Fallout 4 Review

Fallout 4 Review

After its previous installment in 2010, Game Developer Bethesda Softworks left the fans of the Fallout franchise seething with anticipation for the next game; from fake clickbait videos and rickrolls to general speculation, the fans of the franchise waited for years to get another taste of the Wasteland. On Nov. 10, the dream that lingered within the hearts of millions came true as Fallout 4 came out for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Once the lands of “New California” (Fallout 1 and 2) and the “Capital Wasteland” of Washington D.C (Fallout 3) have been traversed, the Fallout series takes the player to the Commonwealth, Boston. The protagonist of the story (either a veteran or a housewife depending on the gender chosen) is one of many to fall victim to the many “social experiments” created by the mysterious corporation known as Vault-Tec. As events unfold, the players soon find themselves in worlds both familiar and unfamiliar to them.

Taking place a decade after Fallout 3, Fallout 4 continues the story of the Wasteland on the Eastern coast of the United States following the events of the Great War, which was a two-hour war that destroyed the entire world under nuclear immolation. The game’s plot places the player in a situation in which the lines between good and evil are slightly blurred. Apart from the evil raiders and the abominations of the wasteland such as super mutants, ghouls and radroaches, the player will be required to choose one of four factions; the mysterious Institute, the hardy Minute Men, the secretive Railroad or the might Brotherhood of Steel, each of which has their own special traits that makes them unique.

Playing the game, it becomes apparent that Bethesda aimed to bring the franchise to a whole new level, enhancing the game map’s density and overall gameplay. Aiming in the previous installments tended to be clunky and nearly unable to be done with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.), which stopped time and enabled the player to make their tactical decisions in order to turn the tide of the battle. However in Fallout 4, the aiming with guns is now a lot more fluid and easier and the V.A.T.S. system now slows down time, rather than stopping it, creating more of a sense of urgency in the heat of battle, encouraging the player to make decisions quicker.

Instead of having two companions, Bethesda has decided to bring it down to one companion instead. This is kind of a downer, however they each have a reason for the player to feel more attached to them than companions of previous installments.

For example: there’s John Hancock, mayor of a town known as Goodneighbor who, after a story arc where the player joins a conspiracy to break into a storehouse to steal from a city, decides to join up with the player feeling as if by traveling with them they could feel like themselves again. Another is an Artificial Intelligence known as CURIE, gifted with enhanced reasoning and a love for scientific discovery. However, CURIE is trapped in the body of a robot that is not intelligent at all. They set out with the player to advance her scientific thought. Instead of a skill system, Bethesda has decided on a perk tree, where each time the player levels up, they can put points towards any perk they desire. Since in this game there is no level that a player can go up to, players can continue playing indefinitely.

The game provides the player with a rich sandbox-style environment spanning a total of over 400 hours of gameplay that adapts to the choices the player makes, affecting the fate of everyone residing within the Commonwealth. It also provides the player with a completely optional settlement system, allowing the player to create settlements and revitalize a post-nuclear war Boston.

While the game has plenty of pros that make it one of the best-selling games seen in a while (1.8 million sold in the first three days since launch compared to the first and second game in the series, which only sold 500 thousand together), this game does not get away without a few critiques. There seems to be a few serious problems concerning some game-breaking glitches occurring within the game’s coding, such as the game freezing in the middle of any time in elevator. Also, the companions tend to get in the way very often; blocking doorways and obstructing the path when the player attempts to flee a losing battle.

With an amazing twist in the main story that may change the paradigm of the Commonwealth as one sees it, Fallout 4 is not only a solid installment in the series, it is arguably one of the best games Bethesda Softworks has put out.