The main story takes place in the year 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and 210 years after \"The Great War\", which caused catastrophic nuclear devastation across the United States. The player assumes control of a character referred to as the \"Sole Survivor\", who emerges from a long-term cryogenic stasis in Vault 111, an underground nuclear fallout shelter. After witnessing the murder of their spouse and kidnapping of their son, the Sole Survivor ventures out into the Commonwealth to search for their missing child. The player explores the game's dilapidated world, completes various quests, helps out factions, and acquires experience points to level up and increase the abilities of their character. New features to the series include the ability to develop and manage settlements and an extensive crafting system where materials scavenged from the environment can be used to craft drugs and explosives, upgrade weapons and armor, and construct, furnish and improve settlements. Fallout 4 also marks the first game in the series to feature full voice acting for the protagonist.
The story begins in 2077 in Sanctuary Hills, located near Concord, Massachusetts. The player character is at home with their spouse (Nate or Nora depending on the player character's gender), their son Shaun, and Codsworth, a robotic butler. A Vault-Tec representative admits the family into Vault 111, the local fallout shelter. Moments later, a news bulletin warns of an incoming nuclear attack as nukes have already hit New York City and Philadelphia, triggering the civil defense sirens and general panic. As the detonation occurs, the family evacuates to the Vault, where they are tricked into entering cryogenic tubes and frozen alive. After an unknown number of years, they are reawakened by two strangers, who murder the player's spouse and kidnap Shaun. The player is put back into cryogenic sleep and awakens again when the life support system malfunctions. The player, nicknamed the \"Sole Survivor\" of Vault 111, vows to avenge their spouse's death and find Shaun.
The initial plans for Fallout 4 were formed in 2009, when director Todd Howard wanted to explore the world of Fallout before the bombs fell. Thus, a team began production on the game that year, including Istvan Pely, lead artist of Fallout 3, after finishing that game's downloadable content (DLC). Meanwhile, development on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim had Bethesda's full attention, and after that game released in 2011, the studio continued to regularly support it until 2013 with updates and DLC. After that content was finished, Fallout 4 entered full production from mid-2013 to mid-2015.
Fallout 4 became available for pre-order following the product announcement. In addition to the standard edition of the game, there is a collector's edition which includes a wearable replica of the Pip-Boy. This is able to house a smartphone device, which can run the second screen functionality of the game. As a pre-order bonus for the Windows version of the game, an announcer pack featuring the voice of Mister Handy was released for the multiplayer online battle arena game, Dota 2, developed by Valve. Bethesda announced that Fallout 4 had gone gold on October 23, 2015. The game was released for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 10, 2015. 1e1e36bf2d