Bethesda is keeping the Fallout 4 story a secret

Fallout 4 dogmeat

I said last week that while it was great to hear about all the freedom we'll have in Fallout 4 to do (or not do) things as we see fit, I was quite ready to start learning more about the game itself: Why am I in New England? What existential threat hangs over the head of this shattered land? Who am I going to have to kill to make it stop? Sadly, it doesn't sound like Bethesda will have much to say about that before the game comes out.

“I would be stunned if we said anything else about the story ever again [prior to launch],” Pete Hines, Bethesda's vice president of PR and marketing, told IGN. “We’re going to let everybody experience that in the game as much as possible. But there are certain trade-offs you have to make to build some amount of awareness to what the game is offering, so you’re willing to make some sacrifices.”

It's an unusual move, but that's true of the entire Fallout 4 pre-release process: It was only announced in June, and it will be out in mid-November. The main reason for that remarkably short pre-launch window was Game Director Todd Howard, who Hines said doesn't like showing off games ahead of release because "it takes a lot of time away from making the game to work on demos or presentations." But it also had the benefit of persistent pseudo-PR campaign generated by the fans themselves.

"Obviously Bethesda Game Studios has a stellar reputation and it is both a Fallout 3 follow-up as well as a follow up to Skyrim which is well known throughout the world, and [we knew that] Fallout 4 would be something that would have a lot of buzz and noise around it and we didn’t need as long as you might for some other titles to kind of build that interest to launch," Hines said.

There's truth to that. A lot of gamers, myself included, were all aboard the Fallout 4 train long before it was announced, and so practically speaking, keeping the lid on the story isn't likely to have any kind of detrimental impact on its fortunes. Even so, I'd sure like to know a little bit more about where my guns will be pointed before November 10 arrives.

Here's what we do know, thanks to our breakdown of the announcement trailer and this "everything we know" post: It's set in Boston, and there will be a dog. Good enough?

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.