Tag Archives: Bethesda Game Studios

Review: Fallout 4

fallout 4 cover
via Giant Bomb

Fallout 4 (2015)

PS4 / Rated M

RPG / Shooter

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios


It’s been almost seven years since Fallout 3, one of my favorite games of all time, was released by Bethesda.  The game included massive amounts of exploration in a rich world with stories and adventures around almost every single corner.  It was impossible not to get lost in the Capitol Wasteland.  The novelty of seeing familiar historic landmarks with a post-apocalyptic lather over them was also unique, especially for an RPG of Fallout’s size.  It was only this past summer when Fallout 4 was introduced to the masses and it took gaming fandom by storm.  It’s pretty rare these days to have a game announced the same year that it comes out.  Excitement and speculation were everywhere leading up to last month’s release.  However, what’s the one downside of massive amounts of hype?  Overhype.  Luckily, Fallout 4 met most of its expectations and delivered one of the year’s best experiences in gaming.

fallout 4 1
via Inquisitr

One of the most unique and different aspects of this iteration in the series is the game’s introductory sequence.  In past Fallout games, you only saw what life before the war was like through billboards or posters that could be found around the wasteland.  In Fallout 4, you finally get a glimpse into what life looked like before the bombs dropped.  You play as a married military veteran (man or woman) with a kid named Shaun.  It’s just a normal day in Sanctuary Hills when things start to go south really quickly.  Your personal Mr. Handy, Codsworth, alerts you to the television where news of nuclear fallout starts to rear its head.  It’s then a full on sprint with your newborn child in hand to nearby Vault 111 where you will wait out the Great War.  Unfortunately, things are not so happy and cozy in the vault, as you emerge from the vault 200 years later as the sole survivor.  I’m not going to sit here and spoil what goes on in the vault, but it’s pretty easy to draw conclusions.

After you gain the knowledge that your child Shaun was taken from the vault, your mission to find your son begins as you take your first steps out of the vault into the harsh wasteland, courtesy of a couple of nuclear bombs.  (Sound familiar to the plot of Fallout 3?  Well, just switch out “your son” with “your father” and bam, you have the same exact plot.)  As you explore the wasteland, you’ll find settlements and factions that will help you with your quest to find your son.  There are four factions in the game, including the Minutemen, the Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel (which should be familiar to anyone who has played Fallout), and the mysterious Institute.  Each have their own motivations and enemies and it’s up to you to decide which faction you want to carry on with to the end.  This promises four different endings, with minimal differences between them, aside from the Institute ending.  The story is not the strongest aspect of the game, but’s its serviceable and it acts as a device to get you exploring the world, which is in my opinion the best part of any Fallout game.

fallout 4 2

Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are the home of Fallout 4.  Its immediately apparent that the nuclear bombs did not do a number on the city like they did Washington D.C.  Boston still lays in ruin, but the scenery is much more colorful and there’s an abundance of buildings that are largely intact, including some tall skyscrapers.  For one, it makes the world a lot more enjoyable to explore.  The boring drab atmosphere of Fallout 3 got old after a while, but Fallout 4 changes it up a bunch with locations ranging from metropolitan sprawls to swampy marshes to coastal beaches to rural farmland to suburban neighborhoods.  The map is also massive with tons of locations and points of interest.  The best part?  None of it seemed to be filler.  Almost every nook and cranny had a story to tell.  Bethesda has managed to create a living and breathing world where NPC’s do their own thing and random events happen all around you.  My story exploring Boston will most likely be totally different from another player’s experience, which is a good indication that you have done something right.

Fallout 4’s gameplay and combat mechanics have also gotten a massive overhaul.  Combat is actually more fun this time around.  In previous games you had to rely on V.A.T.S. (Vault Assisted Targeting System) to take out your enemies because aiming with your gun was a joke.  Although the game does not compare to your modern FPS, Fallout 4 manages to make it easier to aim you gun and play the game like you would a normal shooter.  A more updated, and now dynamic, V.A.T.S. system is in place (and still highly recommended), but you can use your sights again.

fallout 4 3
via Softpedia News

Dialog options have received an overhaul as well.  Gone are the days of scrolling through a menu of dialog options during a conversation.  Instead, you have four options which are paraphrases of what you are going to say.  You now have options like “Sarcasm” or “Threaten,” but without the exact words that you would utter.  This dynamic system also allows you to leave a conversation at any time you want by just walking away mid conversation.  This dynamic system seemed cool at first, but it had its troubles.  I often found it hard to determine if I was in a conversation with someone because the classic conversation camera zoom from the previous games is gone.  I often found myself walking away from characters who would then get annoyed that I was ignoring them.  It’s too bad there wasn’t an “Apologize for Being Rude” option, because I would have used that one a lot.

