When Todd Howard and his team at Bethesda Game Studios set out to work on “Fallout 4,” the latest in a series set in a post-apocalyptic United States, they looked at how people experience open world games.
“It’s really about understanding how people think about video games, how they experience the world and making that reward them as best as possible,” Howard said.
Thursday’s launch party also spared no expense. Held in a warehouse in downtown L.A., buildings were erected to resemble wasteland settlements and custom “Fallout” drinks were served along with In-N-Out burgers and fries, an entire candy shop with endless options for the taking, and a celebration of National Doughnut Day with more frosted and unfrosted baked goods than you could count.
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Attendees, including Halle Berry, Kaley Cuoco, January Jones, Chrissy Teigen, Lynda Carter and ZeniMax Media’s Robert A. Altman, Scott Porter and Robbie Amell, braced for the coming apocalypse of “Fallout 4” with musical performances by Calvin Harris, Walk the Moon and Bloc Party.
Set in the wasteland in and around Boston called the Commonwealth, “Fallout 4” lets players do what they want and explore how they want. Explorers of the wasteland will be able to hunt raiders and uncover the secrets of the mysterious Institute, help the people of Diamond City (a settlement built inside the remains of Fenway Park) or spend all your time building your own settlement and weapons.
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That ability to engage more directly is what CBS President and CEO and member of ZeniMax Media Board of Directors Leslie Moonves said separates games from other media.
“It’s clear that games are blowing up,” Moonves said. “This is an engagement. When you read a comic book you’re not involved, when you play ‘Fallout’ you are.”
Courtenay Taylor, who provides the voice of the female survivor, said “A lot of women play games and a lot of men don’t want to play as men, they want to play as something different. That’s the beauty of gaming, you can design your player character to be nothing like you. I don’t want to do a husky voiced brunette chick, I want to do something completely different than what I wake up and do everyday. It’s important to have all those options for people who don’t want to play as themselves or who do want to play as themselves and want to be represented.”
|Kaley Cuoco, ZeniMax Media CEO Robert A. Altman, Chrissy Teigen and Halle Berry at the “Fallout 4” launch party
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Bethesda