It is likely that over half a decade will have passed by the time we re-enter the dark vision of a future torn apart by the Great War, as in the four years since the release of Fallout: New Vegas, Bethesda are still yet to release any official word about Fallout 4.
Many believed that E3 would be the platform used to announce the future release of their next instalment into the great post-apocalyptic franchise and possibly even release some footage of the game. However, E3 has now come and gone and Wastelanders the world over still know worryingly little about Fallout 4.
With a series as beloved as Fallout, it should come as no surprise that the frustrating state of limbo the fourth title seems to be occupying at the moment has led to all manner of rumour and speculation circulating online about the game. These rumours range from the logical and credible to the unsubstantiated and the speculative. Many of the more dubious claims are based entirely on what some fans would like to see in Fallout 4 rather than on hard evidence, or were inspired by the leaked casting documents which prognosticators seem to put so much credence in.
Of the plethora of rumours which have the internet abuzz, the most believable are that the game will be set in Boston, Massachusetts, and that it will use the same graphics engine which brought Skyrim to life. Aside from these facts we are sceptical about most of the speculation surrounding Fallout 4.
Here are the 10 most outrageous rumours that won’t happen.
10. Ron Perlman’s Absence
Online rumours abound that Ron Perlman and his forlorn, gravelly tones will not be returning for Fallout 4. From Interplay Entertainment’s original Fallout to the glitz-and-glamour of New Vegas, Ron was the voice actor responsible for the renowned opening monologues which so fittingly set the tone for the rest of the game.
The rumours are based entirely around the casting documents which suggested that Fallout 4’s monologue would be voiced by the new protagonist. Adding an enormous amount of weight to this speculation was the Sons of Anarchy star actually stating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything that he didn’t have “any video games on the horizon”.
Though the combined weight of these two pieces of evidence may lead you to believe that the rumours are accurate, the likelihood is that they are not. Fans of the series should definitely expect to hear that instantly recognisable voice at the start of Fallout 4 when Bethesda do finally get around to finishing and releasing the game. Far too much weight has been given by the Fallout rumour mills to these casting documents – they are in no way binding and basing any kind of judgement on them is an error-filled enterprise. Further, the game is in still in a relatively early part of its development as far as we know, so Perlman saying he isn’t currently involved in any games doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be employed by Bethesda – once again – to narrate the intro closer to Fallout 4’s release.
A Fallout game without Perlman’s monologue is like having a Gears of War without the Lancer, FIFA without Messi or God of War without a drop of blood.
9. A Corner Of Paradise
Following the example set by games like Minecraft and Rust, many Fallout wish list threads contain at least one Wastelander expressing their desire for Bethesda to introduce some manner of base building.
Though other Fallout games have permitted players to own property (mainly for storage purposes), this overhauled feature would allow players to construct, design and decorate their own little corner of paradise in the wasteland. Fuelling these rumours is the fact that Bethesda introduced a home-owning element to Skyrim in their Hearthfire DLC.
Of course defending a property you have painstakingly created against the miscreants of the Wasteland would have some appeal, we believe this unsubstantiated rumour is unlikely to come to pass. One of the defining aspects of the Fallout series is that in the bleak, radiation-swamped future, the survivors can find no real sanctuary.
Humanity has been torn apart, and so by letting you build a delightful little dwelling, Bethesda would be deviating from the fundamental principles of Fallout – such a feature was far more suitable in the less austere land of Skyrim.
Many fans have speculated around the possibility of Fallout 4 featuring fully functioning cars to allow the player to zip across whichever city the game happens to be set in (more substantiated rumours than those found on this list suggest Boston). If implemented correctly, Fallout-fanatics hope that the cars will be unreliable – requiring them to constantly hunt down specific parts and fuel to get their rusty auto-mobile road worthy once more. It’s true that it is one of the games great implausibilities that 200 years after the Great War, the denizens of Fallout 3 still haven’t attempted to repair any of the numerous cars littering the roadside. Hell, even Fallout 2 featured a functioning car.
However, these rumours are completely founded by some fans’ fantasies about what they’d like to see in the next Fallout title, rather than any hard facts. We believe that Bethesda may fear that the introduction of cars might turn the finely-tuned gameplay of Fallout 3 into a chaotic, Borderlands-esque demolition derby with players zooming across the landscape running down any would-be enemies as they go.
The Fallout world is one of unimaginable tension, horror and isolation and we believe that the introduction of cars would undo some of this incredibly compelling atmosphere.
There are some prognosticators whose views about Fallout 3’s sluggish travel led them to establish this rumour, clearly – like us – dissatisfied with many fans’ belief that the next Fallout title will feature cars. These Wastelanders predicted that Fallout 4 will have its characters travelling on horseback based on the fact that horses played such an important role in travelling in both Skyrim and Oblivion. Others have gone a step further and suggested that a setting-appropriate flourish by Bethesda would be to include mutated horses as usable mounts.
Though this sounds like a fun concept, we are unconvinced that Bethesda would introduce horses as a means of travel. They worked well in Skyrim but the issue is the nature of Fallout’s combat – much like in WWI, horses would quickly get cut down by ranged warfare. An encounter with just one raider with an automatic weapon would surely result in the tragic death of Fallout 4’s rumoured steed. Just because they did it in Skyrim shouldn’t be cause to believe that Bethesda’s next radiation-clogged epic should have horses.
One rumoured alternative to horses and cars which has been gathering momentum online and seems far more plausible is that the playable character will use a dirt bike to get around. This seems to provide a happy medium between horses and cars.
