Fallout 4… LIVES!
No hoax this time, wastelanders. Thanks to leaked casting call documents, the next Fallout has been outed.
If you’re still mending the radiation burns that whole TheSurvivor2299 debacle gave you, your Skully-worthy wall of skepticism is understandable. Here’s the facts: Kotaku was sent the documents in question, which include dialogue scripts and character bios.
Unsurprisingly, the docs are not labeled “FALLOUT 4 BY BETHESDA” in neon red ink. The project is actually referred to as “The Institute.” But evidence stacks to the sky in favor of its true identity; there’s numerous references to locations either shown or named in previous Fallout's, the casting director for “The Institute” happens to be the same person that cast for Dishonored and Skyrim, and in one monologue, the franchise infamous line “War… War never changes” is uttered.
A lot of info gathered in the documents also pieces together rumblings spanning the year since Fallout 4 rumors began to kick up. You might recall news of Bethesda’s dev team doing some location scouting at Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology some time back. MIT — already having played a small part in Fallout 3, though called, wouldntchaknowit?, The Institute — features as a setting for a mission.
The Commonwealth, which is the name bequeathed to the remnants of Massachusetts in series lore, was also rumored way back as the mused over setting for the next Fallout. The Commonwealth, of course, is name checked along with other series specific settings.
It’s all a pretty goddamn convincing argument for the existence of Fallout 4 (or, rather, whatever it will eventually be called). Of course Bethesda denied to comment on the leak, and until then, I cannot in good journalistic conscience say Fallout 4 is official.
The fuck am I saying? Journalists have no consciences! Fallout 4 is happening, folks. Crack open a dusty Nuka-Cola and celebrate. (In the event this is another great yank on our chain, please place your blame solely on Kotaku. See what I mean about the no conscience bit?)
Doom Co-Creator Leaves id Software for Good
John Carmack, one of the original fab four that founded id Software, has resigned from the company after clocking in 22 years of service.
An outspoken supporter of the Oculus Rift — do a Google image search for “John Carmack” to view hundreds of pictures of the man shoving the virtual reality headset in people’s faces, his own included — it was previously announced Carmack would assume the role of chief technical officer at Oculus VR. Bethesda Softworks, id’s parent company since 2009, was quick to assure the public that Johnny Boy would still remain on board as a technical adviser.
Given the headline, that obviously fell through. Taking to the internet’s megaphone, Twitter, Carmack explained in earnest that “it just didn’t work out.”
"Probably for the best," he wrote, "as the divided focus was challenging."
Alongside industry personality John Romero, Carmack created Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, and Quake. In other words, some of the most influential video games to ever hit the market, and instrumental in forming the FPS genre as we know it today (sans all the recent military games; unless the military is downplaying the amount of demons, nazis, and nazi-demons it fights on a routine basis).
Presently, John is exiting the studio he founded amid development on the long gestating Doom 4 — a title first announced in 2008. Production on the sequel is said to have run into several hang-up’s, not least of which was a forced rebuild of the entire game and concept once the original build was deemed wholly unsatisfactory (while leaked assets for the game looked promising as hell, apropos to Hell finally being unleashed on Earth, internal sources say the game just wasn’t very Doom).
In a statement from id Software, the studio reports that Carmack’s exit will not negatively affect current projects, his work on the id Tech 5 engine and related technology already having been completed. “We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id’s tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well.”
Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition Fall Bound
Arkane Studios’ surprise 2012 hit, Dishonored — a game that felt like Bioshock and Thief got their drink on and then their freak on — is making a return this Fall with its own Game of the Year bundle.
Dropping from the rooftops onto your PC, PS3, or Xbox 360, the $39.99 package includes the original title and, but of course, every piece of downloadable content produced for the game, including:
- Dunwall City Trials
- The Knife of Dunwall
- The Brigmore Witches
- Void Walker’s Arsenal
Dishonored: GoTY hits retail October 8th (U.S.) and October 11th (Europe).
Interested to know what’s next in store for Arkane? A sequel to Dishonored is being scraped together by Arkane’s French division while, despite their own insistence against it, then followed by the revelation their insistence was bullshit, it seems Bethesda has tapped Arkane Austin to take over Human Head’s Prey 2, ditching the former studio’s turbulent progress on the game in favor of rebooting it from the ground up and poising it as a spiritual sister to System Shock 2.
Information on the sci-fi shooter ends there though as Raphael Colantonio, Arkane’s Creative Director and the man that first dismissed the Prey 2 rumor, has since instructed his team to deny inquires from “press sneak fucks.” Gotta love the industry, man.
QuakeCon 2013 [Dallas, TX]
Bethesda: “We Showed Three Games at E3” and None of Them Were Fallout 4
Skyrim had itself a long reign but the team behind the lauded, fantasy RPG time sink have officially ended DLC support for it and have moved on to their next project.
Given their great success in reintroducing the world to the post-apocalyptic wastelands of the Fallout universe (and reusing a Ron Pearlman soundbite that is just positively burned into gamers’ skulls), it’s no leap in logic for fans to expect Fallout 4 is next up off the bench…
However, Kotaku insists you’re stretching reason extremely thin if you believe Bethesda had a closed doors presentation for the game at last week’s E3. The rumor began its life in the words of one journalist claiming he saw one surprise Bethesda failed to announce at the most publicized industry event of the year. Microseconds later, Fallout 4 was name dropped hard enough to break the floor.
As they invariably do, the rumor grew bigger and bolder until certain sites were reporting specific details about the game including which consoles it was coming to (basically everything without a Nintendo logo on it), when it was coming out (October…of 2015), and a completion estimate of 55%. A teaser trailer clocking in at nearly over half a minute was also purported to be shown; gravelly Pearlman voice-over and all.
If members of the press really got see a forty-five minute presentation on one of the biggest franchises in gaming…Where were all the headlines? Well, whether Fallout 4 is in production or not, this “Easter egg” E3 presentation probably didn’t happen. Skeptical? Here’s what Bethesda shot Kotaku’s way:
"We showed three games at E3 - Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Elder Scrolls Online and The Evil Within. We did not show any of our games behind closed doors.”
I know what you’re thinking. “We live in a world where they swore to us Steve Carrell wouldn’t be back for The Office finale.” I know. I know. But food for thought: for all intents and purposes, E3 serves as a monolithic, flashing billboard meant to advertise to gamers the world over and permeate in consumers’ heads until buyin’ season kicks off. Why wouldn’t Bethesda want to take advantage of that platform to stir Fallout fans into a frenzy?
[If Fallout 4 is announced next week, the correct answer to that question is, “Because they’re goddamned liars. When can I pre-order?”]
Bethesda Gearing Up for Next Game; Skyrim DLC Comes to an End
The saga of Skyrim — the fifth and most successful entry into The Elder Scrolls series — is at its end. After more than a year of supporting their fantasy RPG with updates and content (including a healthy dosage of story DLC), Bethesda is moving away from their “labor of love” and is ratcheting up production on a new, unannounced title.
In an open letter to fans on the Bethesda Blog, the studio revealed segments of their development team have been in pre-production on this project but now “that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet.”
Despite its resounding financial and critical success, this next project is unlikely to be Skyrim's follow up, given the team's track record. Instead, RPG fans may be plunged back into the Wasteland, if these rumors are to be taken at face value. Be it Fallout 4 or, maybe just possibly, a brand new IP, the only sure bet is that we’ll be well into the next-generation of gaming before we once again get to feverishly dedicate a hundred-plus hours into Bethesda’s next immersive world.
The Embargo’s Over, PS3 Faithful: Skyrim DLC Finally Releasing
Better late as hell than never, eh? After an exhausting wait for even the most weathered journeyer, Bethesda has announced Skyrim's downloadable content is at last releasing for the PlayStation 3 next month starting with the Dragonborn expansion.
To date, the PS3 version of Skyrim has missed out on three separate DLC expansions that the Xbox 360 has already enjoyed and basked in, each originally planned for only a 30-day exclusivity period on Microsoft’s console. Technical difficulties, delays, and several months of seething fan anger later and it was painfully clear Bethesda’s original plans went tits up.
Understanding the almost scalable wall of disappointment and frustration this has caused PS3 Skyrim users, Bethesda is offering a week long discount of 50% Off for each expansion as they launch on PSN. Once Dragonborn is out of the gate, the company is backtracking by releasing the Hearthfire expansion for those with a penchant for medieval decorating, and then the Dawnguard DLC in all of its vampiric glory.
While Dragonborn's PC date is marked down for February 5th, all three pieces of the PS3's DLC are expected throughout the same month at unspecified dates.
Fallout: The TV Series?
This might amount to no more than the internet readily springing to the nearest conclusion, but when has Bethesda’s trademark filing antics let us down before? This go around, however, we’re not talking about outed DLC. No, it would seem this new filing points to the company’s intention to take over a whole different medium altogether.
Bethesda has recently registered a trademark for “an on-going television program set in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world.” Well, that’s a mighty interestin’ course of action considering Bethesda happens to be the current rights holder and publisher of the Fallout series. I’d venture to say the two notions are related in some inconceivably, far-fetched way…though I’d be damned if I knew how.
Sorry to disappoint those that thought we were on the verge of a Fallout 4 announcement thanks to voice actor Erik Todd Dellums’ tweet last week where he teased that his character Three Dog — Galaxy News Radio’s DJ last heard in Fallout 3 — would be making a return in some fashion. (That’s not to say there hasn’t been rabble about Fallout 4, though. This is the internet, after all.)
Video games on television don’t have a terrific track record — go ask Mortal Kombat: Konquest the sordid truth…if it’s not too drunk to respond, that is — but I’m not one to underestimate some of the creative minds coasting around in the entertainment business. It just takes the combination of the right talent with the right material to create the TV equivalent of cigarettes for your eyeballs. So judgement reserved until if and when this one actually happens.
New Skyrim DLC Incoming? Monday Holds the Answer
The above image found its way in the Tweetsphere (if we’re not calling it that, we’re wasting our time) courtesy of the folks at Bethesda alongside a brief message: "Full Trailer on 11/5."
Earlier this month, a Eurogamer forum user was rifling around through Skyrim's 1.8 patch source code and dug up a handful of interesting files pertaining to possible upcoming DLC content. The data entitled the content “Dragonborn” which — wouldn’tcha knowit? — is also a name Bethesda Softworks felt inclined to trademark recently.
Now, this could all be one big coincidence and Bethesda could be teasing something else entirely, but that sort of thinking is exactly how you blue-ball a perfect fangasm into submission. Go ahead, fuel the dungeon crawling beast within and jump to the only happy conclusion: more Skyrim DLC on the way!
'Course, last time we speculated on (and got overly excited for) prospective Skyrim DLC, that resulted in something akin to a medieval version of This Old House. Actually, might wanna dial back that fangasm until Monday rolls around.
UPDATE: Well, Monday rolled around and this rumor finds itself certifiable fact. Bethesda is releasing Dragonborn, a major DLC expansion centered on the first Dovahkiin and seemingly the lost art of riding goddamned dragons, for Xbox Live on December 4th, pricing in at 1200 Moon Points. Skyrim has seen timed exclusive content on the Xbox before, so as such, no official statement on either a PC or PS3 release date has been announced (let alone whether or not the PS3 will remain the content-less odd man out once again).
Next Skyrim DLC, “Hearthfire,” Turns You into a Real Estate Tycoon?
The winds traveled the news to us a short while ago that Bethesda had trademarked the name “Hearthfire” pertaining to the Elder Scrolls license, leading fans to suspect a DLC follow-up to Dawnguard was on the way.
Once again thanks to the leaky well of information that is Reddit, we’re rumored to have our first synopsis detailing Heartfire. For the story driven, it’s probably not quite what you expect:
Hearthfire, the next official game-add on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has arrived. For the first time in the Elder Scrolls universe, purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with armory, alchemy laboratory, trophy room, and more! With Hearthfire, the possibilities of what you can build are endless.
Hmm, well there goes all that speculation pegging Hearthfire as a potential in for a zombie infested add-on similar to Red Dead's Undead Nightmare or Borderland's Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. Sure, I wanted to Dragon Shout waves of the undead into a massive, red pulp but, uh, this is good, too. Can’t wait to accessorize the shit out of my dungeon, I guess.
Of course, Bethesda has yet to comment or announce anything solid. This could very well be a clever misguide or outright bull. And with Dawnguard an absolute no-show on the PS3 (still), it’s going to be some time before we get around to whatever Hearthfire ends up being…fantasy-world real estate simulator or not.
UPDATE: Count this one as true. Bethesda has announced the home improvement focused Hearthfire will be available for download through Xbox Live on September 4th. It’ll set you back 400 MS for any of you would-be, virtual Bob Vila’s. No announcement has been made regarding a PC or PS3 release.