Fallout 4

All the Fallout news from QuakeCon 2015

Fallout 4 is poised to be one of the biggest releases of 2015 and Bethesda is working like mad to not only keep the game hyped all the way to their November release, but also to provide hungry hungry fans and media alike with as much information as possible on a game with a comparatively tiny window between announcement and release.  Of course the line becomes a blur during certain convention events, where the developers struggle to keep things exclusive in an environment full to the brim with people focused on delivering content to their audience.

As a result, even though cameras and phones were turned off during the Fallout demo at QuakeCon IGN live blogged the whole event to keep everyone updated on the latest Fallout news. Although we don't have any live footage yet there's a lot to be learned from their recap, so let's break it down.

Androids in the Vault

Android users far and wide have been calling for a compatible version of Vault Shelter since the day it hit IOS devices during E3 this last month, and until now we've only had a few vague announcements that it'll hit Google Play shelves sometime in August. Luckily Peter Hines is to the rescue of fans everywhere, opening the Fallout 4 Demo event with not only a solid release date of August 13, but also that IOS and Android users alike will have access to a major patch on the day of release. The patch will add Mr. Handy as an unlockable character, as well as several new enemies and challenges even the most experiences Vault overseer will struggle with. The enemies have been described to be as benign as Molerats or as deadly as Deathclaws, so be sure to prepare your vault as even more horrors of the wasteland attempt to destroy your sanctuary of civilization.

How S.P.E.C.I.A.L. are your perks?  

As the demo moved on viewers were treated to a sneak peak of a series of videos Bethesda has planned for release between now and Fallout 4's launch. Each Vault-Tec infomercial focuses on a different S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck) stat. It's the same stat chart we've seen in Fallout games for years but this is the first time we've been treated to a full blown set of trailers for each stat, it's an exciting chance for Bethesda to stretch its humor wings that will hopefully be reminiscent of the iconic “Meet the...” videos Valve released for Team Fortress 2. The first trailer focused on Strength and we'll likely see it hit the net in a week or two.

As an added bonus we've had our first hint at the perks Fallout 4 will feature, which will be more heavily influenced by your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats than in the past. It's also likely that we'll see a return of the "perk every level" style that was modified to every other level in Fallout: New Vegas. It's a welcome change considering that perks are one of the most entertaining features of character progression in the Fallout universe. We don't have a full list of new perks or which perks will return from previous games, but it does seem that at the very least the fan favorite “Bloody mess,” perk will make its brutal return in Fallout 4.

A walk down gameplay lane

The event closed with the actual Fallout 4 demo, which focused on demonstrating some of the locations and events that you should find exploring the Boston Wasteland. The gameplay opens with a quick jaunt through ghoul-infested Lexington, where presumably feral ghouls have ousted the bulk of the population aside from a small group of survivors. The main character and Dogmeat take a bloody stroll through a group of ghouls and along the way loot and use a laser musket to great effect. We've seen the laser musket before in all its crank-winding glory and hearing about the way it tears through enemies has me excited for energy weapons again, a category that always felt somewhat underpowered and underutilized in recent Fallout games. From a balance standpoint it's really hard to make a rifle that shoots super heated plasma too much stronger than its bullet-toting counterpart, but it would be nice to see them buffed to a somewhat more realistic level, even if the ammo has to be rare as diamonds as a result. 

The main character moves on to a Super Duper Mart where he has Dogmeat search for supplies while he hacks a terminal, Dogmeat's sniffing abilities were a feature that went largely unused back in Fallout 3, likely because the mechanic was never really explained, something that will hopefully change as we see more of our four legged companion. Inside the location the main character encounters a robot NPC and is soon set upon by another group of ghouls that crash in through the front windows. Hopefully they actually crash in in the game itself, because a destructible environment would be a fantastic fit for Fallout.

Cut to a new location, this one a power plant labeled Corvega. The main character is not alone: raiders infest the depths of the facility, but they're soon set upon by a group of ghouls. This is an interesting demonstration of the faction warfare that Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both utilized, but which received mixed reviews because of its tendency  for bugs as the player swapped between different faction clothing. In the demo, the main character waits for the battle to subside before moving in with a scavenged pipe covered in small blades to smash the head in of one of the remaining raiders. The IGN reporter made a special note of the satisfying sounds that the weapons and characters utilized in the echoing facility.

The footage cuts and the main character is back in a town square where a group of Brotherhood of Steel members clad in beefy power armor descend from a dropship to help you tear through the remaining raiders in the area. A few seconds later the main character gets his hands on a genuine Fat Man mine nuke launcher, the weapon of choice for ash piles everywhere. In classic Fallout style it's immediately followed by the appearance of a Super Mutant Behemoth that needs its intestines remodeled on an atomic scale. The main character blamos the Behemoth with the Fat Man and the demo closes on the atomic mushroom cloud.

This all sounds impressive and fun, but only time will show if Bethesda's efforts really pay off. Fallout 4 releases on November 10 of this year.