Bethesda's Todd Howard discusses Fallout 4's player freedom and crafting in new videos

Fallout 4 is coming to radiate Windows and Xbox One in just a couple of months, and expectations are sky-high.

The game received one of the biggest cheers at this year's E3, announced as part of Bethesda's first conference. Fallout 4 boasts hundreds of hours of gameplay across the largest open-world Bethesda has ever built, but that's not all.

In Fallout 4, players will be able to 'rebuild', taking scrap from the nuclear-blasted world and creating homes, and even settlements. It also sports the most complex crafting system the studio has ever made. Without a doubt, Fallout 4 looks set to take the RPG genre by storm.

Todd Howard discussed the importance of player freedom and the game's new crafting systems back at E3. Those interviews were revealed today in two new videos.

Fallout 4 - Player Freedom in an Open World

In the videos, studio head Todd Howard discusses Fallout 4 with Bethesda's content lead Gary Steinmann. In the first video, Steinmann asks how Fallout 4's combat has evolved, particularly in terms of its shooting. Fallout 3's gunplay wasn't the most refined in the world, but Bethesda enlisted the help of id Software (DOOM, Quake) to modernize Fallout 4's mechanics.

..."If you were to pick it up and play it, it does feel like a modern shooter. [...] We wanted this to not make any excuses for the fact that it's a role-playing game - for how the action felt. We feel we can layer all the role-playing and stat systems on top of that. Like, let's have our, you know, cake and ice cream."......"And so, the guns feel great, we have aim-down-sights, and you can play it in first-person or third-person and then we have the whole VATS system."...

Steinmann moves on to ask why player-freedom has essentially become Bethesda's calling card. Howard states his belief that player freedom is what makes all games great.

..."You're like the director of your experience, and the fact you can make it your own. The world ultimately becomes the main character of our games. In a lot of stuff we do, we want to show you that world, and then you immediately think 'what would I do in that circumstance? Who would I want to be?'. That makes it much more personal to you, and much more of a different experience to other games, other types of entertainment. At the end of the day, it's what we'd want to do as players ourselves."...

Player freedom certainly typifies Bethesda titles in my mind. Fallout 4 looks set to take that to a whole new level with its insane crafting systems.

Fallout 4 - Customization, Crafting & Modding

After showcasing the previously seen house-building footage from E3, Todd Howard discusses the benefits and inspiration behind including these systems.

..."The inspirations here I think are pretty clear, things like Minecraft and other things we like. It's a really great fit for Fallout."......"Is there a way that within the game, we can take this modding idea or tools we've had in the past and do something in-game that the players can make their own."...

Bethesda calls it the "Workshop System", and while completely optional, Howard states that it does fit into the fiction of the game.

Todd Howard praised the modding community, stating that modding would work on PC similarly to how it worked for Skyrim. Fallout 4's PC Creation Kit is expected to hit in early 2016, and then eventually to Xbox One after the PC launch.

As more and more franchises jump on the open-world bandwagon, it always seems to fall back to Bethesda to push the boundaries of the concept.

I think it's fair to speculate that Fallout 4 will be a hit when it launches on November 11th, 2015. Let's hope they can keep the bugs in check this time around.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • I'm quite ready for this. Was going to play F3's DLC and New Vegas before launch, but stuff got in the way. Now, Forza and Halo are going to be in the way. One thing I'll say, I like open-world experiences, but I like close-world ones as well. I occasionally want my game (Halo) to be mostly linear and tell me a story like an interactive movie.
  • I think my favourite experiences are the ones that are sorta in between, linear but with "wide" maps with multiple progression paths. Deus Ex HR is the best example, maybe MGS3 as well.
  • I spent 100 hours on FNV and now spent 20+ on F3, amazing games and it's true, the more freedom you have in games the more personal they become.
  • Great way to put it - I totally agree.
  • I have over 350 hours in my Skyrim playthrough anb still have stuff to do! :D
  • I think I have about 300 hours across two playthroughs, nowhere near finished either, didn't finish the DLC either. soooo much to do
  • Take my money! Seriously, this is sounding pretty amazing. It does sort of make me worry that things might be getting overly complicated at some point with all of the features.
  • They've been keen to emphasise that the crafting and settlement construction is 100% optional, this game is gonna ruin relationships with all the stuff it has to do!
  • Love Fallout....not so much love for crafting. I end up with tons of junk hoping to make some funky super whatever majigger.
  • My home base is gonna be crammed with junk, piled up in a heap.
  • I don't know if you guys have seen this but it is an accurate description of me in Skyrim:   I can only imagine this will happen to me again. :D
  • Ha!!! That's EXACTLY what crafting does to me. Nailed it. Though I'd clean up my act for that Brunette :-)
  • Thank you for writing out the points in the video. I can't stress enough how much I appreciate this. I read it while I cooked dinner for my kids and that wouldn't have been possible with a video. Props.