Fallout 4 Review

One of the the hottest,  most anticipated games of 2015 (and possibly of a generation) has finally been released. Fallout 4 continues the tradition set forth by its predecessors while also launching itself into the new age of the current-gen consoles and PCs. 

CAUTION POSSIBLE SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

STORY

Fallout 4 starts where no other previous game has before. Opening in the Boston,  MA suburb called Sanctuary Hills, we get a glimpse of life before the bombs dropped and changed everything. After creating our character, we are visited by a representative from Vault Tech, who wants to go over final details (name and S.P.E.C.I.A.L Stats) because due to our service to the country, we have been selected for entry to the local Vault, Vault 111. This picturesque calm landscape is quickly turned upside down when reports of bombs being dropped all over the east coast force our character and their spouse and child to run to the vault. Upon standing on the platform to be lowered in, the bomb drops and you barely make it inside. You are given your official Vault suit and the ushered to what you are told are pods that are used to cleanse you of any bacteria before you are let further into the vault. You tell your spouse and infant son you love them one more time and step inside. Little did you know, Vault Tech are a bunch of lying sacks of crap and the pod you entered quickly freezes over and you are put into a cryogenic sleep. An unknown amount of time later, you are unfrozen and watch as several people open your spouses pod across from you and take your child and kill your spouse, then you are quickly frozen again. After another unknown amount of time, you thaw out and get out of the pod. Now armed with the overall mission to find your son and kill who took him from you. Upon exiting the vault in the year 2287 after a total of 210 years, the world you see is nothing like the one you left. Travelling through the world, you follow clues and meet up with several factions present in the Commonwealth. 4 main factions include the Minutemen, a sort of militia dedicated to keeping the Commonwealth safe. The Brotherhood of Steel, tech savvy militaristic personnel who want control of the land in order to protect it. The Institute are highly intelligent scientists who create Synths (synthetic humans or robots that, depending on what generation they are, are virtually indistinguishable from regular humans). Much of the wasteland is scared of the Institute as they are regarded of the antagonist of the story. The final faction is the Railroad, who are a group of people who dedicate themselves to freeing Synths from the Institute and sneaking them off to other places to live free. Aside from these main factions, the usual enemies such as Raiders, super mutants and Deathclaws are ever present. In the end after making contact with all factions and performing missions for them, you must choose either the BoS, Institute, or Railroad to side with and change to outcome of the Commonwealth. The minutemen are not really involved and don’t care who you side with as long as the Commonwealth is safe.

GAMEPLAY

Fallout 4 gives us a whole new feel. Bethesda took the time to make the game feel more natural like a first person shooter than in previous games. Old systems got new life. VATS got an overhaul and so did the perk system. Chosen from a chart, the perks are available based on what your S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats are and you can either choose a new perk or add another point to any of the categories to unlock new perks. People who have played Fallout 3 can all attest to the fact that the world was nothing beautiful to write home about, with the overall greenish tinge covering the land. Fallout 4 however is full of vibrant colors, featuring bright blue skies, clear blue water and moving storms. It’s not uncommon to enter an area and be bombarded with a lightning storm that gives off the greenish tinge and emits radiation damage. Light can now seep through cracks in walls and through windows, adding a sense of realism.

COMPANIONS

Through the game there are 12 companions that you can befriend and take along with you. From the loveable Dogmeat, to the Super Mutant named Strong, every follower has special skills that can help you in your travels. Nick Valentine is very good at hacking high level computers, Cait can pick locks like nobody’s business. Every action you perform affects how your companion feels towards you, and believe me, if you do something they don’t like, they’ll tell you. Each companion that I’ve brought along has a special set of missions to complete and once your friendship level is high enough, you gain a special perk unique to that specific companion. Ultimately, you can flirt and start a relationship with most of them.

CRAFTING AND BUILDING

New to Fallout 4 is an extensive crafting system. Take a basic pistol and turn it into a fully automatic rifle. Take a piece of armor and upgrade it’s damage resistance. All of this is done by using items found in the world. No more passing up on taking items you find. I frequently find myself carrying too much because I don’t want to leave any item behind because I can use it for upgrade materials. Not only can you build and upgrade weapons and armor, you can build entire settlements in pre-determined locations. Using another interactive menu,  buildings are quite easy to build, unless you have terrible OCD like myself, then it takes forever. By scrapping items and gaining materials like wood, steel, gears, oil etc. You can build anything from floors, to walls, to generators, and water purification systems. The more resources you have, the more settlers will come live there. This is an interesting aspect to the game the is not necessary to do, but once you start it is very addicting. Basically, if you can dream it, there is a way to build it.

WORDS OF A FALLOUT VIRGIN

The following segment is a contribution from fellow Geekiverse writer Sam Sarvis. She has never before played any Fallout title and had no clue what she was getting into. I felt it was best to get her words and experience, captured from a non biased opinion of the game.

Before I even begin to tell you about my undying love for Fallout 4 and Bethesda, first let me begin by saying that I’ve never played a Fallout game before. Now please calm down and put the pitch forks away! I have played Skyrim (which I love so much) and I was curious about playing Fallout and with everything I was watching and seeing, Fallout 4 looked amazing. Bethesda has never let me down before.

So I got Fallout 4 and right away I made my character, which I honestly was a little confused about with the character creation system because I thought I was going to be playing as the baby. (Haha…) It became super apparent when I named my female character that I was going to be playing as her. The movement of the character felt a lot like Skyrim and I felt right at home. I interacted with my surroundings and it didn’t take long for me to be completely submerged into the storyline and feel something for my family. Many events happen and I found myself getting my first weapon and again, because of my avid Skyrim play-through, I felt like I knew what I was doing. I was very cautious with every turn and exploration, always making sure to save multiple times and making sure to interact with everything. I can say playing this game for about four hours, (Yes I know it wasn’t very long), I love that the lock-picking is the same as Skyrim! I also LOOOOVVEEE the Workshop Station where you can build and scrap your own settlements. I was dying to do this in The Elder Scrolls and now we can do it In Fallout 4. It’s so easy and so rewarding scrapping broken down buildings and making nicer ones. I also loved the crafting! Right away I started looting things I came upon for the distinct reason of making them into something better. The only thing I missed was the nice background music that they had in Skyrim, but this turned out to have something even better. On your Pip-Boy, there’s a built-in radio station that plays music that was from that current era. I thought this was a nice touch, even though I have to constantly turn it off because I want to hear if there are enemies nearby. Also, Deathclaws are terrifying. Dogmeat for President. But really all I can say is that I can’t wait to put in 100+ hours into Fallout 4. If this game doesn’t win our game of the year, then I don’t know what will.

FINAL SCORE

9.5/10

 

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+Captivating dynamic story

+Amazing graphics and vibrant colors

+Talking character makes it more personal

+Endless hours of fun searching for materials and building settlements

+Personal relationship building with companions with possibility of relationships

-Let’s be real. I can’t find anything I didn’t love about this game

Gene Williams is The Geekiverse’s foremost expert on all things Fallout. Sam is his new apprentice.

Fallout 4 was reviewed on the Xbox One (footage above captured on PC). It is also available for PC and Playstation 4.

Did Fallout 4 live up to the massive hype? Leave a comment below!

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