Fallout 4 Review –
You wake up; go to the bathroom, ready for shaving. Your wife is there and, if you want, you can jump into her shoes and start customizing your face, down to the tiniest details. Oh, I forgot to mention that this isn’t just a regular morning; it’s actually the very start of Fallout 4. After you finish shaping up your playing character, a quick tour through your house tells you that terrible nuclear war hasn’t happened yet; everything is calm and life’s good. Your baby cries and after checking to see if everything right, someone’s start knocking on your door. It’s the man from Vault-Tec, checking to see if he’s got all of your personal data. After choosing your S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes, it’s time to go inside and get ready for work. But, all of a sudden, sirens begin screaming, the army is marching through your peaceful suburban neighborhood, and you see yourself and your family running towards the nearest Vault. As soon as you enter bombs start to fall and life as we know it ends, leaving you inside, happy to know that your family is safe. The start of Fallout 4 is completely different from previous games, giving you a sneak peek at life before the war, before radiation, and before humanity, as we know it, vanished from the face of Earth.
[ad type=”300×250″ align=”alignright” src=”” link=””][AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B00YQ1NOPM”][/ad]You enter a cryo chamber, ending up frozen, spending centuries asleep before some thugs break inside the vault, taking away your child and killing your spouse. After witnessing the terrible event, sleep is taking you inside its cold hands, but soon you’ll wake up again with only one mission – finding your lost child and avenging your spouse. After a short prologue, an entire Wasteland is at your fingertips, ready to give you all of its secrets, joys, and horrors.
After you get out of Vault 111 and find your trustworthy robot butler, you are free of doing everything you want; take on the main quest, wander through the Wasteland in search of settlements, side quests, secrets, and monsters, or get killed; the choice is entirely up to you. Early in the game, you’ll find Dogmeat, your new best friend and faithful companion who’ll follow you everywhere, if you decide to. After you kill the first couple of enemies, you’ll notice the changes in V.A.T.S; it got modernized, when turned on it will no longer freeze time, only slow it, giving you less time to choose where to strike, but speeding up the combat.
After completing the first couple of quests, you notice that leveling system changed drastically. There are no more bunch of points used for leveling skills. Now you have a couple of points and bunch of perks to invest them into; similar to action RPGs like Diablo. While not really liking the new system, we found out that it gives players more structured approach when choosing their strengths. You can also invest points into S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck) because higher tier perks require a higher value of appropriate S.P.E.C.I.A.L attribute. Some are rather valuable, while some offer bonuses that won’t give you any worthwhile skill; but the best thing about the new perk system is that it can be tailored to your way of playing the game. Want to be deadly from long range? You can. Want to use animals as weapons? It is possible. And this is the biggest forte of the new system; while some players may look at certain perks as completely insignificant, others will love those same perks. In other words, there’s something for everyone.
Graphics aren’t terrible; on the other hand, you won’t find anything awe worthy. It’s notable that Fallout 4 runs on the same engine used in the previous game, as well as Skyrim and Oblivion. It’s still old Gamebryo engine, now on steroids and named Creation engine; but if carefully look at game’s graphics you’ll notice the same substandard animation (at least for a game released in 2015), relatively washed out textures and other faulty sides of old Gamebryo. It’s time for Bethesda to finally take some other graphics engine and use it in upcoming games; trying to patch up something based on now outdated technology. Shading is much better than in Fallout 3; there’s no more that awful green tint everywhere, the world is colorful and lively, wandering through Wasteland can be a joy because of the saturated colors coating old buildings and destroyed plant life with a bit of vivaciousness.
While talking about the Wasteland, it is worth noting that, although the map isn’t big as in other open-world games (like Witcher 3) it’s filled with settlements, interesting NPCs, abandoned buildings, and other landmarks. Fans of crafting will be enthralled with building options, allowing them to create completely new settlements, exactly how they want it. Junk has now a real value, it is used for crafting, and every junk type gives different building materials. You’ll be spending lots of time chasing for junk needed for weapon crafting, or for construction building. And yeah, weapon crafting is fun during the first couple of dozens of hours, but after that it becomes tedious, making you lost in numerous options and abundance of materials needed for crafting.
Weapons are greatly varied, and no matter which weapon type you prefer, you’ll find a perfect weapon for your character. Guns, rifles, SMG’s, snipers, rocket launchers, melee weapons, miniguns, and all in between can be used to kill humans, mutants and various creatures roaming through Wasteland. Power armor is now handling like a vehicle, which can be equipped when needed, and which can run out of power; if wearing power armor be sure to have plenty of fusion cores in your inventory. Power armor parts can be combined, repaired and upgraded only at power armor stations which can be found in settlements or built by you.
There are plenty of side quests; some are marvelously designed while others seem like something not worthy of being in Fallout game. All in all, you’ll always have something to do, and the game rewards players who aren’t afraid of wandering, finding new landmarks, and filling their map with new POIs (points of interest).
New crafting mechanics are welcome, especially because in Fallout 4, you’ll be responsible for lots of settlements which will be attacked by raiders. Instead of visiting a settlement yourself in order to drive off attackers, it’s much better to build a bunch of defenses, save yourself the time that would be spent on defending, and spend it on quests and exploration. There are plenty of different enemy types; and Deathclaws now look like proper monsters, capable of sending you to the loading screen in a matter of seconds if not being careful. The game is relatively easy on default difficulty; if wanting a proper challenge, start the game on the hard setting, It’s much more fun to battle enemies that can actually kill you.
Inventory management is horrendous. You’ll find yourself looking for a specific weapon for minutes, and managing your ammunition, or junk is next to impossible; way to go Bethesda, people complained about Fallout 3’s awful inventory and you guys did nothing about it. Bugs aren’t as frequent as in Fallout 3, but you’ll find some quests impossible to complete, seldom graphical glitches, and broken pathfinding scripts affecting NPCs (which can be very frustrating if said NPC is one of your followers). There are a handful of followers to find though the Wasteland and every single one is unique, different and suited for different types of players.
Choices are plentiful, almost every quest can be finished in more than one way, but, ultimately they seem limited. Most of the time you can choose between “good guy” and “bad guy” solution, with nothing in between, which is disappointing.
Fallout 4 is not without faults, but those faults seem small in comparison to a solid presentation, good looking graphics, interesting quests, incredibly fun gameplay and a huge world to explore. You can spend hours and hours doing nothing, just wandering through abandoned buildings, killing enemies, collecting loot and finding new map markers, feeling fulfilled and happy, not thinking about quests and the story. Few games can offer that kind of experience, and Fallout 4 is one of the best of its kind. Now go back to Wasteland, and do whatever you want to, because no matter what you’re doing, it will be fun.