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Posted by austin_walker (561 posts) -
Monument restoration is really, really tough in the apocalypse, okay?
Monument restoration is really, really tough in the apocalypse, okay?

After a hiccup this morning that briefly put the Fallout 4 site online early, Bethesda Softworks has officially announced the game with a trailer.

The trailer took a slightly more narrative focus than previous Fallout announcement trailers, crosscutting between atmospheric images of a devastated home and flashbacks to the moment when the family that once lived in that home hears about the war's escalation. It also situates Ron Perlman's "War, war never changes," into a monologue from a news reporter which... Were people really clamoring for more lore about "that cool narrator voice"?

In any case, after years of rumors that the game would be set in Boston, the trailer's inclusion of Boston landmarks like the Bunker Hill Monument pretty firmly confirm that. And as it turns out, what we know about Fallout's Boston is pretty interesting.

Back in Fallout 3, there was a Blade Runner-inspired quest called "The Replicated Man" which featured an android fleeing from his Boston-based creators, "the Institute." By piecing together little clues throughout the quest, you could build a pretty interesting picture of Post-Apocalyptic Massachusetts, which was called the "Commonwealth." Like much of the wasteland, the Commonwealth had suffered terribly in the events that ruined America. But unlike most other places, the Commonwealth had some areas in good shape, protected by the Institute's technologies (and willingness to use them violently.)

At least we're not from Vault 311.
At least we're not from Vault 311.

Now, who knows if any of this is still true. Bethesda could've junked that whole angle. But there are signs of it here, for sure. In between shots of the wastes, there are clips of dense, urban sprawls with flashing lights and lots of pedestrian activity. It paints a picture of the post-apocalypse slightly different than Fallout 3 did, and I'm hoping that we see lots of interesting cultures and characters stuffed into close proximity. That's part of what made New Vegas such a good followup.

It's easy to dismiss the "post-apocalypse" genre as a nihilistic fantasy of structural decline, lawlessness, and "might makes right" morality. So many (bad) examples of the genre exclusively commit to this route, where the audience is expected to find joy at the brutalities committed on or by the protagonists. It's not that the violence is bad in-and-of-itself, it's that it's positioned as the main attraction.

But there can be another sort of post-apocalyptic story, too, and it's one that I think the Fallout series has managed to deliver in the past. In a story, an apocalypse isn't just an ending, it's a chance to start fresh. Some post-apocalyptic stories burn everything down and then relish in the ashes. Others focus on characters who stand in the destruction and say, "Okay. Now what?"

The only thing I want in this whole world is for that sign to read
The only thing I want in this whole world is for that sign to read "NOW LEASING BLIMPS."

These stories offer opportunity for different characters and organizations to decide what they want the future to look like, and then to struggle to enact that future. And, best of all, it lets these ideas come into contact with each other, to struggle and synthesize with each other. This is (part of) what makes Mad Max: Fury Road so great: It's about a group of folks trying to decide (both individually and as a group) what to do with this shitty hand they've been dealt. My hope is that we'll continue to see that sort of post-apocalypse from Fallout in this new entry.

My suspicion is that we'll get a gameplay demo (and, maybe, a tentative release date) from Bethesda at their upcoming Pre-E3 press conference on June 14th. We'll be there to yammer excitedly and/or skeptically.

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#1 Edited by FLStyle (6587 posts) -

Troy Baker? EDIT: referring to the main character speaking to the dog.

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#2 Edited by GERALTITUDE (5988 posts) -

Nicely done Mr @austin_walker. Enjoying your balancing of NEWS/MIND.

Oh and some typos!

- 4th Paragraph; 1st Sentence: need a space after "The Replicated Man"

- 6th Paragraph; 2nd Sentence: "So many (bad) examples of the [word missing] exclusively commit to ... "

- 8th Paragraph; last Sentence: "My hope is that we'll SEE continue to SEE that sort of..."

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#3 Posted by option (43 posts) -

Im so hyped for this!

