Fallout 4 expands on Bethesda’s Fallout 3 in many ways, most of which we’ve already seen presented in the E3 footage. At Gamescom 2015, the big new thing we’ve seen was a much longer and deeper combat encounter taking place in an abandoned factory overrun by ghouls and raiders. It was a purely combat encounter, with no dialog or any other point of reference to set the scene.

It seems that combat-wise, Fallout 4 is following its predecessors as close as it can with almost no deviation to the formula. Real-time combat from a first or third person perspective, coupled with the VATS system to allow much more effective shots to chosen body parts. We haven’t had a chance to see the new modification system but many of the weapons we’ve seen during the demo were obviously jury-rigged and not factory-made. The old Fallout 3 adage is still true: everyone knows how to make another human, but the secrets to making a P94 plasma rifle are all but lost.


The first and most obvious changes to combat are the user experience changes. Grenades and Stimpacks have a hotkey for quick use, you can sprint, the “favorites” menu is making a comeback and the overall feel of the combat is a lot more fluid and dynamic with much less standing around. The way radiation works has also been redone to make it a much bigger threat. Your maximum health is reduced by your rads, making radiation a much more serious threat to your survival regardless of your character build.

During the Gamescom demo, hosted by Fallout 4’s director Todd Howard, we saw several weapons from previous games, like the SMG and the Fat Man. We’ve also seen a laser rifle modified to play the part of a laser shotgun a manual crank, a plasma rifle modified for repeated firing and another rifle modified with a long-range scope for sniping. We’ve also seen the flamethrower in action as it set a ghoul on fire, and finished things off by watching a raider have his head knocked off with a baseball bat.

All the weapon graphics looked perfect. I don’t mean pretty and polished but exactly the opposite. The various cranks, additional barrels and duct tape holding things together look as though they survived a nuclear war before finally making it to become a part of your weapon. Dings, dents, scratches, dirt and grime are a welcome addition to the game and the addition to immersion is surprising.


The new perk system was shown as well, in greater detail than before. Composed of over 70 different perks and separated into their respective S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes, Fallout 4’s perk system is far easier to navigate and plan in than before. With perks having multiple tiers and Bethesda’s confirmation of no level capping, I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be seeing a lot of interesting perk combinations and character builds, even more so once mod tools will be released and we’ll see community-made perks. For now, the perk system and its adorable animations is certainly an improvement over the relatively bland perk tree of previous installments.

With Fallout 4 looking as polished as it does right now, the wait for November 10, when the game comes out on PS4, Xbox One and PC, couldn’t feel any longer.

Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.