Fallout 4 teaser confirms that the game is set in Boston

The long-held rumor of Bethesda visiting MIT finally pays off.

Mar 1, 2020, 2:26 am*

Internet Culture


Dennis Scimeca

Fallout fans who live in Boston have a lot to be excited for: Fallout 4 takes place in our hometown, and we have the trailer stills to prove it.

Rumors that Boston was the setting for Fallout 4 hail back to apocryphal tales of designers from Bethesda Softworks touring the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory. The game’s Commonwealth, a nation-state born from the ashes of Massachusetts and home of The Institute (known for its scientific advancements in the field of android technology), are part of the Fallout universe, which lent credence to the rumor.

There is a quest in Fallout 3 in which the player has to decide whether or not to out an android who is on the run from agents of The Institute, located in the Commonwealth. Previously, Fallout fans who wanted to believe the Boston rumor had plenty of anecdotal references to lean on. Today it turns out that the rumors are correct, as revealed by Bethesda’s Fallout 4 trailer.

Bethesda Softworks

This is most likely the Bunker Hill Monument, that celebrates a colonial stand against the British Regulars. The colonists lost the fight, but the story of holding out on Breed’s Hill (where the actual battle took place) against overwhelming odds has been a powerful symbol of the American Revolution.

Bethesda Softworks

This is the statue of Paul Revere that currently stands in Boston’s North End. Revere was one of the riders who tore across the countryside west of Boston, to warn the colonial militia that the British were coming to seize and destroy a cache of arms. That British expedition sparked the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the war to follow.

Bethesda Softworks

This is the USS Constitution, the oldest, active vessel in the United States Navy, which is usually docked at the Charlestown Naval Yard. The real USS Constitution doesn’t have the huge steampunk-looking engines at the back, obviously.

Bethesda Softworks

And finally, in the foreground of this skyline shot is the gilded dome of the State House, located in downtown Boston across from the Boston Common, where colonials used to graze their cattle. It’s now a major park in the city.

So, there you have it. The rumors were true. Fallout 4 does take place in Boston, and we can expect further attention to detail in Bethesda’s vision of the post-apocalyptic city. 

Fallout 3 took place in the Capital Wasteland outside Washington, D.C., and the numerous, authentic landmarks in the city were a delight to Fallout fans who live in our nation’s capital.

Illustration via Bethesda Softworks

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*First Published: Jun 3, 2015, 12:32 pm