Now available in beta on Steam alongside a new game update, and coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in April, Survival Mode for Fallout 4 was detailed today by Bethesda.
With Fallout 4 Game Director Todd Howard saying, “Taken together, it creates a Fallout experience unlike before. You feel the wasteland,” Bethesda listed the tough choices they wanted you to face in Survival Mode:
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.
Noting that “some of the items discussed below may change or may have already changed,” and that they’re staying vague on some details so you can discover them on your own, here’s an abbreviated look at the big changes in Survival Mode, as listed by Bethesda:
- 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.
- 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… 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.
- 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.
- 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… 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.
- Fatigue – Fatigue mostly comes from being tired, but both hunger and thirst also affect it. Fatigue works like radiation, but affects your Action Points (AP) rather than your Hit Points (HP). The more Fatigue you’ve built up, the less AP you’ll have for actions like sprinting and V.A.T.S. The amount of Fatigue you’ve accumulated is displayed in red on your AP bar.
They also made adjustments to items and conditions, with bed types determining how long you can sleep; The chances of getting sick increasing as your average Wellness decreases, while certain creatures can immediately give you an illness and Stimpaks no longer offer a fix-all miracle drug; Stimpaks, food, and other restorative items recover your health at a significantly reduced rate; Crippled limbs no longer auto-heal after combat and require a Stimpak or sleep to be repaired; The total carry weight has been reduced and ammo and Stimpaks now have weight; Carrying too much will eventually cripple your legs; Companions will no longer get back up if downed by combat and will instead return home; and locations you’ve cleared will repopulate with new enemies and loot at a significantly slower rate.
April also sees the Wasteland Workshop for Fallout 4, with Far Harbor expected in May, and mods in June on PlayStation 4.
Will you be taking on Survival Mode when it comes out next month?