Bethesda have lifted the lid on what fans of Fallout 4 can expect from the Survival mode update coming in the near future. The beta for said mode is currently available on Steam, with a full roll-out once it has been tested and seems satisfactory for all.
A blog post on the website said today “Two of our designers, Josh Hamrick and Jon Paul Duvall, used our internal Game Jam to visualize what an overhauled Survival Mode might look like in Fallout 4. Thanks to their Game Jam success, we then added several programmers, and they built out many of the ideas we’d all been setting aside while playtesting.”
Bethesda have deliberately left some details out, being vague in letting players discover some of Survival mode’s features themselves. What on earth could Fallout players expect to find?
“At a high level, we wanted to force you to make interesting choices. We did that by bringing more contrasting motivations to Fallout 4 using the type of circular systems you might find in a game like Dark Souls. (By which we mean, two or more systems that push against each other.) This resulted in four major pillars for Survival Mode”.
- Strategy: Intensify decisions involving when to get into combat versus when to avoid it, and also make you think more about what gear to take into combat. Then back up those decisions with faster, more brutal fights.
- Exploration: Slow down the pace of the game and encourage players to explore the nooks and crannies of the world.
- Resource Management: Balance out items in the world that may be too easy to acquire or horde, giving players more to consider when planning their current loadout.
- Role Playing: Increase the realism of the world and the issues one might face there.
Ok, so that sounds interesting, and almost sounds like they’re building a different game from scratch, when really they’re not. We’ve seen some of the details in the past of what players may expect, and these have rung through.
Saving with Sleep: Manual, quicksaving and almost all autosaves are disabled. To save your game, you’ll need to find a bed and sleep for at least an hour. This means your fallback options are reduced, forcing you to be more concerned about what you are walking into and whether you’re prepared to handle it. Some fights you may deem above your level and decide to avoid. Other fights you may decide to go all in. Scouting and gathering information to make this decision can be fun in its own right. Also, when beds are your only means of saving, they become the Holy Grail. With that level of importance tied to them, you will scour the Earth to find the closest bed to your next chosen encounter – and in doing so you will likely discover things that you might have otherwise missed.
No More Fast Travel: Fast Travel is disabled. If you wish to be somewhere, you’ll have to get there the old-fashioned way. In other words, exploration is now mandatory, exposing more of the Commonwealth’s secret gems. This will also take you out of your comfort zone, but encourage you to take advantage of the well-placed workshops throughout the Wasteland. And, while Charisma may seem less important to your immediate survival, there are certain Charisma-based perks that make managing your bases less painful.
Increased Lethality: You now deal, but also take, more damage. You can increase the damage you deal even further with “Adrenaline” – more on that in a moment. This makes combat more dangerous, which in turn slows you down and gets you to think about what you’re walking into. Combine this with it being much harder to save your game and suddenly each encounter becomes much more tense and dire.
Combat itself is also more strategic, because both you and enemies are more powerful; this means fights are about trying to use positioning and timing to get in your shots without taking enemy hits. This has an even bigger effect on melee players, who will now need to use their block/parry to keep themselves from taking damage during fights. While this change raises the skill necessary to play, those who opt into Survival know what they’re getting into.
While there are a bunch more details, I’ll post a few more of Bethesda’s notes below, but you can head over to the source article here to read the rest of it. Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page what you make of Survival mode in Fallout 4 so far.
Facing the Unknown: Threats, unless added by a Recon scope, no longer display on the compass, and the distance at which locations of interest will appear has been significantly shortened. You can no longer rush through the world, knowing what’s around the next corner. At the same time, you’ll likely explore even more, in order to ferret out any and all locations.
Adrenaline: Adrenaline, a new Perk that comes standard with Survival Mode, provides a bonus to your damage output and is increased by getting kills. Every five kills increases your Adrenaline rank, adding 5% bonus damage for up to an extra 50% damage at the max rank of 10. That extra damage is alluring. Adrenaline motivates the types of stupid decisions that always lead to the best water cooler stories. (Sleeping removes anywhere from 2 to all 10 ranks of Adrenaline, depending on the time you’ve slept.)
Wellness – Exhaustion, Hunger, Thirst: You’ll find it difficult to survive without taking proper care of yourself. You must stay hydrated, fed and rested to remain combat-ready. Going for extended periods of time without food, water or a good night’s sleep will begin to adversely affect your health, hurting your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, adding to your Fatigue, lowering your immunity, and eventually even causing physical damage to you. This will affect every decision you make, because you have to consider your overall and ever-changing health. The drive to simply stay alive might push you into new and unexpected adventures. At the very least, you’ll likely find yourself hunting for valuable meats, triggering encounters with dangerous wildlife. But not everything you can consume is good for you: Certain items in the game now have negative consequences to balance out their positive effects. These counter-effects may make you thirsty, hungry or tired and possibly even hurt your immunity, leaving you vulnerable to Illness.