As promised, Bethesda gave a lengthy preview of Fallout 4 during their E3 press conference. During the demo, they took us through the opening hours of the post-apocalyptic RPG.
Fallout 4 begins before the nuclear apocalypse - or rather, on the morning it begins. The player character and his wife wake up in their perfect suburban home and freshen up in the bathroom. This is where the character creation takes place. Like other Fallout games, Fallout 4 allows you to be either a man or woman. You can switch between the husband and wife at will to alter their appearance. The game will then adjust your baby's appearance based on your decisions with the parents.
After filling out your character's stats with a door-to-door survey, you're alerted to a special TV broadcast: the nuclear war has begun. The news anchor on screen appears to be Ron Perlman's character, the narrator we heard in every Fallout game but never saw to date.
The family runs to the local Vault to get shelter from the nuclear blasts. However, they reach the entrance just in time to see a nuclear bomb detonate nearby. Designer Todd Howard says that the player character manages to get into the Vault just in time. They then emerge 200 years later to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I guess the rumors of the player going into cryogenic sleep were true, then.
I was very curious to see how Bethesda had changed Fallout 4's combat from Fallout 3. The extent of the changes is still unclear but we at least know from this demo that VATS is returning. Players can periodically pause the combat and then queue up attacks at specific parts of enemies.
Players will once again have a wrist-mounted PipBoy that they can use for stats, inventory, maps and radio stations. However, this incarnation of the computer is a bit more advanced. It has animated graphics and can play holotapes. Some of these tapes are full-fledged arcade games, like a Donkey Kong knock-off.
Howard revealed that players will be able to own a PipBoy outside of the game as well. The Fallout 4 Collector's Edition will include a functional PipBoy. Alternately, you can download a mobile app at launch that performs the same actions as the in-game version.
During the player's early adventures into the wasteland, we see him reunited with his dog and robot butler. Both will apparently live with the player at the new custom base, a feature we were expecting due to the first trailer. Players can take scrap from the environment to create the structure of their home and furnishings.
This level of customization extends to the player's equipment as well. They can acquire 50 different weapons and outfit them with a total of 700 modifications. Players' will also be able to modify their Power Armor to their liking.
Maybe the most exciting thing that Bethesda shared about Fallout 4 during tonight's presentation, though, was the release date. We won't have to wait much longer for the game. Fallout 4 will be released on November 10th of this year on PS4, Xbox One and PC.