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#4 Posted by washingmachine (152 posts) -

I always Fallin for Fallout!

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#5 Edited by Junkboy (652 posts) -

I wish I could be more excited but I think the graphics are just not good enough. I don't want something unattainable just something nice enough to know I'm past the PS3/360 era and I just feel like the game looks like a new PC game being simultaneously developed on last gen hardware.

Witcher 3 looks gorgeous and it's an open world game so I'm utterly shocked this looks the way it does. I guess it's my own fault for hoping they kept so quiet because they were working on a new engine or something but this feels a game to be released in late 2011 for the PC.

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#6 Posted by Radtastic89 (25 posts) -

Great article Austin and welcome to Giant Bomb.

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#7 Edited by Sen0r_Awes0me (173 posts) -

Is that a steampowered U.S.S. Constitution? The Thomas Hooker monument survived the apocalypse unvandalized? How far into central MA can we go? Can I see my house from......

I'm in!

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#8 Posted by deactivated-5a00c029ab7c1 (1777 posts) -

Graphics are dated because Microsoft and Sony cheaped out on the hardware on this gen. I only play PC but this still this pisses me off it's good for no one.But then again the game will probably be really good hopefully.Can't wait until generation remaster ends there will be good games I'm sure of it but technically speaking this gen is a huge let down.

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#9 Posted by kubqo (485 posts) -

This series is a huge missing piece in my gaming library. Should i do 3rd one or can i start with New Vegas?

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#10 Posted by dudeglove (13677 posts) -

Hoping it's not Fallout 3/NV with a fresh coat of paint

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#11 Posted by Justin258 (15579 posts) -

@junkboy0 said:

I wish I could be more excited but I think the graphics are just not good enough. I don't want something unattainable just something nice enough to know I'm past the PS3/360 era and I just feel like the game looks like a new PC game being simultaneously developed on last gen hardware. Witcher 3 looks gorgeous and it's an open world game so I'm utterly shocked this looks the way it does. I guess it's my own fault for hoping they kept so quiet because they were working on a new engine or something but this feels a game to be released in late 2011 for the PC.

Fallout 3 and New Vegas weren't exactly all that jaw-dropping either, although yes, I do wish this looked better than it does.

Still, if what comes out looks exactly like what's in the trailer, I won't give them any flack for it. Environments and aesthetics still look pretty great so I'm happy.

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#12 Posted by Slab64 (1149 posts) -

wild speculation: we actually heard the dog talking, notice you never see the mans mouth moving

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#13 Edited by joetom (201 posts) -

You're a great writer Austin. Get your point across way more succinctly than I ever can. Fury Road got me in the mood for some post apocalypse, and Fallout is one of my favourite game series, so colour me excited.

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#14 Posted by TournamentOfHate (880 posts) -

Just by having more color it looks way better than F3.

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#15 Posted by AMyggen (7738 posts) -

I don't care about the graphics, looks good enough to me. I just hope it's a good game!

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#16 Posted by Top8Gamer (214 posts) -

Am I weird for expecting something different? I mean there is so much you can do with a post apocalyptic game and we again get a vault dweller in a post apocalyptic United States in the 50s.

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#17 Posted by AMyggen (7738 posts) -
@slab64 said:

wild speculation: we actually heard the dog talking, notice you never see the mans mouth moving

Lol, that's the kind of speculation I can get behind! :P

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#18 Posted by forkboy (1650 posts) -

Funny, I watched the trailer & thought "that looks pretty good".

Guess I just have lower standards, considering I've got a 8 year old GPU in this PC.

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#19 Posted by steellasagna (51 posts) -

Yeah! Let's take a trolley tour through the wasteland!

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#20 Posted by caseman (163 posts) -

"So many (bad) examples of the exclusively commit to this route" missing a "genre" there?

I guess since I never got that into 3/NV that this trailer didn't do much for me. Just looks like more of the same. Hopefully the press conference next Sunday (!) will go into a bit more detail.

