Here are a few different approaches Bethesda can take to Fallout 4’s gameplay.
Fallout 4 may or may not happen in our lifetimes. Okay, maybe it will but Bethesda has been so secretive about it that you’d swear it didn’t exist if a casting call sheet hadn’t been leaked several months ago to confirm its development.
There’s been much discussion on the game since then but it’s interesting to think about the different games Bethesda can take inspiration from. We look at eight different game with eight different, interesting features that Fallout 4 could take inspiration from.
What can’t any game learn from Borderlands? Aside from the astronomical variables of loot, which still trump many of the random weapons seen in other similar games, Borderlands is a strong lesson in pacing and overall quest progression. Its Bad-Ass ranking system also functioned as a sort of challenge set that encouraged you to try new things (or keep lightning stuff on fire because there was more to be had than just merciless fun). We want those kinds of little rewards in Fallout 4 but more importantly, we also want each pieces of loot that feel more unique than others.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
This is of course obvious. Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim still stands today as one of the largest and most in-depth open world games ever created. Its in-game lore spans several books, its customization options are seemingly limitless, its world is ever expanding despite remaining static…and with mods, Skyrim feels more alive than ever. While Fallout 4 doesn’t need to copy it wholesale, we do want this kind of depth and attention to detail (updated visuals and excellent mod support wouldn’t hurt either).
While its wide range of choices may not have led to the best series ending of all time, Mass Effect was still a giant smorgasbord of decisions that would come back to bite you at some point. Even if you didn’t notice it, something as small as deciding whether you took up a mission was enough to decide a character’s overall fate (and whether you’d have to kill them later on). Another quest may have influenced you to turn on someone you cared about. The potential was amazing and even if Fallout 4 isn’t a predominantly “party” driven RPG, we’d still like to be able to influence a cast of characters’ lives like in Mass Effect.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
No, we don’t want to run and gun and knife fools for instant kills in Fallout 4. Rather, we want the first person combat in Fallout 4 to take some nods from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in terms of evolution. We want Bethesda to look at their old engine and realize there are ways to improve upon and update it for a new generation. Because if Call of Duty can be significantly changed after so many years of doing the same thing, why not Fallout? Try new things in Fallout 4, Bethesda – that’s what today’s shooter market is saying.
Fallout 3 was a scary game in many ways – the future was as accommodating as a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland full of mutants could be – but even horror needs an update. The psychological mind-f**kery of Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills would feel out of place for a Fallout title so we’ll go with the frenetic mad dashing and outright rush for survival that was Outlast. We’d love to have missions full of creepy characters that you need to outrun and outwit in order to survive. Quite frankly, Fallout has the creatures to make it work – imagine a mission where you need to navigate a torn down facility’s various ducts and obstacles to escape roaming Deathclaws.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
If there’s one thing we want in Fallout 4 (besides everything) that most likely won’t happen, it’s a chance to have a hybrid system akin to Dragon Age: Inquisition. The latter essentially lets you play it as a third person hack and slash RPG or to swing back, pause the game and command your troops from an overhead perspective. This is essentially a call back to the old Baldur’s Gate system wherein you could play the game in real time or turn based combat modes. If Fallout 4 took place from a first person perspective, it would be difficult to really figure out a turn based alternative (though Mass Effect’s system did a decent job). Maybe some variant on VATS?
XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Within
If Bethesda somehow decides to go with an isometric perspective for Fallout 4, perhaps a tactical RPG approach, then there’s no better option that XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Within. The tech trees, research, tactical decisions and whatnot make XCOM tons of fun to play and will actually be an homage to Fallout Tactics if properly harnessed in Fallout 4. It’s highly doubtful that Bethesda goes that route but we can always hope.
Far Cry 2
A more dynamic weapon degradation system in Fallout 4 would be interesting. We’re not talking about weapons that degrade and immediately become useless. We’re talking about machine guns that get jammed depending on their settings or guns that can’t be shot underwater. The degradation system can also depend on maintenance and the longer you use your weapon in harsh settings, the higher the chance of it failing in the middle of combat. Can we also get an active reload system from Gears of War in those situations as a sort of mini-game that needs to be completed in order to get your weapon working again?