Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth major installment in the Fallout series, and was released worldwide on November 10, 2015, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is set within an open world post-apocalyptic environment that encompasses the city of Boston and the surrounding Massachusetts region known as "The Commonwealth". The main story takes place in the year 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and 210 years after "The Great War", which caused catastrophic nuclear devastation across the United States.
|Developer(s)||Bethesda Game Studios|
The player assumes control of a character referred to as the "Sole Survivor", who emerges from a long-term cryogenic stasis in Vault 111, an underground nuclear fallout shelter. After witnessing the murder of their spouse and kidnapping of their son, the Sole Survivor ventures out into the Commonwealth to search for their missing child. The player will subsequently explore the game's dilapidated world, complete various quests, help out factions, and acquire experience points to level up and increase the abilities of their character. New features to the series include the ability to develop and manage settlements, and an extensive crafting system where materials scavenged from the environment can be used to craft drugs and explosives, upgrade weapons and armor, and construct, furnish and improve settlements. Fallout 4 also marks the first game in the series to feature full voice acting for the protagonist.
Fallout 4 received positive reviews from critics with many praising the world depth, player freedom, overall amount of content, crafting, and soundtrack, whilst criticism was mainly directed at the game's visuals and technical issues. The game was a commercial and critical success, generating US$750 million within the first 24 hours of its launch, and received numerous accolades from various gaming publications and award events, including the respective awards for Game of the Year and Best Game at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and British Academy Games Awards. Bethesda has released six downloadable content add-ons, including the expansions Far Harbor and Nuka-World.
Fallout 4 is an action role-playing game set in an open world environment, gameplay is similar to that of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the two previous primary iterations in the series. Returning features include a camera that can switch between a first-person and third-person perspective. Fallout 4 introduces features including a layered armor system, base-building, a dialogue system featuring 111,000 lines of dialogue, a crafting system which implements every lootable object in the game. Enemies such as Mole Rats, Raiders, Super Mutants, Deathclaws, and Feral Ghouls return in Fallout 4, along with the companion Dogmeat.
The player has the ability to freely roam in the game's world and leave a conversation at any time. If the player has discovered a certain location they may fast-travel to it. They have the ability to customize weapons; the game includes over 50 base guns, which can be crafted with a variety of modifications, such as barrel types and laser focus, with over 700 modifications available. Power Armor has been redesigned to be more like a vehicle than an equipable suit of armor, requiring fuel and being essentially dead weight without it  and can be modified, allowing the player to add items such as a jetpack or selecting separate types of armor for each part of the suit.
A new feature to the series is the ability to craft and deconstruct settlements and buildings. The player can select some in-game objects and structures, and use them to freely build their own structures. In addition, the towns can be powered with working electricity, using a power line system. Merchants and non-player characters can inhabit the player's settlements, for which the player must provide sustenance by growing food in makeshift patches and building water spouts. The player can build various defences around their settlements, such as turrets and traps, to defend against random attacks.
The Pip-Boy, a personal computing device strapped to the player character's wrist, allows the player to access a menu with statistics, maps, data, and items the player has acquired. The player can find game cartridges, which can be played on the Pip-Boy or a terminal. A new feature for the Pip-Boy interface is a downloadable application for iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones and tablets. This optional app allows players to access the Pip-Boy interface on a separate screen, and play the collected game cartridges even when not playing the main game. Another returning gameplay feature is the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.). While using V.A.T.S., real-time combat is slowed down (instead of stopped entirely as in previous entries), and action is played out from varying camera angles in a computer graphics version of "bullet time". Various actions cost points, limiting the actions of each combatant during a period of time, and the player can target specific body parts for attacks to inflict specific injuries; headshots can be used for quick kills or blinding, legs can be targeted to slow enemy movement, and opponents can be disarmed by shooting at their weapons. Unlike previous games, in which the player had a random chance to inflict a critical hit, they are now performed manually through V.A.T.S.
At the beginning of the game, players are given points to spend on a character progression system called S.P.E.C.I.A.L.. The system represents seven statistics, namely strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck. When the player earns enough experience points to gain a new level, they unlock an ability. When the player allocates more points to a statistic, more abilities can be unlocked. These perks can also be upgraded to improve the protagonist's efficiency and to further unlock abilities. There are about 275 perks available for the player to unlock. There is no level cap and the game does not end once the main story is complete.
