Friday, December 13, 2013

Fallout 4 release date, news, rumours and trailers and what we'd like to see

With the emergence of a rather legitimate looking Fallout 4 teaser website appearing online, the rumour mill surrounding Fallout 4 has gone into overdrive.

Bethesda hasn’t even announced it is working on a follow-up to Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas yet, but the “Survivor 2299” site has certainly got people talking.

There aren’t any official details as yet, but until we know more, we’re collating all the news in one place.

Fallout 4: Release DateAlthough there’s no word yet from Bethesda, we expect Fallout 4 will be a next-gen Xbox One and PS4 title launching the tail end of 2014 or early 2015.

This is just speculation mind, but with a rumoured announcement happening at the beginning of December you can’t blame us for being a little excited.

Bethesda is expected to announce the game on 11 December, with a huge Nuclear Winter Survivor 2299 site update on 1 December.

Fallout 4: NewsBethesda filed a Fallout 4 trademark in Europe
The Fallout 3 developer has filed a trademark for Fallout 4 ahead of a rumoured announcement at VGX in December.

With the trademark extending to merchandise, digital media and other products outside the game, it suggest Bethesda is gearing up for a huge Fallout 4 launch early next year.

Fallout 4: The "Survivor 2299" teaser siteEarly in November someone spotted the Survivor 2299 website online and through a series of changes and teasers it’s become very evident that this is an official Fallout 4 teaser site.

Originally the site featured a Morse code signal that translated to: “CQ CQ CQ DE OZ PSE AS” or “Calling Any Station, Calling Any Station, This is From OZ (Oscar Zulu), Please Wait”.

This may well have been in relation to the Oscar Zulu radio station in an unmarked quest from Fallout 3.

The site was then updated with an official Vault-tec logo from the Fallout series, offering another clue to the site’s Fallout connection.

At one point if you highlighted the text on the page, before the new code appeared, the site said: "Nuclear Winter is coming. Reserve your future home today! 877-260-2299”. If you called this American number you heard a recorded message playing the Tranquility Lane music from Fallout 3. This has since been deactivated.

There was also a hidden message of “###PERMISSION DENIED BY OVERSEER (15334)###" when you hovered over the text.

Another code was then added, but this time much more complex than before. "ZL/QRNE/FVFGRE./V'Z/URNQVAT/GB/GUR/VAFGVGHGR./TBQ/XABJF/JUNG/UNCCRARQ/GB/GUVF/CYNPR/ABJ./GUVF/BYQ/ONFGNEQ/JVYY/URYC/HF./UR/ZHFG/URYC/HF./--0321—"


The latest update is a secondary counter announcing the arrival of Nuclear Winter on December 1. Expect the Survivor 2299 to change around 8.30pm BST on Sunday, December 1, and we predict it will offer some information about Fallout 4.

Fallout 4: What we’d like to seeUntil Bethesda formally announces Fallout 4 and any details surrounding the game’s content, here are a few thoughts about what we’d like to see.

1. Increased focus on survival
By the time you’ve struggled to the midway point of Fallout 3 or New Vegas you’re (nearly) invincible and sipping irradiated water without a care. We’d really like Bethesda to include a notion of survival in Fallout 4, as it really does become a little obsolete in Fallout 3.

Of course, New Vegas had hardcore mode, which forced you think a little more about your food, water, rest, meds and stimpaks, but this shouldn’t be part of an increased difficulty level. The Wasteland is too fun in Fallout 3. You’re too focused on finding, selling and collecting to worry about survival in a nuclear world.

2. More customisation options
Although Bethesda has offered a fair number of perks, abilities and skills to tinker with in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, there’s no huge character creation session you can play with if you so wish. You can’t choose your race or your faction from the off.

The same goes for weapon modification. Fallout 3 had a great crafting system that let you build things from the random junk you had collected. However, Bethesda has so much room for improvement here.

The Wasteland is littered with abandoned vehicles, computers, machines and other tech that could be used to customize weapons or create new exclusive ones to call your own. You could even craft some armour, new clothes or traps to set for unsuspecting Ghouls.

3. A brand new location
Rumour has it that Bethesda could be using Boston, Massachusetts in the US as the location for Fallout 4, but others suggest Poland or another Eastern European country would be more fitting. It would certainly mix things up a bit to have a Fallout title located outside the US, though it seems unlikely that Bethesda would go too far from what has worked in the past.

If Bethesda doesn’t use a new location, then perhaps having more than one city to explore would be a compromise. Half the Fallout fun comes from exploring and discovering hidden treasures within the ruins. Even if they use New Vegas and Washington DC you could just simply travel to them without traversing the land in between like Bethesda did with the Fallout 3 DLC content.

4. Introduce multiplayer and/or co-op
Fallout can be a big a lonely Wasteland at times, so Bethesda could introduce a little bit of online co-op with Fallout 4. We strongly expect the game to launch on Xbox One and PS4 so it would be silly for the developer not to take advantage of Sony and Microsoft’s new dedicated multiplayer game servers.

We’re not suggesting Bethesda goes all MMO on us, but it would be great to share our Wasteland experience with a few buddies and take on single-player missions as part of a team.

5. No level cap or game end
Seeing a "Point of No Return" message on a game’s storyline, especially a sandbox game like Fallout 3, is rather depressing when there’s so much more to explore. It would be so much better if you could continue discovering the Fallout 4 Wasteland after the close of the main storyline, rather than being forced to finish all the side quests before your final mission. Bethesda unlocked this feature in DLC releases, but we shouldn't have to pay to see everything we want.

Also, Fallout 3’s level cap was a little low and the majority of gamers found they had reached it a long way before completing the game. This is something Bethesda really needs to adjust with Fallout 4, especially if it’s as mammoth a game as we’re all hoping for.

6. Better combat
Bethesda’s VATS targeting system was awesome in a head-splattering kinda way, but it was pretty much all you could use as the third-person gunplay was awful. There was obviously very little time spent on developing the gunplay outside of VATS as you’re always left feeling a bit feeble against an attacking foe.

We hope VATS is still present in Fallout 4, so we can brutally dismember our enemies in all its gory detail, but Bethesda really needs to work on its combat to create a proper combination system.

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