The Internet is rampant with rumors of downloadable content (DLC) for inevitable Game of the Year 2015 winner Fallout 4.
Fans are clamoring for details on DLC promised by Bethesda in early 2016, but with little to go on, fans are filling in the blanks of developer/publisher Bethesda’s silence. We’ve got our own theories of DLC, some of which we’ll outline here. First, lets take a look at what we know as concrete fact:
Fallout 4 will have DLC. This has been confirmed by Bethesda’s offering of a Season Pass for the game, which includes “all Fallout 4 DLC for one S.P.E.C.I.A.L. price” – that price being $30. Not a bad deal when it comes to DLC nowadays. No other information has officially been released regarding DLC for Fallout 4. However, we need only look to Bethesda’s past to see where the future will likely take us. Check out the video below.
If you’re unable to view the video, Fallout 3 was released October 28, 2008. The first DLC for Fallout 3, Operation: Anchorage, was released on January 27th, 2009 – that’s just three months after release of the core game. Fallout: New Vegas was released on October 19th, 2010. Its first DLC, Dead Money, came out December 21, 2010 – a mere two months after the core game. Indeed, I have spoken with producers of AAA video games on the topic of DLC, and most aim for a window of about two to three months for the first piece of DLC content. This means we should know some details on Fallout 4 DLC soon, with a release likely in February.
In most past Fallout DLC, the player is taken to a world outside the main map area. It’s actually a great thing in my opinion, as it creates more speculation and excitement about DLC. Some downloadable content has been what we would call “local” to the game – in Fallout: New Vegas’ Dead Money, we explored the Sierra Madre Casino. Others have been a world away – Fallout 3’s Operation: Anchorage obviously took place in Alaska (sort of). While some have been, well, weird. You get abducted by aliens in Fallout 3′s Mothership Zeta DLC. Most of the DLC is started after the player receives a radio signal or message, so I’d expect that trend to continue here.
Most of the speculation for Fallout 4 DLC surrounds the coast off of Boston. If you take a look at a map of the Commonwealth on the Pip-Boy, it’s huge. In fact, water probably covers about 1/3 or more of the map space. It’s not empty, either. If you go explore the water, you’ll find all manner of interesting things: sunken boats, large pipes that lead to nowhere, and skeletons in bathtubs. It’s completely conceivable that DLC for Fallout 4 may be aquatic in nature. There are also hints at underwater combat in the files of the game. Among the cut content in Fallout 4, you’ll find a harpoon gun. You can’t obtain the gun in the game without modding it, but it does exist. In fact, it’s allegedly part of a cut quest called “20 Leagues Under the Sea.” There are no details on what this quest may have included, but the harpoon gun indicates there may have been underwater combat planned for Fallout 4 at some point. Does this mean it could be added in the future? It’s possible. Some cut content in core Fallout games has reemerged later in DLC (like the cryo grenades and cryo mines in Mothership Zeta). It’s not uncommon in game development for content that was not ready at launch to be released later as part of DLC.
Poking a hole in the underwater exploration theory, there are no underwater enemies in Fallout 4. In fact, there is nothing living in the water in Fallout 4 – no fish, no whales, no nothing (Mirelurks don’t count, they live on the shoreline). It would be a pretty big jump to add an entire ecosystem to the waters off the Commonwealth. Still, this doesn’t mean aquatic life doesn’t live further out at sea. DLC may bring us to a different location (I make some guesses in the video above), where fish and similar creatures survived the radiation. We actually already have the perfect vehicle to do it, too: the Yangtze submarine. It’s conceivable that Captain Zao could take us to sea. He could also take us somewhere else.
So where could somewhere else be? If you complete the quest “Here There Be Monsters,” Captain Zao gives you homing beacons for tactical nukes in the event you get stuck in a tight spot. He does this, explaining “I do not want to bring the fire home.” Yet he never leaves, and the Yangtze remains in Boston harbor. Why didn’t Bethesda remove the submarine after the quest’s completion? Given the range on the nuclear missiles, Zao could still fire them while at sea, so why does his ship remain? It is possible DLC for Fallout 4 may finally take us to the Chinese homeland? Afterall, we’ve seen a large amount of the ruined United States in the Fallout series. We’ve seen the American side of the story and the impact it has had on the population. It is easy to forget that nobody wins in a world of mutually-assured destruction. Captain Zao regrets his decisions to fire his missiles as ordered. “Such Bei (sadness),” he recalls. Perhaps the Sole Survivor from Vault 111 can find his pre-war passport and travel to China? It’s certainly more down-to-Earth than the story in Mothership Zeta.
Another possibility also has to do with another international player: The United Kingdom. We know next to nothing about how other countries fared after the bombs fell. We would assume Great Britain also suffered a similar fate, but it’s not confirmed. Allistair Tenpenny from Fallout 3 moved the Capital Wasteland from Great Britain after the war seeking fortune. Post-war, Megaton’s Colin Moriarty moved to the U.S. as a child. This sets a precedent. Taking into account the location and history of Boston, what if the Commonwealth faces an invasion from the British, intent on retaking the colonies? I know it’s a stretch, but bear with me here. Boston is the site of the infamous Tea Party. Paul Revere’s house exists in-game. You already have a character named John Hancock. The USS Constitution is sitting on top of a building (and she actually fought the British in the War of 1812). The United Kingdom or nations within it are mentioned or referenced in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3 and its add-on Point Lookout, Fallout: New Vegas and its add-ons Dead Money, Honest Hearts, and Old World Blues, Fallout 4, Fallout Tactics, and Van Buren. The United Kingdom was also to appear in the hypothetical Fallout: Resource Wars. So, it doesn’t seem so far off now, does it? It seems quite possible that the British could send an occupational force, intent on getting in on potential riches in Boston. This could present the player with some interesting choices – help or repel the invasion. It also creates an opportunity to explore history common in the cultural memory of both Americans and Britons. Honestly, it’s too good not to do – and it would have the perfect quest title: “The British Invasion.” Oh – and you know how many lanterns are lit in The Old Church? Two. Just like in Paul Revere’s days, the British may be coming – by sea.
Regardless of where DLC takes place, there are a few things we’re guaranteed to see: New characters, new weapons, new armor, new power armor, and new mods for all of them. Previous expansions to Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas included a plethora of new gear for players to take with them into the Wasteland. I’d also wager we’ll see new items for building in our settlements. At the E3 2015 presentation, developers said the structures in Fallout 4 work because of its dynamic game engine – so it shouldn’t be difficult to give us Institute buildings or some other assets to play with.
What do you think about our predictions? What are yours? Let us know in the comments.
We will keep you posted on developments of Fallout 4 DLC as soon as they are released.