Gimme Shelter: First Thoughts on Fallout 4

I stayed up for the Bethesda conference, watching Giant Bomb’s stream of the event, waiting anxiously for Fallout 4. The trailer release two weeks hinted at a lot of things, but the official news from last night couldn’t have me more excited.

New stuff:

  • Voiced characters
  • House and community building
  • Mass Effect style conversation wheels
  • Faster, more true FPS style combat, with true iron sights
  • Pipboy App

Old stuff, but better:

  • A dog
  • Weapon crafting
  • Facial customization
  • Colors! Plants! Animations!

First things first, a lead character that talks is the biggest change from previous games. Frankly, I’m all for it. The acting sounded great in the trailer, and should serve to add more emotion to the story. The house building seems obvious now, especially that it was added into Skyrim. But letting you create entire settlements from the ground up is literally the thing I wanted most in Fallout 3, and now is a reality. Building the dystopia back into something seemed like a goal of the first game, and this is letting you do that. It has so much potential. The crafting system as a whole is fun and deep, and should allow for all kinds of possibilities.

The conversation wheels are a shift, and although I had no problem with the previous conversation system, this is cleaner and faster, and makes more sense with a talking main character. Only potential flaw is the sin that Mass Effect sometimes committed, which is a misleading descriptor of what your character will say. Hopefully they’ll be clear enough to make the intent obvious.

The combat looks leagues better. True iron sights, sprinting, and a more dynamic VATS should make what could become systematic in FO3 more interesting and varied. The customization of weapons should also let you identify a weapon that you really like and really feels like you as a character. Not to mention the airlifts and jetpacks and custom power armor. Just so much stuff. With all the stuff they showed, there’s still so much there left unsaid. Is there still a good/evil dynamic to it? How big is the world? How many quests? With the depth of FO3 and Skyrim, and them trumpeting this is their biggest game yet, it seems like there’ll be a massive amount of ground to cover.

Not to mention the Pipboy app for your phone or tablet. Of all the gimmicky things to include, it is the one that I’m the most stupid excited about. Will it be any faster than just using the game? Probably not, but just having it is a cool touch that they didn’t have to do, but did anyway.

Speaking of, I’ve been playing the Fallout Shelter mobile game all day. I’ve gotten into a pickle by overextending myself, and leaving myself defenseless by sending out my only gun into the Wasteland, but I’m starting to get my feet under me again. Having a lot of fun with it, and it’s scratching that itch, for now at least. 148 days!


  1. I was quick to jump on the Pipboy edition pre-order, though I rarely order collectors editions of anything. I too have been having a blast with fallout shelter in fact, just recently, had 7 dwellers die due to low food ruining their health and an untimely raider attack.

    • Once you get your Vault off the ground, it’s not so bad. If you get a bad draw of weapons in your early lunchboxes, you could be in rough shape.

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