As someone who wasn’t a fan of Fallout 3’s grey, ruinous kind of tone, I’m delighted to learn that Fallout 4 is going to be much more vibrant and hopeful, according to Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of PR and Marketing. Speaking to OXM, Hines cited the change in Fallout’s society.
“There’s this notion: ‘this is our home’. This is where we live. It doesn’t matter what it used to be like before. We’re not going to rebuild the world like it used to be. This is just what life is like now. I’m not ever going back to the Saturday morning with the nicely mowed lawn and the white picket fence. That world is gone, this is what life is like now.’
And so there is a bit of a vibe that you get from the game, more a sense of normalcy. This is now what normal looks like. This is now what life looks like. Whereas in Fallout 3 you had a little bit of the bleak and the feeling of hopelessness, and the main quest had to do with trying to restore some hope to it. This game has gone past that, and it’s levelled out.”
In other words, whilst Fallout 3 very much focused on the misery of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world and desperately trying to get back to what Earth was like before, Fallout 4 instead accepts that things won’t ever be the same, and so its citizens and life in general are slightly more upbeat and focused on just getting on with their lives rather than praying for a saviour. This is no small part due to the apocalypse being founded on the scientific optimism of the 1950s as well as the rise in technology.
In short, Fallout 4 won’t feel as hopeless tonally as Fallout 3 did all too often.