The first trailer for Fallout 4 manages to cram quite a few things in a span of three minutes, ranging from references, to potential gameplay mechanics. Lets take a closer look, shall we?
In case you've somehow missed it or need it for reference, here's the Fallout 4 trailer in full:
OK! Lets get right to it. The first thing we see in the trailer is a throwback — it starts out on close-up to a TV screen, which displays an Indian test head pattern much like the one we saw in the countdown earlier this week. But then the camera pulls out, revealing that the TV is actually in a pretty beat-up room:
As Fallout veterans know, Fallout 1's intro cinematic had a similar shot:
And like previous Fallout games, the Fallout 4 trailer's music is provided by The Ink Spots:
You might know them as the folks who sing 'I don't want to set the world on fire~'
What makes this scene in the Fallout 4 trailer interesting is that it then goes on to show us what the scene looked like before the bombs went off:
This does not seem like a detail that is simply window dressing. The rest of the trailer regularly flashes back to pre-war moments, making it seem as if Fallout 4 will explore stuff outside the post-apocalypse, too. Vault-Tec in particular is mentioned at this point, which is the company that built the vaults that people hid in to save themselves from nuclear catastrophe.
And then suddenly... dog! A German shepard dog, to be exact:
This dog looks a hell of a lot like Dogmeat, a mutt that first appeared in Fallout 1 as a Mad Max reference (the dog used to belong to a character that wears the same armour as Max). Since then, Dogmeat has appeared in pretty much every Fallout game there is. So...lets call him Dogmeat here, too.
Dogmeat walks through a kitchen, and that kitchen turns out to look like this before the war:
Classic 1950's decor, but more importantly, that robot right there is a Mister Handy, whom you might remember as the totally competent mech that ruined your birthday cake in Fallout 3.
Dogmeat sniffs around, and walks through the abandoned house, eventually reaching a kid's room. Here, we are treated with another flashback, only this time of the wholesome family that once lived here:
While this scene unfolds, the trailer also plays audio of what seems to be a radio transmission. Someone is trying to make contact with other stations, but is having no luck. It sounds like it's a transmission that happens shortly after the war started, as the fiction posits that there was much confusion about who dropped the bombs first — and this guy clearly doesn't know what in the world is going on.
Dogmeat hears an alarm, and bolts outside. Here, we catch our first glimpse of the Fallout 4 overworld...it looks a hell of a lot like the wasteland in Fallout 3, only brighter/more colourful:
Here's a comparison shot, so you can see what I mean:
Hooray for a post-apocalypse that is not green and drab!
Once again the trailer flashes back, and this time we see people in the middle of pandemonium, presumably as the war actually started:
People are packing their bags, trying to get the heck out of dodge — meanwhile, the government blazes by overhead in a Vertiberd, without a care. They have got guaranteed vault space, after all.
Everyone else? They have to scram and hope that maybe they can get into a vault:
See the guys in armour there? That's the Enclave, policing who can and cannot get into the vault. Spoilers: most people could not secure vault space...but it's difficult to feel bad, considering the vaults were actually just glorified testing labs. I digress.
Then we hear the iconic Fallout catchphrase: 'war never changes...' right as a vault opens:
And as proof that the part with Dogmeat was not a fluke, here we get another look at the pink, lively wasteland once more:
Then the trailer shows a few key locales that confirm the Boston setting, like the Bunker Hill Monument:
The USS Constitution, which seems to be retrofitted with some fancy new tech:
(Again, note the colours! And is that the mysterious stranger from previous Fallout games?)
This is where the trailer picks up the pace, and starts showing us a variety of locales and enemies one after the other. First, we've got Brahmin and barter confirmed.
Guys in power armour roam the wasteland still:
Is that the Enclave though? Or the Brotherhood of Steel? Hard to tell. EDIT: As our reader Collin Olson points out, it's likely these are Super Mutants — see the cages nearby? Yeah. Super mutants love imprisoning people in those.
Protectrons are also in the game:
I can't for the life of me identify what this is...new creature type species? Mike Fahey guesses its a mutant flea. It kind of looks and walks like a crab to me:
Deathclaw bastards are back:
Looks like some portions of the game will indeed be very brown. Perhaps this Deathclaw is closer to a location that got hit by radiation?
