Fallout 4 release date, news and trailers

In addition to that, you'll be able to romance (yes, romance) your companion, regardless of gender. Specifics haven't been revealed yet but we're sure it will be similar to Skyrim's romancing system. However, if you'd prefer the life of a hermit, Howard noted there will be a perk available for that as well. Mr. Handy will also be able to say your name - that is, whatever ridiculous, offensive, or perhaps even normal name you've chosen for the game.

Fallout 4

Perhaps the biggest new feature is the one that lets you build your own settlements in the wasteland, which is another first for the franchise. You'll be able to construct buildings on plots of land, and the crafting system looks like it will lend itself to some proper customisation. You can build multiple settlements through the game, with trading caravans that run between them. But be warned: raiders will come and try to ruin your lovely home.

Then there's the power armour, which made an appearance in the debut trailer. You'll be able to customise and improve this throughout the game, while the crafting system will let you build a ridiculous number of customised guns for blasting enemy mutants in the face.

Many series fans will be glad to hear that the time-stopping VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) system is back, but rather than completely freezing everything in place it will now just slow things. You'll still have extra time to line up that perfect shot, but you might have to think a little faster on your feet this time around.

Fallout 4

There are things we all loved from Fallout 3 that will be back in 4 too. Books and comics will have greater detail, plus will allow you to zoom in for a better look. You can also look forward to seeing the Super Duper Mart again, bloody mess perk, lock picking, computer hacking, the Fat Man and Behemoth mutants.

Finally, we have mods - and this doesn't just apply to the PC players amongst you. At E3 2015, Bethesda announced that PC mods for Fallout 4 will be playable on the Xbox One as well, and possibly the PS4 down the line too (unless Sony turns the idea down, would be odd). Bethesda also confirmed that it's not planning to introduce paid premium mods in the game. Oh, and it also confirmed the game will run at 1080p 30fps on everything.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

With the game just a matter of days away, Bethesda has been dropping some last-minute teases in the form of its S.P.E.C.I.A.L. videos, each of which focus on one of the key character attributes that you'll be able to upgrade: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, and Luck. The new perks system will also allow you to learn new skills as you level up.

What makes S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes so important? They basically dictate how you play the game. Invest a lot of points in strength, for example, and you might have the physical prowess to bare-knuckle box super mutants. Adversely, investing points in charisma might mean the difference between fighting a high-level boss and persuading them to let you slip past without incident. Each one is important, but in a world where points are as limited as fresh water and ammunition, you have to pick wisely.

The levelling system also works differently now. Perks are now tied to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats opposed to levels. There are also new perks for you to choose from, with 70 base perks where each one has multiple ranks. In another Fallout series first, this fourth instalment is doing away with maximum level caps. This way players can just keep exploring and powering up indefinitely after they complete the story.

Here's Bethesda's explanations for each S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute distilled from the promo videos:

Strength increases how much weight your character can carry; how much damage physical weapons do and crafting weapons and armor.

Perception improves accuracy in V.A.T.S.; using explosives and proficiency in long-range weapons.

Endurance increases overall health; reduces the radiation taken while swimming in the wasteland and consuming irradiated food and possibly involves cannibalism...

Charisma improves the persuasiveness of your character, opening up new dialogue options, the ability to pacify humans and non-human enemies and reducing the cost of goods from traders.

Intelligence is one of the more abstract attributes in Fallout 4 and controls skills like hacking, healing and creating new chemicals.

Luck is the only attribute more convoluted than intelligence, impacting the game in dozens of unexpected ways. The video says to expect a stranger come in to help randomly and find better items while exploring the world.

Season pass

As is the way with games these days, Fallout 4 will come with an optional season pass. For a one-off price of $30/£20, you'll have access to all future DLC. When you compare it with the price of the Fallout 3 DLC, it's a good deal - especially as Bethesda could have even more DLC planned this time around.

"Since we're still hard at work on the game, we don't know what the actual DLC will be yet, but it will start coming early next year," the company said in a statement. "Based on what we did for Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim, we know that it will be worth at least $40, and if we do more, you'll get it all with the Season Pass."

Fallout 4 trailer