The level up system has also changed, giving you a chart of all the perks in the game right up front.  Depending on your initial stats that you set in the beginning of the game, you can place your points that you receive from leveling up into the different perks, ranking them up to get more advanced versions of those perks.  This allows for more customization based on the way you want to play.  Some people have been put off by this new approach, but I found it more enjoyable.  Finally, there are a lot more options for modding your weapons and armor.  Now, all the junk that you find in the world has a purpose beyond just populating the world.  You can use the junk and materials that you find to develop more advanced versions of your weapons and armor, giving you the advantage in battle.  There was a surprising amount of customization options for your guns, armor, and power suit.

fallout 4 4
via US Gamer

This leads me to one of the craziest parts of the game which is settlement building.  Fallout 4 gives you the tools to create your own settlements from the ground up using all of the junk that you find throughout the world.  You construct buildings with beds and then defenses and power.  You also have to make sure you provide your settlers with water and crops as well, keeping them happy.  The mechanics can get pretty deep, especially when you start talking about trading between your settlements.  You can create trade lines between your settlements, which in turn give you more supplies and resources.  Although some of the mechanics and systems are a little janky and hard to use, I spent way more time then I originally imagined I would in this mode.  There’s no real point to creating big settlements, but it was still fun anyway.  It’s something that you can show off to your friends.

My only real complaint with Fallout 4 are the bugs and jank that are scattered throughout the game.  It’s hard to fault a game as large as Fallout for technical glitches and hiccups, but it’s still frustrating.  I imagine the QA process for a game like this is a nightmare but I still think it’s inexcusable for a game to be so buggy in this day and age.  Look at a game like The Witcher 3.  That game rivals Fallout 4 in size and scope and still manages to look better and run better as well.  It leaves Bethesda with no excuse for why their game is technically less superior.  Fortunately for them, the game’s other aspects more than make up for these problems.  However, future Fallout games need to clean up their act.

fallout 4 5

I have put a borderline unhealthy amount of hours into Fallout 4 because the game basically combines the best parts of the previous Fallout games with more updated and modern mechanics.  Anyone who has played the previous games will feel right at home while new players will find the game to be a nice springboard into the rich and engrossing world that Fallout 4 has to offer.  In a year that has been full of great games, Fallout 4 caps off the year just like a bottle cap on an ice cold Nuka Cola.  Okay, that was a bad Fallout joke…

fallout 4 score

Also available on PC and Xbox One

Advertisements

Fallout Commercialism: Breaking News Edition

In Bethesda’s Fallout games there is only one source of news available to the survivors of the nuclear fallout, and that is Galaxy News Radio.  However, that wasn’t the case before the Great War.  In addition to GNR, the Capitol Post was a major part of the pre-war landscape.  Hubris Comics, although they didn’t deal with news, provided another print medium that entertained many kids and adults alike back before the nuclear fallout.


galaxy news radio

Galaxy News Radio, run by the always charismatic Three Dog, is the only surviving remnant of the Galaxy News Network.  (Although, this may no longer be the case.  The Fallout 4 reveal trailer contains a billboard advertising GNN.  Perhaps we will have the opportunity to explore more of GNN.)  The network was the leading source of news, especially in Washington D.C., the location where the network’s radio division is located.  Any attentive listener will realize that a lot of the pre-war advertisements can still be heard playing on the air, most likely due to pre-programmed reasons.

GNR's Three Dog
GNR’s Three Dog
Interplay's Logo
Interplay’s Logo

Now, lets get into some of the real life inspirations that provide the foundation for the radio station.  We’ll start with the studio Interplay’s logo, which is actually inspired by the Galaxy News logo.  In the original Fallout, the logo appeared in the introductory scenes and due to the series’ popularity, Interplay, the publishers of the original Fallout, adopted the logo as inspiration for their own.

