Many will crucify me for criticizing a game that only has been seen on video, but as a fan boy of the saga, and I hope a future owner of my own Pip-Boy, I only want to expose some of the controversies that have arisen in the community from the Fallout 4 announcement video and the E3 gameplay videos from the Bethesda and the Microsoft conferences (all embedded at the end of this post) and also point out the aspects that I liked and compare it to the article that I wrote on 2012.
GraphicsFirst of all the most controversial created by the announcement video previous to the E3 was the graphical appearance of the game, as the trailer was made with the in-game engine, where we could see the dog companion searching for the vault dweller of the Vault 111.
Many people criticized the dog fur, as it was just a high quality texture, and no simulated fur as some modern games already implemented. I agree with it, the announcement video looks weird, as the dog sometimes looks like floating or badly photoshopped over the background, especially in the past images. Take this frame of the video to check it for yourself.
Also another of the graphical weak points are the faces of our playable character, I think that maybe increased by the click and drag editing of our avatar face, that looks fake and unrealistic, also I want to denote the weird ears in all the characters, I can’t stop looking at them please help me!
It’s easy to point this defects as the overall graphical quality of the game is overwhelming, take for example this screenshot of this NPC, where face and clothes textures look gorgeous (except from the ears!). Also the volumetric lightning of the environment is spectacular and the level of detail seems that it will be impressive, a problem which I complained about. We’ll see what kind of computer we will need to play at such quality, I expect I don’t need to spend get a new top of the line computer.
But on the other hand also from the gameplay video there’s a big difference when I see the pre-war setting, the Vault-Tec representative textures and detail are bad, no shadows anywhere and that baby looks pretty unrealistic, all these make it look awful, maybe a different hardware or maybe it comes from a grotesque dream, we’ll see.
Pip-BoyWe loved the real Pip-Boy from the Fallout 4 Collector’s Edition, but there are some major changes that we could see in the Microsoft gameplay conference. The most groundbraking change is that the skills tab has been removed and from the weapon crafting we can see that some combination depend on perks. I liked the challenge based perks from Fallout New Vegas, but it should have a better sorting and UI for them. Also we have to see how these perks are acquired, if only by level or by skill use like Skyrim. We will see if the traits are still there, one of the most unique features of the Fallout saga.
One of my greatest complaint of my 2012 article was the inventory, I love RPG and I like’em to be the most realistic possible, of course, in a way that does not affects the gameplay, and a limited inventory would be a great step up in realism and game decisions. Many new games depend on a limited and realistic inventory, like MGS V that only lets you take 2 weapons and you can choose before mission, or in a Fallout could be a safe-house, the same goes for Far Cry 3 or 4. Also I loved the Last of Us limited usable weapons and accessing the inventory to change them was time consuming so you could not change in battle time, this system could be more applicable to a game like Fallout. Improvements in the food and thirst system would be necessary too. Also as a graphical feature weapon holster would be necessary.
In game interfaceIf we take into account many of the improvements that modern games, that came out after Fallout 3 we can see a lot of gameplay improvements that Fallout should consider to introduce in its gameplay. Some features have already been implemented like the slow motion in VATS unlike the paused system in the last Fallouts. We saw in the gameplay videos that the UI now informs you of the incoming damage source and the granades launched. Also in the conversations we only see 4 options, one for each main button in the gamepads, and in a summarized text, we’ll see how this works in the final version but I can foresee that this will be pretty criticized. About the rafting system it seems the more evolved in a game we have seen so far. The town building seems interesting and we will be expecting to see more.
We also saw that some mods added the possibility to have a button to launch grenades and mines, avoiding the necessity to change weapons, and also from Skyrim we can see the quest markers in-game which we expect Fallout 4 to implement these features.
Also we would like to see that the VATS system let you target destructible items, as happens with launched grenades, for example a fire extinguisher or an gas drum. Also a must is the tagging system introduced in Far Cry, and that MGS V has also implemented, indispensable for a sneaky mission and scouting an enemy base like happens in MGS V, also the help of our dog would be a plus for detecting and tagging enemies.
ConclusionsIn the 2012 article I criticized the lack of variety of the open world and the low life of big cities, from the same developers we can expect that the level of detail will be superb and we only can expect that from a big company like Bethesda. Also the combat gameplay seems to be more centered than ever but if they have improved the gameplay system and make it enjoyable I bite, as happened with Skyrim with a refined battling system.
From what we saw on the E3 we can expect a lot, these are a few points that I think it can make a great game even better and I don’t doubt that Bethesda have already pondered most of them already, if not we will see some of them in the mod community.
Fallout 4 Review
Reviewed by Fernando Mateoon Jul 19 2015
Reviewed by Fernando Mateoon Jul 19 2015