The game allows for the player to have a companion follow and assist them. If the player commits actions that their companion does not like, they can refuse to travel with the player or attack them. There are thirteen possible companions, seven of which (Dogmeat, Codsworth, Preston Garvey, Piper Wright, Nick Valentine, John Hancock, and Deacon) must be encountered during the main quests, although only Dogmeat is required to join. The remaining companions are Paladin Danse, a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin; Cait, an Irish-accented cage fighter; MacCready, a mercenary; Strong, a human-sympathetic Super Mutant; Curie, a robot scientist turned Synth; and X6-88, an Institute Courser. For the first time in the series, these companions can interact with the environment on the player character's behalf. For example, if the player character does not have required skills to hack a terminal or pick a lock, they can order the companion to do it for them. The player may only travel with one companion at a time, although the player is accompanied by other characters in certain quests. A few companions are able to be romanced by the player regardless of gender; namely Preston, Piper, Cait, Hancock, MacCready, Paladin Danse and Curie. Some recruitable companions also provide additional perks for the player, such as Codsworth, who provides bonus Energy Resistance.
Fallout 4 takes place in the year 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and 210 years after the Great War, a war between the United States and China over natural resources that ended in a nuclear holocaust in 2077. The setting is a post-apocalyptic retro-future, covering a region that includes Boston, Massachusetts and other parts of New England known as "The Commonwealth". Unlike the previous titles, Fallout 4's story begins on the day the bombs dropped: October 23, 2077. The player's character (voiced by either Courtenay Taylor or Brian T. Delaney) takes shelter in Vault 111, emerging exactly 210 years later, on October 23, 2287.
The game takes place in an alternate version of history that sees 1940s and 1950s aesthetics, design and technology advance in the directions imagined at the time. The resulting universe is thus a retro-futuristic one, where the technology has evolved enough to produce laser weapons, manipulate genes and create nearly-autonomous artificial intelligence, but all within the confines of 1950s solutions like the widespread use of atomic power and vacuum tubes, as well as having the integrated circuitry of the digital age. The architecture, advertisements and general living styles are also depicted to be largely unchanged since the 1950s, while including contemporary products, such as a robotic rocking horse for children in one advertisement, or posters for the underground vaults that play a central role in the storyline of the game.
The story begins in 2077 in Sanctuary Hills, located near Concord, Massachusetts. The player character is at home with their spouse (Nate or Nora depending on the player character's gender), their son Shaun, and their robotic butler, Codsworth. A representative from Vault-Tec admits the family into Vault 111, the local fallout shelter. Moments later, a news bulletin warns of an incoming nuclear attack, prompting the family to evacuate to the Vault. The family is tricked into entering cryogenic tubes and frozen alive. After an unknown period of time, they are re-awakened by two strangers. The player's spouse is murdered and Shaun is kidnapped. The player is put back into cryogenic sleep but awakens again when the life support system malfunctions. The player discovers that they are the sole survivor of Vault 111, and vows to avenge their spouse's death and find Shaun.
The player character, known as the Sole Survivor, heads home to find Sanctuary Hills in ruins. They reunite with Codsworth, revealing that 210 years have passed since the war. Codsworth suggests that the Survivor go to Concord for help. The Survivor finding and befriends a German Shepherd named Dogmeat, and rescues Preston Garvey, one of the last members of the Commonwealth Minutemen, a faction driving out raiders in the Commonwealth. From then on, the Sole Survivor travels to Diamond City, a fortified settlement based in the ruins of Fenway Park, where they meet Piper, an intrepid reporter. There, they learn about a secretive organization called the Institute that has been terrifying the Commonwealth by kidnapping people and often replacing them with "synths", synthetic humans indistinguishable from real humans.
The Sole Survivor seeks out Nick Valentine, a detective based in Diamond City, to locate their son. With his help, they uncover the identity of their spouse's killer: Conrad Kellogg. After learning from Kellogg that Shaun is being held in the Institute, the Sole Survivor kills him and retrieves a cybernetic implant from his brain for further access into his memories. During this time, the Brotherhood of Steel, an anti-synth faction, arrives in the Commonwealth on the Prydwen, an airship, hoping to preserve technology in the Commonwealth. The Sole Survivor learns from Brian Virgil, an ex-Institute scientist, that the only way into the Institute is by using a teleportation chip. After retrieving the chip, the Survivor decodes it with the help of the Railroad, a secretive organization dedicated to rescuing synths. Virgil provides the blueprints for the teleportation device, which the Sole Survivor constructs by allying with the Brotherhood, Minutemen, or Railroad.
