|This page is about the game produced by Bethesda Softworks. For Black Isle Studios's planned Fallout 4, see Fallout 4 (Black Isle Studios).|
For an overview of Fallout 4-related articles, see Portal:Fallout 4.
For the Fallout 4 version with Virtual Reality features, see Fallout 4 VR.
Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth major installment in the Fallout series (eighth overall). It was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 10, 2015, except in Japan, where it was released on December 17, 2015, due to the country's requirement to censor some footage and references to atomic war, while still keeping the plot intact. A VR version of the game was released in 2017 and is treated as an independent standalone game.
The story of Fallout 4 focuses on a spouse, the Sole Survivor of Vault 111, as they search for their missing child, Shaun. Fallout 4 is set in and around the Boston area in 2287, 10 years after Fallout 3. Along the way, the Sole Survivor discovers a world in fear of a mysterious organization known as the Institute, consumed by paranoia of a race of robotic yet also biological human-like beings known as synths. As a result of the synth-focused narrative, the Sole Survivor, as well as the player, are faced with ethical questions such as how far people should experiment with science, the morality of creating sentient living machines that express emotions and suffering, and what it means to be human. Story elements from previous games are present, primarily Fallout 3.
Fallout 4 is similar to Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas in some ways; the gameplay allows the ability to switch from first to third-person view. Enemies such as mole rats, mirelurks, raiders, super mutants, deathclaws, and ghouls return to the series. The player character, the Sole Survivor, accesses the in-game menus through a Pip-Boy to manage statistics, maps, data, and items. The player may continue playing even after they have finished all of the main quests, a feature returning from Broken Steel, which allows players to experience the aftermath of their decisions. There are plenty of side quests to pursue, many of which can also be experienced after the main story ends.
Changes from Fallout 3 and New Vegas
The protagonist now has fully voiced dialogue. However, players can no longer see the full response from the onset, only short phrases which give a general idea of what the protagonist can say. Conversations are also more cinematic, making use of camera angles to also show the Sole Survivor's expressions and face.
The companions in Fallout 4 now have an affinity system, in which they can have positive or negative opinions of the protagonist depending on the choices made. The relationship does not have to be romantic however, and some companions cannot be romanced. Companions can react differently on the action; for example, one companion may like it if the protagonist acts selfish while another may hate it. Some companions can be engaged in a relationship with the protagonist, although Fallout 4 does not let players have sleeping partners like in New Vegas. Instead, Fallout 4 companions in relationships are more focused on the non-physical side of it, such as expressing their love and emotions verbally, though it is implied when sleeping in a bed with a max affinity romanced companion that sexual intercourse took place, and the pop-up for Well Rested is replaced with Lover's Embrace.
While the previous games featured some minor elements of crafting, crafting in Fallout 4 is much more of a focus in and the crafting system makes use of every lootable object in the game as a source of raw material and more. Players can also find game cartridges with retro themed mini-games which can be played on the Pip-Boy. There was a free phone app called Fallout Pip-Boy which allowed players to sync the game to the phone app and use their phone like a Pip-Boy.
Skills have been removed, replaced with a 7x10 perk chart. At each level-up, the player can acquire a new perk, each with prerequisites based on SPECIAL attributes and level, and most have multiple tiers. A consequence of the new advancement system is that there is no hard level cap, allowing players to experience a little more freedom when it comes to exploring and combat.
A new equipment system allows a wide variety of upgrades and customization for weapons and armor. Unlike the previous two Fallout games, weapons and armor do not deteriorate with use and no longer require constant maintenance. Armor is now a split-piece system for different limbs such as left arm and right leg, allowing players to mix sets together. Power armor now requires batteries called fusion cores to ensure they run at full performance.
A returning gameplay feature is the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.), which can play a critical part in combat. While using V.A.T.S, real-time combat is slowed down, and action is played out from varying camera angles in a computer graphics version of "bullet time." Attacking in V.A.T.S. costs action points, limiting the number of actions available at a time, and the player can target specific body areas for attacks to inflict specific injuries; headshots can be used for quick kills or blinding, legs can be targeted to slow enemies' movements, and opponents can be disarmed by shooting at their weapons.
