Fallout 4 Review
Fallout is a no holds barred adventure wasteland that holds no prisoners, you are confronted by mystery and intrigue as you travel across this barren country, trying to complete missions and defeat enemies that will not think twice about destroying you in a second. Your favourite post apocalyptic nightmare is back and my my my its looking hotter than it ever before. You start your adventure at your 195os-esque home in Boston, it’s a peaceful morning and all seems well. You get the sense of what life would be like in the 50s with the added addition of a robot butler who provides some interestingly upbeat banter, the american dream is in full swing. The first step tp starting you new life in Fallout is to customise your characters appearance, the customisation system isn’t just good, its fantastic. You can change every aspect of your character from pock marks on your face, facial hair, nose size, to his/her body size, its very intuitive.
Life is good, you have a baby, a wife and the all american dream, until a distressful television broadcast comes in, cities have been wiped out by Nuclear explosions and it seems to be spreading across all of America. Your family is rushed outside, there’s panic in the streets, you neighbours are packing others are heading in the direction of what seems like your only saviour, the underground Vault built for such an event. You arrive at the vault just in time to see a nuclear explosion go off close by (even at this impending devastation you cant help but stop and look at the terrifying mushroom cloud). This will be your home for the next 200 years as you spend that time in a frozen cryogenic sleep until you are woken up in 2277.
You wake to find the Vault empty and your Son has been kidnapped, the world around you is in complete ruin and reeling from the nuclear fallout and centuries of radiation poisoning, the once great city of Boston is in ruin and this is your home for better or worse. Fenway Park’s grounds are now inhabited by a bunch rag tag civilians that play host to underground crime rings in the newly named Diamond City, as you start, your focus in solely on your son and getting him back in your arms as quick as you can, after a while of being drawn into this hell-on-earth’s nightmare and innocent citizens problems you start to play a pivotal role in the social and political landscape even if you like it or not. Your wrong or right doings now start to effect others and the way in which they react to you, this RPG element of Fallout is what we know and love, you have the option to align yourself with certain factions to complete missions and climb the social ladder.
As with every Bethesda RPG style game you can happily complete all the story missions in one fowl swoop or you can do what most of us have and dive into the hundreds of fantastically written side quests that will drag and pull you all over the now named Commonwealth, its very easy to be drawn into these side quests that will take you from A to B but getting from A to B without being chased down by a Super Mutant wielding an explosive may prove to be challenging, if i can give you one tip while playing Fallout its this, Save lots because you may think the mission you are on is simple but its the in between that kills you…lots. Detours will arise aplenty, I took my time going to Diamond City as I wanted to learn the landscape and get some better weapons before continuing the main story, once I arrived in the once Fenway Park within minutes I had three side quests to start, I really love that about Fallout, there’s never a minute of dullness. There where stages I wanted to complete the mission I was already undertaking when I discovered a new location that screamed for me to explore, one such place was a Comic book store (I couldn’t say no to that, right?) so I jumped in and was greeted by a bunch of angry Ghouls, after cracking some skulls I took out a legendary glowing radiation mutant super Ghoul with pool queue and found some cool loot #AVIT. These experiences are what really make Fallout an instant classic.
The attention to detail is evident straight away in this new gen world, often its beautiful to look at while your cracking skulls, its a massive jump up in quality from Fallout 3 and New Vegas. From desolate urban areas to radioactive swamps Fallout 4 screams with shear quality. Fallout 4 may not be the best looking new gen game you own, character animations are still a weakness but from the amazingly intuitive Pip-boy computer, to the eradicated landscape, to the burnt poster art that hands from the walls Fallout 4 is always impressive. You cannot ignore the shear size of the Commonwealth, to have all this detail in much a large area is astounding. From the beginning of your journey you are thrown into the thick of things and one of the real design pleasures is the first time you step into the big overpowered heavy power suit, even your Pip-Boy changes while your controlling the power armour giving you the feeling of a dashboard style interface, but hell it’s bloody fun blowing off limbs with a chain gun. It’s not the first time in large multi hour games to be given a slice of power at the start of a game to show you what things could be, enjoy it because it will drive you to find power cores.
Skill points and traits are the heart and soul of the Fallout franchise, all your character progression is under one big animated Vault Boy chart with tones of unlockable options, to see them all you’ll need to scroll through to see them all, the way in which the progression system is set out can at first seem daunting, making decisions of what skill to select for your one point can really feel like an important thing to do. This for me was a struggle, every time I levelled up it took me at least 5 minutes to choose what to invest in, its astonishing the amount of different traits to choose from. This really gives your character individuality (even if its going to take me an age to choose what to invest in) it really shows the depth in which Bethesda has gone into, credit where credit is due each play through you have will be very different.
Fallout 4’s crafting system gives you tones of ways of creating new structures in your sanctuary, if I didn’t have a hoarding problem before I really do now, I found myself leaving weapons ive just found in a case and picking up wooden buckets and nails! All the items you find within the world are made up of material components, all of which can be intuitively added into items to create new buildings, generators to power up electrical items and other items like water pumps to help you create your own community. The weapon and armour system is also very intuitive, you have to work HARD to get the goods, from taking on legendary enemies to spending hard earned Caps (in game currency) with your favourite vendors, everything in Fallout is directed to taking on the biggest, ugliest and bad ass Legendary bosses on the block to unlock and buy the best weapons and armour, hard work is paid off.
Going back to the Pip-Boy, probably the most intuitive and technically awesome item in the game it also contains a radio, as you stumble and fight your way across the Commonwealth your radio will pick different frequencies, these could be distress signals that will lead you on more side quests, also there is radio stations crammed with amazing tunes. For me this created fun moments of my play through into truly epic moments. I loved listening to Diamond City radio the most, from the depressed DJ to awesome songs like “Crawl out through the Fallout” this was just another element to confirm that Fallout 4 is my favourite RPG title with ease.