With Fallout 4’s announcement in the past week setting gamers’ minds ablaze, here’s my view on what the series should do next in Fallout 4, and what it should learn from it’s predecessors.
1. New Game Engine! This is almost certain to happen, but the game engine was the only thing that held back Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas – slow frame rates, frequent glitches and irritating crashes dogged two otherwise brilliant games – there is reason to hope though, Skyrim’s game engine was a 100-fold improvement over Oblivion’s, hopefully Fallout 4’s will be a similar leap forward.
2. Improved DLC: The downloadable content for Fallout 3 and New Vegas was very hit and miss, ranging from the brilliant (Old World Blues) to the flawed yet challenging (Lonesome Road, Broken Steel) to the bloody awful (Operation: Anchorage, Mothership Zeta, Dead Money) the new Fallout will hopefully have DLC which matches the high quality of the main game.
3. Returning Classics: The new game is set in Boston, Massachusetts, a location mentioned in Fallout 3, so hopefully we will have some characters/enemies/institutions from that game (i.e. The Enclave, The Brotherhood of Steel and Three Dog the DJ. And Deathclaws. F***ing Deathclaws!) returning. Hell, a DLC section that takes us back to the Capital Wasteland one last time would be epic and perfect fan-service…
4. Multiple factions: Fallout New Vegas had several advantages over Fallout 3 – it’s faction system, multi-sided endings and the fact the whole game built (with elements from side quests and main quests proving important) to a satisfying conclusion with the suitably epic battle of Hoover Dam (compared to the battle of the purifier in Fallout 3, which had no replay value) meant i preferred that game. Factions and multiple endings NEED to return in Fallout 4. Or if they don’t at least make the final mission more fun and compelling.
5. No Multiplayer: Fallout is a classic single-player game. Don’t tag multiplayer on just for the hell of it, co-op could potentially work but online game modes would be a BIG mistake. Just make the main game as good as possible. That’s all that matters.
6. Karma’s a bitch: While New Vegas’ faction system worked wonders, it’s use of the Karma system was a definite step back from Fallout 3’s. There was no evil decision comparable to blowing up Megaton, no good decision as heroic as saving kids from slavers at Paradise Falls, and worst of all no consequence depending on your alignment (except one follower who wouldn’t follow an evil Courier). Fallout 4 will hopefully take inspiration from Fallout 3 or perhaps Mass Effect and give you some meaningful Karmic decisions that have an effect on how the game plays out.
7. Companions, Enemies and Main Characters: New Vegas generally handled these better, companions were more interesting and the villains were less black and white, with Caesar, Mr. House and Ulysses all variously grey characters. The Courier’s interactions were good, especially his history/rivalry with Ulysses, the main villain of Lonesome Road. The Lone Wanderer from Fallout 3 did have a more emotional storyline though, and the Enclave were a very sinister enemy, so there’s elements from both games that deserve inclusion. The main character spoke in the Fallout 4 trailer though, so might we be about to see a talking player character (even just in cutscenes)? Maybe’s it’s time.
Who knows what the game will actually include but I’ll say one thing: i can’t wait to find out!