Fallout 3 was released in October 2008 and followed by New Vegas two years later. Since then the world has been holding its breath waiting for official news on the next Fallout game. Bethesda have enjoyed unheard of success with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but now the team, lead by Todd Howard, has finally confirmed that they are working Fallout 4. A three minute trailer revealing the location, the Vault, and echoing the iconic "War Never Changes" line ahead of the full reveal at E3 had the internet aflame today. We watched over the trailer closely and picked out a few things that sparked our interest.
1. Fallout 3
Do the opening seconds of Fallout 4's debut trailer feel hauntingly familiar? That's because the aesthetics, panning shot, focus on destroyed remnants of the past, all purposely echo the teaser trailer reveal of Fallout 3 released back in 2007 (they both even use songs from 1930s band The Ink Spots). Go on, watch it again and see for yourself.
2. Future's Past
The trailer hints at the events that led to the post-apocalyptic setting, with radio broadcast voiceovers and shots of civilians escaping a town and trying to seek refuge in one of the Vaults. As these flashbacks seemingly are in-game, is there a chance Fallout 4 begins in the hours (or minutes) before nuclear fallout? Or flashes back later in the game? Maybe the noir-esque scene from later in the trailer with a "Memory Den" has something to do with these glimpses of the past.
3. Man's Best Friend
Appearing heavily in the trailer, and running to greet your character at its end, is a new canine companion, which we spot carrying some goods partway through the trailer. It's not the first time the series has had a four-legged friend along for the journey, as Fallout 3 had Dogmeat, and New Vegas had you joined by a weird cyberdog.
4. Vault 111
A shot of a Vault door opening, coupled with the end of trailer figure emblazoned with the 111 number suggests you'll play another survivor leaving - or escaping - a Vault post-apocalypse. Vault 112 was the one in Fallout 3, Capital Wasteland - the last vault constructed... this would mean we're playing in the second to last constructed vault.
5. Going Nautical
In a desert wasteland, sailing's confined to the skies. There's a nautical theme to Fallout 4's trailer, seen by two lingering shots of an airship, one landing, the other with an armoured character inside. In one shot we see an airship fly above at night, and you can also clearly see the The USS Constitution in the trailer. Could this be a mode of transport to get between cities, or even become something we take command of ourselves?
6. Welcome Home?
...reads like a slogan or tagline for the game, but we think this may go beyond a meta-nod by Bethesda welcoming fans back. The house the camera pans round as the dog explores - and by extension, you - at the trailer's start is seen in a simultaneous flashback of a couple with their new baby. Could it be that one of the quests when you're outside the Vault (or indeed, forced to leave it?) is to head back to the home that once belonged to your family?
7. Tea Party?
But where is this game's bigger expanse of wasteland located? Bethesda have dropped plenty of hints and landmarks throughout the trailer. Note the statue that's briefly illuminated by lighting at 1.57 (the bit with the bloody big airship sailing overhead). The man on the horse is Paul Revere. Note The USS Constitution. Note the iconic architecture of the buildings. We're heading to Boston.
8. Collecting Bobbles?
In the garage that looks like the player's base of operations at 2.19, there's a Bobblehead casually sitting on the side. Will we once again be collecting them from around the wasteland? Or is this particular specimen there purely for nostalgic reasons?
9. Futuristic Baseball?
There's a number of baseball references in the trailer (1.51, Swatters Custom Baseball Bat Store, 1.54 - ad on top of a building to the left). They suggest there's team called the Swatters around. Could the be a future take on baseball that will be in the game (or just some new weaponry)? Fenway Park is an iconic sports arena of Boston, so perhaps it's worked in here.
Fallout is just as much about the wasteland you'll explore, and there's plenty to see in the trailer already. Notice the armoured patrols pictured below, or the ox weighed down by supplies that points to traders once again wondering around the expanse, looking to swap your hard-earned bottle caps for ammo and other such things.
11. The Brotherhood of Steel
A faction that has featured in every Fallout game to date is the religiously devoted Brotherhood of Steel. We can spot the iconic armour (well, part of it from behind at 2:01 in the trailer). Later on there's also a shot of an armoured suit (somewhat modified) that's being repaired in what appears to be an old auto-shop towards the end of the trailer. The way it looks and the location suggests to us that there's a lot more than just a simple case of repairs to this story. Could the gas station be a central location in the game? Could it possibly be one of several places the player can live?
12. Familiar Bots and Beasts
The trailer features a fully functioning Mister Handy in a pre-war flashback and something that looks like a Protectron canvassing the wasteland. There is also a brief glimpse of some kind of Deathclaw and it looks like the player is overwhelmed by feral ghouls inside of a grocery store. Given that we'll explore a new wasteland it is nice with some familiar faces around...
13. "War. War Never Changes."
Is it Ron Perlman? We don't know for sure, but it certainly sounds like him. The actor has narrated the intros and uttered the line "War. War Never Changes." in previous Fallout titles after all. The lead-in is a little different this time as it begins with a newscast, but those memorable lines have appeared once again.
BONUS! 14. The Voice in the Wilderness?
"Let's go pal." A simple, short sentence between man and his best friend may have a bigger impact than you'd imagine. Fallout protagonists have historically been mute, letting you more easily inhabit the world they live in. It's your eyes, your choices. But that the character - our character - speaks in the trailer may suggest they'll be voiced in the game (and it's a voice that sounds awfully like Troy Baker). So is it less your story, and more theirs? Will that disengage your emotional attachment from big decisions? And can we still choose our sex? (And if there's heavy voice-acting in game, will Bethesda offer multiple versions of the same lines to better match whether you play brawny idiot or scrawny genius?)
That's a lot of stuff squeezed into a three minute debut trailer that doesn't feature any combat. So for now we're left guessing as to whether the V.A.T.S. combat system makes a return, and whether any adjustments have been made to the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. We're expecting a full reveal that will answer these questions and much more as Bethesda hold their inaugural E3 press conference on June 14 at 6:30 p.m. (PDT) (2:30 a.m. BST on June 15).
Right, now you've digested all that, watch it again.