Evereything we know about Fallout 4 so far - and it's not a lot
Last year gave us very little official information about Fallout 4, to the point we've nearly gone a full year since hearing anything - official or otherwise - about the game.
But, with Bethesda announcing its first ever E3 2015 press conference, we're understandably excited about a potential Fallout 4 reveal.
We'll be on hand to bring you the latest come June, but for now, take a look at everything we know (or think we know) about the Fallout 3 sequel so far.
There aren’t any official details as yet, but until we know more, we’re collating all the news in one place - so keep it bookmarked.
Fallout 4 Release Date - When is it coming out?
We were really hoping that we'd at least have some news on Fallout 4 last year, as well as potential release date for the game. But, 2014 has come and gone, and we're still none the wiser on the next instalment in the Fallout series.
Of course, this is just speculation on our part, as there's been no official confirmation the game is even in development yet.
See also: Xbox One vs PS4
Fallout 4 News - What do we know so far?
Official Fallout 4 announcement could happen at E3 2015
Bethesda officially revealed that it would hold its first ever E3 Press Conference this year, on June 14 somewhere in Hollywood, California.
Now, in order to feel the need to hold a press conference, Bethesda must have some pretty big announcements up its sleeves.
Although Bethesda hasn't yet teased any of the announcements it will make, it wouldn't be a huge leap to suggest that Fallout 4 won't be on the agenda.
After the last DLC for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released in 2013, Bethesda confirmed its dev teams were moving on to work on the studio's next big title.
""Parts of our team have also been in pre-production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet," said Bethesda in a statement at the time.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hasn't realistically been out long enough to warrant a sequel yet (even though we'd love one), and Elder Scrolls Online will have only been out a week on Xbox One and PS4. That pretty much leaves Fallout as the series to target with the E3 2015 event.
Bethesda is releasing a handful of tickets to the public if you're interesting in watching the event unfold live. Otherwise you'll be able to watch it all happen via live stream through Twitch.
See also: PS4 vs PS3
Job listing suggests Fallout 4 may not be developed by Bethesda
The latest rumour suggests that Bethesda has handed over Fallout 4 development to a newly created studio called Battle Studios. The latter is still a part of parent company Zenimax Studios, but has been newly established in Austin, Texas.The Zenimax website is listing job openings for all sorts of roles within Battlecry Studios, including a Lead VFX Artist, Senior Level Designer, Senior Environment Artist and Senior Graphics Engineer.
What's very exciting and interesting is that each job listing makes reference to an "undisclosed AAA PC and next-generation console game" that multiple sources are saying will be Fallout 4.
"Battlecry Studios, the newest Zenimax studio in Austin, is seeking a talented Senior Environment Artist to help create high quality environment art for an undisclosed AAA PC and next-generation console game", reads the job listing for the Senior Environment Artist.
We can't think of any other titles that could be being produced by a Zenimax Studios that has yet to be announced, so we're keeping everything crossed that this is a Fallout 4 rumour with an ounce of truth to it.
Read more on the Zenimax Careers website.
Casting documents leak, reveal a Boston setting
After the Survivor 2299 teaser site turned out to be a huge hoax, we expected all the Fallout 4 rumours to die down.
However, that hasn't quite been the case. Kotaku managed to get hold of, and authenticate, some casting documents that not only confirm Fallout 4 is in production, but also that it will be set in Boston.
The casting call is for a game project codenamed "Institute" and the documents make reference to character names and locations.
Fallout 4 will seemingly use the classic introduction from Fallout 1, 2 and 3: "War. War never changes". Another script fragment describes a mission in which a character called Preston Garvey asks you to find a fusion core from a museum in the Commonwealth.
Another mission is set in the Institute, which is tipped to be Fallout 4's version of MIT.
Read more: Fallout 4 is real after all and is set in Boston - November 12 2013
Bethesda filed a Fallout 4 trademark in Europe
The Fallout 3 developer has filed a trademark for Fallout 4 ahead of a rumoured announcement at VGX in December.
With the trademark extending to merchandise, digital media and other products outside the game, it suggest Bethesda is gearing up for a huge Fallout 4 launch early next year.
Read more: Fallout 4 trademarked ahead of potential VGA Award Announcement – November 18 2013
Fallout 4: The "Survivor 2299" teaser site
Okay, okay. We admit it. You got us.
Unfortunately, it has been revealed that the Survivor 2299 website was nothing more than a rather elaborate hoax, created as an attempt to get Bethesda to announce Fallout 4.
A fan named 'DCHoaxer' admitted he was behind the site, much to the annoyance of Fallout 4 fans.
"I wanted to force Bethesda to reveal something during VGx on 12/11, and bring /r/Fallout community together (for at least three weeks)," said DCHoaxer on Reddit.
Of course, this didn't work and Bethesda never actually referenced the site in any way.
However, the developer did release a brief statement on Twitter through VP of PR & Marketing Pete Hines, saying it would not be attending or showing off games at VGX:
"No, folks. I am not going to VGX. Bethesda is not showing/talking about anything at VGX. Just some PR meetings in LA. Take deeps breaths," said Hines on Twitter.
