Like many gamers, Fallout 3 was my introduction to the franchise. As divisive a title as it may be, I count it as one of my favorite games of all time; top 3 status for sure. While I was let down by the lukewarm Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 is looks like it just might be a worthy successor.
With E3 right around the corner, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be hearing a lot more about Fallout 4 soon. Before that happens, I’d like to toss my hat into the ring and throw out the 10 features I’d most like to see.
- Weapon Mods – Fallout: New Vegas was a step backwards in many categories, but one of the things it got right was weapon mods. I’m sniper by nature, and hated not having a silencer on my rifle in Fallout 3. New Vegas more than delivered on this front, offering mods that made combat with weapons outside of V.A.T.S. more fun and accessible.
- Survival (Hardcore) Mode – Another great addition offered by the otherwise less-than-stellar New Vegas was its survival mode. Requiring the character to monitor their water, food, rads, and sleep levels was brilliant. It really added to the feeling of, well, survival. Maintaining proper levels while also managing your weight limit for items in your inventory was a challenge at times, but always rewarding and slightly more realistic.
- More Random Places to Scavenge – Fallout 3 had no shortage of distant locations just begging to be explored, giving me ample incentive to take a break from the main quest. Hopefully, Fallout 4 will offer even more distracting scavenging sites.
- More Item-Based Storytelling – Some of my favorite moments in Fallout 3 involved stumbling across the aftermath of a grisly scene. I might open a closet to find someone’s skeletal remains alongside a half-empty whiskey bottle and a gun. There were no notes or narration to explain what had happened; it was all left to your imagination.
- Vehicles – This is something I’ve wanted since my first long trek in Fallout 3. Being able to hightail it across the wasteland — and maybe mow down a few raiders or two — would be awesome. It could also serve as a roving storage unit, allowing the player to lighten their load and go back into a ruined building or subway for more.
- Dynamic Weather System – Rain. Tornadoes. Sand storms. Hail storms, replete with lightning and thunder. Really, anything would be better than another arid, barren wasteland. Weather can even enhance survival challenges; braving the elements could be a nice way to shake things up a bit.
- Better Melee Combat – In Fallout 3, I occasionally entertained the idea of heading out into the world just my fists and a reserve of grit. But honestly, I never felt like the melee system was entertaining or tenable. If Bethesda made it a viable option, I’d be happy to punch some brutes in the face.
- A Better Reputation System – No matter how badass or heroic or evil your character may be, no one really seems to give a shit. I mean, if the ultimate force-not-to-be-reckoned-with was walking the wasteland, wouldn’t word get around? I’m hopeful that in Fallout 4, your reputation will mean something. Maybe folks will sing your praises; maybe raiders or soldiers will avoid messing with you. If you’re walking around with an arsenal of the greatest weapons in the (game) world, folks should know not to rush at you with combat knife.
- Two-Player Online Co-op – I’m usually the lone wolf type of scavenger, but there are times when it would be great to team up with a partner. There could even be a competitive element to the proceedings you stumble across rare or exciting item. Just being able to walk around and explore the world with a friend would be a nice feature, more so than some AI-controlled partner that shoots first, stealth be damned.
- A Less Straight Forward Main Plot – I’m all for story and saving the world, but the main quest lines for the first two Fallout games just didn’t resonate with me enough to hold my attention. In Fallout 3, simply surviving my foray into the Super-Duper Mart at the beginning of the game was more enthralling and challenging and rewarding than finding a G.E.C.K. ever was. The absence of a story only fed my imagination. I can barely even remember what the point of New Vegas was, which only speaks to the less-than-engaging plot line. A story that’s smaller in scale and more personal would be a good way to journey forth into the wasteland.
There’s plenty more I’d like to see or experience in Fallout 4, but for the time being, this list is a start. Until the information floodgates open, I’ll just have to wait and see how the game shapes up.
For now, there’s only one thing I know for sure: war never changes. Hopefully, Fallout 4 can still find exciting new ways to depict its brutal outcomes.