The chances of seeing a fully fledged release of Fallout 4 in 2015 are, to say the least, slim. At least based on current information.
But even the swiftest of ‘announcement to shelf’ cycles normally wets the public appetite well in advance of general release – we’re talking months here – even without beta tests, similar to those we’ve seen for games like Halo or Destiny.
So for a game as anticipated as Fallout 4, with Bethesda making their first strides on to next gen consoles, it’s not unreasonable to think we’re more likely to see a 2016 return for the cult franchise.
That said; please Bethesda, PLEASE, give us something this year!
For the much loved developer to finally stick its head above the parapet indicates something significant to show the world.
A Doom reboot is coming and, as other quipped, Wet 2 hasn’t been announced…but after all these years of mild mannered teasing (remember the New Vegas trailer just kind of ‘showing up’ some five years ago?) it seems illogical for Bethesda not to have an ace of epic proportions up their sleeve with which to make a mark.
The Elder Scrolls Online will surely get a mention, perhaps even a brief mention of the successor to Skyrim may sneak its way in, but the fourth instalment of one of gamings most beloved titles has been bubbling under the surface for months.
It has been widely reported that Boston has already been scouted out as the next city to receive the post apocalyptic treatment.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT for short) has become a pivotal point in Fallout lore, under its in game guise of The Institute.
Counting one Robert House as an alumni, The Institute presents tremendous opportunity for Bethesday. Reputedly a house of great technology (no pun intended), it also opens up The Commonwealth to gamers; presenting a neat follow on from Fallout 3’s Enclave and New Vegas warring factions.
Naturally, it’s hard not to see the words ‘Fallout’ and ‘technology’ and not think of the Brotherhood of Steel (hence the featured image for this piece…); and with seeds of intrigue already sewn via Mr House, and quests such as The Replicated Man in Fallout 3 (pictured above), the idea that the Brotherhood could find its way to New England is not a stretch.
With a second organisation, introduced to us in Fallout 3 as ‘The Railroad’, already working against The Institutes scientists and The Commonwealth, a three way battle for supremacy in the area is equally plausible.
Whatever path the main quest takes, the games central, playable character will once again be a key pivot. We’ve done the ‘looking for someone’ story, and the ‘revenge’ saga (though both blossomed in to wider arcs); so what comes next?
And, more importantly to some, what can Bethesda do with the greater Boston area to surround and enhance the main story?
A Little Lamplight-esque refuge for the young? Slavers? Or perhaps a Blade Runner themed run in with The Instiute’s famed AI? Harking back to the previously mentioned The Replicated Man side quest. Venturing on to the Xbox One and Playstation 4 gives Bethesda’s open world behemoth tremendous potential – with previously unobtainable levels of detail and expanded maps at the developers fingertips, it’s enough to leave fans foaming at the mouth just thinking about it.
Perhaps the great advantage of moving the action to Boston is the almost endless possibilities a tech haven like The Institute offers when it comes to weaponry and the franchise (in)famous robots – which range from campy to insane, depending on how much nuclear dust has got in to their processors. More than just opening the door for the Brotherhood, it also presents unrivalled opportunity to push the boat when it comes to the equipment available to players.
Of course, it’s all speculation at this point – coated in a generous dollop of hope and desire, but speculation none the less.
Expectations are massive – to the point where merely hearing Ron Pearlman’s immortal ‘War Never Changes’ may require some to have to change their trousers – but half a decade on from our last adventure in post nuclear war America, the gaming world is primed and ready for Fallout 4.
It’s time for Bethesda to let the genie out of the bottle.