The Logo from Fallout's Intro
The Logo from Fallout’s Intro

Almost everybody that I talk to loves Three Dog, the charming radio DJ that graces the Capitol Wasteland with his wit, humor, and most importantly, a good taste of classic music from the era.  The character, voiced by Erik Dellums, shares the name with the character Dog 3, who is actually played by Dellums himself in the

Erik Dellums
Erik Dellums

movie She’s Gotta Have It.  Dellums had a pretty big say in Three Dog’s character development, including his signature howls.  As you would imagine, a lot of the things that Three Dogs rambles on about on the radio sprout from a variety of pop culture.  Lets break down the most notable ones:

“You can’t stop the signal.” – This line is muttered after fixing the atenna that needs worked on at the Washington Monument.  The line is actually borrowed from the 2005 movie Serenity, directed by Joss Whedon.

Joss Whedon's Serenity
Joss Whedon’s Serenity

“Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in Rivet City!” – This line is more of a deep cut.  Anybody who is familiar with the 1950’s musical The Music Man will recognize this line though.  The musical takes place in River City, and one of the characters says the line, “Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in River City!”

The film adaptation of The Music Man
The film adaptation of The Music Man

“Your friendly neighborhood disc jockey” – Three Dog sounds a lot like Spider-Man when he howls out this line.  The line references the 1960’s cartoon where Spider-Man is referred to as “Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

1960's Spider-Man
1960’s Spider-Man

Ding, dong, the Presidential asshole is dead!” – This one comes from the film classic Wizard of Oz.  In the movie, we hear the cleaner “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!”  It is clear that Three Dog has watched his fair share of movies at this point.

The dead witch from the Wizard of Oz
The dead witch from the Wizard of Oz

“One small step backwards for man, one giant evolutionary rewind for mankind.” – This one will be instantly familiar to any connoisseur of American history.  This is a reference to a quote from Neil Armstrong when he took his first step on the moon.  The only difference is that he was taking a step forward instead of backward.

The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet

Finally, one of the featured radio shows that plays on the GNR is The Adventures of Herbert “Daring” Dashwood.  The show tells the wacky stories of Herbert Dashwood and his sidekick Argyle.  The show is actually a reference to the 1930’s radio program The Green Hornet, which features vigilante Britt Reid fighting crime with his trusted sidekick Kato.  The radio show’s story lines also contain references to the original broadcast as well.


capitol post

Before the war, most citizens of Washington D.C. received their news from the Capitol Post, which had its offices in L’Enfant Plaza.  The company doesn’t take a prominent place in the Fallout games, but in Fallout 3 players can read some of the articles published in the paper at the paper’s HQ.  You can read up on the fictional news stories about the disbanding of the United Nations or the Pint-Sized Slasher, a super weapon that was being developed by the US Government.

The Washington Post's Logo
The Washington Post’s Logo

The newspaper is an obvious reference to Washington D.C.’s actual newspaper, the Washington Post.  One of the interesting things about the Capitol Post is the price of the paper, which was set at a whopping fifty six dollars, obviously due to inflation from the war.

A loading screen from Fallout 3, featuring the Capitol Post
A loading screen from Fallout 3, featuring the Capitol Post

hubris comics

Finally, lets talk about Hubris Comics, the Marvel Comics of the pre-war era.  Branching from Hubris Publishing, the company has been making comics ever since 2021.  The company had a part in war propaganda, similarly to Marvel Comics who produced a number of comics featuring propaganda about World War II and the Cold War.

Loading screen featuring some of Hubris Comic's properties
Loading screen featuring some of Hubris Comic’s properties
Lair of the Ice Worm
Lair of the Ice Worm

Probably the most recognizable comic that the company has put out is Grognak the Barbarian.  The series, which contained fourteen issues is an obvious reference to the real life comic Conan the Barbarian.  The references don’t stop there though.  The cover to “In the Lair of the Virgin Eater” bears resemblance to Conan’s “Lair of the Ice Worm.”

In the Lair of the Virgin Eater
In the Lair of the Virgin Eater

Another popular comic and television series from the company was The Adventures of Captain Cosmos.  The TV show that accompanies the comic aired on Thursdays at 8:00 prior to the war, which is strikingly similar to Star Trek, which aired during the same time slot during it’s first two seasons.

