(Pocket-lint) - It is perhaps surprising that Fallout 4 is scheduled for a November release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, mainly because even though we are in August already, Bethesda still didn't allow us to get actual hands-on time with the forthcoming role-player.
Instead we were treated to an extended trailer of gameplay that basically showed the skill sets that will be available to characters and the vast array of weapons in the game. We were sat in a darkened room with 50 or so others while footage rolled and the whole thing lasted no more than about 15 minutes.
But we're not really complaining. Indeed, even though we witnessed pre-recorded video captured from an anonymous developer's experiences, we're still extremely excited by the idea of spending most of Christmas trudging around post apocalyptic landscapes. And we're not talking about Westfield shopping centre.
Fallout 4 looks simply stunning. The gameplay clips we witnessed mainly cut from battle to battle and concentrated on the combat elements, which stay true to the previous two games, but the vistas and interior locations have such detail and vibrancy that there is no mistaking that this is an episode designed for the new generation of gaming.
- Got a new PS5? This is how to save 50% on a year's PlayStation Plus subscription (US accounts) (promo)
The landscapes are beautiful and like with Fallout 4 and New Vegas we can already sense that there will be almost as much fun just exploring as there is following the storyline.
We also say that combat is familiar but Bethesda has revealed that the shooting mechanic has been dramatically improved over the Xbox 360 prequels. We won't know for sure until we actually get to play for ourself, but it looked a little more fluid on the Gamescom demo.
The other element shown during the video roll was how the perk system has been improved. You can now unlock perks and skills on a new visual tree that looks a bit like mobile game Fallout Vault. Assigning points to different basic statistics, such as strength, charisma, etc, will allow you to then unlock all the traits under that column. These include favourites such as gory kills, and there are 200 such traits in total to give your character all manner of customisation options.
Bethesda has also revealed that there is no capped level in the game, so you can keep progressing throughout, playing the game at your own pace and in your own style.
The publisher also claimed that the main story is only a small part of the experience, with over 400 hours of gameplay in total and the ability to just keep playing and explore new things throughout its lifetime.
Fallout 4 will be available from 10 November and will surely be a contender for game of the year in many polls. At least, from what we've seen rather than played so far.