Why Fallout 4 Is Set in Boston

"We felt that Boston has the right mix of American history and high-tech."

105 Comments

This year's post-apocalyptic role-playing game Fallout 4 is set in Boston. But why did Bethesda Game Studios choose Beantown for its setting? During a panel presentation today at E3 2015, game director Todd Howard offered an explanation, albeit a brief one.

"We debated for a while," Howard said, though he did not name any cities that were also in the running.

Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic Fenway Park
Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic Fenway Park

As for why Bethesda ultimately chose Boston, Howard pointed out that Fallout 3 contained references to the New England city, so going there with a full game was a logical next step. He also said that Boston's mix of history and technology (this robot dog was built in Boston) makes it a good fit.

"We had had some seeds in Fallout 3. And we felt that Boston has the right mix of American history and high-tech," Howard said. "It's very good for Fallout."

Fallout 4 lead designer Emil Pagliarulo, who grew up in Boston, added, "There's a richness and a flavor to the city." He went on to say that playing the game has made him feel homesick.

Fallout 4 launches in November for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. We learned a lot more about the game this week at E3; check out some of the big stories below.

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Avatar image for W4rl0ck
W4rl0ck

Should have been in Texas.

Trailer: Every things is bigger in Texas....even the super mutants.

Avatar image for JDFS
JDFS

@W4rl0ck: No.

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

@W4rl0ck: Mutant Armadillos man......big armored hulks with spikes that try to ram you.....that'd be a hell of a fight.....

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@W4rl0ck: There's always the "New" spin-off. I liked New Vegas more than 3 anyway.

Avatar image for bogart3011
bogart3011

@Barighm: It helped that NV was an actual sequel to 1 and 2.

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liquidfocus1

Oh this looks like it's going to be a time vampire in such a good way!

Avatar image for deactivated-5c60a3d1c2911

Fallout L.A. Next. I want to see the beginnings of the NCR.

Avatar image for ratchet500000
ratchet500000

@EliOli: Already been there in F1 and F2. A remaster wouldn't be a bad idea though.

Avatar image for Attitude2000
Attitude2000

@ratchet500000: Yeah I've read up on the history of the first two games, which made me appreciate New Vegas more. I'm sure New England is great for Fallout end everything, but I would love to see a Bethesda Game Studios game set in the west with NCR storylines and as @EliOli mentioned, perhaps the Boneyard.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c60a3d1c2911

@ratchet500000: Ah... Never played those, but that makes sense.

Avatar image for noobertosolano
NoobertoSolano

Too bad it will look nothing like Boston!

Avatar image for rapanbub
Rapanbub

@noobertosolano: Nukes will do that to you mate.

Avatar image for noobertosolano
NoobertoSolano

@raptor1998: It will look like Fallout 3, Fallout Vegas, they all look the same, because that's what I expect from Bethesda, hope to be proven wrong though.

Avatar image for rapanbub
Rapanbub

@noobertosolano: I thought you were speaking geographically abouit Boston lol and come on now. It's been almost 8 years since Fallout 3. It has gotten better.

Avatar image for noobertosolano
NoobertoSolano

@raptor1998: Technically most of the city structures would still be intact after a nuclear fallout, so the excuse of nuclear wasteland with new settlements makes little sense, you know Bethesda will not recreate Boston, there will be a few landmarks placed here and there amidst it's indistinguishable surrounding to remind us that we are actually playing Fallout Boston lol.

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Rapanbub

@noobertosolano: I agree on most except the part where most of the buildings would be intact. That I say no to. Boston wasn't hit hard as D.C but a nuke will rip everything to shreds. Just one oughta do the trick.

Avatar image for Bond_Villain
Bond_Villain

Waiting for Fallout 5 : Hong Kong.

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streamline

@Bond_Villain: I prefer Tokyo or Moscow, but HK would be neat.

Avatar image for bogart3011
bogart3011

@streamline: It'd be interesting to see, but I don't think it'd be Fallout anymore. Besides just the locales, one of the central pillars of Fallout is the aesthetic; the art, music and mentality of 1950's Americana. That wouldn't really be in place somewhere else.

Avatar image for streamline
streamline

@bogart3011: good points. I was just thinking of the architecture and history.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

yea really it had to be Boston, there's little to no reference to other city's in fallout 3. i (TBH) thought Chicago was viable, its been told that the enclave did set up post at illinois, would be interesting.

Avatar image for RELeon
RELeon

Can't wait for them to actually make one set in Chicago. Chicago is referenced in every single Fallout game. It would be nice to actually see it at some point.

Avatar image for Attitude2000
Attitude2000

@RELeon: I agree

Avatar image for satsubatsu347
satsubatsu347

I thought the decision for Bethesda to make east coast centric fallout games stems from the original agreement between Bethesda and Interplay. That "the west coast belongs to Interplay/Black Isle/Obsidian but Bethesda can have the east coast/rest of the USA because... Who really cares? Westside!" type thing.

Also, I think Todd Howard said messing with the west coast would alienate people that loved Fallout before it got crammed onto a buggy engine (paraphrasing).

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@satsubatsu347: the buggy engine made the games epic tho, i loved spazing body's, rotating heads, flying death-claws, walking dead people. that's what makes the game so epic.

