Everyone expects Fallout 4 to be big--the previous games have boasted sessions that total up more than 100 hours of content thanks to expansive open-world environments and dynamic quest-lines. But no one expected that Fallout 4 has more than 400 hours of play time.
"I've played the game for probably 400 hours, and I'm still finding stuff that I haven't seen," Bethesda Softworks developer Jeff Gardiner told OXM.
We have to remember that devs play games differently than consumers. Developers have assigned tasks and are always looking to recreate bugs or test various elements of the game. And in light of the game's absolutely massive crafting system that lets you literally destroy and erect your own custom buildings, it's possible that a considerable portion of Gardiner's playtime was spent making his own post-apocalyptic town and fighting against incoming raiders.
Imagine spending hours simply deleting and destroying nearby ruins and objects, gathering required materials, and building your very own ramshackle Megaton complete with powered computers, electric fences, turrets and a host of heavily armed townspeople--all to engage in Fallout 4's tower-defense-esque mini-game.
Essentially Bethesda has introduced a distinct Minecraft-esque mechanic here, and we all know how long it can take to make some of those amazing voxel masterpieces. So when we take all of that into consideration, 400 hours might not be such a stretch after all.
The crafting system isn't just huge, it's extremely flexible and dynamic. "It works like this; you can actually scrap items in the world for materials and use those materials to build the way you want. It's all common sense visual stuff. If it doesn't connect to the generator, the power doesn't work," Bethesda's Pete Hines said, highlighting how realistic the system can get. "When you connect stuff to the computer terminal you have a lot of control and sort of fine tuning. If you've got something that plays music, you can actually define how it's playing music."
Hines goes on to say that users will have some help finding the right kind of materials in Fallout 4's expansive open-world: "You can actually flag stuff to say 'I'm looking for this stuff because I want to make this' which means that when you're scavenging, anything that fulfills the requirement gets flagged in the world."
If the claim is authentic and Gardiner has indeed spent 400+ hours actually playing and exploring Fallout 4's irradiated Boston, it really does say something about the game. I myself am assured that the building crafting will indeed soak up a lot of time and serve as a major point of end-game fun. Gamers will undoubtedly spend a huge chunk of time doing silly things like customizing their own lighted signs to add that personal flair to their creations.
Furthermore there's no doubt that playthroughs of RPGs of this nature can last up to 400 hours for some players. User-created mods considerably add to a game's life cycle, and every player experiences games differently--some will spend 10-15 hours just making sure that apples and mutton pies are in their right spots in Skyrim, or even setting out armor sets in alphabetical order in Oblivion.
Sadly Bethesda has affirmed that Fallout 4 won't get mod support until 2016, saying that the game's final state is more important than extra mods. Hopefully Hines is talking about console mod support as previous Fallout games on PC have launched with construction kits--but we don't know if PC and console mod support will be rolling out at the same time.
Although this seems like bad news, Bethesda has said that Fallout 4 was "basically finished" when it debuted at E3 2015. Fallout 4 is expected to release on November 10, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.