A lot of us here at the htxt.africa offices are huge Fallout fans, and have been playing games in this series since the first was released way back in 1997. We’ve collectively logged thousands of hours in all of the game’s incarnations, and as such the franchise is near and dear to our hearts.
The game hasn’t yet been officially unveiled – all Bethesda has done is put up a giant Fallout 4 countdown site that’s ticking down to 4pm today – and while we wait, we thought we’d share with you some of what we’d like to see in the new game.
Not an MMO
Please, please, please don’t be an MMO. Nothing would ruin Fallout more than seeing it cheapened and turned into an online world like The Elder Scrolls Online, which was so poorly-received by gamers that it was turned into a Free to Play game within a year of its launch, despite being based on the incredible Elder Scrolls single-player games.
Not a mobile game
We don’t want to see iOS or Android anywhere in today’s announcement unless it’s to do with a companion app that nobody is forced to download. It is our fervent wish that Fallout 4 remains PC and console-based.
We want deep, far-reaching consequences to our choices and actions in the new game world. We crave a sense of meaningful, heart-wrenching choices throughout the game that leave us pondering them even after quitting.
While multiplayer is fine and dandy and co-op has its place, Fallout is a lonely, somewhat desperate single-player adventure that emphasises isolation and survival. Having a friend – or friends – along won’t provide that.
A new game engine
For the love of all things good and holy, please don’t let Bethesda re-use the bloody Gamebryo engine that was used in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Oblivion and Skyrim. Those games looked great in their respective days, but this is 2015 and we want more pretties.
When Fallout 3 landed, we weren’t sure Bethesda would be able to do a good job of translating the first two games’ turn-based combat into a first person setting, and yet they did. VATS, or the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, was brilliant in that it paused time and allowed for the targeting of individual body parts, and the chance to hit was based on your character’s stats.
The resulting slow-motion animations of your tactical aiming choices playing out was the hook that kept some of us coming back for over 200 hours’ worth of entertainment.
We’d like to see VATS improved with perhaps more choice as to which body parts to shoot at, and a high-tech dismemberment and injury system that causes enemies to behave and bodies to disintegrate according to where they’ve been shot/slashed/blown up.
Fallout has become known for its character development system that grants your character special abilities – Perks – at certain levels that help with combat, general adventuring and talking to people. While it’s worked well so far, we’d like to see new ones that change things up in ways we’ve not yet seen in a Fallout game.
How about rewards for discovering all of the Vaults in the game (if there are any), shooting enemies in sensitive spots a number of times, not using VATS even once in a playthrough, only using knives/handguns/etc. or other similar playstyles.
Multiple endings based on my character’s actions. Please don’t pull a Mass Effect 3 on us: we want (and need) endings that make sense according to what we’ve done.
A smarter theft system where all guards don’t automatically know I stole something when only one person saw me do it. Telepathic guards are not cool.
Also, please be more lenient – having an entire town, which I’ve just saved from a fate worse than death, start attacking me for stealing a fork accidentally sucks quite a bit.
Or at least, one car. Fallout 2 was made all the better for the discovery, repair and use of the only car in the post-apocalypse wasteland, and having another one in this new game would be awesome. Come on, if the wasteland warriors of Mad Max can gerry-rig vehicles years after a nuclear war, there’s no reason Vault Boy can’t too!
SUPPORT MODS ON PC RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO! Skyrim on PC still sells well today, despite being almost four years old, because it’s open to being modded. Please do the same thing to Fallout 4 and release tools that allow the community to fix it and make it better for years after release.
Bigger, badder sticks
One of our favourite things to reminisce about is Fallout 3’s awesome “nail board”, a board with a nail in it that was oh-so-satisfying to smash enemies to bits with. We want more melee weapons in this new game, preferably bigger ones with badder nails hammered through them, and a nice new animation system that conveys just how badass it is to smash your way through a horde of Super Mutants with a big stick wearing nothing but a loin cloth.
That, and new firearms, rocket launchers, energy weapons and other creative ways of dispatching your fellow wastelanders would be grand.
Please, Bethesda, don’t mess this up for us. If all you do is keep the game on PC and console and single-player only, you’ll have done your job.
Holding thumbs for the 4pm announcement to not disappoint.