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#21 Posted by flasaltine (2544 posts) -

Im excited for more Gamebryo games!

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#22 Posted by Mabuti (22 posts) -

Any sort of co-op?

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#23 Posted by maginnovision (820 posts) -

@kubqo: Id say start with 2, its better than 3 or nv, though those were pretty good. It also doesnt have a time limit like 1. If youre not willing to go back to those though i thought new vegas was a more fallout style game then 3.

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#24 Posted by Ford_Dent (878 posts) -

The amount of color in this trailer alone makes me excited. Not sure what all the backlash about the graphics is about, to be honest--it looks good to me.

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#25 Posted by san_salvador (214 posts) -

@forkboy said:

Funny, I watched the trailer & thought "that looks pretty good".

Guess I just have lower standards, considering I've got a 8 year old GPU in this PC.

The only standard you are allowed with such a GPU is Direct X 9.

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#26 Posted by thom_hill (46 posts) -

After reading the "Wool trilogy" books i'v been looking forward to new fallout

totally going to make my character Juliet

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#27 Posted by AMyggen (7738 posts) -

The amount of color in this trailer alone makes me excited. Not sure what all the backlash about the graphics is about, to be honest--it looks good to me.

Well, it's not like Fallout 3 or NV looked impressive when those released! I just hope the game is relatively bug free, which might be a bit too much to ask.

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#28 Posted by MidnightVice (232 posts) -

However unlikely, there's a part of me that remains hopeful that they didn't just generate the pre-apocalyptic assets for some atmospheric shots in the trailer, and that we actually get a narrative that focuses on both the before and after of this nuclear catastrophe. Regardless, I'm glad to see more color even in the post-apocalypse portions of the trailer. Looking forward to whatever they decide to show at their press conference.

Online
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#29 Posted by Junkboy (652 posts) -

@believer258: It looks fine and not bad by any means but I think looking at games being released this year I feel like it could've been more. At least 3 and NV were in line with their contemporaries this and Witcher 3 look like games of a different era. I was so excited for this but it just feels like a punch in the gut. I am glad everyone is excited, and even slightly jealous of them to be honest, but I just don't share the sentiment.

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#30 Posted by DevourerOfTime (705 posts) -

Great article, Austin. Loving your style of "not just reporting features, but what the meaning is behind the information given to us" already. Keep up the good work! :D

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#31 Posted by austin_walker (561 posts) -
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#32 Posted by vikingdeath1 (1290 posts) -

Hell Yeah! My home town!

Was that the statue of General Hooker? The geography around that didn't look exactly right but What-Ever dude, BOSTON! YES!

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#33 Edited by austin_walker (561 posts) -
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#34 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5988 posts) -

@austin_walker: :D Thank *you*! It's so awesome having good writing at GB. Just a guess from your style but I'd wager you punch your words out pretty fast. But don't worry about typos commander, we will be watching.

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#35 Posted by AMyggen (7738 posts) -
@junkboy0 said:

@believer258: It looks fine and not bad by any means but I think looking at games being released this year I feel like it could've been more. At least 3 and NV were in line with their contemporaries this and Witcher 3 look like games of a different era. I was so excited for this but it just feels like a punch in the gut. I am glad everyone is excited, and even slightly jealous of them to be honest, but I just don't share the sentiment.

Fallout 3 didn't look very good when released, NV even more so since it released a year(?) later.

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#36 Edited by Tennmuerti (9445 posts) -

But there can be another sort of post-apocalyptic story, too, and it's one that I think the Fallout series has managed to deliver in the past. In a story, an apocalypse isn't just an ending, it's a chance to start fresh. Some post-apocalyptic stories burn everything down and then relish in the ashes. Others focus on characters who stand in the destruction and say, "Okay. Now what?"

These stories offer opportunity for different characters and organizations to decide what they want the future to look like, and then to struggle to enact that future. And, best of all, it lets these ideas come into contact with each other, to struggle and synthesize with each other.

