Fallout 5 seems to be an inevitability, even without Bethesda making any announcements. The Fallout series is massively popular, and after Fallout 76‘s lackluster performance, a new title on everyone’s minds would be beneficial to the series. That said, it will likely be a long time before anything concrete is released. Bethesda has other big projects in progress, and a game of this scale needs a significant amount of time and effort. That effort will hopefully improve one special part of Fallout‘s gameplay: character creation.
Fallout 4‘s character creator was already robust in terms of facial features and range of customization. However, there are options beyond facial features that could make the gaming experience more inclusive and immersive.
Characters For Everyone
More games are starting to embrace genderless character creation. The trailer for Splatoon 3 implies that the player character doesn’t have a male/female gender setting, and the player characters in Animal Crossing: New Horizons have some gendered “styles” but aren’t necessarily gendered in-game. It’s an easy way to allow a broader spectrum of gender expression in-game. Gender-locked features or outfits are typically an inconvenience at best, and exclusive at worst.
When it comes to non-binary gender options in games, it’s not as hard to implement as it may initially seem. While there is some general compatibility work required in the background, a removal of the hard barrier between male/female routes and allowing players to choose their own pronouns would be the main factors in broadening the gender spectrum. In Fallout 4, Codsworth was able to recognize and read from a long list of potential player names. Using a similar system for pronouns could work as well.
One other customizable feature that could receive more attention in Fallout 5 is body type; while Fallout 4 did have sliders for body type, it was not as elaborate as the facial options. There were only three main body types in a triangle slider. With more customizability, players can get even more creative with their character designs.
The Value Of Immersion
The Fallout games rely heavily on immersion as large-scale RPGs. Players will stick with their character for many hours, making that initial character creation significantly important to the rest of their experience. Many gamers create versions of themselves in their characters, so opening up more gender and body type options will invite more players to express their own identities in the game.
Fallout 5 may be far away, but that just allows for more time for refinement. There is a lot of speculation on what a new title could include, like where the game will be set. As every game has taken place in the United States, it’s likely to keep that pattern. The location of the game may have its own implications for character creation and the identity the main character starts with. No matter what the final game looks like, fans are sure to spend many hours in the character creator just as they have in previous entries, so they deserve more inclusive character creation options.
Fallout 5 is rumored to be in development.