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.