I'd say that yes Fallout 1,2 and NV managed to deliver on these ideas relatively well. But Fallout 3 was as far from a competent serious narrative in main quests and side stories as the series could be taken. Bethesda themselves has yet to prove that they can handle this setting with any modicum of thought.

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#37 Posted by HH (934 posts) -

The amount of color in this trailer alone makes me excited. Not sure what all the backlash about the graphics is about, to be honest--it looks good to me.

yup, same

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#38 Posted by Loafsmooch (545 posts) -

I just hope they have a new engine. Or at least improve the melee combat from Skyrim by like 100 times if they use that engine. There's no sense of impact or weight in the strikes. Hitting stuff with wet noodles sucks.

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#39 Posted by fetchfox (1735 posts) -

Oh man, the chills are still going strong after fourth viewing. Can't wait to explore the wasteland again.

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#40 Posted by washingmachine (152 posts) -

By the way, post-apocalypse settings like this are good for drama. You're thinking of zombie apocalypse stuff.

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#41 Posted by deactivated-5a55abbb2b8a9 (185 posts) -

Fallout 3 is up there with one of my favorite games. I spent so many hours modding (first game to get me modding), and so many more investing myself into that world. The trailer here is surprisingly emotional, I like that. Boston looks to be fantastic in this game, LOVED that scene with the coated man walking. Won't lie, I wanted amazing graphic (who doesn't?), but I know the modding community will do wonders to this game. Overall, really hyped :D

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#42 Posted by Baltimore (390 posts) -

All I want is to be able to interact with a duck boat that's been armored up with mini-guns and driven by John Drake.

That's all I want Bethesda.

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#43 Posted by Moonshadow101 (755 posts) -

Basically everything I wanted out of a trailer. Hopefully Bethesda will be able to approach Obsidian's writing and worldbuilding level this time around.

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#44 Posted by excast (1384 posts) -

If this doesn't have David Ortiz in ghoul form driving a duck boat and carrying a World Series trophy as a weapon, somebody at Bethesda has fucked up.

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#45 Posted by GuardianKnux (338 posts) -

I just hope that they don't get stubborn like with Call of Duty and Treyarch, where they would see the cool/better mechanics added in one game, but then take them out of the next game because 'we want to do it our way.' New Vegas didn't have the same ambiance and feel that FO3 did, but mechanically, the way they handled stats and speech checks in New Vegas was so much better. In FO3 you could have super low Speech skill, have a 5% chance for a speech check to work, and just save/reload/try it again 25 in a row until to randomly worked. In NV it just plainly told you, nah you need 75 speech for this, you need 7 INT for this, ect. It made putting points into barter and speech feel meaningful in NV.

I think, from how they handled stats and speech in Skyrim, that they're probably learnt their lesson. But you never know.

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#47 Posted by Sen0r_Awes0me (173 posts) -
@excast said:

If this doesn't have David Ortiz in ghoul form driving a duck boat and carrying a World Series trophy as a weapon, somebody at Bethesda has fucked up.

Rad Chowdah :)

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#48 Edited by Junkboy (652 posts) -

@amyggen: 3 was no Crysis or MSG4/GTAIV but it looked of it's era and the scope was of the game was impressive for a non Rockstar game. NV was a perfect refinement and definitely was not a looker but it was fine. I don't think this looks of this era. Or maybe it does considering how many HD re-releases we've gotten.

@zeik 3 was absolutely in line with other games maybe not the best but it was still a great looking game. NV certainly pushed the game vs graphics to the very edge but even then it was still fine. I don't think this looks as good as GTA V/Witcher 3 both games that are out now.

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#49 Posted by Zeik (5184 posts) -

@junkboy0: I don't think you quite remember what those previous games looked like, or forgot what their contemporaries looked like at the time. They were not good looking games, or competent compared to the best looking games of the time. If you're going to compare this game to Witcher 3 then go compare Fallout 3 or New Vegas to Witcher 2. It's not even close.