Will A Future ‘Fallout 4’ DLC Flesh Out The Combat Zone?

A video from well-respected gaming commentators, Kotaku has unearthed some unused audio files that hint at content that may have been cut from Fallout 4 in order to ship it. While this is far from uncommon, the richness of the audio content and the disappointing emptiness of the area in question raise the possibility that this element of the game might be revived for a future Fallout 4 DLC.

The area in question is the Combat Zone, a pit-fighting arena just outside Diamond City where the player is sent in order to find Fallout 4 companion Cait. Upon entering the arena, the impresario, Tommy Lonegan, is calling a fight between Cait and a raider opponent. If you’ve played the game, it is somewhat surprising that while mooching around, listening to the calls and generally looking for junk, the entire area suddenly turns against you and leads to one of Fallout 4′s bigger firefights.

At time of first play, there was a nagging feeling that there should have been more to this area. The Combat Zone’s name, design and general feel all added up to a classic arena level, and the audio files unearthed by Kotaku would seem to bear this out. Judging from the calls made by Lonegan, it looks as if the original intention was for the player to be able, at some stage, to enter the arena as a contender. There are indications that there was to be a scaled series of fights of increasing difficulty, with an ascending scale of payouts for successive victories. Classic arena-fodder. And when I say “indications,” it’s actually pretty definitive. Tommy has lines that indicate very clearly indeed that the original concept behind Fallout 4’s Combat Zone was an interactive arena.

“Get in the cage or face the collective wrath of all my patrons,” is a line that isn’t exactly ambiguous. Other cut lines suggest that there would also have been an option to bet on other fights (200 caps) and that there may even have been an opportunity to go up against Cait, rather like the bar brawls in Skyrim where whaling on a local tough would convince them to offer their services as a companion.

Other cut content includes story and art for a quest called “20 leagues under the sea,” and an associated weapon being a harpoon gun. It would appear that the drug-addled seer in Sanctuary may have originally been conceived as having a wheelchair made out of parts of a Mr. Handy robot. As Kotaku points out, the fact that this content was cut for the first release doesn’t mean that we’ll never see it again in Fallout 4. There is still DLC to be released, and, in the case of the Combat Zone, the player’s final conversation with Tommy does actually leave things open-ended. Just before you leave, Tommy talks about re-building, which might indicate that a future expansion might involve a Combat Zone resurrected as an arena level for a future Fallout 4 expansion.

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It’s not unusual for a significant amount of original content to disappear before release.
[Image via Bethesda Softworks]
If all else fails, however, there is plenty of material there for the modder community. Fallout 4 is typical of Bethesda games in the way that it has attracted a great deal of interest from modders, and there is every possibility that at some point down the line we will see a cut content restoration involving the Combat Zone. We shouldn’t expect a quick run of big DLCs for Fallout 4 any time soon, however. The 1.3 patch for glitches and quest fixes is still in beta, and it looks as if pretty much the whole studio is involved in working on this. Having said that, there’s a lot of scope for expanding the already immense world of Fallout 4, and places like the Combat Zone hint tantalizingly at the idea that this was the developers’ intention all along.

[Image via Bethesda Softworks]