A change is how Fallout 4 handles critical hits. Before, they were were random while striking enemies. Fallout 4 gets rid of the Critical Chance statistic and now there is a critical meter that will fill up and players can decide when to execute a critical hit.
A new feature to the series is the ability to build settlements. Within the boundaries of a settlement, players can scrap objects and structures for resources and use them to build their own structures, including housing, vegetable gardens, defenses, stores, and crafting stations. Each settlement can also connect to others by Brahmin caravan, which then share resources. Towns can be powered with electricity, using a dynamic power line system, as well as equipped with water pumps and crops/gardens to keep a steady income of food and drink. Merchants and non-player characters can inhabit player towns and help keep the settlements running as a community. Players can build various defenses around their settlements, such as turrets, guard towers, and traps, to defend the settlements from raids and attacks.
Fallout 4 is the first Fallout game to have native mod support for consoles. During E3 2015, Todd Howard revealed the Xbox One version would offer mod support following the release of the Creation Kit for PC, which became available for download on April 26, 2016. The Xbox One mod support was released on May 31. Mod support for PlayStation 4 was initially announced to be due sometime in June but was delayed; by September, mods on the PlayStation 4 were reportedly canceled. However, Bethesda and Sony later came to an agreement and allowed mods to come to PlayStation 4 after the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. Mods were eventually implemented for the console, but they are limited to using assets already found within the game files.
The game takes place in The Commonwealth which is composed mainly of the former state of Massachusetts and is set heavily in the eastern portion of the state. The largest and central city of the game is Boston but also includes the surrounding towns and cities of Cambridge, Concord, Lexington, Malden, Nahant, Natick, Quincy, Revere, and Salem. Other real-world locations are represented in less detail, such as Bedford which has been replaced simply with Bedford Station. The game also includes some fictional towns, such as Sanctuary Hills where the game begins.
Famous local landmarks like the Paul Revere Monument, the USS Constitution, as well as the Massachusetts State House with its unique golden dome, are included in the game world. Other locations that make an appearance in the game are Scollay Square, renamed Goodneighbor, Bunker Hill, and the baseball stadium Fenway Park which has become a shantytown called Diamond City.
In Fallout 4, the Boston area has been quite flooded compared to real-life, with new rivers. A large and still inhospitable nuclear blast site called the Glowing Sea is to the southwest. The starting area in the northwest contains low level enemies and is relatively safe, but the enemies get progressively tougher towards the southeast area of the map.
The player is the Sole Survivor of Vault 111. Although the player can decide the Sole Survivor's name, gender and appearance, the father is commonly referred to as "Nate" while the mother is commonly referred to as "Nora" due to them being the names given to the player's spouse. Fallout 4 briefly begins on October 23, 2077 (the day of the Great War), showing the player living with their spouse and child, Shaun. After a series of events, they emerge after the Great War.
The story of Fallout 4 guides the player into its world, discovering leaders of different factions with varying views of synths. These include Preston Garvey of the Minutemen which lacks a strong opinion on synths, Desdemona of the pro-synth The Railroad, Arthur Maxson of the anti-synth Brotherhood of Steel and even the leader of the Institute behind the synths, "Father."
On the morning of October 23, 2077, a father stares at his reflection in a foggy mirror and remarks war never changes. His wife comes along and tells him to stop hogging the mirror. The player decides to play as the mother or the father. The protagonist walks around their house and speaks to their Mr. Handy Codsworth. A representative from the Vault-Tec Corporation arrives and says because of the contributions of their family to the country, they have been chosen to be allowed in the local vault, Vault 111. The protagonist decides to verify their information. After the representative leaves, Shaun begins crying, prompting his parent to visit them and spin a mobile over their crab to calm him down. Codsworth then implores the family to see the TV broadcast, confirming that America is being nuked. Sirens begin blaring in Sanctuary Hills, causing all the residents to flee to the local vault, but only those who are approved access are allowed past a security gate. The protagonist descends into the vault seconds before they are hit by the explosion.