Avatar image for satsubatsu347
satsubatsu347

@neowarrior793: totally! It was especially epic when my ps3 would grind to a stop and make it unplayable.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@satsubatsu347: i loved when that happens, made me wanna play again.

Avatar image for satsubatsu347
satsubatsu347

@neowarrior793: I know, right!?

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

So how do you guys feel about the game being set in Boston? Me I find it kind of odd but I guess in the end it won't matter because I really feel the setting in these games don't really seem to affect gameplay or the story very much

Avatar image for vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Man, I can't wait for a Tale of Three Wastelands. ~grin~

Avatar image for JRLennis
JRLennis

Hmmm... First we see a ruined Boston in The Last of Us, and now we're seeing it again in Fallout 4. What gives?

Avatar image for Marky360
Marky360

@JRLennis:

That was Boston in the last of Us?

Avatar image for Relvar
Relvar

@JRLennis: Boston is only any good in ruins...

Avatar image for logangta5
LoganGTA5

@Relvar: Boston in ruins, just like their baseball team.

Avatar image for Taegre
Taegre

With this setting, Fallout 4 tackles two target demographics at once: People living in Boston, and people everywhere else that want to nuke Boston.

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

@Taegre: Hmm never thought of it that way :)

Avatar image for bulletmagnetman
BulletMagnetMan

I'm betting: Fallout 5. Australia. Mad Max origins edition.

Avatar image for bulletmagnetman
BulletMagnetMan

Let's hope all the characters don't have Boston accents otherwise no one outside of the US will be able to understand a word they're saying.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@bulletmagnetman said:

no one outside of the US will be able to understand a word they're saying.

nobody outside of the US understands what ANY Americans are saying.

Avatar image for mistam
mistam

@neowarrior793: Obviously, your first comment was even dumber than gamebanger23's. You're just using him as a means to launch your weird monologue.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@mistam: yea you keep being that deluded

Avatar image for gamebanger23
gamebanger23

@neowarrior793:

Yet you seem to be communicating in American just fine right now.. Another America basher, all the while hypocritically playing American video games, set in American cities.. Probably listen to American music.. Watch American movies.. Just like a large percentage of the worlds population, yet you still gotta bag on Pax Americana. You probably got ur ass kicked in recess a whole bunch, huh ?

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@gamebanger23: "communicating in American just fine right now" that's not even a thing, FYI we are typing in English right now. Its about the only thing the Americans haven't butchered yet but they seems to be trying judging from your comment. I find the American video games you speak of as funny as hell, as more people play Japanese and Australian games more then American games.

Then you say I listen to "American music", hell no, I listen to music from all over the world thank you, i'm not as ignorant as much as you are deluded.

"American movies" is not a thing either, most movies use many different sets from all around the world. Just because an american company makes it it dosnt make it an american movie if most of the set is in New Zealand, UK, Russia or any other major countries that they use these days.

"Just like a large percentage of the worlds population" you do know china who has the worlds biggest population watch their own movies, they dont watch american movies because guess what, they can't. The fact that many non-english speaking counties dont watch your movies either makes you very wrong indeed.

finally i'm 6.4 and I lived next to a gym, you really think someone of my size would "get their ass kicked", unlike in America you need an actaul reason to start a fight. we dont have the gun gun shoot shoot mentality your broken country has,

Avatar image for bogart3011
bogart3011

@neowarrior793: "finally i'm 6.4 and I lived next to a gym,"

Look out guys, we've got a bada$$ over here.

"unlike in America you need an actaul reason to start a fight. we dont have the gun gun shoot shoot mentality your broken country has,"

Nice grammar. If you stop buying into the media spin for a moment, you'd be able to research for yourself and see that in America, Alzheimer's kills more people than guns ever year. That Murder isn't even in the top 15 causes of death. You'd even be able to figure out that gun violence in the United States has dropped by 50% since 1993 alone, and that violent crime in this country is the lowest it's been since the 1960s.

It's fine if you want to believe in the narrative of this country being awash in a psychotic orgy of blood and violence, but it's not particularly grounded in reality.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@bogart3011: yea and you still have some gun violence, your county loves guns, thats why you have them. its not because you need to "defend yourself", its not because you can overthrow your government if you think its corrupt (like the point of that amendment right was made for as well as defeating yourself). its an obsession that makes no sense, if your THAT paranoid that someones going to shoot you every 5 minutes, then nobody should live there. lets note that Canada stopped guns in that country and oww look there was very little gun violence at all. dont try and defend something that is fundamentally wrong with "what if" scenarios and "rights" that are out of date and makes no sense.

Avatar image for Wraith3
Wraith3

Oh GS comments section you never fail to amuse.

I agree it wouldn't make sense to have Fallout outside the US since that's the whole point of the franchise. No problem with Canada though since it was annexed...

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

@Wraith3: That retro American culture is so tied into the lore, style, attitudes, the everything of the series, yes :).

Avatar image for velcroboy
velcroboy

@hystavito @Wraith3: Also Vault-Tec was an American corporation funded by the American government. As far as we know, there weren't any vaults built outside of the states. Not that another government couldn't have had the same idea, we've just never been told about it, (that I'm aware of.)