If you're playing Fallout 4 on PC, you can beta test the new Survival Mode now on Steam. This is different than the Survival difficulty level. Survival difficulty makes you weaker, enemies tougher, and increases the chance for legendary enemy appearances and legendary loot drops.
Survival Mode, however, brings in a host of changes that helped make Fallout: New Vegas famous. In Fallout 4, there are four major pillars for Survival Mode (and I'm paraphrasing here, but):
1. Strategy: Make tougher decisions about when to fight and when to run.
2. Exploration: Slow down, smell roses.
3. Resource Management: Remove stuff there's too much of.
4. Role Playing: Increase real-world issues.
How did developer Bethesda tackle thos pillars? In Survival Mode:
- Can only save by sleeping in a bed; bed types limit the amount and quality of sleep you can get.
- No more fast travel.
- Deal more damage, but suffer more damage.
- Threats no longer display on the compass; and locations of interest don't show up on the compass until you're closer, too.
- Adrenaline is a new Perk that adds 5% bonus damage (accumulative up to 50%) for every five kills.
- Exhaustion, Hunger, and Thirst are survival meters to deal with beyond Radiation. Also, things you eat can also hurt you differently than some foods' radiation output.
- Fatigue comes from mostly being tired, but affects your action points, whereas radiation affects your hit points.
- Illness and antibiotics are now a thing. Chems may immediately give you an illness beyond addiction. And Stimpaks are no longer a cure-all miracle drug.
- Items that cleanse you of Rads now make you tired and damage your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness! Gah!
- Slower healing from Stimpaks and food.
- Crippled limbs won't auto-heal after combat. They remained crippled until you use a Stimpak or sleep it off.
- Your total carry weight is reduced, your ammo now has weight (which varies by caliber), and Stimpaks have weight, too.
- Being overencumbered reduces your Wellness and eventually cripples your legs.
- Carry weight for companions is reduced, and they'll go back home if they're downed in combat and you don't heal them with a Stimpak.
- Locations that repopulate with bad guys and loot repopulate much slower now.
That's a lot to take in. But that's not all. Bethesda didn't want to show it's whole hand, so it promises even more stuff that hasn't been gone over in the Bethesda Blog.
Fallout 4 is one of the best games of 2015. Stay tuned for our review of Automatron, the first piece of DLC from the Fallout 4 Season Pass.