When the upcoming “Fallout 4” was formally announced last week — the role-playing game’s development hasn’t been a secret — it brought me back to a different series: “Grand Theft Auto.” Specifically, it reminded me of playing “GTA IV” and being blown away by how authentically it captured different sections of New York City (called “Liberty City”), from Brighton Beach to Washington Heights. “Man, I wish someone would make a Boston version of ‘GTA,’ ” I thought at the time.
I’ll get my wish, sort of, with “Fallout 4.” The announcement and three-minute accompanying trailer, which dropped on Wednesday and quickly went viral, confirmed what’s been known for a while: The game takes place in a post-nuclear-apocalypse Boston.
The video is a wonderfully done sequence that intercuts the final moments of suburban tranquility in an alternate-1950s setting (there’s a floating robot helping to get breakfast ready) with shots of a dog wandering through those same settings in the aftermath of the destruction. Overall, it seems the developer, Bethesda Game Studios, will be sticking with the unique aesthetic and tone of 2008’s “Fallout 3” — nuclear apocalypse with a spoonful of zany Saturday-morning cartoon — which is a very good thing.
The trailer includes a bunch of Boston landmarks — the Bunker Hill Monument, the golden-domed State House, Fenway Park, the USS Constitution (it’s landlocked atop a pile of rubble and has some weird futuristic-looking engine affixed to it), and the Paul Revere statue near the Old North Church. At the very end of the three-minute video, a stoic-looking male character in a sci-fi outfit — wearing what looks like a Pip-Boy 3000, the famous arm-computer device from “Fallout 3” that served as the in-game interface — pets the dog and says “Let’s go, pal.” They’re off, and presumably not to a Sox game.
It’s hard not to salivate at the possibilities of doing battle in a post-nuclear Boston. I want — and it would be shocking if the developers didn’t include — an epic confrontation on the diamond at Fenway, or what’s left of it. I want to fight mutants up and down MIT’s Infinite Corridor. I want to make the short in-game walk to the Massachusetts Avenue bridge and see what’s left of the downtown skyline.
Or how about being stalked through The Fens? Oh, man — there has to be a tense sequence where you’re floating on a boat down the Charles, beset by enemies on both the Cambridge and Boston sides, right?
“Fallout 3” from 2008 is one of the most beloved, referenced, talked-about games ever, so this will be a treat for Boston gamers. To have its sequel take place in our fair city — even if it means leveling most of our fair city in a simulated nuclear holocaust — is a weird sort of honor.
Part of why this is exciting is that in “Fallout 3,” the action extended from Washington, D.C., to Maryland and northern Virginia. There’s no reason to think Bethesda will give us a version of Boston that only runs from Faneuil Hall to Fenway. This will likely be a big game with all sorts of settings. The release date, which hasn’t been announced yet, can’t get here soon enough, not just for fans of the series, but especially those from Boston.
Jesse Singal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.