Fallout 4 VR is currently in development by Bethesda and we’re extremely excited to see what the prolific game studio comes up with. The original Fallout 4 is a great game, full of amazing environments to explore and some of the most memorable quests in the series so far. We can’t wait to return to the Boston Wasteland.
We got to try a quick glimpse of the game at E3 2016 last year with a teleportation-based movement system that, while functional, was far from ideal. There were lots of bugs and it was clearly just a glimpse into what was possible, but now that we’re coming up on a year later since that demo, the stakes have been raised and we look forward to seeing what this year’s improved E3 demo brings to the table. Many people are hoping for this to become the “killer app” for many VR enthusiasts.
But in order for it to be an effective and joyous return, instead of one plagued by frustrating issues due to the game’s port over from non-VR platforms, Bethesda has their work cut out for them. Simply adding in 3D effects and a head tracking isn’t enough to really bring Fallout 4 into VR like it deserves to be recreated. As a result, we’ve put together this list of things Bethesda needs to do in order to make Fallout 4 really work in VR.
Include Lots of Locomotion Options
We already know that Bethesda is going to include multiple locomotion options when Fallout 4 VR is released, but we still don’t know exactly what they are. Teleportation was already functional when we tried the game at E3 last year, but now that most early adopters have tasted the possibilities with full locomotion in other games, it will certainly have to be an option.
After playing the likes of Resident Evil 7 in VR with full locomotion it’s certainly possible to do it well. Arizona Sunshine is another great example. As long options exist for players that are sensitive to VR sickness there is really no reason not to let players explore the vast wastelands of Fallout 4 as freely as possible.
Let Us Use The Pip-Boy Without Pausing
One of the best things about the E3 2016 demo for Fallout 4 VR was the implementation of the Pip-Boy. It was far from complete and my character’s hands weren’t even modeled into the game yet, but it was a brief glimpse at the things to come.
Looking down at my left wrist I saw the Pip-Boy floating there. I could turn it around on my arm and look at the screen. It really made me like I was part of the world. What I’d love is for the ability to look down at it, access items, check the map, and change gear, all without being kicked into a paused screen like in the base game. Let me look down and use it in real-time, without the world freezing.
Cut Down Load Times
A big issue that has plagued Bethesda games for years is the prevalence of loading screens. The first time I played Skyrim on a PS3 it felt like I had enough time to go make myself dinner before the game would finish loading a new area. Every door that connected a building to the over world had a load screen and depending on the type of traveling you were doing it could start to feel a bit excessive. This issue persisted in Fallout 4 as well, although to a slightly lesser degree.
Long load times are a problem outside of VR, but they’re totally immersion breaking inside of VR. When I’m playing on my PC or console I can just go to another tab, open a chat window, or something else for the 30 seconds I’m waiting. But standing still, looking at nothing by deep blackness and a loading bar, is just not gonna cut it for VR games. It’s enough to drive someone mad.
Let Us Interact Using Our Hands
I’ll never forget the first time I played Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on PC. I could pick up virtually every item in the game from forks and spoons to cups and plates and even eat the food right off of tables. NPCs got mad at me when I stole from them and I could kill anyone in the world, even if it meant preventing myself from completing a quest later. That sort of freedom was unheard of to me, that is, until I played The Elder Scrolls.
Now Bethesda has the chance to make Fallout 4 that sort of game for VR gamers. Let us reach out and pick up things in the world not just using a crosshair like in the base game, but by using our actual hand controllers. Let me grab supplies and physically place the walls to build structures at settlements and leave my mark on the world. The more interactive Bethesda makes Fallout 4 VR, the better it’s going to be.
Give Us All Of The DLC and Mod Support
Finally, Fallout 4 VR needs to be a feature-complete game. All of the currently released DLC should be included at the base price. And while it would be amazing if all of the existing mods for Fallout 4 would work on the VR iteration, I’m not going to hold my breath. At the very least I just hope that full mod support will be included so modders can work their magic over time.
Bethesda is great at releasing games that feel dense and elaborate in their own right, but they always continue to add onto them and allow players to craft their adventures. Bethesda claims that “all of” Fallout 4 will be included with its VR release, so hopefully that means the DLC and mods are coming along too.
That concludes our list of things Bethesda absolutely needs to do in order for Fallout 4 to really work in VR. A bonus item is they really need to figure out a way to make VATS work and not feel clunky or odd when in VR. Best of luck on that front.
What do you hope Bethesda is able to do while porting the experience over to VR devices? Let us know down in the comments below!
Tagged with: Fallout 4 VR