Inside the vault, the new residents are immediately welcomed by the Vault 111 overseer. The residents are given their jumpsuits and a doctor implores the residents to follow them to enter a decontamination and depressurization chamber. After what appears to be a few moments inside the pod, the protagonist witnesses a mysterious man opening their spouse's pod who proceeds to take Shaun away and kills the spouse. The man then looks at the protagonist and calls them the "backup" before leaving. After what seems to be more moments, the pod opens and mentions that they were actually inside a cryogenic chamber. The protagonist mourns their spouse, takes their wedding ring and says they will seek vengeance. The protagonist makes their way outside the vault which has become infested with giant roaches, realizing they are the Sole Survivor. Back on the surface, the Sole Survivor sees the ruins of Sanctuary Hills and discovers from Codsworth that 210 years have passed since that fateful morning.
After a sweep of the neighborhood, the Sole Survivor discovers no evidence of Shaun. They learn that survivors may be in Concord so they head there and meet Preston Garvey of the Commonwealth Minutemen. They are told Diamond City may be a good lead and at the front gates, they meet Piper Wright, a reporter who has been banned from the city because she wrote a speculatory article suggesting the mayor could be a synth. Piper uses the Sole Survivor to get back into the city; inside, they meet Nick Valentine, a friendly synth detective who has been allowed to live in the city. Nick encourages the Sole Survivor to investigate Conrad Kellogg, the suspect of Shaun's kidnapping. They find a cigar in Kellogg's house which Dogmeat tracks to Fort Hagen.
In Fort Hagen, the Sole Survivor kills Kellogg who was a cyborg. A device connected to his brain allows the Sole Survivor to dive into his memories where they discover the secret of how the Institute manages to lay low: teleportation. They also find out an Institute scientist named Brian Virgil escaped to the Glowing Sea after intentionally transforming himself into a super mutant to escape. Virgil informs the Sole Survivor they need to collect a "courser chip" for the teleportation so they kill a courser, Z2-47. To use it, Virgil tells the Sole Survivor to find a synth liberation faction called the Railroad, located under a church and led by a woman named Desdemona.
With the help of a faction, the Sole Survivor builds a teleporter to enter their facility where they discover Shaun, but not in the way they expected. Shaun is actually an elderly man who has become the leader of the Institute, due to being removed from the cyro pod many decades ago and growing under the Institute's wing long before the Sole Survivor woke up. The Sole Survivor learns the Institute is an advanced technological site of innovation, capable of making artificial gorillas, but they are unable to keep their synths in check, making them require "coursers" to go after them. Before leaving, the Sole Survivor meets Madison Li who gives them the ability to teleport into the Institute.
After leaving the Institute, the player is encouraged to take a faction's side which will result in angering another faction due to their differing views on synths. However, if the player purchased the add-ons, the player can instead take a boat ride to Far Harbor and the Island or a subway train to Nuka-World, before deciding on a faction. The former story involves the mysterious disappearance of a teenager named Kasumi Nakano and focuses on synths, while the latter story focuses on three gangs trying to dominate the abandoned theme park.
Fallout 4 has four main endings for each faction, with some variations regarding the relationships of the factions within. For example, in one ending, the Institute is destroyed while the other three factions co-exist.
No matter the ending, the Sole Survivor mentions they close their eyes and remember their old neighborhood and home. They reflect on how the Great War changed their life and how the Commonwealth they explored is not the one they wished for, but it is still their home in the process of being rebuilt. The Sole Survivor mentions they have come to accept that it is impossible to go back to a time before the bombs fell, but they now feel ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.
Initially, in 2004, Bethesda Softworks licensed from Interplay Entertainment the rights to create and publish three Fallout games (Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4). Later, in 2007, Bethesda purchased the entire franchise, and Interplay licensed back from Bethesda the rights to a Fallout MMORPG. The legal dispute concluded January 2012, with Bethesda Softworks and its in-house development studio retaining the rights to all of the Fallout franchise, including an MMO.
