Set to release on November the 10th, this year, Fallout 4 is quite probably going to blow the minds of many gamers. I’ve just finished watching yet another video of a presentation by Todd Howard, Bethesda’s director, designer, and producer.
Firstly, I realise many are let down by the graphics; fair enough, they’re not as fancy as a lot of other games due out this year and next, or even perhaps those of which we’ve already seen, but, the graphics are still good, at times being rather excellent, at least in my opinion. More importantly, the gameplay looks to hugely over-shadow any let-down of graphics.
Fallout 4 will apparently have mod support akin to Skyrim; tied to this is the ability to have an alternative save game for the modded version of the game, so as a result, if something goes awry, your main save file won’t be useless. It sounds as though the game will technically be able to take assets from other games, but it would be illegal; if anything, this shows just how customisable and deep the game will potentially be. IGN quotes Howard stating that generally, “if someone is using assets from another game” they have to say “no, you can’t do that,” which is understandable, legally.
Regarding the graphics of Fallout 4, keep in mind that mods will likely allow for improved graphics. Skyrim doesn’t exactly look all that fantastic, at least now, but give it a few mods and it can look substantially better. I imagine in-game settings may allow for some pretty tweaks for those with a beefy rig. My biggest concern for the game is performance, followed by bugs. I do not want to play a game that has horrible optimisation—essentially, bad performance, so this use of graphics gives me some hope that they haven’t thrown every new technology at the game, resulting in snail-like FPS.
I’m excited for the new Pip-Boy—the in-game version, not the real-life, “second-screen experience” version they’re releasing with the Collector’s Edition of Fallout 4—which really adds to immersion. Even just adding a clearly visible hand onto the Pip-Boy and making the Pip-Boy more animated results in a less traditional menu feel and more of a screen within the game world feel.
The building addition to Fallout 4 looks to be a blast. I love the premise of building up a town in which NPCs live, from just rubble and junk found within the wasteland. Todd states that, “we’re allowing your character, while playing, to rebuild,” which I think is a pretty sexy concept, made even more intriguing by the visuals and fluidity of the experience shown at E3. I would like to see a cleaner looking town built up from scrap—not something that looks too recycled, like Megaton from Fallout 3, but something that looks closer to what it did before things went boom.
There’s a few mentions of “dynamic” during Todd’s presentation. Repetition—a typical tactic of a speech, which tells us that Bethesda, or Todd himself, wants to make it clear that the game will be more dynamic than its predecessors; it’s important. The use of the word dynamic, the emphasis of doing things in real-time, the focus on the Pip-Boy’s more natural, animated feel really leads me to believe Bethesda has put ample attention to the feel of the game, and the ability to feel immersed into the experience—Bethesda wants you to feel connected to the game’s world and quite probably the characters, which may lead into a potentially more in-depth storyline.
I’ll keep watching as we near the release date, and especially thereafter. I’ll be looking for bugs, performance issues, and general gameplay concerns, but in particular, I’m just quite excited to see what Bethesda have conjured up!