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Fallout 4 is coming out this year — here's what you need to know

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Part Dead Rising, part Minecraft — all on November 10th

It seems like only yesterday we got our first confirmation that Fallout 4 existed (seven years of unofficial anticipation notwithstanding). And now on the eve of E3 2015, Bethesda is giving us a real look at the game. More importantly, a release date: November 10th, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. In additional to the regular game, there will be a collector's edition featuring a "working" Pip-Boy (provided you use your own mobile device).

Fallout 4 starts just before the apocalypse — "on a beautiful Saturday morning." This is where you build your character, looking into a bathroom mirror while your significant other looks on (you can choose to play as male or female), and unlike past Fallout games, your character has a voice of his or her own. The majority of game itself, however, takes place 200 years later, and based on what we're seeing, it looks like you can get a dog companion fairly early on.

Read next: Our guide to the best games of Fall 2015

Howard claims the game — which is confirmed to take place in Boston — will be one of the developer's biggest yet. Fallout 4 is running a new version of the Creation Engine, and the abundance of environmental detail is clear. We didn't see a lot in the way of characters except for the main character (which looked pretty good), and a pre-apocalypse salesman (which didn't).

Players will be able to explore the wilderness, complete quests, and visit towns in standard RPG fashion, but Fallout 4 also adds the ability to build your own homestead. Players can scavenge wood, metal, and other materials to build houses, starting out small with shacks, but eventually kitting out their new settlements with color-changing lights, guard towers, stalls for traveling merchants, and sentry guns. The more you build, the more people will move in — and the more likely you will be to attract raiders. World-building is entirely optional, by the way, if you just want to focus on a story.

It's not just buildings you can construct. There are more than 50 base weapons you can build — and 700 different modifications for both weapons and armor. Some of the weapon / armor combinations we saw definitely play up the absurdism more than in the last Fallout (think: Dead Rising).

Some other notable additions: the new in-game Pip-Boy now lets you play "game tapes" (think: classic games like Donkey Kong with a Fallout twist) and out in the real world, Bethesda is also releasing an actual Pip-Boy mobile app that you can slot into a physical Pip-Boy (it comes with the Fallout 4 collector's edition, but the app works just fine without it).

Bethesda is teasing a lot of "new" for the game but says it's trying to avoid spoiling any story details beyond the character-building basics. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long to explore the wasteland — after working "very, very hard" on Fallout 4 for the last four years, the game is now just months away from release.