Will we be able to fly Vertiberds in Fallout 4? One can dream, at least:
Ghouls are also back:
A new location, presumably Fenway Park stadium:
Eyebots are still around, so the government likely still has some sort of presence in Fallout 4:
Whatever this town is, it looks great:
Note the guy in the baseball outfit, as well as the giant weaponised baseball bat on top of a building? Not to mention the baseball store in the screenshot before this? Baseball must be pretty big in this town! I can't possibly imagine why. It will be cool to see how that love influences the design of the game, though.
The Paul Revere monument, accompanied with a blimp in the background:
A shot from within a Vertiberd, which once again makes me wonder if we'll be taking flight in Fallout 4:
Then, a look at the post-apocalyptic Massachusetts State House:
And once again, a scene from before the events of Fallout:
Damn. Like I said...most people didn't make it back then. And again: do the constant flashbacks mean we'll get to play some of this stuff? Hopefully that's the case — it would be a welcome change of pace for the series.
The trailer then goes forward in time once more, this time showing a suit of power armour:
A few things here. One, looks like bobbleheads are back. Two, there are a variety of energy weapons here, in what appears to be a workshop. Will we see a crafting system like that of New Vegas? And more importantly, if this is indeed a workshop, will we get to build our own suits of power armour? Power armour is the most iconic gear in the game — and being able to customise them would be huge. It certainly looks like this Power Armour is in repair, at least.
And finally, our closing shot: Dogmeat, being a good boy, yes he is!!
Pipboys are still in, naturally, and it looks like the main character might be someone from Vault 111. That's the same vault from the scene where people get blown up by an atomic bomb. Nothing major, and yet these last few seconds have what is potentially the biggest bombshell in this entire trailer: the character speaks.
When we first broke the story about Fallout 4's Boston setting, we shared documents that implied that Fallout 4 would have a particular set character who has lines. Typically, characters in Fallout games are silent. Though we only get a quick look at this Vault Dweller in the trailer, he sure as hell looks like the guy from the documents we received back in 2013:
He doesn't say enough for us to get a sense of who might be voicing him, unfortunately. Some people are assuming it's Troy Baker, but who knows. Another thing that's up in the air: Is Ron Perlman in the game? He has said he wasn't in the past...
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) April 28, 2014
But it sounds like he's in the trailer at least, and newer tweets make the situation confusing:
Tip of the cap, Mr. Perlman. You did great. We appreciate it. https://t.co/q6JGx1MIPP
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) June 3, 2015
We'll see, I guess!
What else does this trailer possibly imply? Since this game is set in Boston, it seems logical to assume that we'll visit The Institute, a location within the Fallout universe that is said to have very advanced technology. We're talking androids and stuff like that. Remember The Replicated Man quest from Fallout 3? The android in that quest is from The Institute. We don't see this locale in the trailer (to my knowledge), but if you want to know more, here's an excerpt from The Fallout wiki:
The Institute existed long before the Great War, but was originally known as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). It is known that Robert House attended the Institute in his youth. After the Great War, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology survived, but became known to the people of the wasteland as a secretive organisation known only as the Institute. Allegedly, it is currently located within the Commonwealth, the name now given in the post-atomic world to what was once the American state of Massachusetts. Little is known about the Institute aside from rumours circulating around the scientists working in the sealed environment. The Institute possesses highly advanced technology and technological skills, resulting in the creation of true artificial intelligence (AI), and are capable of creating androids.
Given that The Replicated Man was one of the best quests in Fallout 3, I'm pretty excited to see more of where that came from.
The trailer also put a lot of focus on the dog. Might it take on some sort of special role? Will you get to play as the dog, maybe? Is the dog the only companion available? Questions!
Aside from this, a lot of the discussion online is focusing on what the graphics in the trailer look like. Prior to the release of the trailer, there was a lot of finger crossing from people who hoped that Fallout 4 would not be a cross-gen game — the fear being that this could compromise the scope of the game in some way. Right now only modern consoles are confirmed, but there's still some debate as to whether or not Fallout 4 looks good given how far into the new generation we are. Part of this fear about the visuals is spurred by games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim, both of which have not aged very gracefully in the visual department. While I'm inclined to agree that this first trailer doesn't look super hot compared to recently released games, I also recognise that graphics are not really what defines Fallout for me — my favourite games are the old-school ones, and those look cheesy as hell now. They're still fantastic, if not arguably better than the modern Fallout games. So, I'm not worried at all there. Plus, a lot of this trailer looked like it is in-engine, which is better than being fed something CGI and misleading.
Despite those arguments, it's inarguable this trailer has caused most people to board the Fallout 4 hype train en-masse: