Big Brains Beats Nuclear Ne’r-do-wells in Fallout 4

As Alec rightly suggested the other week, the recent run of Fallout 4 [official site] S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills system videos are little more than pretty-looking regurgitations of what we already know. But I love them.

In just two days Fallout 4 will be just one month away. Let’s mark the occasion with a swatch at the fifth and latest short: Intelligence.

In past post-apocalyptic Fallout excursions, I’ve had a tendency to shy from the action. Instead of charging head-first, gung-ho into confrontation, I’ve much preferred planning my attacks from afar. I’d like to think this is because I’m an intelligent player, but it’s most likely because I’m a shitebag. If you are smart, however, the latest S.P.E.C.I.A.L. trailer is right up your radiation-ravaged street as harnessing a propensity for mixing imagination with science will lead you to great things.

Your medicine, navigation, chemistry and crafting skills all stand to be improved as a result of your burgeoning brain cells in your quest to understand that it’s “survival of the smartest” in the wasteland. “An empty mind is a vessel for knowledge and intelligence is key to unlocking opportunity,” the pseudo-50s faux-public service short tells us. Well, aye, but so too does pegging it the opposite direction of a Death Claw, I’d have to argue.

Survival of the smartest, you say? Quite.

Whether you consider yourself intelligent or not, all you need to know is Fallout 4 is out November 10.


  1. Philopoemen says:

    All I got from this is that if I’m not interested in navigation (its a Bethesda game – there’ll be markers everywhere), medicine (paying a doc or resting will be cheaper anyways), chemistry (potions!) or crafting (and the best toys will be rare finds), then Intelligence is a dump stat other than to use Science (Computer Unlock).

    My biggest gripe with this new system (since FO3) is the absence of the chance of failure – 74% Unlock means you can’t unlock a 75% lock; not that you’ll likely fail trying, but it is still possible – you can’t even try. Compare to the old 12% chance of success, unlikely, but possible – oops, you broke the lock, go find another route.

    I was hoping to see the video state how Intelligence is a “gate” stat – ie You might want to raise that Charisma-based perk, but you need Int 5 to do so (natural – nil Mentats), but that doesn’t seem to be the case (from the video – I might have missed something). Especially since Skill points are gone.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Absolutely a “dump stat” since it increases exp gain in a game without level cap, yes.

      Sure, at some point you’ll be a god and you won’t care, but then again this game is probably going to be easy just like the other two before and so, why don’t you just pump Intelligence, Charisma and Luck for shit ‘n giggles? I know i will.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Also, most of your point about how things are going to end up is pure conjecture, but i would like to hope that with all this focus on crafting and customization such skills will be central to get the absolute best.

        I might be wrong, off course, but then it would be a wasted opportunity.

        • Philopoemen says:

          Oh for sure – I’m not making any predictions, just what I took from the video. I’m quite happy to be pleasantly surprised.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      I think the problem with chance to fail is some people (like me) just quicksave before attempting the computer hack or whatever and load until it works. While there’s ways to stop people doing that (total war had a neat system of calculating the success/fail of agent actions before the save) people will generally find a way around it.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        Honestly what’s wrong with that? If you don’t want to reload then don’t, if you do want to more power to you. I don’t see the point of wasting resources trying to force players to use save systems only in the approved way only.

        • dangermouse76 says:

          I think an element of that is that it seems like inelegant game design to have a mechanic that creates a load/save situation. More an issue of poorly designed choices ( by the company ) rather than a bad play style.

      • Philopoemen says:

        I’m definitely guilty of the same in the past, but the point is its a ROLE-playing game – you should absolutely have the opportunity to reload before a point, but those that want it should have the opportunity to fail, and have to find another way to complete the task set. That’s the strength of Pen and Paper roleplaying – those vignettes that are brought about not because of success, but because of failure.

        Admittedly a computer isn’t a GM, and can’t adapt, but games can offer multiple paths to success, rather than one binary yes/no option that rewards a specific playstyle.

      • welverin says:

        Chance to fail in Fallout 3 and New Vegas would have made no sense anyway since there was a minigame where you actively had to unlock it yourself, that’s why the skill level was a gate.

