Fallout 4's VATS isn't a time-stopping panic button any more

If an angry cazador's bearing down on you and you just really don't want to deal with its crap right now, you push the VATS button. The time-freezing targeting system from Fallout 3 and New Vegas was meant to be a new take on called shots from the original turn-based Fallout games, but it also turned out to be a nigh-supernatural way to get the upper hand in otherwise hectic fights.

Fallout 4 will still have VATS, but it won't be quite so much of a "get out of jail free" card. Game director Todd Howard told The Telegraph about its new implementation which - as you may have noticed in the gameplay trailers - now puts the rest of the world in slow motion instead of freeze frame.

“We found some ways to make it a bit, not a ton, but a bit more dynamic,” Howard said. "It’s very, very slow and you’ll see the percentages change because the person is moving behind or coming out of a wall. So queuing up the shot at the right time matters."

Critical hits achieved through VATS are no longer random, either. Instead, you'll get to pick which shot will inflict an extra spike of damage, "so it’s a little bit more under your control, not a lot, but just enough to make it feel better.” Might I recommend you assign the critical hit wherever it will make your target's eyeballs fly the furthest?

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Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.