Bethesda Studios started off E3 2015 with a bang! The highly respected game publisher held their first ever E3 showcase on June 14th, 2015 and did not disappoint. The company covered such games as DOOM, Dishonored 2, Elders Scrolls Online, and a new IP called Battle Cry. The two-hour, 30-minute showcase had everyone in attendance patiently awaiting more information on Fallout 4, and what they got blew their minds. Here is an in-depth review of the Fallout 4 presentation of Bethesda’s E3 2015 showcase.
Attention To Detail
Todd Howard, Executive Producer of the Fallout series started the showcase emphasizing an attention to detail. According to Howard, Fallout 4 began development immediately following the release of Fallout 3. Howard drove home the point that in Fallout 4, everything in the world will be detailed. From the different buttons and lights on all the terminals, to the way enemies attack you and how dynamic lighting looks and influences the world around you.
The team at Bethesda has one simple goal as stated by Todd Howard, “It’s our belief that when all of these small details come together, they form a much larger whole,” Howard said.
Personally, I was amazed at what I was seeing. I mean Fallout 3 ranks up there with some of my favorite games of all time, I couldn’t get enough of it, playing hours on end a day until I beat the main storyline then replaying it over and over again trying different things. I’ll admit after completing Fallout 3 twice, it got a little stale, but what I heard from Todd Howard makes me believe that Fallout 4 will most likely take years to get stale. Everything from the way Boston looks after the war, to the way the concept art look for NPC’s this game may very well take over the lives of players like never seen before.
Setting & Character Customization
Fallout 4’s story begins in pre-war Boston Massachusetts, you start the game creating your character, but unlike fallout 3 where your character was created from birth, here you are an adult man or woman with a family, and most likely a more fleshed out backstory. The character customization in this game seems to be a complete 180 from previous Fallout games. Gone are the hideous presets and not so accurate sliders. Now players can fully customize their facial features, hair and facial hair, race, and even gender, to create the wastelander they have always wanted. The new system seems easy to use, but also in the same breath looks like it can become very detailed if taken the time mess around with.
Along with physical features, players can now hear their name called when spoken to as Bethesda has included over 1000 common names for NPC’s to say. Also, the way skill points are first allocated has completely changed. The “You’re Special” book is gone and now an employee from Vault Tech has arrived at your home, you allocate your skill points while filling out information to on a form. Everything from the normal fallout skills to your name is entered there, this gives the game a fresh approach to the introduction and seems to allow the player to feel engrossed in the game like never before. Additionally, for the first time ever the Fallout series will have a voice-acted protagonist. This is huge news as it breaks away from tradition and tries something new. Personally I love this idea because it helps to add a sense of realism to the series not seen before and I hope that this continues for more Bethesda games in the future.
The Fallout 4 gameplay engine seems like a breath of fresh air to longtime Fallout players. For all the praise Fallout 3 received one glaring problem was present, The Gameplay. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Fallout 3, but the gameplay in Fallout 3 felt like everyone was a puppet, or that you where stiff. God Forbid you decided to play in the third person view, which had wonky animations, weird glitches, and very bad aiming. All of those issues seem to be changed for Fallout 4. During the gameplay section of the Fallout 4 Showcase, I couldn’t help but smile at how smooth everything flowed. The game felt alive, organic, and felt like a game that completely grew from its predecessor and learned from their mistakes.
Everything from the VATS, to the Pip-Boy, have been improved. The VATS system feels revamped, enemies still move while you are in VATS, the sections of the body your character targets are vibrant, easy to read, and a lot more streamlined. While the Pip-Boy is fully revamped is no longer just a menu. The new Pip-Boy is fully animated with full 3D models, looking at weapons, and layered clothing options have been improved. Also, audio diaries can be heard via the Pip-Boy with an all-new Animation for inserting and ejecting different diaries.
One of the most surprising improvements to the gameplay, are the new crafting and level editing abilities included in the game. Now, everything in the game is useful, it pays to be a hoarder. Players can use objects collected for weapon enhancements and clothing improvements. This addition will have players searching high and low for different components, allowing them to fully customize their gameplay experience.
I’m very excited to give these new features a try when the game releases. But keep in mind, if crafting and level editing is not your thing, all of these features are completely optional and will not take away from the natural Fallout 4 experience.
Fallout 4 on the surface looks like a game that will become one of the greatest games of all time. Everything that was wrong with Fallout 3 seems to be improved, revamped, or remastered. The setting looks amazing, alive, and organic. The gameplay seems improved in all areas that hindered Fallout 3. And the story? Well, that just has the feeling that it will be a story that is remembered by millions of gamers across the world long after its release. I for one can’t wait for Fallout 4’s global release, on November 10th, 2015. Happy Travels, Wastelanders!