The Sole Survivor successfully enters the Institute and finally discovers that Shaun is the Institute's director. Shaun, now an old man calling himself Father, reveals that he was kidnapped by Kellogg to become a specimen for synth experiments due to his pure pre-war DNA, and that the Sole Survivor remained in stasis for a further sixty years before being awoken again. Shaun later reveals that he is dying of cancer and wishes for the Survivor to become his successor. The Sole Survivor can now side with the Institute; if they do so, they initiate a purge in the Commonwealth, wiping out the Brotherhood and Railroad, and assume control of the Institute after Shaun's death. Otherwise, the Sole Survivor devises a plan with their faction to fight the Institute. Siding with the Brotherhood or Railroad will force the Sole Survivor to destroy the other faction. The Sole Survivor detonates a nuclear reactor, destroying the Institute. After this feat, the Survivor must lastly wipe out any remaining hostile faction. Otherwise, they will remain neutral.
Unlike the previous two titles—Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas—which used the Gamebryo engine, Fallout 4 uses the Creation Engine, which was previously used in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Modified for Fallout 4, the Creation Engine includes a revamped character editor system that allows freeform creation of faces without the use of sliders seen in previous games. Instead, the player can click and drag each feature of the face to accurately customize their character, which can either be a man or woman as the previous Fallout titles have featured. Bethesda announced that the game would run at 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Bethesda revealed that mobile devices would be integrated into the game as a form of second screen, acting as a secondary display for the Pip-Boy.
For the first time in the Fallout series, the player's character, the Sole Survivor, is fully voice acted, including all decision-based dialogue options. Brian T. Delaney and Courtenay Taylor are the two player character voice actors.[repetition]
Todd Howard revealed that mods for the PC versions of the game would be usable on the Xbox One version, and that the team hoped to bring them to the PlayStation 4 version eventually. When asked about the failed effort to add a paid mod system to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Howard stated there were no plans for a similar effort with Fallout 4. The mods created by PC players through The Creation Kit, which contains the official modding tools, will be released for Xbox One players and PlayStation 4 in May 2016 and June 2016 respectively. Fallout 4 mods were released to Xbox One in May 2016. PlayStation 4 mods were shot down by Sony in September 2016, but Bethesda announced a month later that mod support would still happen. As of November, 2016, mod support for the PlayStation 4 version is present with the introduction of the 1.8 update.
This section may contain content that is repetitive or redundant of text elsewhere in the article. Please help improve it by merging similar text or removing repeated statements. (December 2017)
Fallout 4 uses Bethesda's Creation Engine, which was created for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Just after Fallout 3's release, the team devised numerous design objectives to meet for Skyrim—which were updated for Fallout 4's hardware requirements. The updated Creation Engine allows for numerous improvements in graphical fidelity over Bethesda's previous efforts. For instance, the draw distance renders much farther than previous Fallout games; in an interview on the engine for Skyrim, Howard provided an example where the player can stare at a small object such as a fork in detail, and then look up at a mountain and run to the top of it.
Dynamic lighting allows shadows to be created by any structure or item in the game world. Howard revealed in the E3 Press Conference[when?] that the updated Creation Engine allows for next-generation god rays and advanced volumetric lighting.[vague] The updated engine features a variety of visual effects not present in previous Bethesda games such as motion blur, temporal anti-aliasing, height fog, dynamic dismemberment, screen space reflections, filmic tone mapping, an updated material system—for wet textures—among numerous others.[weasel words] The updated engine allows the Bethesda team to add more dynamic lighting to every scene as well as "paint surfaces with realistic materials". Bethesda released an example on how the updated engine works: "When a rain storm rolls in, our new material system allows the surfaces of the world to get wet, and a new cloth simulation system makes cloth, hair, and vegetation blow in the wind."
The updated Creation Engine allows for a more advanced character creation system, which utilizes sculpting—forgoing the series of sliders present in previous games. In detail, the new character creation system introduces a new, freeform, entirely slider-free facial editor controlled via dynamic, real-time modelling interface. The updated engine allows for more fluid animations designed for next-generation hardware.
