In preparation for Fallout 4 VR’s upcoming December 12th launch on HTC Vive, Bethesda takes us through our paces with an intro to the game’s control scheme, base building mechanic, and V.A.T.S. focused combat, giving us a quick preview of what to expect next week.
Presented by Bethesda Community Manager Jessica Finster and Fallout 4 VR Lead Producer Andrew Scharf, the video shows the two main locomotion options: teleportation (which uses action points), and what Bethesda calls ‘direct movement’, otherwise known as smooth locomotion. ‘Direct movement’ mode allows both walking and sprinting in any direction simply by pressing down on the left controller’s touchpad in the desired direction.
When using the snap-turn function, which is ideal for front-facing setups, Finster commented “it seems like there’s movement for everyone,” likely alluding to the Rift’s standard tracking configuration.
While Scharf didn’t mention any other comfort modes outside of teleportation and snap-turning, a ‘comfort vignette’ mode can be seen while Finster browses the game’s 2D menus, which could provide a sort of HUD to help keep players feeling more grounded, like you might feel in a cockpit.
Arguably one of the most natural fits for the PC-to-VR port is the game’s Pip-Boy wrist-mounted computer, which lets you flip through its various menus on the fly just like you would if you were really in the Wasteland. Finster admits using it might get tiring though, which prompts Scharf to explain that the Pip-Boy menu can be locked to the user’s point of view so you don’t have to raise your wrist to traverse the games settings. The selection in the menu can also be seen in the image above.
Workshop mode, which lets you build out your base, is shown in the video to be slightly more ‘VR-native’ as well. Presented with a carousel of items to choose from featuring 3D representations of the object, it looks like a nice break from the game’s flatter 2D UI.
One thing we haven’t seen until now is the ability to pistol whip baddies if they get too close. Not being able to affect bad guys when they’re too close is definitely an immersion-breaker, so it’s great to see the game will allow you to flail wildly when you’re out of bullets and AP and still fend off the Feral Ghouls.
Lastly, the video shows a little of what Power Armor is like, where Scharf explains that stepping into the armor “scales you up” so you actually feel larger in the world.
It’s still uncertain how Bethesda is going to handle Rift support, if the recent release of the company’s latest title Doom VFR tells us anything, Rift support will likely be available despite no mention by the company—something you can chalk up to bad blood over the $4 billion intellectual property dispute involving Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax and Oculus’ parent company Facebook.
Despite there being no Rift support at the launch of Doom VFR, the game was patched by Valve within hours of release, leading many to eschew the opinion that Bethesda specifically excluded Rift support for its game. It’s still uncertain if it was intentional or not, but we’ll be keeping our eyes on the Fallout 4 VR as it releases next Tuesday to report what unfolds.