The Fanatical Blog
The dog that played Fallout 4's Dogmeat has died
By Declan Barry - 28th Jun 2021News
River contributed to one of the best portrayals of a dog companion in a video game
Dogmeat was one of the standout characters in Fallout 4. The loyal companion stood by our side as we journeyed through the post-apocalyptic wasteland, however, owner Joel Burgess confirmed over the weekend that the dog who played the pawesome character has sadly died.
Joel spoke about the German Shepherd, River, and her impact on the game in a detailed thread on Twitter, first mentioning that she wasn't in line to play the character. But the dev's dog soon made the cut ahead of "professional" dogs.
Her markings not only contributed to the character's looks but also worked really well for the 'pose read' and 'facial expressions' when developing the game. It wasn't just the looks of River that contributed to Dogmeat's character, the audio was also done by the canine. "For audio, we wanted to avoid stock libraries as much as possible. This was tricky, especially w/distress calls. The only way we could get these was to separate us - I'd have to stand in an adjacent room where she could smell but not reach me, until she started calling out." Joel recalls.
Dogmeat won CW's Top Video Game Dog of 2015 as her performance and the dev team's hard work combining to make an iconic character that resonated with many dog lovers. Part of this was due to the way combat was portrayed in-game, as Joel likens River's personality to the way they handled his combat in Fallout 4