The Bethesda announcement the world saw coming finally appears to be materializing as Fallout 4 is rumored to be the closing act of Bethesda’s E3 press conference. According to German site PC Games, an anonymous but trusted source confirmed that Fallout 4 would be debuting at E3 2015, including closed door demonstrations. This is the first year that Bethesda has chosen to take part in a press conference joining the likes of UbiSoft and Electronic Arts as major publishers who put on a show prior to the opening of the expo.
Fallout 4 has long been wondered about and Bethesda has remained tight lipped over the years despite faux teaser sites launching, cryptic audio messages appearing online and even the unsubstantiated rumor that Boston would be the setting for the next post apocalyptic RPG. The last Fallout game, Fallout: New Vegas launched all the way back in 2010. Even the core Fallout 3 seems way in the past having launched back in 2008.
To put the time in perspective, the gap between Fallout 2 and Fallout 3 was 10 years, although much changed after Bethesda took over the franchise from Interplay. If Fallout 4 is indeed the finale of Bethesda’s presser, I don’t see that game being launched until 2016 at the earliest, possibly in late spring but more than likely in the fall.
It has been fun guessing what Bethesda would bring to this press event as their bread and butter, The Elder Scrolls, seems a bit away. Skyrim was a phenomenal game that deserves a proper follow-up, but with their jumbled mess of The Elder Scrolls Online, I see them staying away from this for now. Bethesda still has other franchises to trot out, including iD Software’s new Doom, which has only been shown behind closed doors, and the sequel to Arkane Studios’ highly regarded Dishonored. I also expect them to talk about their free-to-play Battlecry and possibly their plans for The Elder Scrolls Online. Five games is a pretty solid one hour show.
It will be interesting to see what direction Bethesda takes Fallout 4 as Fallout 3 was such a stellar modernization of a very antiquated grid based, turn based RPG. The VATS system has to carry forward but maybe a larger emphasis on the active sections of the game, making it more action oriented than the grindy, methodical game that Fallout 3 was. Bethesda has to be working on something with a new engine as well because that Gamebryo engine, while versatile, was clunky even 7 years ago.
With E3 about a month away, I am actually pretty excited for it this year. Not just for major announcements like Fallout 4, but for there to finally be some software available for these new systems. Two years is a long time to have limited releases on these consoles, the developers need to step it up.