Top 10 Fallout 4 Features from the Bethesda E3 Presser

There are a number of well-established traditions at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo - AKA E3 -- one of which is the pre-show presser. Press Conferences put on by the major publishers which present the upcoming lineup of games for the coming year (and beyond) that are held in venues off-site from the LA Convention Center.

These press events are also attended by industry insiders - we saw plenty of people from other studios at the Bethesda Presser this year - but the ultimate point is to present information that games journos can use NOW to generate buzz for the games that will be coming out down the road. And this year Bethesda did a bang-up job of it. We got lots of juicy stuff!

Before we get to that, lets talk for a moment about the next offering in the Fallout Series, shall we?

Fallout 4 is the indirect sequel to Fallout: New Vegas. Set in Boston, Massachusetts this time, the basic story is similar in that our protagonist is a Vault Dweller who has survived 200 years in suspended animation, only to emerge from the vault just a tad bit confused about the passage of time.

As he makes his way to what was his 1950's era home (the game retains that dripping 1950s Americana nostalgia effect that pretty much none of the gamers playing today will actually have first-hand knowledge of ) to find that the personal robot servant that he left behind when his family entered the vault is not only still functional, but happy to see him!

Shortly after the bot fills in some derails for him, our hero meets a very healthy,very intelligent canine companion of the German Shepard type, and they become fast friends. Which is good, since you know, after 200 years you are going to need someone to talk to!

While a lot of that information was already revealed - or at least hinted at - in the trailer Bethesda recently released, after that splashed across the massive screen complete with audio stacks that we could feel deep in our chests, they trotted out the game play footage in two parts separated by another related game.

It is that new footage we draw upon for our Top 10 Fallout 4 Features list - and having said that, we should probably admit that we could have written a Top 20 but that would violate the format, right? Right!

So that said, and without any further setup, we present to you Our Top 10 Fallout 4 Features from the Bethesda E3 Press Event!

Check the official trailer out below...

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Top 10 Fallout 4 Features from the Bethesda E3 Presser

10. Historic Boston as a Setting

There were hints in Fallout 3 - you had to pay attention mind you or you could easily miss them - but then even if you DID see them, if you lack some basic knowledge about New England you could still miss them anyway. What do we mean?

In Fallout 3 the Boston location was commonly referred to as “The Commonwealth” - which makes total sense really if you are from New England, because there the state of Massachusetts is NOT the state of Massachusetts - it is The Commonwealth.

That is important to know because when combined with other hints it reveals more than you might think:

In the quest The Replicated Man, Dr. Zimmer and his android bodyguard Armitage have come from The Commonwealth to track down an escaped android believed to be in the Capital Wasteland.

The escaped android Harkness -- who is Chief of Security -- does not actually know he is an android, due to his memory being wiped. During the quest certain details are shared about The Commonwealth.

A representative from the Railroad (an Android Liberation Organization), Victoria Watts (who is also from The Commonwealth) tracks you down later in the game after you speak with Zimmer, and convinces you to tell Zimmer the android is dead, providing a piece of its body as evidence.

Marcella mentions The Commonwealth on her terminal in the Point Lookout DLC - and another point, she is FROM The Commonwealth as well.

Ishmael Ashur (ruler of The Pitt) from the Pitt DLC mentions The Commonwealth, explaining that it has good reasons to envy The Pitt.

Tobar, Captain of the Duchess Gambit (the ferry) in the Point Lookout DLC made frequent trips to The Commonwealth when his ferry was in better condition.

During Broken Steel (the DLC) Dr. Lee leaves the Capital Wasteland on a trip to The Commonwealth “to clear her head” after the final activation of Project Purity.

While the hints here were not overtly obvious, they were sufficient to cause players to recognize that Boston was a likely destination for an upcoming Fallout title.

That the next game in the series turned out to be in Las Vegas and that part of the country notwithstanding, the real focus was on Fallout 4 -- and we have to admit that not everyone was happy about that.

Actually some very vocal comments came from the left coast, claiming that the Fallout series was clearly a frontier story and so Boston was totally inappropriate as a location and setting.

Now clearly these geographically challenged voices have no idea just where Washington DC and Maryland are located. Not to mention that the first two games were based in LA and San Francisco - so just how that qualifies as predominately frontier we really cannot say.

I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree here. Especially since you know, we flew out of Boston to cover this. And we live on Cape Cod. Well, maybe we are biased just a little. But we think that Boston is a great setting. Stupendous. Excellent. Bloody bonzer mate!

As the game play footage appeared we saw images that depict a Boston we know, but also one we barely recognize - and we are not talking about the damage from the bombs.

No, when they decided to make Boston - excuse me - The Commonwealth - the location for Fallout 4 the wizards behind the game recognized two things: one, they were going to have to be creative here in depicting beantown, and two, that was okay because after all, this is an alternate reality.

So what changes were there? Well a sampling that we could distinguish in the presentation includes the following:

Fenway Park is now Diamond City

Government Center has turned back into Scollay Square

MIT is now (some say always was) The Institute

The Red Line - though it has lost its iconic livery it seems

USS Constitution is still there but has been transformed into an airship

Some of the imagery we saw that was mostly unchanged includes:

Bunker Hill Memorial

The Old North Church (complete with the Paul Revere Statue)

MIT - yes it makes BOTH lists - since the wizards really did it up right.

Prudential Center (maybe - we thought so)

The State House with its distinct gold dome

The limestone quarry that was depicted is the old Quincy Quarry - which is now flooded and has not been actively used since, well, since the time period in the game or shortly after.

Based upon the landmarks you can see on the horizon the protagonist house and Vault 111 are located in Watertown, a suburb community of Boston that also happens to be where the Boston Bomber was captured...

The locations of the Vault and the neighborhood were figured out by some clever Boston detectives on Reddit, who even figured out that ground zero for the blast was located in Brighton, which sort of makes sense as there were a number of tech firms there in the 50s that were part of the defense industry.

This is an unconfirmed rumor - but the source is a player inside the Bethesda organization so we tend to believe it - that has it that the wizards behind the game even included the old offices of BBN in the game. BBN? Bolt, Beranek, and Newman? You know! The people who really actually built the Internet?

During the concept art phase of the presentation we saw some even more iconic locations - like Boston Light, the Commons, and Mission Hill.

All in all we are pretty darn pleased with the results, and can only imagine that Boston is going to make for an excellent wasteland to experience in the game!

Posted: 15th Jun 2015 by CMBF
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