    • Turkey says:

      Yeah, but Bethesda’s design philosophy is that everyone should be able to do and see everything in one playthrough. It’s one of the reason their games have such a reach beyond the realm of hardcore gamers.

      • dkfgo says:

        Thats a design decision that has nothing to do with being hardcore, or “appealing to the masses”. Keeping a limitation that everyone just skips is just terrible. Either make it so people cant skip, or change it entirely. Besides, what is a hardcore CRPG player anyways? The term hardcore itself (and its counter part, casual) is the worst meme in video game culture. One type of player could argue that a hardcore player is the guy that power levels by jumping on stairs in Morrowind (which is just as good as using the console), while another person will say that being hardcore in RPGs means to forget meta information and roleplay. Both are trying to tell each other about the one true and most honorable (?) way of playing a videogame.

    • socrate says:

      Yeah critical failure are a big miss from old time i have to say…another damn thing the new fallout didn’t put in along the massive list of thing that were badly implemented or completely removed.

      Its also does seem like intelligence was always one of these stat that they didn’t really know how to approach or do something good with it but knew that removing would mean outrage from both new and old gamer…creating a really low intelligence hero in the old fallout 1 and 2 were amazing experience.

  2. MrFinnishDude says:

    Is there different dialogue if you play a low intelligence character as in other fallouts?

  3. BPongo says:

    There is something missing from everything I see of f4. I felt like the old fallouts had an edge, a sense of dread. These videos seem sort of flat.

    • LionsPhil says:

      That’s because Bethesda focuses only on the zany, look-its-got-’50s-rayguns, side of Fallout.

    • theoriginaled says:

      The whole point is the contrast. Happy silly videos preparing you for a busted world that is depressingly trying to kill you.

    • Y2Kafka says:

      All you got to really remember is that these videos were made before the war. They’re from a more optimistic time rather then the dangerous wasteland we know.

      • Turkey says:

        I don’t think that society would approve of the less than wholesome amounts of blood and guts in those cartoons.

  4. JJRPIII says:

    The thing I really like about these videos is that they’ve used (I’m fairly sure) actual 50s library music. They haven’t done the usual thing and hired some guy with a wonky grasp of classical orchestration to do a midi rip off, anyway.

    Plus the art pastiches early Hanna Barbera quite nicely, the VO has just the right sort of fake 50s accent and all the audio sounds suitably vintage.

    It’s just a really nice bit of work.

    • Harlander says:

      I couldn’t say whether it’s library music or not, but the dramatic bit in the opening with the nuclear explosion is pretty pitch-perfect

    • Lakshmi says:

      I think that’s why I like them. It’s not the info so much as the video itself.

  5. dangermouse76 says:

    Hello the specs are out also for PC……………

    Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
    Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
    8 GB RAM
    30 GB free HDD space
    NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent

    Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
    Intel Core i7 4790 3.6 GHz/AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz or equivalent
    8 GB RAM
    30 GB free HDD space
    NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB or equivalent

    • Punning Pundit says:

      Huh! The game is requiring a 64 bit OS. I’m not sure I’ve seen that requirement for any game before.

      I bet this is shift is because of the move to the XBone. Being able to remove the 512 meg memory restriction imposed by the Xbox 360 (and carried over by ports), and the 2 gig memory limit of the 32 bit OS will open up a lot of design space.

      And… Frankly I’d bet something like 90% of desktop PCs are running a 64 bit OS at this point anyway. It should not present any actual problems from a sales limiting perspective.

      So I’ll chalk this up to a small benefit to PC gamers for the switch to “next gen” console hardware.

      • Zenicetus says:

        If the game only runs on 64-bit, there will be no excuse for forcing a black screen transition every time we open a door to go inside a small house from outside, like the previous games. Which is great, if they can manage it. Then again, this is supposedly an updated Gamebyro, so who knows?

      • WaytoomanyUIDs says:

        Just checked the Steam Hardware Survey and of those who bother to do it, 82.4% running are a 64bit version of Windows but rather surprisingly only 46.4% are running 8GB or more or RAM

  6. racccoon says:

    Intelligence = link to kill the drones

  7. icemann says:

    I absolutely love these videos :)

  8. SomeDuder says:

    yea real cute and all, but i wont be buying till a year later, when the GotY version is released lmao gg