Regarding Fallout 4: A Love Letter to Bethesda
Elizabeth DeLoria pens a love letter to Bethesda about her most wanted game, Fallout 4.
by Elizabeth DeLoria on 27th Apr, 2013
Bethesda, baby, a word?
Don't get me wrong, this new The Evil Within business? Awesome, wonderful. It's fresh, looks good on you, I'm really excited for you! But I have to ask you one question.
Where the hell is Fallout 4?
I know you like to try new things and experiment, and that's great, it's part of why I love you like I do. Sure, you could stick to RPGs and open world ventures. You could of course stick to your one sole niche like so many other developers and publishers choose to, but you don't. You like trying on new things for size, like Dishonored. That was great and it really suited you.
So you know what? Okay, maybe I'm being a little bit hypocritical when I ask you why the hell you haven't announced the newest installment of one of my favorite franchises yet. The Evil Within looks exciting and given the way you guys found numerous ways to creep me out in Fallout 3, I totally trust that I'll sleep with the lights on for a while when this drops.
After Skyrim? Bethesda, honey, you can't show us the Creation Engine in all that glory and leave it at that. We know there is more coming and god knows it'll happen eventually, but can I wait? No. No, I need it when you can possibly craft it and ship it out to me, preferably in some kind of special collector's edition with heaps of cool things like art books and playing cards or something.
It's been teased at so many times. We know you’ve been scoping out Boston as a setting for something, even though I maintain that a Fallout set outside the US would be an incredible venture. We know we can expect more from the voice of Three Dog. We know you plan to work on that IP again because you fought for it so hard in court.
Look, I'm not going to lie to you. We have a good relationship, you and I, and I feel that trust is a foundation in any good relationship. I was a disappointed when you announced The Evil Within and not Fallout 4. Even when you specifically said that it wasn't a teaser for Fallout 4, I held my breath and sat in my darkened corner in complete denial that it could possibly be anything but Fallout 4.
I argued it to death on Twitter. The record shot from the Vine video? Obviously a hark back to the LPs and music that created the famous atmospheres of Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. The barbed wire? Well, clearly that was an indication that our protagonist would begin their journey as a prisoner, as it happened in Van Buren, the unreleased Fallout 3 that was later cancelled and replaced with Bethesda's take on the universe.
To my very core, though, I'm an incredible Fallout nerd. I know the canon of the Fallout universe like the back of my own hand to the point where I might know the events of Anchorage better than actual WWII history — which, in hindsight, is a little but sad on my part. So I'm not going to blame you for leading me on because realistically, you could have posted a Vine video of a pineapple and I still would have found a way to link it to Fallout 4.
My point is, though, that the Creation Engine is right there. We've seen what it did for Skyrim, can you imagine what Fallout 4 on that engine would be like? Of course you have, it's your IP, but you know what I mean.
I'm as excited as the next survival horror fan about The Evil Within. It really does have all the recipes for success, and given the way you seem to be able to find innovations that we didn't even know that we needed, I think it has huge potential beyond the scope of 'game that makes people scared.' I really, really wanted that announcement to be for Fallout 4. Do you think that maybe this is what gamer entitlement feels like? Maybe. Or maybe it's been so long since I've had a new adventure in the Wastes without the help of a mod that I'm getting the shakes.
Please, Bethesda, I know you're surely working on something, but please don't keep me waiting much longer. You're currently in control of universes and stories that have managed to weave their way into the lining of what we think of when we think video games. You're sitting on a diamond, why don't you just go ahead and show that off for me?
Let me tell you a story. When I first played Fallout 3, I wasn't very well. I was a teenager and I was struggling with some difficult things. School wasn't working out, I was pretty unwell with a physical condition and I was really struggling with an eating disorder. I was stressed, really stressed. I threw myself into video games and my brother let me borrow this game he'd found that he thought I'd be really into. That game was Fallout 3, and he assured me it was just as good as Ace Attorney because seriously, would Liam Neeson be in a bad game?
So I played it. And it was enjoyable, sure. I loved the music, I loved the characters, I loved the Tunnel Snakes most of all. But there was this moment, and I'll never ever forget that moment because nothing else in this medium has ever come even close to it for me, just after you escape the Vault.
You open that shabby-looking doorway and you step into the wastes, your first moments above ground, and there's this light. The light is blinding for a second, and the music is soft, like you've made this awe-inspiring discovery, and as your character's eyes adjust to all this new light, you see it: laid out before you is this magnificent view of the wastelands, hills rolling out into the horizon of light smog and cloud. When this moment came, I was, for that single moment, entirely within the game. My character was looking at the wastes for the first time, and so was I. I held my breath and panned my camera around, studying and taking in what I was seeing to the best of my ability. If my character was a real person, I'm positive that we would have been thinking the same things at that exact time, realizing that this story wasn't going to end in that Vault and that — holy shit — there's all this space and world to explore.
It was a sublime unity, and without even trying to, Fallout 3 had managed to completely immerse me in the game and completely make me forget about all those real world problems. There was no gimmicks, no bloody screens, none of this voice command business. Just a single, powerful, perfectly orchestrated moment.
I guess what I'm trying to say here other than that I have a massive gamer crush on you, Bethesda, is that the reason I love you so much is because you've been able to do that to me. Other games have made me cry and others have made me laugh, but you've taken my breath away and made me fall in love. No other game has done that. Skyrim came very close when I watched the Northern Lights, but that’s the closest I’ve ever come to that same feeling.
I've been like a junky ever since, on the search for that feeling again. Maybe you can give me that rush again with Fallout 4. Hell, maybe you can do it with The Evil Within (although, more likely, you'll scare me to the point of being afraid to flush the toilet).
In closing, Bethesda, my good pal, my buddy, my chum: please don't hold out on my much longer. I really want Fallout 4 to happen. I understand if it's taking a bit longer than I'd like. You can't rush art, after all.
Image credits: DeadEndThrills