For the uninformed, Fallout 4 is a possibility in the near future (check the bottom for a link to the source of my speculation). Let us commemorate the possibility of my hopes being awfully trashed with a cheeky little wishlist for the next entry into the critically acclaimed franchise:
(Parts of this list were made with the rumours of Boston being the next location of the game in mind)
1: New Vegas got a few things right and a few things wrong but one of the things they really got right was the divergent storyline. Anyone who enjoyed New Vegas enough to finish it I’d wager went back to finish it again. Being able to help a certain faction to victory was great, I see nothing wrong with doing that again. Fallout 3 was good but in my mind, too linear, for a game that thrives off of choice. A more explored, thoroughly built up Fallout 4 with all these factions quests more thought out and fully realised instead of the limited development time Obsidian were given with New Vegas would be amazing.
2: While I’m on this, I preferred the karma system taking a back seat in New Vegas and more weight put into faction reputation. But I want the factions choices to be less clear cut. I’m told original plans with Caesar’s Legion were to have more land beyond the river which showed the safety and prosperity people were experiencing under Legion which would have made them actually a bit of a reasonable choice to make as perhaps a necessary evil instead of just a bunch of brutal slavers. I feel like this kind of thing would fits the Fallout universe a lot better, leave the objective good and bad stuff for Fable. Not that it would be out of the question to have some kind of raider civilisation as a major faction, I’d just rather they be one of 3 or 4 major factions you can choose from rather than the 2 choices in New Vegas (Mr House doesn’t really count, his whole choice can be understood with a few random throwaway dialogue lines.
3: If anyone has seen modern day Boston, (google it if you haven’t) there is a well built up urban area in the centre of the city. Not unlike the built up city area we had in Fallout 3 in the form of the destroyed concrete jungle that was the D.C area. I appreciate the limits of the hardware in 2008 but we’re a whole generation more advanced now and I’d love to have a more open city area to explore instead of lots of blocks of area separated by loading screens. Take advantage of the horsepower of the new generation to create a sprawling complex of skyscrapers collapsed into each other filled with enemies, loot and factions battling and vying for each street and building. However, after I learned how to read the London tube map, I did grow a soft spot for the metro system in Washington which I previously only seen as a frustrating obstacle and since Boston does have its own metro system, it’d be cool to keep that relevant somehow. I’d hate the city to become as uninteresting as the area around New Vegas and verticality above and below the ground I think would keep that at bay if pulled off well.
4: Expanding on a point I just touched on, I’d love to have some kind of dynamic faction war system included in Fallout 4. Not unlike the civil war quest line in Skyrim, I’d love to be looting a building and hear gunfire behind me, go to the window and see two factions fighting in the street, with me being able to join in the fight as a backer of my faction of choice, gunning down both sides or even just sitting back and watching as on higher difficulties it may be unwise to draw attention to myself.
5: Ya know those people in Megaton referred to as a generic megaton settler? No more of those. Even if they’re just a named NPC with very little to talk about like in the Imperial City in Oblivion where many characters just had nothing to to do with anything, but they contributed to the atmosphere.
6: One thing Dragon Age Origins did beautifully was it’s varied ways to start the game, which had some baring on how parts of the rest of the game would play out. I’d love a similar thing from Fallout, with several backgrounds to choose from. An Android from the institute. An Enclave deserter. Someone who grew up in the Brotherhood of Steel. Grown up from a slave. One for each new faction. And perhaps some unaffiliated starts in various settlements and towns. Not to say that that these start up choices would bind you to these factions, you could breakaway and join another group, but I want it to be very difficult for an Enclave deserter to join the Brotherhood of Steel. I want this shit to matter and immerse you into the game.
7: This one is a maybe, and maybe should only be included in a hardcore mode of sorts but it’d be interesting for Fallout to explore mental health. Throw in existing features in Fallout to compliment it like drug addiction and being put it awful situations. But don’t bother with it if it’s not going to be done well and it’s just like H20 or Sleep.
8: Fallout has showed culture in some places reverting to an entirely tribal form, with hand axes and throwing spears being prevalent weapons in Honest Hearts and from Legion troops, as well as the Chosen One from Fallout 2 being brought up in a tribe. So why not explore archery a bit and go into more detail with throwing spears and whatever and make them into slightly more viable weapons if used skilfully, yet completely useless on power armour (as well as small arms fire while we’re at it).
9: The towns and settlements in Fallout rarely feel properly ‘lived in’. Some kind of dynamic towns system would be cool, if but a little hard to achieve, in which this ongoing war affects the fortunes and population of places, with new houses and expansion being possible with the towns and immigration between regular citizens in different factions areas displaying Fallout’s amazing talent for presenting apathetic NPCs, with absolutely nobody in Megaton ever slightly worried about the rise of the Enclave or the looming threat of super mutants. They just wanna pray to a bomb and write wasteland survival guides.
10: Seasons and temperature would be a cool feature, with longer nights and snow in winter. Considering the Massachusetts already gets heavy snow in winter, this would go the extra mile to make the world feel more real and in hardcore mode, temperature control would be an amazing feature. Plus you could have a DLC/expansion in Canada and call it ‘Cold War’. You can have that one for free Bethesda.
11: A missed trick and a no-brainer on Bethesda’s part for years would be being able to play as a ghoul or super mutant. Being subdued and captured by super mutants and dipped in a vat of FEV and turned into one of them or over exposure to radiation turning you into a ghoul would be fucking stellar and do so much to broaden a players experience. The Brotherhood would be hostile to you. Some would fear you. Some would reject and scorn you as a minority. Others would embrace you and tolerate you. This would massively change up your experience. This would have to be warned by several people in the early game so a new player doesn’t walk up to a group of super mutants, run out of ammo and surrender, not suspecting to be captured and mutated. Or maybe that would be bettered if there was less warning? Who knows?
12: And one last easy one. Ensure Three Dog is back in, but have a few more radio stations that are affiliated with the various factions and throw in loads more brilliant forties music. I’m going to play this game forever and a bit more variety and some watering down of ‘Johnny Guitar’ would go miles for me and wouldn’t be too difficult to pull off.
Giving a real sense of consequence in the world will immerse players hugely in this hostile game I’ve basically designed. This would be my ideal Fallout game, but obviously a bit of that trademark Bethesda magic to improve on these ideas and come up with many that are no doubt better. Of course Fallout 4 may never come out and I’ll just be sad. Let me know if you’ve got any ideas of your own in the comments if you fancy a chat!
P.S: Also, they should totally do another game jam like they did with Skyrim after they’ve made the game to phase cool ideas in with updates and future expansions.