Long read: What might the ultimate character creator look like?

Baldur's Gate 3, Street Fighter and Lost Ark developers discuss.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Fallout 4 gameplay… lots of it

Character creation! VATS! Crafting! Building! More!

Todd Howard, game director of Bethesda Game Studios, took to the stage at E3 to show off Fallout 4 gameplay.

BGS, Howard said, started work on Fallout 4 in 2009 after wrapping up Fallout 3.

The game begins before the bombs fall in Fallout's post-apocalyptic world, on a Saturday morning.

The character creation looks impressive: you sculpt your character's face while looking at your reflection in the mirror. You can play as a man or woman - and yes, your character is voiced, a first for a BGS game.

In your kitchen you chat with your robot assistant Codsworth (BGS recorded over 1000 names for Codsworth to call you). Your character narrates as you explore and look at objects. Fallout 4 generates a baby based on the couple you make.

A Vault-Tec salesman knocks on the door. You answer, and fill in your character sheet in the process. Howard said you can view conversations in first or third-person, picking dialogue options your character turns into voice over. You can walk away from dialogue at any point.

It's here you see a bomb threat report on the telly. You, along with your wife/husband and baby, then make a break for Vault 111.

Howard wouldn't reveal much about what happens next, but the player emerges from Vault 111 200 years later as the sole survivor. Cryo sleep, perhaps?

Cover image for YouTube videoFallout 4 Gameplay - E3 2015 Bethesda Conference - Character creation, combat and VATS

We see Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic Boston, built using BGS' "next-gen version of our Creation Engine".

You reunite with Codsworth and team up with a dog, who you can order about by pointing at things in the environment.

The V.A.T.S system returns, so you can pause the action to target enemy body parts. There's a new Pip-Boy, which revealed a layered armour system as well as mini-games inspired by Donkey Kong and Missile Command.

Howard revealed BGS has made a real Pip-Boy, which comes with the Fallout 4 Collector's Edition. It's made an app for it, too, which is, essentially, a working Pip-Boy menu interface. You slot your phone in the real Pip-Boy then run around like you're in a wasteland. This app is due out on iOS and Android devices when Fallout 4 comes out on 10th November 2015.

Meanwhile, Howard showed off eye-catching creation features for Fallout 4. You can scrap items from the world and turn them into materials you can use to build structures and even settlements. You can build your own terminals that hook up to a working power grid. You'll need to build defensive items like turrets, too, because your settlement will get attacked by raiders. There are many large sites in the game world in which you can build, Howard said.

There's also weapon crafting, hinted at by Fallout 4's debut trailer. You can even modify your own Power Armour. The game includes over 50 base weapons and over 700 mods. Check out crafting in the video below.

Cover image for YouTube videoFallout 4 Crafting Gameplay - E3 2015 Bethesda Conference - Build your own settlement