Title: Fallout 4

Platform: Steam, Windows, PS4, Xbox One

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: FPS, RPG

Players: Single player



Written by Bad Demoman 23rd November 2015















It's no surprise to anyone at all that Fallout 4 is an exceptionally good game. In a year with a sequel to Metal Gear Solid, Star Wars Battlefront and Halo it still managed to be many people's most anticipated game of 2015. It's been 7 years since the widely acclaimed Fallout 3, and 5 since New Vegas and its mixed reception. Unfortunately I've no experience with Fallout 1 and 2, so I can't really rate Fallout 4 based on those. So since we know that Fallout 4 is pretty damn great, let's look at why it's so good, what's changed and how it rates against the other Fallout games.

 

One of the most immediately apparent differences is with your character – no longer are you a blank slate. You are in fact fully voice acted. The extensive character creator still allows you to design the face of your choice, although choices seem limited to Hollywood Handsome or Freak Show Ugly, with anything in between taking a whole lot of effort to achieve. A fully voice acted character might've been an issue if Fallout 4 had the same voice acting problems as every other Bethesda game – about 5 amateur-sounding voice actors and character models with the expressive faces of the Slender Man. However, this isn't the case. Fallout 4’s conversations are fluid affairs with believable characters and a new conversation mechanic that's quite similar to that of Mass Effect. Unfortunately, it has some of the same issues as Mass Effect – each conversation option is given a synopsis in a few words for selection, so sometimes you really don't know what you'll get.
























Thankfully it's not too much of an issue, because much to my dismay Fallout 4 doesn't really let you be a bad guy. With the removal of the karma system, any conversation goes pretty much the same no matter how you conduct it unless there’s some speech checks along the way. Sarcastic jerks will likely get the same information and make the same friends that an absolute saint will. I kinda saw this coming when I realized every bit of dialogue my character has would be voice acted, as I'd imagine it simplified things considerably in development to make conversational choices not be too impactful. At the very least, this limited control over the Sole Survivor has allowed him/her to be more fleshed out than previous protagonists, having a backstory and personality beyond “He/she was in a vault, now he/she isn't”.

 

I was concerned at first when I heard reports of the Fallout 4 representation of Post-War Boston being fairly small, hearing reports of it taking ten minutes to cross. While I can't confirm whether it is a ten minute walk, I can definitely assuage any worries about a small world, because the Commonwealth is incredibly dense. Furthermore, it's the most interesting and varied a Fallout wastelands ever been. The Commonwealth can be steeped in mist, soaked in rain or bombarded by radiation storms. Dotted around the world is various settlements which you can help out, and in return they'll help you. In an almost mini-sim city aspect of the game, settlements have needs for food, water and defence. Healthy settlements can be tasked to scavenge for you or farm food that you'll need. Some people get really into this side of Fallout 4. I've seen people create minecraft-scale contraptions but unfortunately I've never been able to get into such things. I made myself a basic workshop for modding weaponry and such and mostly ignored settlements with next to no consequence. If you do happen to help out with settlements, you'll be able to build artillery and call in assistance from nearby settlements, but there's ways to receive similar assistance even without settlements. It's a nice option for those that want it, but not quite my cup of tea.

 

Fallout 4 is probably the best simulation of what it's like to be a scavenger, because you'll want to pick up almost everything. Every single piece of junk that you'd have previously ignored is now a valuable asset – pack rats rejoice! All this junk will be used to build settlements or mod your weapons. All my junk ended up going into modding weapons, which is a system I enjoyed greatly. I used to have a certain attachment to certain weapons in Fallout 3 (I immediately named my first Rifle in Fallout 4 Ol' Painless, for example). This modding system does remove a certain degree of specialness from Unique weapons, as they essentially just have extra passive abilities rather than actually doing more damage. However, you can tailor your weapons to your own personal needs and I ended up attached to my custom made weapons anyway. I like to imagine that my heavily modded weapons are the unique weapons. They can almost have stories of their own, especially with the introduction of Legendary Enemies - “This Hunting Rifle helped me fight off a giant legendary Deathclaw, so I named it Death's End” (please note I didn't use such a cheesy name in my own game, and I'm sure you all can come up with something far more creative and awesome than that!).
























Sometimes, you'll find a particularly great item from a Legendary Enemy that you'll get equally attached to. I've had the same leg piece for most the game, because it slows down time when my health gets low. Obviously there are certain optimal builds – an Assault Rifle is probably better suited to being a fully automatic weapon than a powerful single shot one, but that doesn't mean you can't go down this route. This is particularly apparent with the Laser Rifle and Plasma Rifle, as these can be customized heavily to become completely different weapons. If you somehow managed to secure enough ammo, you could craft yourself a full arsenal of Laser weaponry, from shotguns to sniper rifles. This varied selection of weaponry contributes to a pretty awesome combat system. A basic cover system has been added, where if you aim down your sights while standing by a corner you can peek around the corner. This makes cover considerably less clunky to use, and increasingly safer. Hunting Rifles become less punishing to use when you can pop back behind cover after firing a shot. Even with this addition, I found Fallout 4 to be satisfyingly harder than previous entries. Perhaps it's just how well I knew them, but Fallout 3 and New Vegas felt so easy in comparison.

 

The new stats system is a stickler for some people. Rather than having skill points for each individual skill, instead you've simply got your S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, the main stats that dictate what you're good at, and perks associated with each of the stats. In order to get each perk, you need to have high enough S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats to get that perk. This does tend to level-gate your power in a way. Better perks will need require you to be a certain level, so you won't be able to pick a Master level lock or make the best weapon mods right from the get-go. There seems to be no level cap, so eventually you will be able to get every perk anyway. I personally feel like this is a pretty good system, as Fallout often felt like there were far too many skills and perks that would never be used. Most of the new perks seem like they'll fit at least one kind of build.























 

Fallout 4 is definitely a different beast from previous games, even if sometimes it doesn't seem so. It's a considerably more focussed experience than previous Fallouts, it really knows what it wants to be. But at the same time, this leads to a little less freedom available to you. Of course, there is one area where it definitely follows on from its predecessor - the land of glitches, which all Bethesda games seem to reside in. Thankfully I’ve had nothing too game breaking yet, mostly physics freaking out a bit and killing me with the occasional flying car. Fallout 3 still tops it for me, but given that Fallout 3 is in my list of best games ever, I expected that. In spite of the differences, Fallout 4 is an exceptional game that's eaten up a considerable amount of my time lately, and I barely feel like I've scratched the irradiated surface.

 

Pros:

World dense with content,

Fluid conversational system,

Improved combat upon previous games.

 

Cons:

Lack of freedom in conversation,

Some may prefer old stats system.


Final verdict,
Fallout 4 gets a radioactive 9/10.


Written by,

Bad Demoman




    
















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