Published on December 7th, 2015 | by BTips0
Review: Fallout 4
Developer(s): Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Platforms(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date(s): November 10, 2015
Perfect (or close enough to it)
War…War never changes.
Probably one of the coolest taglines to a video game I’ve ever played, I’ve spent a good month or two playing the mess out of Bethesda’s Fallout 3 back sometime in 2010. I absolutely loved the game from its beautifully abandoned open world, to its constant slew of side missions, to its V.A.T.S gameplay mechanic. I invested such a heavy amount of time exploring every location, completing every side quest I could find, and trying to collect everything I could possibly obtain. I felt like I milked the game dry and it just left me wanting more.
Luckily for me, in 2015, Bethesda announced and released Fallout 4 to the public.
After finally finishing the game on my first character after about 200+ hours, I feel like I can finally write up this review.
Fallout 4 takes place in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts where multiple groups square off with each other for either freedom or control of the Commonwealth. You play as the Sole Survivor of a mysterious vault dubbed Vault 111 where you, either playing as a male or a female, go with your spouse and child when you discover a war with China is spiraling out of control and it’s inevitably leading to nuclear war. The three of you managed to successfully enter the vault, but after a few events occur whilst inside, you awaken 200 years later, alone and searching for your son, Shaun.
The overall plot of the game is pretty interesting the moment you leave the vault. You can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, and play however you want. Most people tend to rush through the story, others go off and complete quests, level up, and earn more weapons for use later. I’m one of those who enjoy a game with limitless potential and Fallout 4 has given me that, and more. Going back to the plot, I’ll say that the game does a really good job in hyping up its main quests and it gets more intense as you progress. The only qualm I have with the plot – and no spoilers here – is the ending. The end of the game has you picking from the various factions you end up siding with throughout the game. I thought at first that this was a cool way to have multiple endings, therefore having a huge reason to replay through the game, but I was wrong. The only main change to the ending, is the faction you decide to side with. The ending cutscene doesn’t change in the slightest. This was probably my only issue with the plot as a whole.
The main reason people come back to Fallout games is my next topic: the open world experience. I mentioned above that this game takes place in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts and as such, there are plenty of landmarks you can explore that come from Boston, from the U.S.S. Constitution to the historical Bunker Hill monument. Other places in the game appear too, if not only for a single location, such as Somerville, Cambridge, and Salem. The game is incredibly detailed with its exploration choices. There are several non-highlighted locations that you could discover that the game will never tell you about. Just discovering every location can take you a week, even if you’re just doing nothing but playing the game night to day or vice versa.
Fallout 4 really shines in the combat system with its V.A.T.S. system. This is a mode in the game that slows down time and allows you to choose where you wish to hit someone. If you want to aim for a headshot, go for it. If you want to cripple a dangerous raiders arm, forcing them to drop their gun, then knock yourself out. It’s this game mode that really makes you think about the best way to go about things. Fallout 3 also had this system but it allowed time to stop completely, giving you all the free time you wanted to pick your shots. In the sequel, this game doesn’t have that luxury so you only have limited time to decide where you want to strike first.
The crafting system is another good gameplay mechanic that the developers added into the game. You’re able to customize and modify your own guns and armor, or spend the resources you find in the Commonwealth and build up settlements in various parts of the world. These settlements can house settlers that’ll trade certain items you won’t find anywhere else, and it adds a new layer of complexity to the game. I sadly didn’t have a whole lot of time to play around with the base building and settlement management, mainly because I was having too much fun doing everything else. The gun and armor modifying is pretty straight forward though. Do you want your pistol to be automatic? Done. Do you want a sniper rifle out of a shotgun? Consider it doable.
I had a few nagging bugs here and there with this game but all in all, I was really into this game. I finished the game as much as I feel like I could have possibly and I already want to make another character and go back into it. The best thing about the console versions of the game is that they’re going to get the same mod support that the PC players get so you’ll be able to enjoy custom quests, play with custom guns, and wear custom armor. I don’t think I could recommend this game enough to people who enjoy exploration and hectic firefights. If you’re into story, I’d probably look elsewhere. The game isn’t for everyone. You’d either have to take interest in the stuff I listed, or have played a previous game in the Fallout series.
+ Beautiful open world, complete with multiple things to do and see
+ Crafting system that lets you play how you want to play, and build what you want to build
+ The new and improved V.A.T.S system makes strategy more evident
– Minor freezing and clipping issues here and there
– Plot is fine until the end game, then it just becomes lazy