In 2009, Bethesda's Pete Hines said, "The whole reason we went out and acquired the license and that we now own Fallout is that we clearly intended to make more than one." He also added, "This is not something we're going to do once and then go away and never do it again. When that will be or how long that will be God only knows, but we acquired it specifically because we wanted to own it and develop it and work on it like we do with The Elder Scrolls."
Development began right after Fallout 3's release, in 2008. The game had minor development due to Skyrim being developed at the same time. After Skyrim was released in 2011, Fallout 4 became the primary project for Bethesda.
During voice recording, Fallout 4 was given the codename of Angelina, ostensibly a space sci-fi game, according to the audition sides. Voice recording for video games was a much more secretive process at the time of Fallout 4's development, and many actors initially did not realize what they were working on, before reading dialogue that clued them into the fact that it was a Fallout game.
Todd Howard revealed in an August 2010 interview with Eurogamer that Bethesda was working on two projects; one had been in development for two years (beginning after Fallout 3 was released), and the other was still in pre-production. It is now known that the title farther along in development was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, while Fallout 4 was the title in pre-production.
On January 9, 2013, the voice actor behind Three Dog (Erik Todd Dellums) was given permission by Bethesda to hint towards his appearance soon. On his Twitter account, he stated, "To all my #Fallout3 and #ThreeDog fans: There may be more of the Dog coming! Fingers crossed!" However, in July of the same year, Dellums tweeted that the game he is working on is not being produced by Bethesda Softworks, therefore, it was not the anticipated new Fallout title.
Bethesda Game Studios announced on Bethblog (dead link) on April 15, 2013, that they had completed all new content for Skyrim and were moving the studio's attention to an as of yet unknown title that had previously been in pre-production since 2010. Although Bethesda Softworks did announce The Evil Within during the same week, it was developed by another studio and had no direct impact on the project Bethesda Game Studios was working on.
In December 2013, Kotaku claimed information about Fallout 4; it was being developed, set in Boston, revolves around an Institute, there are characters named Preston Garvey, Travis Miles and Sturges, and the protagonist enters a cryogenic sleep chamber near the beginning.
Todd Howard was interviewed on Rock, Paper, Shotgun on February 18, 2014, and said that a new game announcement would be very far away. "We don’t [have a timeframe for our next game announcement]," he said, "but I think it’s gonna be a while." He was described as "forever positive" and enthused that "PC is resurgent." "Skyrim did better than we've ever done on PC by a large, large number. And that's where the mods are. That feeds the game for a long time. And it's exciting that the new consoles are very PC-like. That opens up avenues for us going forward to do things that we've wanted to do in the past. There are kind of random ideas we're working on right now, and it's like, 'Wow, I think there's potential here to do some really cool stuff,'" he said.
A countdown timer was set on Bethesda's Fallout website on June 2, 2015, expiring the next day at 10:00 AM EDT. On June 3, seconds before 10:00 AM EDT, the Fallout 4 trailer was released on YouTube. The Fallout website also debuted in full Fallout 4 style, including a working teaser phone number, previously used during the Fallout 3 release.
Bethesda's first ever E3 showcase took place on June 14, 2015, at 7 PM PST. The E3 showcase was streamed on YouTube and Twitch. Bethesda revealed gameplay footage including combat, a refined VATS system, a new crafting system, concept art, and a release date, which was confirmed to be November 10, 2015. A major new feature shown during the press conference was the ability to craft and deconstruct settlements.
The Pip-Boy edition of Fallout 4 features: a wearable Pip-Boy that can, according to a Forbes article, hold the iPhone 6, iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 4/4s, Samsung Galaxy S4, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and many other smartphones using foam inserts. a Pip-Boy pocket guide, a Vault-Tec perk poster, a RobCo Industries stand (for your Pip-Boy), a capsule case, and the game in a collectible metal case.
