Creating a video game protagonist that resonates with fans is a tough task for even the most seasoned game directors. Couple that with the weight of high expectations and an open-world approach that leaves players with choices ranging from different romance options to whether or not they want to kill most enemies, and players get some sense of the difficulty in designing a new hero in Bethesda’s Fallout series.
Most of the protagonists in Bethesda‘s Fallout games typically develop a sense of who they are from the start of the game onward, a journey that is meant to be shared by the players. However, Fallout 4‘s approach to its main character will take gamers down a much less familiar path.
Fallout 4 game director Todd Howard explained Bethesda’s new take on their protagonist’s origins in an interview today. The player character, called the Sole Survivor, had a fulfilling life before the bombs fell, and this is an important aspect of the game’s narrative. Prior to Fallout 4, most protagonists in the Fallout series were either products of the Vault system or born-and-raised survivors of the wasteland. Now, players will begin their journey as the Sole Survivor in a tutorial that is set within a retro-futurist home, living out an average morning with their family and going through the character creation steps at the same time.
It is the distinction of having had a past life that Howard believes makes the Sole Survivor such an exciting addition to the Fallout universe. While other people in Fallout 4‘s world will only know life after the apocalypse, the Sole Survivor will come in “with a sense of the world beforehand”, offering him a unique perspective on the current state of affairs in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Boston. Howard says that the game is about a “sense of loss”, and that the theme of the game revolves around the Sole Survivor’s desire to gain some of what was taken away from him in the apocalypse back.
Meanwhile, fans that desire getting their hands on Fallout 4 as soon as possible continue to get new details on the game almost daily. On top of Howard’s confidence in the game’s world-building and narrative direction, Bethesda also recently revealed that Fallout 4 was essentially done at the time of its E3 reveal a few months ago. While unsurprising given how long the wait for Fallout 4‘s announcement was, the revelation should give gamers confidence that everything Howard is discussing regarding the game will be in the final version, which has already sold out of its Pip Boy Edition.
This kind of world-building will finally give Fallout fans a chance to experience, for an admittedly short period of time, the lifestyle of Fallout 4‘s Bostonians before nuclear winter sets in. Do you think knowing what life was like before the apocalypse will change decisions you make in the game’s story? Is this change a big deal, or just a minor difference?
Fallout 4 releases November 10, 2015 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Source: The Guardian