With regards to the aforementioned fluid animations, the updated engine also allows a much more open approach to conversations with NPCs—wherein the camera views can change depending on the player's preference from a first person view to a cinematic third person view—compared to Fallout 3's rigid and instanced conversation system. The protagonist features dynamic dialog, which is context sensitive, and allows players to back out of a conversation. In Howard's words, "you are free to walk away anytime if you want, or you can even shoot him in the face."
Marketing and releaseEdit
On June 2, 2015, Bethesda published a countdown timer scheduled to expire on June 3, 2015, at 14:00 UTC. The game's official website went live slightly ahead of schedule, revealing the game along with its box art and platforms. The site was taken down later but was put back up again at the scheduled time. The official trailer was released when the countdown timer expired, and the game was confirmed to take place in Boston and its surrounding Massachusetts countryside, as suggested by earlier rumors. More details were given during Bethesda's E3 2015 press conference on June 14, 2015.
Fallout 4 became available for pre-order immediately following the product announcement. In addition to the standard edition of the game, there is a collector's edition which includes a wearable replica of the Pip-Boy. This is able to house a smart phone device, which can then run the second screen functionality of the game. As a pre-order bonus for the Windows version of the game, an announcer pack featuring the voice of Mister Handy was released for the multiplayer online battle arena game, Dota 2, developed by Valve Corporation. Bethesda announced that Fallout 4 had gone gold on October 23, 2015. The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 10, 2015.
After Fallout 4's release, Bethesda has released several patches to address some of the issues that were present at the game's launch along with presenting features that improve general gameplay. The first patch—coded as patch 1.2—fine-tuned the game by improving the frame rate. Patch 1.2 fixed a few bugs and errors present at the launch of the game but interfered with unofficial mod support. Patch 1.3 improved the game's graphics on all platforms, along with presenting the game with new features such as an added status menu for settlers in settlements. With regard to the graphical updates introduced in this patch, the PC platform was given a new weapon debris effect and a new ambient occlusion setting. The patch fixed several bugs and glitches present in the game. Patch 1.4 was designed to ready the game for the upcoming Creation Kit and downloadable content. Patch 1.4 brought a variety of additions to the settlement building mechanic of the game by adding symbol to new content placed in by the modding community along with adding a variety of items, such as Raider and Super Mutant decors. The patch also brought general improvements to the game's stability. The 1.5 patch added a revamped survival mode along with support for the downloadable and included bug fixes. Similar to the previous Bethesda games, Fallout 4's fan community created unofficial patches to address issues and bugs unaddressed by the official patches.
On February 16, 2016, Bethesda announced details, prices, and release dates for the first three add-ons for Fallout 4. The first add-on, Automatron, which allows the player to build their custom robot companion by using robot parts while adding additional quests, was released to the European and North American markets on March 22, 2016. This was followed by Wasteland Workshop on April 12, 2016, which introduces new build options for settlements and the ability for the player to put captured creatures or humans in a cage, and adds new decorations like neon lights and lettering. The third add-on, titled Far Harbor, is a story expansion set in the post-war city of Far Harbor, Maine, and was released on May 19, 2016. On June 12, 2016, at E3 2016, Bethesda revealed three new add-on packages for the game; the first two, Contraptions Workshop, released on June 21, 2016, and Vault-Tec Workshop, released on July 26, 2016, are structured similarly to the Wasteland Workshop add-on, offering the player more build options and decorations; the Vault-Tec Workshop also adds a brief narrative. Fallout 4's third add-on, Nuka-World, which was released on August 30, 2016, adds an amusement park-based area for the player to explore, in which the player can either side with or put an end to various raider groups residing in the park. If the player decides to do the former, they can help one of the raider groups take control of various settlements in the Commonwealth from the base game.
This section contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (December 2017)
GameSpot's Peter Brown awarded it a score of 9 out of 10, saying "Fallout 4 is an argument for substance over style, and an excellent addition to the revered open-world series." Brown praised the "thought-provoking" narrative, "intuitive" creation tools, the large amount of content, the overall combat, and the overall freedom the player is given. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner scored the game a 9 out of 10 and said: "Bethesda has created another game you can lose your life in. New experiences just keep coming, and you always have another perk to unlock." Reiner praised the "vastly improved" combat, the "denser" world, and the "brilliant" score, but had mixed feelings about the visuals. Dan Stapleton of IGN scored the game a 9.5 out of 10 and wrote: "The world, exploration, crafting, atmosphere, and story of Fallout 4 are all key parts of this hugely successful sandbox role-playing game. Great new reasons to obsessively gather and hoard relics of happier times, strong companions, and sympathetic villains driving tough decisions make it an adventure I'll definitely replay and revisit. Even the technical shakiness that crops up here and there can't even begin to slow down its momentum."
