Fallout 4 is here, and Bethesda has done a masterful job of keeping the game's secrets under wraps. We know plenty of the basics, but as to what the story involves and what you'll be doing along the way, we still have little idea but we can't wait to find out for ourselves.
One thing we're sure of is that it's a fantastic-looking game, and one that will benefit from being played on a PC. If you’re looking to build a PC system for Fallout 4 today, or to upgrade an older rig for the best possible performance with 60 FPS gameplay, NVIDIA recommends that you have a GeForce GTX 970 or GTX 980 Ti. Check out NVIDIA’s full recommended specs.
And you definitely want to see Fallout 4 in the best quality you can run to. Bethesda has put a whole lot of work into the game's design, and it's proud enough of the end product to put together a massive 384-page book, The Art of Fallout 4. Take a look at some of the pages and get an insider preview of what to expect in Fallout 4.
Your Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV is the latest model in Fallout's range of distinctive wrist-mounted computers, and it's a vital tool for making your way through the Fallout 4 world. You can use it to manage your SPECIAL (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck) attributes and associated perks, enabling you to gradually build your own unique character with an individual set of skills, and it's also essential for keeping track of your inventory, quests and of course where you actually are. Here you can see some early Pip-Boy designs; it was based on army field radios, then given some 50s retro flair, and this time around the knobs are on the correct side.
The world of Fallout 4 is a huge and varied place that really comes to life in the form of this concept art. Here we can see your home, the middle class suburb of Sanctuary Hills, as you'll encounter at the beginning of the game, before the bombs drop, and also how it looks 200 years as you emerge from Vault 111 into the post-war world. There's also a glimpse of a couple of areas; the blasted Glowing Sea, a radioactive ground zero with a classic scorched earth look reminiscent of previous Fallout games, and the bleak Foothills.
With Fallout 4, Bethesda has made an effort to create a much more colorful game than previous titles in the series, and this becomes evident as you explore the urban ruins, filled with the decaying relics of the world before the Great War. Spots of color from broken down signs and long-abandoned cars bring the dead landscape to life and make for a much more interesting-looking game.
Your beautiful home
This is where you start your Fallout 4 journey, in a retro-futuristic dream home kitted out with all the top mod cons of 2077. The House of Tomorrow was inspired by the Lustron House, a metal prefab sold in the 1950s, and it neatly showcases an advanced world in which vacuum tubes rather than transistors became the basis of all technology. If it means having your own robot butler then that's fine by us.
You'll encounter plenty of people as you travel around in Fallout 4, from Wastelanders to Commonwealth residents, and the design team have worked hard on ensuring they all have their own individual looks. The Wastelanders have a distinctly ragged feel to them, surviving on whatever scraps of clothing they can salvage, while Commonwealth residents are slightly smarter in their turnout. You wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of any of them, though; a strong charisma rating will be helpful in your dealings with them.
It wouldn't be Fallout without power armor, and here you can see three different models of this iconic heavyweight protection: the T-51, T-45 and T-60, each with their own distinctive touches. You can also see what's going on beneath the armor plating, with revealing views of the inner frame.
They're one of the toughest foes that you'll encounter in Fallout 4, and a lot of work has gone into ensuring that the Heavy Raiders look suitably threatening. Here we can see a whole load of sketches exploring Heavy Raider armor, with lots of different looks given a try, and then there's artwork of the finished armor in many of its different forms. You definitely don't want to mess with these guys, until you have some decent weapons, at least.
Fallout 4 features some great robots, and these 3D models do a fantastic job of showing off their inner workings. On the left is a beautifully detailed model of a Protectron – already glimpsed in one of the preview images released when the game was unveiled at E3, and to the right is everyone's favorite household automaton, Mr. Handy. You'll be seeing a lot of one particular model in Fallout 4; Codsworth is your very own robot butler at the beginning of the game, and as you venture back into Sanctuary Hills 200 years later he's still minding the house.
Weapons and mods
If you have a thing for guns then Fallout 4 has you well and truly covered; there are over 50 base guns available, which might seem more than enough, but then there are over 700 different modifications that you can apply to them, making for a near-limitless assortment of weaponry. There's everything from home-made pipe guns crafted from salvaged bits and bobs, up to rocket launchers and terrifying radiation weapons, but if you prefer something more up close and personal there's the Shishkebab and the Ripper, detailed here in assorted models.
1950s cars were beautiful monsters, giant hunks of gleaming metal, all sweeping curves, fins and appalling fuel consumption, and the vehicles in Fallout 4 take that idea and run with it. It's not clear whether you actually get to drive any of them or whether they're just rusting set decoration, but these motors are a thing of beauty.
Fixtures and fittings
What's especially wonderful about the Fallout 4 is the sheer attention to detail. Bethesda has gone all out to create a believable alternate future, and to achieve that it's spent a lot of time getting all the fixtures and fittings exactly right. All of the items here fit the bill perfectly, nailing the retro-futuristic look and adding to the believability of the world.
Sponsored by NVIDIA