A candid interview with Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard reveals what aspects of Fallout 4 the team felt didn’t live up to Bethesda’s high standards.
For those familiar with the staggering success of Fallout 4, it can be sometimes difficult to remember that the game launched to complaints of a buggy gameplay engine and frequent game errors. Although these issues did serve to put a slight damper on an otherwise sterling launch, however, Fallout 4 is still an undisputed contender for one of the best modern games ever created, a reputation very few other titles could lay claim to.
Even Fallout 4‘s soundtrack is getting a limited edition vinyl release, because somehow in a game with as much content as Fallout 4, Bethesda managed to find time to compose a beautiful music score too. Yet especially for gaming perfectionists like the development team at Bethesda, there is always room for improvement on any title, and Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard went on record as saying the game’s conversation options were a point of contention:
“Obviously, the way we did some dialogue stuff, that didn’t work as well [as the shooting system in Fallout 4].”
Fallout 4 famously had main actors record 13,000 lines of dialogue over 2 years, so admitting that some of the dialogue system fell short of the mark is a big statement for anyone in Bethesda to make. Long-time fans of the Fallout series of games were quite critical of the game’s “limited” dialogue options, however, which replaced dialogue trees influenced by different skills and attribute points with a more straightforward version of a conversation system.
Of course, a studio like Bethesda doesn’t become as big as it is without learning from its mistakes, and Howard indicated that the development team intends to do just that when it comes to Fallout 4‘s dialogue. He indicated in an interview with GameSpot that player feedback plays a “long-term” role in the way the studio approaches other titles. The success of player-based Fallout 4 mods, available on Xbox One now, is likely another way to measure fan support for additional features Bethesda hadn’t implemented in the original game.
Still, if one of the most prominent flaws in Fallout 4 is its conversation system, which is still incredibly rich and complex, Bethesda must surely be pleased with the work it did on one of the largest RPGs ever created. Bethesda’s Boston-based post-apocalyptic adventure is set to potentially become even bigger, too, if Fallout 4‘s HTC Vive release in 2017 garners the kind of commercial success many insiders expect will come with VR technology.
Did you find Fallout 4‘s dialogue lacking? Do you prefer a more streamlined conversation tree, or was the multi-faceted system from Fallout: New Vegas better? Let us know in the comments below.
Fallout 4 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.