Bethesda will be holding its first ever press conference at E3 this year. This has, of course, put the giant rumor mill known as the internet into overdrive, with plenty of gaming journos and Bethesda fans predicting that we may finally see the official announcement of Fallout 4. Personally, I’m still holding out for a Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM mashup where you make Nazis take an arrow to the knee in Hell.
But since that’s not likely to happen, let’s keep our focus on a potential new Fallout. It’s been 7 years since Fallout 3 picked up multiple Game of the Year awards in 2008. Fallout: New Vegas, which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, was a decent game in its own right two years later, but fans have since grown famished, waiting for Bethesda Game Studios to return to the franchise. Please, sir, may we have some more?
With Fallout 4 possibly on the way, it got us thinking about what kind of features we would like to see in the inevitable sequel. So here’s our list. Be sure to let us know yours in the comments.
All aboard the Fallout 4 hype train!
More NPCs to chat with. And kill.
Fallout games are supposed to be set in a post-apocalyptic world, so it’s understandable that Bethesda would want to keep a lonely overall feel to the setting. But if you’ve played Fallout on PC, you are likely aware that there are a great deal of mods that spruce up the surroundings and make the towns in-game feel a bit more alive than what Bethesda originally had planned. Most fans tend to agree that these additions add, not detract, to the experience.
One of the reasons some of the areas in Fallout 3 or New Vegas felt empty likely had to do with memory limitations on the last-gen consoles. But that’s no longer an excuse with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We’d like to see Bethesda take all of those mods to heart and create a more interactive experience out of the box, while still maintaining that overall gloomy feel, of course.
Look at Telltale’s The Walking Dead, for example. That entire game is nothing but talking to other characters, yet the game still easily maintains its overwhelming sense of dread.
Fallout 3 had a decent crafting system that allowed players to MacGyver some weapons together from the crap they found on the side of the road. But there’s plenty of room for improvement. Why not let us craft full sets of armor, MMO-style, or start with an entry-level weapon that we can upgrade with parts we find across the wasteland throughout the entire game. Let me turn my starting pistol into an AK using duct tape and radioactive pizza. Somehow.
Bethesda’s games have not received high remarks in the last few years for their combat, although that aspect of Fallout 3 was enjoyable enough. Unless you were using the enjoyable Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, the aiming felt rough at times.
Fallout has a turn-based past, and the VATS system was a nice transition, but it would be nice if we could get a Borderlands-like system for real-time combat, while maintaining the classic RPG elements Fallout is known for. Even Halo 5 has made some modern updates to its shooting mechanics in order to keep up with faster-paced games like Call of Duty. Fallout is obviously a very different franchise, but we’d like to see Bethesda make some quality of life improvements to the combat system just the same.
While we’re on the subject of combat, let’s talk about Fallout 3‘s version of a melee attack. It sucked. The end. Good talk, amirite?
As long as they’re going to revamp the combat thanks to this column (yeah, right), let’s work on getting some Skyrim melee action as well. Yes, that game’s combat wasn’t much to write home about either, but at least when you smacked your follower in the face, he or she got pissed off.
Melee in the last two Fallout games felt more like something to fill the time while waiting for the VATS system to reload. When I smack somebody in the face, I want them to cry. I want them to cry like a bitch. No, I don’t have anger issues. Shut up. Or I’ll hit you. Moving on…
Both of last gen’s Fallout games were notorious for their long load times. Every time you wanted to go to a new area, you had to sit there and wait… and wait… and wait…
If Grand Theft Auto V can fit what feels like the entire state of California into its game, and you can drive from one end to the other without ever having to stop for a load screen, there is no longer an excuse for this in the next Fallout. Let’s get an open world game that really feels like an open world.
A Karma System with Real Consequences
The Karma system in the Fallout series is supposed to make you think twice about every action you take in the game. Do good deeds, get good Karma. Go around stealing stuff, and people will know you’re a bad guy. Seems pretty straight forward. But I never liked that you can pretty much reverse all of your negative Karma if you just start doing a bunch of good deeds.
In a game like Dragon Age, once you make certain decisions, that’s it. People will remember you that way forever. There’s no going back unless you have a different save file. In Fallout, It feels a little weird to be able to just drop a bunch of nukes on people, but then turn your reputation around by doing a bunch of smaller good deeds. Dude. You NUKED people. That is your identity for the rest of your life. You’re the douchebag that dropped the bomb. GG.
Take Us to Beantown
It’s been widely rumored, if not confirmed, that Fallout 4 will be set in Boston. Which makes sense, since Fallout 3 made mentions of a place called “The Commonwealth” that’s located in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth is said to be home to The Institute, a mysterious entity with highly advanced technology capable of creating synthetic humans/androids with real artificial intelligence, among other things.
We know that Dr. Zimmer and his android bodyguard Armitage are from the Institute and that Zimmer left The Commonwealth in search of an escaped robot that is ‘unstable,” — according to Zimmer, anyway. Players were given a choice in Fallout 3 to either help Zimmer capture the rogue android or allow the android to kill Zimmer.
Regardless of which path you chose, it sounds like The Institute and these androids may play a larger role in the plot of Fallout 4.
Aside from that, we’re just excited about the prospect of walking around Boston in the Fallout universe. The city has a large amount of history to it from the Colonial era, and it would be fun to see Bethesda take on what’s happened to places like the Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall. Plus, there’s always Fenway. Think the Red Sox will still be in town?