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Fallout 4 Survival Mode Beta Now Available

this character will struggle to survive because it is hard to eat and drink without a head

Keen observers of my writing habits may have noticed that I didn’t produce many words on the subject of Fallout 4 [official site]. I played Bethesda’s latest and, as with so many of the studio’s games, I failed to find the hook that kept me in its world. Fallout 4, sad to say, left me as cold as a perfectly chilled Nuka-Cola.

All that may be about to change. The game’s Survival Mode looks like an entirely different game, with loads of new features including “no fast travel, saving only when you sleep, increased lethality, diseases, fatigue, danger and more”. You can download the beta of the new mode through Steam right now.

I’m going to write this swiftly because I need to play this and more Dark Souls III as soon as possible. Crikey, it sounds exciting though. All of the hand-crafted locations of a big ol’ Bethesda RPG with many of the mechanics I’d normally associate with a baggier survival experience. Whether it’ll all hold together, I can’t say, but it certainly sounds more like the post-apocalyptic horrorshow I’ve always hoped the Fallout universe might contain.

There are loads of details about the mode over on the Bethesda blog, including this introduction:

At a high level, we wanted to force you to make interesting choices. We did that by bringing more contrasting motivations to Fallout 4 using the type of circular systems you might find in a game like Dark Souls. (By which we mean, two or more systems that push against each other.) This resulted in four major pillars for Survival Mode.

Strategy: Intensify decisions involving when to get into combat versus when to avoid it, and also make you think more about what gear to take into combat. Then back up those decisions with faster, more brutal fights.

Exploration: Slow down the pace of the game and encourage players to explore the nooks and crannies of the world.

Resource Management: Balance out items in the world that may be too easy to acquire or horde, giving players more to consider when planning their current loadout.

Role Playing: Increase the realism of the world and the issues one might face there.

On the blog, you’ll also find details about hunger, exhaustion and thirst, as well antibiotics, saving your game and the changes to combat. The latter can be summarised in three words: “everything hurts more”.

To install the beta, follow these instructions:

• Log into Steam
• Right Click on Fallout 4 in your Library
• Select Settings
• Select Betas
• A drop down menu will appear. Select Survival Beta Update
• Select OK
• Wait a few minutes and Fallout 4 should update
• When done, Fallout 4 should appear as Fallout 4 [Beta] in your Library

There’s a dedicated forum for Survival feedback and discussion.

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