Fallout 4 crafting will be entirely optional

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 sounds very much like it will be a "do what you want" kind of game. There are a dozen companions you can romance, if any of them interest you. You can get through it in a relatively non-violent fashion, if that's your thing. You can play as long as you want, and level your character as high as you like. And you can craft all sorts of interesting weapons and equipment—or, as Bethesda's Pete Hines told GamesRadar, you can skip all that and just get on with the action.

"It’s a completely optional, freeform thing that you can do, if that’s what you want to do," he said. "If you don’t care about that and you just want to play quests and play side quests, and finish the main quest and that sort of thing then you can just ignore all of this [crafting]. Or do as much or as little as you want."

The same thing applies to building a settlement: There are advantages to doing so, like merchants who will set up shop in Youville, but you won't be punished for not doing so if it's not your cup of tea. "You can [play] it and never even notice that feature is there if you want to," Hines said. "But once you figure it out, it’s like, ‘Okay, this is pretty cool. Now I want to do more'."

I like that Bethesda is building this kind of freedom and flexibility into the game, and a purely open-ended wander through the wasteland certainly has a lot of appeal in its own right. But I think I'm ready to start learning more about those quests: What am I actually going to be doing during my adventures in New England?

Fallout 4 will be out on November 10.

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.