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Fallout 4: Release date, gameplay and everything else you need to know

Here's everything you need to know about Fallout 4.

The apocalypse is nigh! Fallout 4 will soon be arriving on a PC or console near you, bringing us the latest chapter in the storied franchise. Have some questions? Let's get to them.

What is Fallout 4? And when can I get it?

Oh, man -- should I feel sorry you've missed out? Or jealous you get to experience it all for the first time? Fallout tells the story of an alternate (hopefully) future, where the world has been decimated by nuclear fire. The game takes place in and around Boston in the far-flung future, about 200 years after the Great War than snuffed out civilization.

The originals (Fallout and Fallout 2) were classic turn-based role-playing games for the PC. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas took the series for a next-generation, first-person shooter spin. If you want the full history lesson, we've got you covered.

The game will be released on November 10, 2015 -- you can grab it on PC, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, but look for our full review right here, soon.

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Bethesda

Do you just shoot stuff? I mean, I just got Black Ops 3 ...

Sort of? It is a first-person shooter, and there'll be plenty of combat: the post-apocalyptic wasteland is full of heavily armed Super Mutants, berserk zombie-esque Ghouls, berserk robots, and plenty of bandits and assorted ne'er do wells who want to part you from your stuff.

But it's still a role-playing game at heart. You'll undertake quests to establish order (or chaos) in the Wasteland, make new friends and foes, and generally just explore. There's also crafting, if that's more your speed.

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Bethesda

Crafting? I like making stuff...

The series has always featured lots of assorted junk lying around, and you can use some of it to spruce up your gear. That might mean making a gun a little meaner, or some armor a bit tougher. Fallout 4 is also adding the ability to build buildings and settlements -- including a cozy little shack for Dogmeat.

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Bethesda

Wait -- what's a Dogmeat?

Dogmeat is your canine companion in Fallout 4. It's also a thinly veiled reference to Mad Max's companion in the movie "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior." He made his first appearance in Fallout, but there were companions with the same name in Fallout 2 and Fallout 3.

It sounds like there's no multiplayer. What do I do when I'm done?

Done? With Fallout? Wow, I guess that's possible, once you've waded through all of the sidequests and explored every locale. But if you're looking for more content, Fallout's developer has pledged to deliver free updates to the game as time passes. There will be downloadable content you can buy, starting next year -- if you pick up a Season Pass, you can preorder all of the DLC that'll ever be released.

And let's not forget the mods! The developer will release the latest version of the Creation Kit sometime in 2016. It's the tool they use to make the game, and it's generally released at some point with games (Skyrim and Fallout 3, for example) so that modders can get to work expanding and adding new content. I'm still playing Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim thanks entirely to the insanely prolific modding community, and we can expect great things to come here.

And what's a Pip-Boy?

In the Fallout series, the Pip-Boy is a wrist-worn computer that the character always stumbles across in the Fallout series. You'll use it to keep track of quests, your inventory, and your stats.

In the real world, the Pip-Boy is a totally sweet and only a little bit dumb and gimmicky collectible item. A select few of us who forked over a little too much money a few months ago for the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition will proudly wear these clunky plastic monstrosities on our wrists, using our smartphones and a Pip-Boy app to interact with the game. And it'll be awesome.

Editors' note: This content originally appeared here .