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That's an interesting article and the idea seems to be valid: "Fallout 4 is Full of Bugs, But Fixing Them Could Ruin It"

Thankfully, Fallout 4 is no exception, with reviewers and players calling out its creaky engine, poor companion AI, sub-par animation, and many other glitches and bugs. Some see this as a failure of Bethesda to get with the program and embrace modern-day AAA polish. I don’t. Each time a new release is as rough and buggy as those that came before, it shows Bethesda is focused on the right things.

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Tuesday I started playing Fallout 4. I tried my best to escape spoilers, opinions, complaints and especially gameplay or let's-play videos in the last few days to prevent any bias. What I expected was a game as fascinating as Fallout 3 with next-generation graphics, an enthralling story and an environment that begs to be discovered up to the last drawer. After the first few hours of gameplay I can say that the time waiting for the next big Fallout game was worth it. :}

The Pip-Boy companion app works surprisingly well with the game (on PC you have to confirm the Windows firewall pop-up that opens in the background - that took me some time :D ). I found it really useful to put the iPad below my computer monitor in order to see the live-updated world map – what an amazing feature!

Fallout 4 on PC with Pip-Boy companion iPad app

Fallout 4 on PC with Pip-Boy companion iPad app

Based on the mixed reviews on the internet I'm under the impression that some people expected something different or completely new, whereas Fallout 4 was built upon the successful elements of Fallout 3 (and Fallout New Vegas if you ask me), improved its mechanics and thoughtfully added new features that blend in seamlessly. This understanding is nicely reflected in a review headlined "War never changes, and that's just fine":

Fallout 4 builds upon the familiar to create something new and strange [...] But all of that — the world, the characters, even the bugs — are table setting at this point. What Fallout 4 adds to the series is heart. For the first time I really cared about what happened in the story, and found myself struggling with its moral dilemmas. I still spent dozens of hours tweaking my guns and killing feral ghouls, but this time, it felt like I was doing it for a reason. [...] But it's still very much Fallout — a game that doesn't really need to change all that much to trigger that familiar mix of dread and joy. A new location and a much better story were enough to pull me into this world, and 60 hours later I'm not done with it. There are settlements I still want to finish building, and crimes I still need to get to the bottom of. At some point I plan to ignore everything altogether, and just wander into the wilderness to see what I can find. Even if I'm alone, at least I'll have Billie Holiday's voice to keep me company.

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I've found an interesting article about the immersion in Fallout 4. The author compares the immersion he experienced in Fallout 3 to the first impression and expectations of Fallout 4. For him Fallout 4 raises the bar and puts Fallout 3 retrospectively in a bad light:

"See, in comparison to Fallout 4’s Boston-set Commonwealth, Fallout 3’s wasted Washington no longer feels like the rich, expansive, living world I thought it was at the time. In comparison to Fallout 4, it now feels like a sterile, miniature lansdscape made of cardboard and stickytape.
 
[...]
 
Fallout 3’s scale, scope, and brilliant, surprising tonal variety make it an undeniably immersive cumulative experience, but the moment-to-moment stuff? It all feels a bit robotic, a mechanical means to a more enjoyable, holistic end. So far, Fallout 4 does not feel like that at all.
 
All the usual new-gen upgrades are present and correct of course; grander scale and increased graphical fidelity are to be expected. But what really hits me between the eyes with a big bolt of excitement is everything in between."

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In the past I tried to post something at least once a month but as you noticed my frequency became way lower. In order to post more frequently I'll change the style a bit. Instead of longer posts I will also add shorter link-list-style posts to quickly show what's on my mind more often. So let's begin with a few short paragraphs about the gaming stuff that happened in the last months:

GTA V

At the beginning of the year I patiently waited for the PC release of GTA V. The news about a few months of delay was not pleasing but with all these game releases in mind that had buggy versions and had to be patched immediately in order to be playable I hoped for a smooth start. Articles about improved graphics in comparison to the console version were also nice and made me even more patient. Good things take time! When it was finally released in April it was a really fun game to play. The size of its world was stunning and I enjoyed the whole story and tons of side quests. Now that the main story is finished I really need to take a closer look at the possibilities of GTA Online.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

This game has one of the most detailled and beautiful visuals I've ever seen in a videogame. Take a look at this 8K screenshot gallery to understand why I'm so thrilled.

