As suggested last week, Bethesda has launched the beta for Fallout 4's grueling Survival Mode on Steam. The publisher has also confirmed the minutiae of the update, which sees the Commonwealth transformed into a more callous and cold-blooded playground than ever before.
So, yeah, manual and quicksaving? That's out. Fast travelling? Mark that off your list. Eating uncooked meat can kill you. As can drinking unpurified water. As can harmful chems. As can taking damage from irradiated enemies. Hmm, what else? Certain bed types offer certain amounts of sleep, crippled limbs don't auto reheal after combat, encumbrance can affect your health—the list of ills to overcome is pretty darn exhaustive, the details of which we examined last month that have now been confirmed today.
In a blog post, Bethesda explains that the update is designed to force players into making tough choices. Citing Dark Souls as inspiration, it says that four "pillars" guided the creation of Survival Mode by way of circular systems: Strategy, focusing on intensifying decisions; Exploration, slowing down the pace of the game to encourage expedition and analysis of the land; Resource Management, forcing strict loadout preparation; and Role Playing, increasing the realism of the Commonwealth overall.
"Survival Mode is something many of us realized we wanted to experiment with once we had spent quality time playtesting Fallout 4 toward the end of its development," says Bethesda. "At launch, we discovered many of you wanted the same thing. So how did these changes come about?
"Two of our designers, Josh Hamrick and Jon Paul Duvall, used our internal Game Jam to visualize what an overhauled Survival Mode might look like in Fallout 4. Thanks to their Game Jam success, we then added several programmers, and they built out many of the ideas we’d all been setting aside while playtesting."
To gain access to the Fallout 4 Survival Mode beta, locate the update under the game's settings options. Bethesda is also keen to hear how you get on and is encouraging players to leave feedback via its Survival Mode Beta Forum. If you're into that, you should head this-a-way.