Fallout 4, the next edition in the post-apocalyptic role playing game from Bethesda, won’t be released for Xbox One, PS4, and PC until November 10th of this year, but already it’s beginning to spark debate among gamers.
One issue that’s hotly debated is the graphics. Bethesda freely admits that the focus of Fallout 4 wasn’t the best possible graphics as a technical achievement. They felt they were able to get the look they wanted without pushing graphics hardware to its limit. Let’s face facts here, people. A PC can upgrade graphics cards, a console cannot. The Xbox One and PS4 set the limit for cross-platform games, and that’s just the way it is. We’ve all seen lots and LOTS of Fallout 4 gameplay now, courtesy of this year’s E3 conference, and the graphics are certainly not bad–even if they’re not as state of the art real looking as they could be. I’m with Bethesda on this one. Very good graphics are good enough, if it means the game will run smoother on my elderly gaming computer.
Another issue that’s got gamers worked up is the character naming. Usually, in a role playing game, computer generated characters substitute the pronoun “you,” or perhaps the generic title of “hero,” whenever they are referring to you. Your name shows up in the overhead text, but the character never voices it. Bethesda has decided to change that, this time, and they have recorded voiceovers using THOUSANDS of different names. The result of which is you’ll have to choose from a list of names–a very, very LONG list of names–but you still don’t get to use your favorite name, unless that happens to be one on the list. I’m not going to let myself get too worked up about this one, either, because Bethesda has also voiced thousands of hours of regular dialog with characters, this will be one of the most thoroughly voice-acted games in history. Great voice acting goes a long way to increasing immersion when you’re in a role playing game, and Fallout 4 is going to have plenty of it.
Finally, gamers got a little cranky when one of the producers said he’d been playing Fallout 4 for more than 400 hours and he “was still finding new stuff” that he hadn’t seen before. Why would gamers be upset over lots of content? Because it’s not all content. By his own admission, a great deal of the producer’s time in game was devoted to Fallout 4’s richly complicated crafting system. Still, Fallout 4 knows the target it has to hit. Grand Theft Auto Online and Witcher 3 have shown what a huge open world looks like in a game, and Fallout 4 has to at least be in the same ballpark with their open world gameplay.
A couple more Fallout 4 news tidbits for you. It turns out that your loyal canine companion, Dogmeat, isn’t exactly mortal. Perhaps not wanting any angry Twitter campaigns from PETA, Bethesda decided that your dog can’t be killed. He can be HURT and even incapacitated, so he’s not a four legged cheat code, but you won’t be having to deal with the loss of your only friend, even if you’re lousy at saving him.
And in case you hadn’t heard, Fallout 4 is set in Boston. After the bomb went off, naturally, but Beantown nonetheless. I always enjoy it more when I get to see familiar landmarks in a video game. It helps with the immersion. I’m glad Bethesda has taken that route.
Fallout 4 is accepting pre-orders now, pretty much anywhere. All three versions, Xbox One, PS4, and PC, are priced at $60. That’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.