Early in November someone spotted the Survivor 2299 website online and through a series of changes and teasers people were convinced it was an official Fallout 4 teaser site.
Originally the site featured a Morse code signal that translated to: “CQ CQ CQ DE OZ PSE AS” or “Calling Any Station, Calling Any Station, This is From OZ (Oscar Zulu), Please Wait”.
This was meant to be a hint to the Oscar Zulu radio station in an unmarked quest from Fallout 3.
See also: Best Games 2015
The site was then updated with an official Vault-tec logo from the Fallout series, offering another clue to the site’s Fallout connection.
At one point if you highlighted the text on the page, before the new code appeared, the site said: "Nuclear Winter is coming. Reserve your future home today! 877-260-2299”. If you called this American number you heard a recorded message playing the Tranquility Lane music from Fallout 3. This was then deactivated.
There was also a hidden message of “###PERMISSION DENIED BY OVERSEER (15334)###" when you hovered over the text.
Another code was then added, but this time much more complex than before. "ZL/QRNE/FVFGRE./V'Z/URNQVAT/GB/GUR/VAFGVGHGR./TBQ/XABJF/JUNG/UNCCRARQ/GB/GUVF/CYNPR/ABJ./GUVF/BYQ/ONFGNEQ/JVYY/URYC/HF./UR/ZHFG/URYC/HF./--0321—"
This translates to: "MY DEAR SISTER. I’M HEADING TO THE INSTITUTE. GOD KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS PLACE NOW. THIS OLD BASTARD WILL HELP US. HE MUST HELP US –0321—".
See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360
Fallout 4: What we’d like to see
Until Bethesda formally announces Fallout 4 and any details surrounding the game’s content, here are a few thoughts about what we’d like to see.
1. Increased focus on survival
By the time you’ve struggled to the midway point of Fallout 3 or New Vegas you’re (nearly) invincible and sipping irradiated water without a care. We’d really like Bethesda to include a notion of survival in Fallout 4, as it really does become a little obsolete in Fallout 3.
Of course, New Vegas had hardcore mode, which forced you think a little more about your food, water, rest, meds and stimpaks, but this shouldn’t be part of an increased difficulty level. The Wasteland is too fun in Fallout 3. You’re too focused on finding, selling and collecting to worry about survival in a nuclear world.
2. More customisation options
Although Bethesda has offered a fair number of perks, abilities and skills to tinker with in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, there’s no huge character creation session you can play with if you so wish. You can’t choose your race or your faction from the off.
The same goes for weapon modification. Fallout 3 had a great crafting system that let you build things from the random junk you had collected. However, Bethesda has so much room for improvement here.
The Wasteland is littered with abandoned vehicles, computers, machines and other tech that could be used to customize weapons or create new exclusive ones to call your own. You could even craft some armour, new clothes or traps to set for unsuspecting Ghouls.
See also: Mass Effect 4 news and rumours
3. A brand new location
Rumour has it that Bethesda could be using Boston, Massachusetts in the US as the location for Fallout 4, but others suggest Poland or another Eastern European country would be more fitting. It would certainly mix things up a bit to have a Fallout title located outside the US, though it seems unlikely that Bethesda would go too far from what has worked in the past.
If Bethesda doesn’t use a new location, then perhaps having more than one city to explore would be a compromise. Half the Fallout fun comes from exploring and discovering hidden treasures within the ruins. Even if they use New Vegas and Washington DC you could just simply travel to them without traversing the land in between like Bethesda did with the Fallout 3 DLC content.
4. Introduce multiplayer and/or co-op
Fallout can be a big a lonely Wasteland at times, so Bethesda could introduce a little bit of online co-op with Fallout 4. We strongly expect the game to launch on Xbox One and PS4 so it would be silly for the developer not to take advantage of Sony and Microsoft’s new dedicated multiplayer game servers.
We’re not suggesting Bethesda goes all MMO on us, but it would be great to share our Wasteland experience with a few buddies and take on single-player missions as part of a team.
See also: GTA 6 news and rumours
5. No level cap or game end
Seeing a "Point of No Return" message on a game’s storyline, especially a sandbox game like Fallout 3, is rather depressing when there’s so much more to explore. It would be so much better if you could continue discovering the Fallout 4 Wasteland after the close of the main storyline, rather than being forced to finish all the side quests before your final mission. Bethesda unlocked this feature in DLC releases, but we shouldn't have to pay to see everything we want.
Also, Fallout 3’s level cap was a little low and the majority of gamers found they had reached it a long way before completing the game. This is something Bethesda really needs to adjust with Fallout 4, especially if it’s as mammoth a game as we’re all hoping for.
6. Better combat
Bethesda’s VATS targeting system was awesome in a head-splattering kinda way, but it was pretty much all you could use as the third-person gunplay was awful. There was obviously very little time spent on developing the gunplay outside of VATS as you’re always left feeling a bit feeble against an attacking foe.
We hope VATS is still present in Fallout 4, so we can brutally dismember our enemies in all its gory detail, but Bethesda really needs to work on its combat to create a proper combination system.