E3 2015: Fallout 4 demo atomizes minds, dated for November 10 launch

At the start of the demonstration, Bethesda marketing guru Pete Hines praised the company for achieving game of the year status for Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim consecutively. The inference there being that Bethesda Softworks' core team aim to achieve the same success for Fallout 4. Given what they showed this evening, they may just do that.

  • Fallout 4 begins in a pre-war scenario right before the bombs land. It's during this sequence that you customize your character, utilizing an all-new system that allows you to sculpt facial features using a cursor as opposed to navigating cumbersome menus.

Fallout

Fallout (Image credit: Windows Central)
  • Fallout no longer features silent protagonists, and enjoys an optional third person viewpoint for conversations. Fallout 4 executive producer Todd Howard emphasised that conversations are a dynamic system, meaning you can break out of them at any moment should you choose to do so.
  • The dog from the reveal trailer was shown off in greater detail. Besides accompanying you into battle, you can also issue direct commands for movement and make him to fetch items for you. It's unknown if the dog will die in 2 hits as was the case with Dogmeat in Fallout 3, but I'd suspect this new dog will be a little more hard-wearing.

  • V.A.T.S. return, looking as though they retain the same functionality from Fallout 3. Tapping a button will enable you to lock-on to an enemy, and target body parts for precision damage. These sequences play out in slow motion as before, and look every bit as satisfying as the previous game.
  • Gun-play seems vastly improved, with iron-sights aiming across the board and Call of Duty-like hit indicators when you're free firing.

  • Fallout 4 also includes a vast and complex crafting system, allowing you to de-construct any of the game's items and re-construct them into new weapons, mods and tools. The previous titles also had crafting systems, but in Fallout 4, you will be able to reduce anything to its constituent parts, and reconfigure them anew. Todd showed off how you can produce a weapon scope using the steel from a wrench, and the screws from a toy car and so on.

Todd treated viewers to a montage of Fallout 4's expansive locations, stating that it was the most ambitious game world they've ever made:

...You'll explore the most ambitious and detailed game world that we have ever made, culminating in the massive ruins of downtown Boston...

Here are just a few screen grabs I managed to take from the stream. Check out the conference in full on Bethesda's YouTube channel for a better look.

Beyond exploration, player freedom, and bloody combat, Todd showed off some brand new Fallout 4 features that I suspect very few people anticipated.

As if crafting weapons from scratch wasn't enough, Bethesda are now allowing the player to craft buildings from scratch. The game world features various settlement locations which can be used to build your own personal civilizations. The construction utilizes the game's dynamic engine to allow the player to build structures as though you were a level designer.

Todd explained how your buildings can harbor settlers and merchants, allowing you to engage in trade with other settlements. In order to grow, your settlements will require power, which requires generators, cabling structures and even a terminal computer. Using a connected terminal computer you can change the colours of lights, power turrets and create various other contraptions which keep your settlements safe from roaming monsters or greedy raiders. The demonstration ended with a player crafted Vault Boy logo, using terminal controlled lighting.

  • In closing, Todd Howard praised Bethesda's fans, noting that Fallout 4 will launch this year on November 10th for PC, Xbox One and PS4.

...Our fans really are the greatest in the world and I know many of you are here tonight, and I want to let you know just how important it is to us. I know we have a responsibility to do this game right and your love and support of Fallout has pushed us to make this our best work...

Considering the full offering of Bethesda's E3 conference, the other heavy hitters certainly have their work cut out to steal Fallout 4's radioactive thunder.

Keep your eyes trained on Windows Central for our full E3 2015 coverage, which continues later today with Microsoft's Xbox conference.

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!

24 Comments
  • Great release date!
  • Amazing what they have done with the game and how the experience moved from Fallout 3. Only Bethesda can pull it in such an explosive style.
  • This looks seriously amazing. Definitely going to be the best game of the year.
  • Witcher 3 says hi.
  • Witcher 3 can say bye again
  • Witcher 3 will be 2015's GOTY. It set a new standard in gaming, RPGs especially. Fallout 4 will be just a prettier Fallout 3 in a new map.
  • Witcher 3 will be a distant memory by the time Fallout 4 comes out.
  • Which is sad, but true.
  • I really want to play Fallout Shelter!
  • Better book a couple of weeks off in November, me thinks!
  • I'm already prepping to do just that.  Scheduled half my PTO this year to coincide with E3 and GC.  And after today, going to schedule the rest of it for the week of November 10.
  • No app for WP =/
  • Is fallout shelter in android?
  • I think they said it will eventually.
  • Too bad none of the announced apps will be on WP.
  • There's a chance that the second screen app for fallout 4 (the pip boy app) could run through Xbox ones smartglass app.
  • Let's not feel sorry for ourselves.  There is almost five months between now and November 10.  Between now and then lies the release of Windows 10 (next month) and Windows 10 coming to phone as well as Xbox One.   The point being is, incentive to convince Bethesda to port the native code of their Pip-Boy app, from Android, or iOS, to Windows 10 as a universal app, that will run on PC, tablet, phone and Xbox One. What I am saying is, we get pro-active about this.  If we want it, we as a community have to be.  Microsoft has already taken care of the hard bit of porting the app over for every developer [including Bethesda] by allowing them to port over native code, and just recompile it.  We as a community just have to convince Bethesda that the minor work necessary to work on said port, is worth their while. So hit up their Twitter feed [along with Phil Spencers].  Don't be impolite, but be insistent. Be consistent and hit up those Twitter feeds up every few days, until we get an affirmative acknowledgement. If our voices are loud enough, they will be heard, and they will be addressed.  It's just that simple. These are the people you want to tweet. Bethesda Studios (Fallout 4 developers) - https://twitter.com/BethesdaStudios Bethesda Softworks (Fallout 4 publisher) - https://twitter.com/Bethblog Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox) - https://twitter.com/XboxP3 Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb (Community VP at Xbox) - https://twitter.com/majornelson I've already started hitting these guys up on Twitter last night, after the Bethesda conference.  And while true with E3 going on, they are all going to be very busy for the next week or so.  But that is where persistence comes into play.  We know we are not going to get any real answers this week, and maybe even next week.  But we just want to get the word out there, that Windows owners do not wish to be left out of the Fallout 4 fun.  Especially when some of us will no doubt purchase the Pip-Boy Edition of the game. 
  • Looks like mole rats making a Cameo in the VATS Demo. Looks good.
  • cucuuuj cf uuu
  • What version of Fallout 3 did Jez play where Dogmeat died in two hits? I had the completely opposite experience. By the time I got to Broken Steel, Dogmeat was fighting Deathclaws single-handedly and winning.
  • I had Dogmeat die once, but I kind of helped with that so I could go back to the vault and get the puppy, Dogmeats son. He was tougher than E-DE that's for sure
  • I just looked it up. Apparently it was a glitch on the 360 where, as you leveled up, so did Dogmeat. The problem is that his health goes up exponentially every level with the glitch. Idk if Jez just played on PC or something, but that explains why Dogmeat never died on me.
  • To prepare for Fallout 4, I think I'll go back and play Fallout 3. That game is still a masterpiece.
  •   Don't die before 2089 Don't die before 11/10/15 Don't die before 2087   ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::  Fallout 4 launches November 10