I walked through the wasteland with my dog by my side and moved into a new area. My dog barked and I checked out a small shack only for a monster of a scorpion to jump from the ground and launch an attack on us both, narrowly escaping with my Wanderer’s life. It was at this moment I realised how hooked I was and that death here may have meant hours of good exploration had gone to waste. Welcome to this Fallout 4 Review and my thoughts on this massive RPG from Bethesda.
The news Fallout 4 was coming out in 2015 came as quite the surprise when it was announced at E3, but when it hit the stage looking amazing both myself and David Game were totally stunned and thrilled to see a game hold details back, where others tease us for years.
And the final product is here and it really is great as a package, even without being the most graphically stunning game out there. Fallout 4 is a rich, highly rewarding and addictive game that delivers so much for fans and new gamers to the series one of the best packages of 2015.
Look & Feel
From the moment you design your couple at the start of the game you note the details that have been worked into the title. I personally love a good amount of time spent playing with different characters to make my perfect adventurer.
Using the couple and the mirror was a nice trick and, while it didn’t look the best graphically presented game of the year, it did show a lot about what was to come. A game all about little details, clever touches and in depth options rather than lots of flashy graphics with no substance.
Fine by me.
There is a certain grittiness to the presentation of the game, even before you are free in the world to explore. But once you are there it really captures that feeling of being in a wasteland in its look. Everything looks just so dilapidated and there is no question it’s a very well thought out representation of a world devastated by a nuclear detonation.
Where this immersion is somewhat diminished is in the technical performance at times however. I’m playing on Xbox One so my biggest issue isn’t do much slowdown as complete stop. The game stutters occasionally in big buildings and cities, but when areas load it you even spin around a bit fast you can end up locking up for a second before the frame rate kicks in again.
It’s forgivable in a big world, Skyrim suffered in the same way and I still remember it fondly. It does break the immersion of the title though and is Bethesda Softworks’ biggest problem with the title, and something they need to really work on for the next title they develop.
Story & Gameplay
After the mentioned character creation section, you experience a little of life in this 1950s stylised future with your son Shaun, a small baby, and your partner. You can be the male or female in this game so it’s totally you’re decision. Whatever happens, Codsworth will attempt to say your name, even if it’s a rude one, and you’ll eventually need to run for the fallout shelter ad a nuke is on its way.
Tricked into being frozen you end up being the only surviving member of the massive vault and have to look for your son who’s been taken by an unknown group.
As you get out into the wilderness there is the main quest to follow and it’s very worth doing early on but soon the distractions come too much and, it soon becomes one of the least interesting parts of the game. There are good moments of course but it just lacks the same enjoyment that you’ll find in the side missions and just getting into adventures as you wander the wasteland.
And wander you shall, locating new places and new people coming across one of the side missions early on with The Minute Men. This gives you some nice incentive early on so it’s good to take it up and do some missions here. Then you get out into that world and start to carve your own adventure, dipping in and out of story as you choose.
There is a lot to do while you are there bit the first priority has to be defending yourself from the creatures and unfriendly types hanging around the open world. This is generally done by mastering the shooting mechanics that are a little bit shooter and a little bit RPG in their feeling. It’s not an outright shooter and puts the emphasis on more than hitting things with bullets until they are dead.
You can slow down your aim, focusing in on body parts for extra damage in a risk V reward mechanism. You’re given a percentage chance of the hit a how much damage it’ll do and that really is my preferred method of getting shots away. Of course this is optional, you can just shoot things from a first or third person perspective but with the game designed more as an RPG I think this makes more sense as you engage certain enemies.
There’s a tonne of content to GT involved with here, including a huge range of side missions that do a reasonably nice job of keeping the variety together. Then you have the upgrades to your bases around the land and the companions you can have. Weapons and gear can be customised or created with armour and other perks aplenty. It really is the game for the person who wants to go in depth with everything. But avoiding that for the more casual player is still very enjoyable; you just won’t necessarily get the best equipment that way.
Progression and levelling are cool too, I like the perk system and the way you level things based on how you see you character growing. Using the pip-boy to manage your things is a novelty at first and the app is helpful, I just feel free a game is a little slow and clunky. The on screen help is less than helpful at times too but otherwise there isn’t much to criticise here.
Fallout 4 is a great game, outstanding in fact simply due to getting so many little things going just right and combining them into a well thought out package. Not every element is perfect or spectacular bit together they make one of the best games of 2016 and a game anyone can enjoy.