Ad for Captain Cosmos
Ad for Captain Cosmos

Fallout Commercialism: Mr. House Edition

In the last installment of Fallout Commercialism, we looked at a couple of pre-war companies, one being RoboCo Industries.  The corporation was pretty powerful and successful, partly due to the fact that it was under the umbrella of Mr. House’s business ventures.  Robert House was a savvy businessman and his businesses thrived under his direction.  In this edition, we are going to look at some other companies that Mr. House dabbled in and their inspirations from the real world, starting with the one above them all, House Industries.


house industries

via Nexus Mods
Robert House Concept Art

Robert House was a wealthy and forward thinking businessman that thrived before the bombs dropped during the Great War.  As I stated in the previous edition, Robert House draws a lot of similarities from real-life Howard Hughes, a successful businessman from the United States.  In Fallout: New Vegas we learn about House Industries, Mr. House’s umbrella company that held majority shares in some top corporations from the pre-war era, one of them being RoboCo Industries.  The other two were H&H Tool Company and REPCONN Aerospace, which we will explore later in this edition.

The famous image from Mr. House's penthouse
The famous image from Mr. House’s penthouse

On the topic of RoboCo Industries, anybody that has visited Mr. House’s penthouse in Fallout: New Vegas probably noticed the Securitron “girls” that roamed his living quarters, developed in conjunction with RoboCo.  One of them is named Jane.  There was supposed to be another named Marilyn, but she was ultimately cut from the game.  The story behind these two Securitrons is an interesting one.

caption
Jane, who’s face bears resemblance to Jane Russell
caption
Jane Russell

Jane is a specially programmed Securitron that serves and entertains Mr. House in the state that he is in.  She is commonly known as one of Mr. House’s girls.  What’s interesting about her is her relation to the real life American actress Jane Russell, who bears a striking resemblance to the Securitron’s face.  The 1950’s film star got her start with The Outlaw, in which she co-starred with Howard Hughes, who we already know is the inspiration for Robert House.

One of Jane Russell’s friends was icon Marilyn Monroe, who was the source of inspiration for the other Securitron named Marilyn.

caption
Concept for Marilyn

Marilyn did not make the final cut in the game due to problems with the character’s voice over, which was not able to be fixed in time for release.  Thus, the world never got to see Mr. House’s other lesser-known robot slave, but thanks to some concept art, we can see why Marilyn and Marilyn Monroe are related…

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

H&H_Tools_Factory

The interesting thing about the H & H Tool Company was that it was never actually owned by Robert House, although he had a big part in the company’s history.  The tool company was originally founded by the father of Robert and Anthony, Robert’s half brother, House.  When their father passed on, Anthony cheated the family company out of Robert’s hands and took the company for himself.  The company did fine in the initial years of his ownership, but then things started to get shaky as Anthony missed his father and his advice.  The final descent occurred when Robert, who eventually went on to bigger and better things with House Industries, made an attack on the company through the stock exchange, nailing the final nail in the coffin.

Entrance area of the H & H Tools Factory
Entrance area of the H & H Tools Factory
Old Ad for the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company
Old Ad for the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company

The real life Howard Hughes, who is the inspiration behind Mr. House, was actually the owner of Hughes Tool Company, a business that was actually started by his father, Howard Hughes Sr., as the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company.  The company was a big part of the Hughes family, which led Howard Hughes Jr. to buy stock of the company from his relatives to continue the business.  He eventually sold the company in 1972 to pursue other business interests.


repconn

REPCONN Aerospace is the final company that interested Mr. House.  The name stands for Rocket Engineering and Production COmpaNy of Nevada.  REPCONN’s main focus was the manufacture of Rockets for the US government, with their headquarters and test site still standing in the Mojave Wasteland.  The company was at first an up-start, but it was seen as having great potential, which made it a prime target for Poseidon Energy and RoboCo Industries.  The company continued to operate on their own, until it ultimately fell under House Industries’ umbrella.

REPCONN's HQ in Nevada
REPCONN’s HQ in Nevada
Boeing's Logo
Boeing’s Logo

One of the first things you notice is the company’s logo, which looks pretty familiar to the famous aviation company Boeing’s logo.  This probably is not a coincidence considering the two company’s shared interests.  What’s probably less apparent is the fact that the company is actually based on the real life company PEPCON, which operated in a facility in Nevada.  The company originally specialized in space fuel production until the 1990’s.  The company’s facility eventually caught on fire and received massive damage from explosions due to space shuttle fuel oxidizer which was not stored correctly.

Footage of the PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada
Footage of the PEPCON disaster in Henderson, Nevada
REPCONN Propaganda
REPCONN Propaganda

REPCONN produced a lot of propaganda posters relating to corporate espionage that can be seen in the Mojave Wasteland.  These kinds of posters were common among government companies during time of war.  In my opinion, they were my favorite posters from the game.  They also produced billboards advertising the headquarter’s museum, which offered guests a look at the company’s ventures

50's Robot
50’s Robot

and other projects.  The billboards featured a robot that is probably inspired by the toy space robots of the 1950’s.  After completing the tour at the HQ, there is an abundance of toy space rockets, which were another popular toy at the time.

