Bethesda Game Studios’ plans to make Fallout 4 playable in virtual reality is a pretty ambitious endeavour. The project was unexpectedly announced at Bethesda’s 2016 E3 press conference, with the studio remaining tight-lipped on the project afterward – no doubt hard at work on its lofty promise. Even though Bethesda has yet to announce Fallout 4 VR for PSVR, it appears work on virtual reality support is coming along nicely with studio director Todd Howard confirming that the sprawling post-apocalyptic adventure is now fully playable in VR from start to finish.
In an interview with Gixel, Howard said, "You can play it start to finish right now, and the whole thing really works in terms of interface and everything." With progress like this already made it would seem that the bulk of the work to get Fallout 4 VR to Sony’s shiny new VR headset has been completed, raising hopes for an announcement sooner rather than later.
With its immersive and expansive world, Fallout 4 provides the ideal setting for a VR experience; however, the game wasn’t designed with the tech in mind, which undoubtedly came with its fair share of challenges. When questioned about the difficulty in transferring a traditional game to VR Howard explained that the game’s interface is what makes it an effective and realistic experience:
"The Pip-Boy is on your wrist and we’ve been able to present so that it works the way you expect. You look and there it is. The fact that the gunplay is a bit slower than in a lot of games has certainly helped us but we have V.A.T.S., so you can pause or slow down the world,"
The V.A.T.S. (or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) mechanic, that allows players to slow down time in order to target specific body parts for maximum damage, works particularly well and is no doubt gloriously graphic in VR. "I assure you, V.A.T.S. in VR is awesome. We love it,” said Howard.
VR motion sickness is a key concern for developers and it’s something that the team is keen to address to reduce the probability of players experiencing it in Fallout 4 VR. "We’re lucky that the action isn’t super twitchy," said Howard. "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."
There’s currently no release date for Fallout 4 VR, which has currently only been announced for HTC Vive. In our review, we described the original as a truly captivating apocalypse so we’re optimistic that returning to its bleak yet beautiful post-apocalyptic playground in virtual reality will be worth the wait.
Are you excited at the prospect of playing Fallout 4 in VR? Let us know in the comments below.