Fallout 4 Nuke Pack
The Fallout 4 Nuke Pack features a Fallout 4 lunchbox, a 37x10" Fallout 4 Print, a Vault Boy mini bobblehead, and the game in a collectible metal case. The Nuke Pack is sold exclusively in Australia and New Zealand, distributed by EB Games.
Fallout 4 Mighty Bundle
The Fallout 4 Mighty Bundle features: a 100-page hardcover Fallout 4 Franchise Book "...detailing in words and hi-res imagery the history of Fallout over the years", a Fallout Vault Boy Pop! Vinyl figure, and a copy of the game.
Game of the Year Edition
Fallout 4 Game of the Year Edition was released on September 26, 2017, for PC, PS4 and Xbox One; this edition includes all 6 main add-ons.
To celebrate the Game of the Year Edition, Bethesda released a limited quantity of Fallout 4 G.O.T.Y. Pip-Boy collector editions, exclusively available in North America at select retailers. The Pip-Boy Edition includes Fallout 4 Game of the Year Edition and retailed for $99.99 USD, and was also released on September 26.
Bethesda announced that DLC would come and start in early 2016, as well as smaller updates along the same lines Skyrim saw. A season pass for all add-ons could be bought at a price of $29.99 USD, €29.99 Euro before March 1, 2016, and a price of $49.99 USD, €49.99 Euro afterwards. The released DLC includes Automatron, Wasteland Workshop, Far Harbor, Contraptions Workshop, Vault-Tec Workshop, and Nuka-World, along with the free High Resolution Texture Pack.
On August 28, 2017, Bethesda Game Studios inaugurated additional downloadable content that can be bought separately through the Creation Club. Content available on the Creation Club is fully compatible with the main game, official add-ons, and achievements.
Fallout 4 received a Metacritic metascore of 84/100 on PC, 87/100 on PS4, and 88/100 on Xbox One. The game received several awards and nominations, including 2016 D.I.C.E. Game of the Year and 2016 Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year. Fallout 4 shipped 12 million copies to meet day one demand.
- Fallout 4 Important Release Info (dead link)
- IGN - Bethesda: Fallout 4 Development is 'Basically Done'
- Bethesda news on Creation Kit (dead link)
- Fallout 4 Planned News
- Fallout 4 Cast & Crew Reunion (reference starts at 17:59)
Danny Shorago: "See, I thought I was recording a game called 'Angelina.'"
(affirmation from various actors)
Matthew Mercer: "Yeah! It was like 'space sci-fi' in all the audition sides for it."
- Fallout 4 Cast & Crew Reunion (reference starts at 17:06)
Peter Jessop: "I've played all the Fallout games, I'm a pretty addicted gamer. But the most exciting part to me was when I first got into the booth, we started doing the dialogue... and they don't tell you what the project is, what it's gonna be. And...I said, 'I see a group of ferals up there!' I was like, 'oh! This is Fallout! This is so great!' So that was very exciting to me."
- Todd Howard interview on Eurogamer.net
- Twitter Todd Dellums
- Twitter Todd Dellums
- Pete Hines on Twitter "@WhiteBoyAnton 200 years"
- Kotaku: Leaked Documents Reveal That Fallout 4 Is Real, Set In Boston
- Rock paper shotgun
- Countdown timer on June 2, 2015
- Article on Engadget.com
- Forbes about phones fitting Pip-Boy Edition
- This Fallout 4 Collector's Edition Comes With a Lunchbox, Is Exclusive to Australia - GameSpot
- Fallout 4 Mighty Bundle | PS4 | Pre-Order Now | at Mighty Ape NZ
- Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition
- (dead link)
- Bethesda.net on Fallout 4 add-ons (dead link)
- High Resolution Texture Pack coming next week
- Metascore for Fallout 4 on PC
- Metascore for Fallout 4 on PS4
- Metascore for Fallout 4 on Xbox One
- IMDB Game Awards - Fallout 4
- VG247 report on Fallout 4 sales