REPCONN Billboard
REPCONN Billboard

Fallout Commercialism: A Look at Fallout’s Pre-War Companies

The wastelands of Bethesda’s popular RPG series Fallout are desolate and often dangerous places to be.  October of 2077 marked the end of the Great War when the entire nation was brought under by the blasts of nuclear weapons.  However, before the war, the world of Fallout was a different place, drawing similarities from the reality that we live in today.  This is especially prominent in the game’s pre-war companies that are often seen throughout the wasteland.  Lets take a look at some of these companies and their real-life inspirations.


Sunset Sarsaparilla Company

sunset sarsaparilla logoThe Sunset Sarsaparilla was a pre-war soft drink company that was well known for their Sunset Sarsaparilla soft drink.  The company was located in Las Vegas and the story of it’s creation was an interesting one.  The drink was created by a saloon owner who wanted to make a new drink flavor, but did not know what to make, turning to his saloon’s patrons.  No one gave any suggestions besides a stranger at the end of the bar that recommend a drink containing Sarsaparilla.  The stranger had a family recipe and wanted the owner to follow the recipe very carefully.  It was soon after this when the stranger fell victim to some bandits and died.  The saloon owner was mad at his luck, but found a bottle upon the Saloon’s doorstep with a recipe attached to the bottom.  It was for the Sarsaparilla drink, which after a taste, drove the owner to create Sunset Sarsaparilla.

sunset sarsaparilla ad

The drink is one of the few soft drinks that players can find in the wasteland, however, it was a common flavor of 19th century United States.  It was especially common in Hollywood westerns of the era, offered as a choice of drink in saloons that was usually mocked by the “manly” cowboys nearby.  This is funny, because one of Sunset Sarsaparilla’s pre-war ads contains a hefty man lifting weights with the slogan “Build Mass with Sass!” OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sarsaparilla also contained its fair share of supposed health benefits as well.  It was said that if taken in larger doses, the drink could induce sweating which was regarded as a health benefit at the time.  In the game, Festus, an animatronic puppet, contradicted the healthy aspects of the drink, saying “Excessive ingestion of Sarsaparilla can lead to deleterious effects including, but not limited to: kidney damage, nausea, digital numbness, anxiety, loss of visual acuity, dizziness, occasional nosebleeds, joint inflammation, tooth decay, sore throat, bronchitis, organ rupture and halitosis.”

sunset sarsaparilla festus haggenSpeaking of Festus, the animatronic robot that can be found in Fallout: New Vegas, more specifically in the Sunset Sarsaparilla bottling facility.  He’s part of an interactive exhibit and largely used as a marketing tool for the company, introducing people to the drink.  Festus gets his name from Festus Haggen, a popular deputy on CBS’s western TV show Gunsmoke. The character is best known for his limited vocabulary as well as his lovable demeanor, which makes it easy to see where Bethesda drew its inspiration from for Sunset Sarsaparilla’s lovable mascot.

sunset sarsaparilla festus


Abraxodyne Chemical

abraxo containerAbraxodyne, a subisdiary of RoboCo Industries, was a popular pre-war company that specialized in cleaning products, like Abraxo.  If you have scoured the Capitol and Mojave wastelands, you have most likely seen these boxes of Abraxo cleaner in homes and other facilities.  Advertisements for the product can be seen adorning the walls of various supermarkets and other stores, featuring RoboCo’s Mister Handy cleaning a house with Abraxo abraxo adcleaner.  All it takes is a quick glance at similar advertisements from the fifties to notice the similarities.  The one glaring difference is Mister Handy taking the place of women, who were widely considered responsible for keeping the house clean and shiny.

abraxo real ad

Perhaps a lesser known product put out by Abraxodyne Chemicals is their Tastee Clean Sanitizer.  It was a small little device that could purify different foods and take some of the radiation out of certain items that you find in the wasteland.  It’s hard to believe that this kind of appliance existed before the war, but Abraxodyne Chemicals was a sub company of RoboCo Industries, which means that they had a lot of technology and research at their disposal to develop this sort of product.