Some interpret the impending release of Elder Scrolls: Online later this year to be a statement of intent from Bethesda, with the company announcing its aim to put more of an emphasis on multiplayer gaming. Though there are very few who argue that Fallout 4 should go the way of Elder Scrolls and switch to the MMORPG format, many believe that the game would benefit from the introduction of cooperative play. Indeed, Borderlands 2 has implemented such a system to great effect and we’ve already grown used to having a sidekick in Fallout, so why not introduce co-op?
The answer is that the Fallout series is far too dependent on the unnerving atmosphere and isolation of its world to allow for the comfort of playing with a buddy. The whole point is you are thrown into this foreboding, unsettling landscape as a solitary figure and must rely on your own efforts to survive. Introducing co-op – much like with base building – would corrode the essence of Fallout: we believe Bethesda must be well aware of this fact.
5. A Ghoulish Affair
A rumour which has been bandied around online for some time now is that Fallout 4 will not limit its players to human characters – in-keeping with the vast array of races on offer in the Elder Scrolls series. In particular gamers are excited at the prospect of potentially being able to play as a ghoul – one of the Wasteland’s zombie-like mutants who were exposed to intensive, elongated bouts of radiation and now suffer from horrifically decayed skin. While they are visually repulsive, being a Ghoul would undeniably add some intriguing gameplay elements; they are allegedly brought back to health by background radiation and fallout so Bethesda would certainly be able to work this into the traits of a Ghoul-character, perhaps at the cost of some charisma points.
It may be plausible but we have our doubts that Fallout 4 will allow its player to be non-humans. The likelihood is that if Bethesda were going to introduce such a change, they would have done it with Fallout 3. The fact of the matter is that Fallout is a series of games about survival in the ruins of civilisation; Ghouls are individuals who have failed to survive while maintaining their humanity, so they immediately undermine the principles of the game.
4. Fallout: The Live Action Series
As if the spurious rumours surrounding Fallout 4 aren’t enough, a whole new set of speculation has emerged pertaining to the release of a TV series to tie in with Bethesda’s next apocalyptic game. Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution have demonstrated the insatiable thirst television viewers have for seeing humanity crumbling on the brink of absolute destruction, and the Fallout universe most definitely ticks these boxes. The thought of The Walking Dead with the somewhat impotent zombies replaced by the likes of super mutants, raiders and ghouls is certainly an exciting one.
Bethesda – forever in-tune with the pop-culture needs of the masses – placed a filing with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office way back in the February of 2009 to create the television series of the hugely popular post-apocalyptic sci-fi game. However since it’s been four years since Bethesda released New Vegas, expecting the company to turn their attention to the extremely costly enterprise of producing a television show when they have already taken so long with the game is being very hopeful indeed; especially as they have so many other gaming franchises and IPs on the go.
The fact that they took the trademark of the show out over five years ago and are yet to progress the project is very telling.
3. Console Mods
Some (extremely hopeful) speculation has emerged over the past few months that Bethesda are eager to allow for modding to take place on consoles, finally making Playstation and Xbox owners the equal of their PC-owning cousins. It is truly a great disappointment that modded content has eluded console owners for so long – indeed, some mods have improved so vastly on the original package that gamers who cannot implement modified content are truly missing out. For example, the “World of Pain” mod for New Vegas was an incredible addition to the most recent Fallout game. Console owners have been suffering in silence while PC gamers have enjoyed the bountiful fruit of the modding community.
Though console-gaming fans of Fallout eagerly speculate that we could be seeing mods coming to their preferred platforms, the reality is that the pleas of Xbox and Playstation gamers are likely to continue to go unanswered. The fact of the matter is that there simply isn’t the same freedom on consoles as on the PC. The internal architecture of the PS4 and Xbox One may have come to resemble the technology found in state-of-the-art gaming computers, but Microsoft and Sony demand that all downloadable content passes through their rigorous certification process and gets approval (which costs a small fortune).
The beauty of modding for the PC is that anybody with the necessary talent can do it, whereas these stipulations will prevent a modding community from ever developing on consoles.
2. Xbox Exclusive
Some extremely worrying rumours emerged earlier this month for Playstation owners as a NeoGaf user claimed that Bethesda had been in discussion with Microsoft to make Fallout 4 exclusive for the Xbox. If in some cruel, crazy world this proved to be true, this would be gigantic for the Xbox One – in recent times the console has been trailing somewhat, so the addition of a huge exclusive like the long awaited Fallout title would be a big deal.
Playstation owners the world over can wipe the sweat off their brows though, as we cannot imagine that this dubious rumour will prove to be true. All of Bethesda’s major releases in the past have been available across all platforms so there is no reason to suppose that they will end their multi-platforming ways with Fallout 4. Obviously Microsoft would have to pay a vast sum to secure such a deal but we doubt they would be willing to provide enough of a cash incentive to make up for all of the lost Fallout 4 Playstation sales.
1. A 2014 Release
Sadly perhaps the most outrageous of all the Fallout rumours currently doing the rounds online is that the next instalment in the series will miraculously make it to store shelves before the end of the year. This is a rumour which surely must be subscribed to by either the self-delusional or those so desperate to re-enter the Wasteland we’ve been away from for four years that they’d believe anything.
E3 has come and gone and – unsurprisingly – no significant mention of Fallout 4 was made; not even an announcement that the game is in development. It is genuinely preposterous to believe that the game will somehow be released before 2015 when we still know such a worryingly little amount about it. As well as this, until but a few months ago practically every rumour surrounding the game was substantiated by the preposterous evidence of the bogus ‘TheSurvivor2299.com’ site and the leaked casting documents.
Every fan is frantic for Bethesda to end this horrendously long stint without a Fallout game. This should not mean, however, that we begin to believe in fantasy.