Bethesda Game Studios made the surprise announcement at E3 last year that the company would be porting the entirety of Fallout 4 to virtual reality, and confirmed it would be released for both the HTC Vive and in VR on the forthcoming Xbox ‘Project Scorpio’ console. Since then, the company has been relatively silent on the status of the project, but has recently affirmed ongoing progress.
Speaking recently with IGN, Todd Howard, Executive Producer at Bethesda Game Studios, said that Fallout 4 VR was among seven major projects the company is currently working on. Progress on the VR port sounds to be going well, with Howard once again stating that the game would be playable “start to finish in VR.”
“There’s no content that we removed or changed [for VR],” Howard told IGN. “It’s interface work, it’s other things,” he said.
Around the time of Fallout 4 VR’s reveal, Howard said of the game, “The interface is already on your wrist [with the Pip-Boy], you can pull it up and switch around, playing with the weapons. It’s exciting for us where even though we’ve lived in the game, to step it into VR it becomes real on another level.”
Road to VR went hands-on with Fallout 4 VR back at E3 2016, and while the experience gave us a glimpse of a AAA VR production, if it was launched in that initial state many may have been left unsatisfied. As Road to VR’s Scott Hayden opined:
Bethesda’s VR version of Fallout 4 is far from ready for the eyeballs of the paying public, as there still no way to interact with world objects (outside of shooting them), no adaptation of the inventory system, and teleporting across the Wasteland still feels a bit like cheating.
Fortunately, the VR-version of the game will have seen a lot more development attention by the time it launches sometime in 2017. Howard told IGN that locomotion specifically is something the studio is continuing to work on.
“There are issues with locomotion, how you traverse that much space, and we’re hoping to support as many modes as possible… It’s not done yet, there’s work to do, but the parts that are there, I’m biased but it’s pretty incredible.”
Back at E3 2016, Bethesda said that a VR version of Doom was also in the works (though Howard didn’t give an update on that project), and teased a ‘Bethesda VR’ initiative, writing that Fallout 4 VR and Doom VR are “…just the beginning of Bethesda’s future in virtual reality.”
Bethesda parent company ZeniMax recently won a major lawsuit brought against Oculus; thus far it’s unclear how the results of the case will impact the likelihood that any Bethesda VR games will end up on the Oculus Rift.