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The End Is Nigh: Fallout 4 Launch Trailer

Dogs and robots

Through a combination of avoidance and intentionally vague marketing, I've managed to come this close to the release of Fallout 4 [official site] without knowing a great deal about the setting and plot. Yes, the bombs have fallen and, yes, there's at least the one Vault involved in whatever happens next, but I had no idea what I'd be looking for out there in the New England wasteland. A Water Chip? A Garden of Eden Creation Kit? The Brotherhood of Steel's corporate headquarters?

The launch trailer, embedded below, told me more about the game than anything else I've seen to date. It also made me rather more excited than I'd been until now.

Final warning - if you're planning to go in relatively cold, you might want to skip this one. It's not just a logo and some flashbangs, and while it presumably doesn't give away too much, there's a fair bit of dialogue and a few locations I hadn't seen before now.

I think the reason this works for me is that I don't particularly care about the systems, be they new or old: VATS, crafting, perks, SPECIAL, companions - it's all important, of course, but none it will matter a jot if I don't enjoy spending time in the game's world and interacting with the folks who live there.

Even though the trailer is very 'Main Quest Noble Duty', there's enough in there to suggest this might be a more colourful and varied experience than Fallout 3. And, damn it all, I always live in hope that these big RPGs will absorb me completely for a month or two. It's also kind of pathetic how much I want to build and decorate my own house out there in a ruined world.

You'll be able to preload if you've pre-ordered, and Bethesda have already provided information about release times:

"Want to know exactly when you can start playing Fallout 4? Digitally the game will become available on November 10, 2015, at 12:01 am (local time) in all territories (In North America, the unlock time will be 12:01 am EST), except Asia (available at 12 am on Wednesday, November 11th) and Japan (available at 12 am on Thursday, December 17th)."

The Pip-Boy companion app is already available, having appeared on the Android and iOS app stores earlier today. Most of what's on offer in the app won't be of use until the game's actually out but when you do have the game, you'll be able to bring up maps and inventories on a second screen. That actually sounds useful. Expect to find me down the pub with an iPad glued to my forearm sometime next week.

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