abraxo sanitizer

In Fallout 3, Takoma Industrial was considered to have produced Abraxo cleaner before the war, evidenced by the 81 boxes of Abraxo that you can find littered throughout the facility.  Takoma Industrial is located in Takoma Park, a location in the Capitol Wasteland.  Takoma Park is an obvious reference to the real life Takoma, DC which is a diverse neighborhood containing mostly middle class families.  These days, the suburban town mainly serves as a historic district, but it once was known as a commercial hub, containing lots of shopping malls and industrial buildings.  The similarities between Fallout‘s Takoma Park and real-life Takoma can obviously be seen.

abraxo takoma


RoboCo Industries

roboco logoSince we already explored Abraxodyne Chemicals, I figured the next step would be a look at it’s parent company RoboCo Industries, one of the most powerful cornerstones of pre-war industry.  The company was founded by Robert House, the mastermind behind New Vegas.  Robert House is a successful business tycoon who is closely modeled after Howard roboco houseHughes, a famous American business tycoon and investor.  Some of Howard Hughes’ interests were in technology, more specifically aviation, aerospace, and defense systems, which is what RoboCo specializes in.  As Howard Hughes got older, he could often be found inhabiting the top floor penthouses of Las Vegas hotels, were he spent the later portion of his life.  The similarities between Mr. House and Howard Hughes could be considered coincidental, but the two are super similar.  Even portraits of the two tycoons are strangely similar.  They must have been photographed by the same photographers…

roboco hughes

Lets get back to subject.  RoboCo, like I mentioned before, the corporation had it’s hands in numerous design projects, from the purchase of REPCONN Aerospace to the design of the Pip-Boy, one of the most iconic items from the Fallout Universe.  The company is also known for its Unified Operating System, which was used on almost every computer before the Great War.

roboco openVMSThe Unified Operating System draws some resemblance from the real life OpenVMS system.  The operating system was common on the terminals of large-scale industrial companies from back in the day.  Some of the commands that can be seen on the terminals in the game, like “SET FILE/PROT=” and “SET TERM/INQ” are commands that can be used in the VMS system.  The terminals in the wasteland also bear a lot of the same characteristics of the computers from back in the day, like the green screen and the font of the text.

roboco uos

Pip-Boys are perhaps one of the company’s most successful products and can be seen on the arms of many vault dwellers.  Pip-Boy stands for Personal Information Processor and was a device that could store large amounts of information, as well as information that could be read from holodisks.  The devices were standard issue to all Vault-Tec vaults and they were improved with newer versions over time, much like any other device that we have today.  The Pip-Boy is a glaring example of the smart watch technology that we have today, and as the game’s designer Todd Howard playfully remarked, it was one of the first smart watches that ever existed.

roboco pipboy

roboco robby the robotFinally, the company was also known for their line of Protectron robots that specialized in defense, but could be put to manual labor as well.  In 1956 there was a Sci-Fi film called The Forbidden Planet, which featured hero Robby, the Robot.  Robby’s likeness was a source of inspiration for the Protectrons, which contain similar characteristics and weapons.

roboco protectron


There are a lot more companies that existed before the bombs dropped and I plan to explore these companies in future additions of this series.

Fallout 4 Welcomes You to Post-Apocalyptic Boston

Vault hunters, the wait is officially over!  Fallout 4 has been officially revealed this morning after what seemed like a long 24 hour countdown.  What greeted us at the other side of that countdown was a very good looking cinematic trailer introducing us to what looks to be Boston, along with some other things.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

The trailer begins with the camera zooming out of the TV with some classic jazz playing in the background, a familiar sound to any fan of the series.  The camera than moves around what looks to be a destroyed house, fizzling in between shots of pre-apocalypse and current day.  Over a radio, we hear a man talking about Vault-Tec, but we do not hear to much as the man starts to sound more worried as the trailer goes on.  Perhaps they have a hand in what happened.  We also get to see a German Sheppard walking through the house, which makes it seem like he could be one of our trusty companions.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

Things take a turn for the worse as the bomb alarms start to go off and people start to panic.  We hear the iconic, “War. War Never Changes,” as people scurry to and fro in attempt to make it to the vaults.  What we see in the trailer is a shot of Vault 111, which looks to be the vault that players will start from at the beginning of the game.  This is evidenced by a shot of a vault hunter exiting the vault after all is said and done.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

