Opinion: Six Things We Want In Fallout 4
It’s been an interesting time for speculation surrounding the eagerly-anticipated new entry in the acclaimed Fallout series, with recent rumours suggesting that it will be set in and around Boston, with a cyberpunk setting, and feature a whole new ‘race’ specific to that area.
Regardless of such talk, it’s certainly tantalizing for Fallout veterans to discuss the things they’d most like to see in the next open-world, post-apocalyptic, action-RPG adventure. And here at FMV, we’re no different. In fact, there’s a whole host of cool stuff we’d like to have featured in Fallout 4. Things like…
An unexpected, refreshingly alternative setting
To date, each of the Fallout games have tended to take place in a single main city surrounded by arid or nuclear-ravaged desert. But if Fallout 3’s excellent Point Lookout DLC taught us anything, it’s that a wholly different setting could potentially work wonders. After all, Point Lookout’s old, decaying resort town in the midst of murky swampland was a revelation.
Fallout 4 could take us to the Great Lakes of the US-Canadian border, for instance; blending the remnants of blue-collar small town USA with the wild frontier and snow-covered forests. Or perhaps it could take us to a national park in North California, full of astonishing rural terrain and outlandish animals? Somewhere with a refreshing backdrop could offer a genuinely novel change of atmosphere for the franchise, rather than the usual blend of shattered cityscape and barren wasteland we’ve become used to exploring.
The ability to choose your ‘race’
In the same way that The Elder Scrolls titles have you select a starting race to further individualize your adventure, it could be very cool if the next Fallout allowed you to play as an intelligent Super Mutant, a hideously-deformed Ghoul or a half-robotic cyborg, as well as a humble human.
This choice would affect the way others treat you in the gameworld, the kind of factions you can join and relationships you can form, and also provide specific perks, bonuses and stat differences – allowing you to experience a very different playthrough depending on this initial decision.
Imaginative and colossal new enemies
It would only be right for some of the old ‘favourites’ to return, of course; such as the fearsome Deathclaws (shudder). But interesting new foes are one of the best ways of keeping players on their toes in fresh Fallout titles, potentially ramping up the tension and shock factor to eleven. Cazadors, anyone?
A new variety of twisted humanoid and an extension of giant, freakish, radiation-warped animals would work well, with monstrous spiders and snakes perhaps a natural choice for the latter. But it would also be fantastic to have some new outlandish creatures in the mix, and a few more gargantuan ‘boss’ creatures dotted around to add a bit of ‘wow’ factor to certain locations or missions. Think the Ant Queen in Fallout 3. Only bigger.
A wider range of customization for weapons and upgrades
The ability to ‘mod’ guns in New Vegas with scopes, damage boosts etc. was a definite step forward in this regard. But it would be fantastic to extend these possibilities much more in Fallout 4, allowing players to fully customize and create their own unique weapons. How about a quadruple-barreled shotgun? Or the ultimate sniper rifle with a silencer, scope, laser-sight, armour-piercing ammo and rate of fire to rival a full-throttle machine-gun? You could also design and formulate your own traps and grenades.
Likewise, how about the ability to buy or procure a huge range of cybernetic upgrades and implants that can improve everything from eyesight to aim; from strength to speed? Each could serve up simple boosts in S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, or more complex perks and abilities, and if you add enough to become an all-out android, it could have a significant impact on the way others react to you.
Better companion A.I – and the option to form ‘gangs’
New Vegas made a real leap forward by having specific side-quests and storylines for each companion character you could recruit. But the basic problem still remained that said companions were just as likely to charge in and get themselves stupidly killed, or go missing for no apparent reason when you most needed them, than prove truly useful.
A bit of improved A.I and more accurate tactical system would go a long way here, as would the ability to form a fully-fledged team or ‘gang’ to take on challenges too big for one or even two people; with designated roles such as sniper, brawler and medic all part of the equation. You could then use said gang for full-on bounty hunting or raiding, depending on your good/evil inclinations. Such a thing could even pave the way for drop-in, drop-out co-op, but perhaps that’s just crazy wishful thinking…
The ability to create and fortify a base
While the Fallout games do have certain places that you can claim as your own (the house in Megaton or suite at Tenpenny Tower in Fallout 3, for example), wouldn’t it be great to be able to formally occupy any outpost or location out in the landscape, and transform it into your own personal fortress?
It could be a mountain-top cave or an underground bunker; an abandoned factory or a humble shack. Regardless, once you have cleared said location of any enemies, it would be cool if you could then designate it as a ‘base’, and add home-comforts, fortifications and booby-traps as you saw fit.
This would take on an extra-dimension if certain antagonistic groups or factions attempt to track you down and eliminate you periodically; with you defending your base against deadly assaults and assassins sent to bring back your head. This would be particularly apt if you elected to play through the game as something of a renegade or outsider – constantly watching your back and forced to go fully Rambo.