Silent Hill

Silent Hill is one of my all-time favourite videogame franchise. It couldn't have been better: Videogame genius and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojimo teams up with horror movie director Guillermo del Toro to create the next Silent Hill game called "Silent Hills". Hideo had ambitious goals: "We are aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants. If you don’t want to continue playing through the game, so be it. We don’t care."With P.T. they even created a playable teaser (hence the abbreviation) that scared people to the bone and was an amazing PR campaign to advertise the production of Silent Hills. But unfortunately Hideo Kojima left Konami, the game was cancelled and only interpretations are left of what P.T. was about.

Some time after that I read about Allison Road which is heavily inspired by Silent Hills and P.T. Take a look at their prototype gameplay.

Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released in September but I have to admit that I haven't even played Ground Zeroes yet. But I'm sure that 1080p 60fps gameplay footage I already wrote about will blow you away!

Fallout 4

Okay, now we're talking! I'm posting this two days before the release of Fallout 4 and I'm really excited. Since I got to know Fallout 3 in 2008 I've played through it several times and sometimes wished I could forget all about it to re-experience another first playthrough. :D This makes the first playthrough of Fallout 4 even more exciting as it will be a whole new Fallout world to experience. I can't wait to dive into its atmosphere and discover all its tiny details! :}

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. I strongly recommend to watch the E3 2013 Trailer and the E3 2014 gameplay demo in particular. The gameplay demo is presented in 1080p with 60fps and looks really amazing! A few more examples of the gameplay mechanics and hints at a multiplayer feature are covered by the Gamescom 2014 gameplay demo.

Since I blogged about the Fox Engine and the first teasers of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes at the beginning of 2013 I'm fascinated by the graphics and details Kojima brought into these games.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Silent Hills are definitely three good reasons to buy a PS4 in the future. ;)

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For the NASA Space Apps Challenge a team of five people built a working Pip-Boy 3000 from Fallout 3! :eek3:

A 3D printed case holds an iPhone 5 in place and runs an iOS app. Together with two microcontrollers which are connected via BLE4 and a REST API their system is capable of displaying sensor values such as humidity, altitude, latitude, longitude, atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, object temperature using an infared thermometer and (of course!) radiation. :D

The 3D model for the case was created by Dragonator who finished his replica of the Pip-Boy 3000 with a nice paintjob. He also built a laser pistol from Fallout 3.

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There is something in the making... Todd Howard said in an interview that he and his team are working on something big. We can only speculate about what this is exactly but many people (including me :D ) are hoping for Fallout 4.

There were no hints about a new Fallout game on Gamescom 2014 or E3 2014. In an interview Josh Sawyer could imagine a massively multiplayer online version of Fallout as the next game. He works at Obsidian and developed Fallout New Vegas whereas Fallout 4 will be very likely developed by Bethesda which makes his statement more a wish than news.

The Fallout 4 FAQ from the Fallout Wikia is a good starting point to find a structured collection of facts and rumors. In addition to that CinemaBlend sums up the rumors that are currently around. Rumors are steadily growing: In 2012 somebody met a few Bethesda employees in Boston that were researching the city for a new game. A leaked document in 2013 reinforces this rumor and connects The Institute which is mentioned in Fallout 3 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

To be honest, I don't expect to hear anything about Fallout 4 before 2015. My first blog post about Fallout 4 rumors is almost two years old and I hope in the meantime Todd Howard and his team made some great progress on the game they are developing and of course I strongly hope that it's Fallout 4. ;)

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In March Hideo Kojima gave an interview in which he mentions that he would like to reboot the Silent Hill series and to create a new Silent Hill game under his direction. I can't believe it but it's really happening!

Their PR team did a great job because they released an interactive teaser game called P.T. ("playable teaser") that can be downloaded for free from the PlayStation Store. If you manage to finish the game a trailer for the upcoming Silent Hills is shown. As I have read and seen on Twitch it's really a frightening game with the old Silent Hill atmosphere we all love. P.T. is built very smartly as it requires some special combination of actions to trigger the end sequence. That includes having your headphones connected to the PS4 controller and saying a specific name into the microphone! It's the most impressive breach of the Fourth Wall I have seen before and reminds me of the moment from Metal Gear Solid where you could switch your (physical!) controller port to prevent Psycho Mantis from reading your mind (i.e. buttons you press). :eek3:

While waiting for news about Silent Hills you can take a look at this blog entry in which a guy explains (and shows in a video) how he is hacking the original Silent Hill for PlayStation to find hidden rooms and items.

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