What he sees is a wide expanse of war-torn wasteland, in what looks to be the Boston metropolitan area.  The fact that the game is taking place in Boston was not explicitly stated, but some shots of various landmarks as the trailer goes on reveals that the game will in fact be taking place in Boston, and possibly some surrounding areas.  Other things we see as we view some shots of the wasteland is what looks to be a futuristic looking pirate ship.  We also see a huge dreadnought looking thing fly high over the sky towards the end.  I would not be surprised if this has something to do with what Vault-Tec was working on before the war, but we do not know for sure.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

Finally, the trailer ends with the dog walking up to a abandoned gas station, which holds a lot of familiar sites for Fallout fans.  We see a Nuka-Cola vending machine, along with a Vault Boy bobble head and some comic books that we have seen from previous games.  The centerpiece of the shot however is the piece of Power Armor that hangs in the middle of the garage.  The trailer ends with a Vault Hunter walking down the road, crossing path with the dog.  The hunter bends down to pet the dog, and the two venture off into the sunset.  Trailer ends.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

It was everything that we were expecting from the heavily anticipated trailer.  We did not receive any information in terms of release date, but that will most surely come at their press conference on June 14th, along with a 20-30 minute demo.  However, we did find out that the game will be coming out for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.  Pretty much expected.

via Techno Buffalo
via Techno Buffalo

The trailer obviously leads us with some questions…and a whole bunch of excitement.  I am already on board as I am sure a lot of other people are as well.  More info will be coming in the foreseeable future, but in the meantime, we have this trailer to watch over and over again…

The Next Fallout: The Countdown Begins

Today, almost out of nowhere, we got a mysterious tweet from Bethesda Game Studios, the people behind the massively popular Fallout franchise.

All it takes is a little digging around to realize that the countdown appears to be teasing the announcement of the heavily anticipated Fallout 4.  Previously, it was leaked that the game was going to take place in Boston, but those rumors where shot down by Bethesda shortly after those accusations were released.  However, there is still a good chance that Boston could still be home to the next addition to the franchise.  We also have heard that Guillermo Del Toro’s production company is behind the game’s cinematic trailer, that could be released as early as tomorrow.

Notice how the countdown clock is pulled directly from the loading screen in Fallout 3?
Notice how the countdown clock is pulled directly from the loading screen in Fallout 3?

The rumor mill has been churning and it is only going to get busier as the countdown ticks down to tomorrow’s big reveal.  Is it going to be the announcement of an HD remake of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas?  I sure hope not, but rest assured, all signs point to the announcement of Fallout 4.

The announcement of Fallout 4 might seem like a sure-fire guess, but what about the release date?  Some say that it would be crazy for the game to come out this year, but others hint at the possibility that the game might be coming to fans sooner that you would think.  In my opinion, I would believe that the game is pretty far in development.  Just think about it: Fallout: New Vegas came out in October of 2010.  This October will mark five years since the game’s release, which means the studio has probably been working on the next Fallout for a while now.  Bethesda has also noted that they will be debuting a 20-30 minute demo at E3 this year, which also leads me to believe that the game is already in an alpha state, or something more.  I am going to guess that the game will be coming out this year, around the holiday time frame, which seems par for the course in terms of the studio’s releases.  However, with the emergence of game delays, we can never be too sure.

Side note: if you dig deeper into the countdown page’s source info…you find this:

caption
Masterbrain huh?

Does the Masterbrain ring a bell for anyone?  If you remember, the Masterbrain was the robotrain that controlled all of the other security robots in the Vault-Tec Headquarters.

masterbrain

In Fallout 3, players could shutdown the Masterbrain, which in turn would shutdown the security robots in the facility, letting them explore the administration levels of the Vault-Tec Headquarters in peace.  As of now, I have no clue if this will mean anything in terms of Fallout 4.  However, with this and the standby screen, there seems to be a lot of references to Fallout 3.  Weird…

Update – 6/2/15 @ 4:02 PM EST

Upon further inspection of the html source code of Bethesda’s countdown page, I saw this little tidbit of information:

html institute

We see a reference to “institute,” which possibly confirms two different things.  First of all, it confirms that this will most likely be the announcement of Fallout 4, since “institute” has been tied to Fallout 4 as a code name.  It also leads me to believe that the game will indeed be taking place in Boston, since the institute, also known as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before the Great War, is a mysterious organization in the commonwealth (post-apocalyptic New England area) that possesses pretty advanced android technology, capable of creating beings more intelligent than humans.

We shall stay tuned, and this post will get updated as information gets released.