Hype Never Changes

I went to go get dinner last night while I was visiting a friend’s house. Upon return, I was greeted with a “Sit down and shut up” from everyone present. Bethesda’s Fallout 4 demo had just begun.

I finished watching the presser, got up, paced around the living room, watched it a second time, and walked outside. There was just so much unloaded on me in that event, and I couldn’t process all of it that quickly.

The first thing I noticed, and the first thing I noticed in the trailer a few weeks ago, was the expanded color palette and amount of detail put into this game. A tiny bit of color goes a long way to draw attention and breathe life into environments in any game, especially when so many games opt for the “Real is Brown” color scheme. Certainly, the sepia tone sets the bleak and gritty tone of a world after nuclear war, but for a game like Fallout 4, which seems to be largely about rebuilding, the deep reds of the buildings and bright blues  of the sky give the world vitality and something to immediately focus your eyes on in every scene. Even in some place that’s fucking terrifying in it’s bleakness, there still has to be hope and beauty, even if it’s fleeting. Well fucking done, Bethesda.

The crafting system and city building mode looks very appealing to the post apocalyptic upcycling theme, and I’m excited to see how it works. I’d be really interested to see if the upgrades system actually incorporates the parts used to create the upgrade into the upgrade’s design. I’d love to have two scopes on two different weapons created, one from a glass bottle and duct tape, one from a pair of glasses and wonderglue, and see those components reflected in the item’s look on the weapon.

The Power Armor suit looks absolutely amazing. I literally shouted when the jetpack component was demo’d in the gameplay trailer, and I love the idea that it’s less an item you find out in the wastes and more a tank-like suit you construct in your garage over time. The fact that you can get in and out of it, seemingly at will a la Titan Fall is pretty neat, and the power suit vs. Deathclaws tease has me pretty excited.

Similarly, the tease of being able to get into and fly around with a VTOL is neat. I wonder if it’s a purely scripted event on some missions, or if you can call them up to take you places like a fast travel mode?

I’ve already logged a fair amount of hours on the fallout shelter mobile game. When they announced that it wouldn’t be a freemium game, that all contruction would happen immediately and there would be no pay-walls or timers, I thought it was a good thing. Unlike Sim City: Build It, Clash of Clans, and other free mobile games, there’s nothing stopping you from sitting down to check your vault and getting some improvements done. The worst thing about it is also that there’s nothing stopping you from sitting down to check your vault and losing hours of time. I’ve gone to bed late the past two nights because I’ve been building my vault, collecting power, food, water, and managing my dwellers. The biggest selling point of the game is its greatest curse. If it ties into the game somehow, and I can visit my very own Vault 013, I’m going to be thrilled.

There were a couple of things I didn’t really care about, but thought were pretty cool anyway. Chiefly, the Pip-boy collector’s edition of the game. It’s great to finally see an officially merchandised Pip-boy, especially one that comes with space for your phone to be inserted AND and app to mimic the Pip-boy and view your character’s stats in game. I don’t go in for second screen experiences since it involves me looking away from the screen and I tend to treat my video games like driving a car, but I’m excited at the prospect of seeing some of the Wastelanders in the coming years with actual Pip-boys, and the assurance that I could take one out if I wanted something to better camouflage my cell phone at the event.

Fallout 4 will be released November 10th, just in time for my birthday.

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