Our recent look at Fallout 4 concluded with a moment tailor-made to please existing fans of the post-apocalyptic role-playing game franchise. Armed with the atomic bomb-slinging Fat Man gun, the player – using the V.A.T.S. targeting system – aimed at a Behemoth mutant’s torso.
Before blasting a hubcap-sized hole in a monster’s belly with a mini-nuke, though, the presentation offered some subtler, but no less impressive peeks at what fans can expect from the Boston-set sequel. Shedding more light on the game’s companion system, Game Director Todd Howard introduced us to potential new friends Preston Garvey and Piper. The former is the leader of the Commonwealth Minutemen, while the latter seems to be a wasteland reporter working out of Diamond City, the ruins of Fenway Park.
While story details were scant on both characters, it seems Preston – who complained that his band of fighters had been whittled down to a handful of men – is in desperate need of help. Piper, on the other hand, helped the player, sneaking him into the Boston Red Sox’s former stadium. In addition to this promising pair, players will be able to join forces with around 10 other companions, including loyal canine Dogmeat and robot helper Mr. Handy. Players can also become romantically involved with these folks – the human ones, anyway – regardless of gender.
Whether fans decide to join forces with one of these companions or brave the battle-scarred Boston landscape solo, they’ll want to be prepared for the absolute worst. Thankfully, Fallout 4’s fresh take on the series’ familiar S.P.E.C.I.A.L. leveling system has their backs. Sporting seven attributes – Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck – the stat-based system allows players to pick a perk every time they level-up. The user interface for this feature is especially easy on the eyes, as it looks like a poster-sized survival brochure. Each attribute has its own detailed column, complete with animated antics from the ubiquitous Vault Boy.
Shifting from character-leveling to mutant-slaying, our demo took us to the town of Lexington. With Dogmeat by his side, the protagonist cleaned one of the abandoned city’s streets of creepy Ghouls. Following this brief bloodbath, he entered a Super Duper Mart and instructed his pup to sniff out any supplies. Upon hacking a computer terminal and discovering a wandering patrol robot – that spouted “Protect and serve!” – the player was greeted by a second wave of monsters. Armed with a laser musket that’s reloaded by cranking a lever on its side, the player utilized V.A.T.S. to dispatch the threats in an especially graphic way.
Following a short stroll outside – where we spied a corpse that looked to have been slam-dunked through a basketball hoop – the player found himself in a Raider-occupied power plant. While he got to transform some of the baddies’ heads into slo-mo displays of flying brain bits, he mostly sidestepped the danger by letting a fresh pack of Ghouls take on the new human enemies.
With that sticky situation in our rear-view, we were led back outdoors to where the presentation’s fan-pleasing Fat-Man-versus-mutant melee encounter closed the demo in epic fashion. Teasing plenty of new intel and packed with gore, our latest visit to the wasteland has us counting the days until Fallout 4 begins consuming our free time like a mushroom cloud, when it debuts on November 10 for Xbox One and Windows PC.