There's an interesting time ahead for any potential / inevitable Fallout 5 release. Since Microsoft just bought Bethesda, there's the fact that Fallout 5 may one day be an Xbox / PC exclusive whenever it arrives, in whatever form.
But, that doesn't change the fact that since the release of Fallout 4 in 2015 many have been yearning for the next adventure in the Wastelands to blast its way onto our screens. Sure, we've had Fallout 76 to partially fill the void, but it doesn't quite cut the classic single-player experience. Realistically speaking, since is busy working on the long-awaited Elder Scrolls 6 and its new IP Starfield, we're likely not going to be seeing Fallout 5 for quite a while yet. Despite that, rumours continue to circulate about the next instalment's existence, and given that Fallout 4 was a runaway success for the studio, it’s surely only a matter of time before Fallout 5 is officially announced.
In terms of a release date, it really is anyone’s guess, but a little under a year ago reports surfaced claiming that the studio was already thinking about Fallout 5. In an interview with GameStar about Fallout 76, the interviewer asked if the studio planned to bring multiplayer into any of their big upcoming feature titles such as Fallout 5 or Elder Scrolls 6, to which Howard replied, “we want to keep them as single-player.” While it’s not exactly out and out confirming Fallout 5 officially, it shows the studio has been paying some mind to the next Fallout.
Fallout 4 did a good job of following on from two of the strongest games in the series, but there were some notable features missing and improvements that could be made in Fallout 5. So while we play the long waiting game for any more news about our next visit to the post-apocalyptic world, we’ve put together a list of all the things we’d like to see when the next Fallout title finally emerges from the vault.
1. Bring back the Karma system
The Karma system has been a mainstay feature in the Fallout series since Fallout 1, but it was one element that didn’t make its way into Fallout 4. The karma system really makes you feel like your choices actually have an effect on the world around you. If you go about murdering everyone, you’ll get yourself a nasty reputation and people will view and treat you differently as a result. It helps to add a deeper level of immersion to the RPG aspect of the series, and makes you think twice about the choices you run with. Without Karma, it felt like every choice you made in Fallout 4 only served to change the way your companions view you, which felt a little hollow in comparison.
2. Keep multiplayer out and bring co-op in
Fallout 76 does have some things going for it, but if it's taught us anything it's that multiplayer isn’t always the answer. The Fallout series has always been a strong single-player delivering, and with so many multiplayer games finding their way onto the market, it’s hard not to hope Fallout stays true to its roots. Since Howard has already said it will be single-player focused, we shouldn’t have to worry too much, but it would be great to see co-op play introduced alongside single-player a la Dark Souls 3.
3. A polished and more refined building system
Building settlements in Fallout 4 was a great new feature that finally gave all that junk you find lying around a purpose, but it’d be nice to this polished and refined so it’s a little less clunky in places - although I'll admit that some of the best Fallout 4 settlements have somehow overcome the quirks. Placing big sheets of metal into just the right spot with a controller could sometimes be a bit of an ordeal. While settlement building is a lot of fun, the mechanics and interface could use some fine tuning to make it less awkward to control come Fallout 5.
4. Give us more dialogue options
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, so we’re all for more choice in the next Fallout. As fun as the sarcastic option could be, the choice of just four options to reply with sometimes felt a little thin in Fallout 4, and while a similar amount of choice was offered in previous titles, it'd be good to see the next offer up an extra helping. Having more choice can't hurt, and it'll just add to the feeling that you're in control of how you want your character to be.
5. Give us a whole new setting to explore
As interesting as the Commonwealth was, we hope Fallout 5 will continue the series trend of introducing us to a new setting. Having a new setting keeps everything feeling fresh and exciting, and it's always interesting to see a new location with Fallout's retro-futuristic flare. From Washington DC in Fallout 3 to New Vegas in Fallout: New Vegas, right up to Boston in Fallout 4, the thought of being able to explore what a new location has to offer makes the thought of the next Fallout all the more enticing.
Can't wait for the next Fallout? Why not check out our definitive ranking of the best Fallout games of all time?