New Gameplay Footage Answers One Of The Biggest Questions Raised By The Fallout 4 Trailer
When Bethesda released the announcement trailer for Fallout 4 last month, it certainly sparked a huge amount of debate among fans of everybody’s favorite post apocalyptic RPG franchise. This trailer did answer a few of the questions Fallout fans had been asking in the years since the release of the last game (the still highly playable Fallout: New Vegas) – such as the setting (as many had theorized, it’s going to be Boston), the platforms it’ll be available on (PC, XBox One and PS4), and whether or not there will be a dog in it that will potentially get ripped apart by a deathclaw, causing you a more than trivial amount of personal trauma (there will).
It did, however, raise just as many questions as it answered, and thankfully, the newly released gameplay trailers unveiled by the developers at E3 answered some of the more pressing ones, including the one that was perhaps the most discussed of all – why did the player character in the trailer speak?
Why Does That Matter?
OK, in most other game trailers we may be interested in who was doing the character’s voice, or whether the acting was terrible (see all Resident Evil games ever), but in a Fallout game, the player character having a voice actor could have had very deep implications.
The Fallout series has always allowed players a huge amount of freedom in the characters they choose to play as, and not just in the traditional RPG sense of creating different builds.
In Fallout 3 your character was 19, and had a full back story (complete with Liam Neeson as the caring father who unaccountably wanted his teenage kid to clear out a basement full of violent supermutants before he and that other scientist he was clearly banging would go in there… He was a much better dad in Taken) but everything else was up to you. Your gender, race, appearance, name, sexual orientation and whether you were fundamentally playing a good or bad person were all totally customizable. New Vegas took it even further – your character’s back story was not defined beyond their job, so you could also choose your age and essentially create any kind of reasoning you wanted for the actions you took as a player. Because of this level of freedom, it wasn’t practical for the player character to have recorded lines, so unlike the NPCs, they never spoke aloud, and were never referred to by name in spoken dialog.
On watching the trailer, then, some speculated that the fact the player character had a line of voice acted dialog meant that the character would be a lot more fixed in Fallout 4, which would take away an element many people loved about the other Fallout games.
Character Building in Fallout 4
Happily, the gameplay demonstration you can see below (which is just one of the gameplay videos showcased for Fallout 4 at E3), shows us how character creation is going to work in the game:
As you can see, you can still choose whether you’re a man or a woman, and heavily customize how you look. You can even customize your husband or wife’s appearance and let the game create a baby for you based on how the couple look (just for the sake of it, as the player character being the ‘only survivor’ heavily implies that your spouse and kid are going to be a source of angst for your character rather than important NPCs!). The game even has thousands of the most commonly chosen names recorded so should you choose one of them, it’ll pop up in spoken dialog.
Sure, the character building part of the game shown here does give you some preconceptions about what your character might be like at this point in time (heterosexual, family oriented, not evil), but this is a Fallout game – you can almost certainly have turned into a psychopath during your time in the vault if that’s what you want to play as, or have been a closeted gay or lesbian person back in the 50’s who, thanks to the Cerchez La Femme or Confirmed Bachelor perks (which will almost certainly still be in the game – why would they take that out!) has more luck pursuing the partners they are really interested in 200 years later!
Oh yeah, and another gameplay trailer shows that we will get to fly vertibirds and have jetpacks, so there’s that, too.