Phil Savage of PC Gamer mentioned that Fallout 4 is "a loving production. It's filled with care and attention to detail..." and that it was "a pleasure to pick through the world...". He concluded his review stating "...many of Fallout 4's problems, like every Bethesda RPG before it, are a consequence of what makes them unforgettable." Polygon awarded it a score of 9.5 out of 10, saying "Fallout 4 brings great gameplay to match its world and ambiance". Destructoid gave the game a 7.5 out of 10, writing "a lot of the franchise's signature problems have carried over directly into Fallout 4."
Fallout 4 sold 1.2 million copies on Steam in its first 24 hours of release. The game also sold more digital than physical copies on day one of launch. With almost 470,000 concurrent Steam players on launch day, Fallout 4 broke Grand Theft Auto V's record for having the most concurrent online players in a Steam game not developed by Valve Corporation. Bethesda shipped 12 million units to retailers within the first 24 hours.
Fallout 4 received numerous awards and nominations from gaming publications such as GameSpot, GamesRadar, EGM, Game Revolution, IGN, and many more. The game received a game of the year award from the 19th ceremony of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences—also known as D.I.C.E.—among numerous nominations for the award from The Game Awards, The Daily Telegraph, PC Gamer, IGN and more. It was also placed on various lists of the best games of 2015 in which GameSpot put it at sixth, GamesRadar at fourth, among others top lists. The game also received awards and nominations for Role-playing game of the year with it winning the award from Game Critics and D.I.C.E. with nominations from various other gaming publications.[weasel words]
|List of awards and nominations for Fallout 4|
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- Griffin, Andrew (June 3, 2015). "Fallout 4 announced: trailer and details revealed ahead of E3 launch". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- Miller, Ross (June 18, 2015). "Here's a first look at Fallout 4's Pip-Boy wearable". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- Frank, Allegra. "Fallout 4 meets Dota 2 with Mister Handy announcer pack". Polygon. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Osborn, Alex (October 23, 2015). "Fallout 4 Has Gone Gold – IGN". IGN. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- McWhertor, Michael (June 14, 2015). "Fallout 4 will be out Nov. 10, 2015". Polygon. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- "New Fallout 4 1.2 patch improves performance on all platforms — but at a cost | ExtremeTech". ExtremeTech. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- "'Fallout 4' Patch 1.2 Reportedly Breaks Mod Support: Here's How To Fix It". Tech Times. December 12, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- "Fallout 4 PC patch 1.3 out now". PC & Tech Authority. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- "Fallout 4: Patch 1.4 Brings A Number of Additions, Fixes and Performance Tweaks to The Game! | Day Herald". www.dayherald.com. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
- "Fallout 4's New Update Arrives on PS4/Xbox One, Adding Survival Mode". GameSpot. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
- Christopher Livingston (24 April 2016). "Fallout 4's unofficial patch nukes dozens of bugs". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
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- "Virtual reality Fallout 4 is coming to HTC Vive in 2017". theverge. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
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- "Fallout 4 Add-Ons – Automatron, Wasteland Workshop, Far Harbor and More". Bethesda Game Studios. February 16, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
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- Makuch, Eddie (March 21, 2016). "Here's Exactly When Fallout 4 Automatron Expansion Unlocks". GameSpot. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Livington, Christopher (April 23, 2016). "At $5, Fallout 4's Wasteland Workshop is barely worth it". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Hernandez, Patricia. "Fallout 4's Next DLC Drops April 12th, Lets You Collect Monsters Like Pokémon". Kotaku. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- Sarker, Samit (February 16, 2016). "Fallout 4 getting three add-ons this spring and more later, season pass price going up". Polygon. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- "Fallout 4's Massive Far Harbor Expansion Gets Release Date, New Trailer".
- Thier, Dave. "The Real Bar Harbor Couldn't Be Happier About Fallout 4's 'Far Harbor'". forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Krupa, Daniel (June 12, 2016). "E3 2016: New Fallout 4 DLC revealed". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- "Fallout 4 – Contraptions Workshop, Vault-Tec Workshop, and Nuka-World". Bethesda Game Studios. Bethesda Softworks. June 12, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
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