Virtual reality is becoming more and more popular, with a number of major companies getting behind the push to turn games in VR environments, and Fallout 4 is just one of the latest games to be getting a VR makeover.
Back at E3 in 2016, Bethesda showed off an experimental demo featuring Fallout 4 in a virtual environment. While the demo was rather limited in its scope, it demonstrated the possibilities of the mode for slower paced shooters and role-playing games.
Bethesda is planning on converting the entirety of Fallout 4 into VR, and have made some significant progress in that direction since the E3 demo. According to Glixel, Todd Howard, the executive producer at Bethesda, said “Fallout is going great. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s super exciting. We are doing the whole game…. You can play it start to finish right now, and the whole thing really works in terms of interface and everything.”
Howard emphasized that the nature of Fallout 4 lends itself to being converted into VR. As opposed to a typical FPS like Call of Duty or Battlefield, the slower pace of combat in the Fallout games makes it a perfect experimenting ground for VR. The gunplay is slower, and Fallout 4 already has a built in system for slowing down or pausing time, V.A.T.S.
Despite being a good place to fiddle with VR, Fallout 4, and other games like it, face one of the biggest challenges the VR community is still trying to move around, humorously, movement. Locomotion has been one of the hardest things to get right in VR. Do it wrong, and a game might just cause a player to throw up.
Currently, one of the most common methods of getting around in a VR game is a teleport or warp effect. The player chooses where they want to move on screen, and the game teleports them there. On the downside, especially for role-playing games, is the immersion break which accompanies this type of locomotion. Additionally, even in Fallout 4, position, cover, and movement are critical aspects of surviving a fire-fight, especially against enemies which not only are really tough to kill, but also sport a rather nasty array of weaponry. Think about those Super Mutants with rocket launchers.
Howard also addressed the movement issues in the Glixel interview.
“Locomotion is definitely the hard part, I will admit. Given the size of the world and the amount that you’re moving in Fallout 4 that part is tricky because you’re doing it a lot. Right now we’re doing the teleport warp thing and that’s fine, but we’re experimenting with a few others.”
Bethesda plans to try and work around the issues, not just by developing new methods, but shipping the VR version with a number of different locomotion options, as a player base as large as that of Fallout 4 will sport a number of different preferences for how to get around.
Bethesda still has made no mention of when it plans to release the VR version of the game, though it does seem likely to be fairly soon. Howard expressed very positive hopes for VR in Fallout, expecting it to be a great addition to the already large game.
Of course, whether or not VR comes to Fallout 4 depends a good bit on consumers as well. While the price for virtual reality equipment and headsets has been steadily decreasing, considering the still painful cost (you could pretty much by a new console for the same price), the monetary barrier to more people getting into VR is fairly high.
So what are your thoughts about Bethesda bringing virtual reality to Fallout 4? Tell us what you think in the comments sections below!
[Featured Image by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images]