The VR community is in an awkward place. HTC Vive headsets are shipping out to consumers as fast as they can order them, but the medium is really searching for a game it can sink it’s teeth into. At E3 this year, Bethesda announced that it wants to provide just that with Fallout 4 for the Vive.
While the headsets are technically impressive, both the Vive and the Rift have been lacking the sort of sprawling, time-sucking titles that gamers are used to. Yes, you can play quite a few rounds of Hover Junkers without getting bored, and Audioshield’s pulsing rhythms will have you scouring Soundcloud for deep cuts, but they aren’t the kind of titles that will have you coming back for hundreds of hours.
But Fallout 4 will, and Bethesda is going to snatch that bottle of Nuka-Cola and quaff it right there. With the help of the HTC Vive’s room-scale capabilities and motion controllers, players will be slicing down super-mutants or assigning settlers with a flick of the wrist. A lot of the Fallout mechanics seem well suited to virtual reality too, like settlement building, melee combat, and VATS.
Among the big questions that remain about the upcoming VR port, the most important is how Bethesda will handle movement. We’ve seen games that do it with a teleporting function, like Valve’s The Lab, and it works quite well, but only with limited movement. A first person view might make users nauseous when running or moving around a lot, but the potential of a virtual pip-boy is certainly intriguing.
We’ve got boots on the ground in LA for E3 covering everything from the latest virtual reality announcements to the smallest indie games. You can bet all your caps we’ll be trying to charge around the virtual wasteland before the game’s wider release in 2017.