Waiting for Fallout 4 almost makes me wish for a nuclear winter, either that or the ability to wait for an indefinite period of time until the game is released. However, since neither of those things are possible, I’ve used my time sensibly by dissecting Fallout 4’s newest trailer. In which I’ve found some interesting information regarding the game; including characters, environments, enhancements, possible story points and a few other bits a rushed viewer might have missed.
The trailer starts in a very Fallout-esque way, you’ve got your 50’s styled music, the pan out from an old television and the reveal of an abandoned house. This then flips and shows a different side to the home, the pre-war side, seemingly as the bombs were falling. I say this because as the first pre-war transition occurs you hear the “War, war never changes” quote woven into a nuclear detonation announcement.
With the world poised on the brink of war, Vault-Tec is reporting a record numb- Folks, uh, seems we’ve got some breaking news, stand by- We seem to have lost contact with our affiliate stations, stand b – We do have… We do have coming in confirmed reports of nuclear detonation- My God, my soldiers were right, war…. War never changes.
As the trailer rolls on we see a German Shepherd enter the post-war version of the house to explore and scavenge. It would appear that instead of using a human as the main focus of the trailer, the dog is taking the vicarious role of the lone wanderer, roaming the wastelands and exploring abandoned buildings. The tone then changes quite drastically; the radio presenter announces that there has been nuclear detonation and with that the dog runs out the house the way it came.
It’s fairly poetic, actually, the dog is then seen running down the street, through the forest and up a path in sync with civilians on the pre-war side of time. As they reach the end of their journey to what looks to be the queue leading into Vault 111, they are greeted by soldiers. These soldiers are in power amour and are helping them into the vault, so, maybe Brotherhood of Steel, maybe another faction? Regardless of their allegiance, their job is clearly to help people into the vault, which begs the question of what relation will the player have to Vault 111? Are we born in Vault 111, similar to Vault 101? Or, is just one of the many vaults in Boston we’ll be visiting on our journey through the wastes? An interesting story point would be to have the civilian’s entry to Vault 111 be the tutorial of Fallout 4. Perhaps taking the role of the player’s parents who are carrying you as a baby, but then again, this kind of intense and full-on experience might panic newer players.
The video then picks up in pace, hitting you over the head with dozens of different scenes, such as: settlements, characters, enemies and scenarios you may find yourself in during the game. Some I personally enjoyed were the Megaton-like and Fenway Park-based Diamond City, Ghouls kicking trolleys over in the supermarket, a neat looking Protectron stumbling about, and the Deathclaw roaming through the toxic looking swampland.
Other such non-playable characters that could be seen include: brahmin, humans, some kind of crab monster, dogs, eyebots and soldiers in power amour. As well as environment points such as: small shack style settlements, vaults, forests, underpasses, landmarks, and memorials like the statue of Paul Revere. This would of course be a huge giveaway to Fallout 4 taking place in the state of Boston. Which was somehow able to house a statue unscathed by the cruelty of nuclear war which has destroyed the landscape of the entire world as we know it.
We then see the view of numerous people standing on what looks to be the entrance to a vault during the atomic explosion. Could this possibly be a flashback we’ll see in-game? Perhaps we’ll relive stories read in books or told by other characters? Most notably of a civilian who didn’t make it to a vault before the nuclear blast. This explosion is then used as a transition to a new scene, leading back to the dog.
in what would seem to lead on from his previous journey in the abandoned house, the dog is walking by the garage seen in the first official Fallout 4 screenshot. In the trailer the dog is only present in the garage briefly, before scurrying off to see his master. In the high-resolution screenshot however, you’re able to see so much more. We see guns, a bobblehead, radio, workbench, paint, bed, magazines and posters surrounding an in-repair version of power armour. Once again, this could be Brotherhood of Steel, or it could be some other faction. Whether they’re entirely new to the franchise or have been seen in previous games isn’t for me to say.
As the dog leaves the garage, he is greeted by his owner who is walking down a road in a mountainous valley. It may be interesting to see these two greet, or that he’s wearing a Vault 111 jumpsuit, or even the fact that he walks off without locking his garage. But what’s interesting is the fact he has a voice! Now, this may mean nothing to some, and arguably doesn’t mean anything to me but limitations, but it really is quite big. Almost as big as the Redditor who claimed to work for Bethesda and that we wouldn’t be able to play as a female until post-game. He may be able to say “Let’s go, pal” but the results of a voiced character during dialogue could be much more limiting than you think. These limitations may be a lack of variety in preset voices, overall quality of these presets, or even a tone down in the impact skills have on dialogue. For example, if your intelligence or charisma were low in previous Fallout games, your character would be hindered by this; in some cases only being able to grunt, or shout words such as “Ice cream!” If our character has a voice, will they literally be shouting ice cream? Will we be able to understand them less if they have lower intelligence? Or will those types of in-game ramifications just be removed altogether?
For now, let’s all just ignore those big questions, cover our ears and move onto the next interesting point of the trailer, which is the garage. As I mentioned above, at the very end of the trailer the wanderer and his dog are seen walking away from the left-open and unsecured garage. This most likely indicates that the character has no ties to the place at all, either that or the writers of this trailer created a plot-hole, which I seriously doubt. I’m going with the presumption that the garage is merely being used as marketing art; you might stumble across it in your adventures, or there might even be a quest revolving around this armour. But ultimately, in my opinion, I don’t think there’ll be any residential correlation between the player and that garage. Similar to how in the previous Fallout trailers both the NCR Ranger shooting over New Vegas’ wall and the Brotherhood of Steel soldier standing by the bus had no real in-game importance.
Before I end, I’d just like to go over a side-note which regards graphics, animations and overall feel of the trailer. To start with, I am very much enjoying the vibrancy and colour of Fallout 4. I had no problem with the grey and brown of Fallout 3, or the orange of New Vegas, but it still seems like a nice direction for this instalment. The graphics of the game as a whole also look improved, yet the same. The lighting has been improved, textures are a bit more in-depth and the faces look far more realistic. The same can be said for the animation, the non-playable characters move in a very Fallout-way and stuff like the trolleys flying as the ghouls hit them is so relieving to see.
That’s not a remark because I hate change, but more because I love Fallout and do not want it to change. That was my biggest fear going into the viewing of this trailer, a complete overhaul in movement, art style and physics. But luckily this fear has now gone, because it just feels so… Fallout. From the music at the start, to the score accompanying the dog at the end. From the dog running across the bridge, to the ghouls kicking those boxes everywhere. From Diamond City to Paul Revere’s statue. Everything about this trailer has relieved me of my worry that there’d be drastic changes which would make it feel less like Fallout. Sure, it’s just a teaser trailer, but you have to remember it is in-game footage we’re seeing here.
There will of course most likely be gameplay shown very soon, in fact, there’ll be a world reveal at Bethesda’s E3 press conference. This conference takes place at the E3 expo on Sunday June 14th where we’ll hopefully be able to see the gameplay, changes and most important of all a release date for Fallout 4. My estimate would be October 23rd which, as most Fallout nerds know is the day the Great War began, it will fall on a Friday of 2015. Luckily, games being released on a Friday isn’t too rare, so fingers crossed that we get it this year rather than next. Or, you know, Bethesda could release it tomorrow? I’d be absolutely fine with that, too.
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