the announcement trailer. Your character then has a quick conversation with Codsworth and walks around the kitchen talking to him/herself commentating on what they see. A new question to ask is if your character will always commentate on what they see or if that was just for the intro. Following that, we get to see a full conversation with a Vault-Tec representative that has appeared at the door. Here another big question gets put to rest: You will still have full dialogue options but now the character’s voice will be attached to the options, similar to the Mass Effect series (Note here how good the animations look compared to what we saw in the trailer.)
The conversation with the Vault-Tec representative has seamlessly transitioned into you filling out your base S.P.E.C.I.A.L.’s. Here, we first see that the vault boy is now animated in his icons. The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system looks to have stayed the same but it’s impact on the game may have changed.
From here we get some details on the story, as your character goes over to the baby and their husband/wife come over to share a moment. You then can hear Codsworth from the other side of the house call for you to go look at something. The tone then quickly turns dark as the news anchor announces that New York and Pennsylvania have been hit by nukes. (Something to note here, the TV screen is actually animated.) As the sirens starts to sound outside, your character and the family quickly run to the vault. Along the way you see some Vertibirds, a tank-like vehicle, and what looks to be a sprint command for your character. You see the bomb fall nearby and the screen fades out. Back on stage, Director Howard tells us that you do make it into the vault and you wake up 200 years later. If Todd Howard was speaking literally about the time period, that would put Fallout 4 starting in 2277, the same as Fallout 3; however, it is safe to assume that he was not giving a literal time frame.
The next bit of gameplay that we are given is once your character has come out vault for the first time. We get the amazing ‘Fallout’ view of the Boston area and we see a switch to third-person camera view. Here we see that the vault suit has received a visual upgrade and it looks like an actual piece of tactical clothing now. As the character starts to walk around the area we get a quick tour of the environmental items that populate the wasteland now. (Another thing to note along the way is how simple the HUD is.)
The character returns to their old home and finds Codsworth outside the house. Not only has Codsworth survived for 200 years and still remembers the character, he confirms to us that our playable character is one of the parents from the past, not the baby. In the conversation with Codsworth, we see that facial animations have been attached to the dialogue options and that the characters stay animated through out the conversation. The speaker, Todd Howard, also adds that you are no longer locked into conversations, you may now walk away from any conversation at any time.
Next up we can see the dog come into the game, he is no longer named Dogmeat but this one is fully command-able! You simply point and click on places you want the dog to go or things you want the dog to go fetch you. Then we get a quick introduction into combat and a quick re-introduction into VATS, with all of it’s cinematic kill-shot goodness.
After that, Todd Howard mentions that the Boston area will be “the most ambitious and detailed game world” that Bethesda has created, even more so than Skyrim’s game world. We are given a quick visual tour of the Boston area and we get visual confirmation of Ghouls, Super Mutants, and Raiders.
This brings us to the halfway point of the Fallout 4 presentation. Stay here on TheOuterHaven.net to see the detailed look at the second half of the presentation.