Fallout 4 takes place "mostly after Fallout 3"

Fallout 4 concept art Salesman

[Can't wait to play Fallout 4? Neither can we. Check out the mod's we'd most like to see while you wait.]

Just in case there was any doubt, Todd Howard of Bethesda recently told The Telegraph that despite Fallout 4's pre-nuclear opening, most of the game takes place after the events of Fallout 3. That introductory segment is strictly a prologue, he explained, intended to add dramatic heft to the experience.

"It needs to be a prologue," he said. "It’s important to us to let you experience that world, so that when you emerge from the vault you feel the sense of loss and think. 'I wish this was the way it was.' Having the beginning and having the sense that stuff is all gone? That you’ve lost everything? That is important."

Howard also touched on how VATS—the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, a first-person implementation of the turn-based combat of the original Fallout games—has been tweaked to make the game "a bit more dynamic," as he put it. Entering VATS in Fallout 3 caused the game to pause completely, allowing players to take their time in deciding which parts of their enemies they wanted to turn to goo, whereas in Fallout 4 it will kick into slow-motion.

"It’s very, very slow and you’ll see the [targeting] percentages change because the person is moving behind or coming out of a wall. So queuing up the shot at the right time matters," Howard explained. "And while the playback is happening, the criticals are not random, you assign which shot is the critical one and you load up that bar. So it’s a little bit more under your control, not a lot, but just enough to make it feel better."

The interview touches on a number of other topics including voice actors—Fallout 4 will be the first game in the series to feature a voiced protagonist—and the crafting system, and is well worth reading in full if Fallout is your bag. Fallout 4 comes 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.