Fallout 4 Review
Bethesda at their best
Diverse cast of interesting characters
Deep crafting system
Huge perks system
Power armour is a thing of beauty
Massive world full of dangers
Graphical glitches that are bizarre and, at times, hilarious
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim remains my favorite game of all time. It was Bethesda at their very best. It had a massive world, loads to do and see and lots to find and use. So too had Fallout 3 and New Vegas, although they didn’t capture me like Skyrim did, they were phenomenal games. Well, a lot of hype has been raised over the release of the fourth installment of the Fallout series and I couldn’t help but think to myself “i hope it lives up to it”. Its an age old expectation that hyped up games rarely hit their mark but there is a healthy handful that do and even surpass them.
Fallout 4 kind of does and doesn’t at the same time. Lets delve deeper.
The story is quite a mature one. After being cryogenically frozen for 200 years just as the nuclear war starts, you wake just in time to see your wife shot dead and your baby son kidnapped by some unknown assailants. Once you’re free from your fridge bed, you set on your way to hunt down your son and reap revenge on the ones who killed your wife. A now tough task considering the world is not as it was. Boston has been ravaged by nuclear war, its become a barren wasteland filled with dangers. Although the story is a good one full of intrigue and mystery, if you’re like me when playing a Bethesda RPG, it will also be a broken one as there are so many other side stories here that distract you too easily from your primary objective. Characters come in all forms. Your funny Mr.Handy robot Codsworth with his great British one-liners is a highlight and Detective Valentine is a cool guy.
If you played Fallout 3 and New Vegas, you’ll be instantly familiar with Fallout 4. The game-play is similar in almost every way with a few tweaks here and there. Notable changes are that enemies now slow down instead of stand still during the superb V.A.T.S. targeting system which is just a brutal as ever here.Triggering this cool system no longer gives you all the time in the world to make your move. You also have the choice of having a companion now. Codsworth is the first you’ll meet which has his perks but you will find more on your adventure each with their own particular advantages. Dogmeat being my favorite, he sniffs out helpful items and drags enemies to the floor leaving them open for you to finish off, your personal bad-ass pooch.
Building your character is quite the chore too. The perk system has taken an overhaul which separate into different statistics that make your time in the wastelands more and more bearable. Aside from your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes which make up the base of your character, there are many more that give you new abilities and strengths which will help you on your travels. Target animals for a chance to pacify them, give your dog special attack abilities, get things cheaper in stores or even be better with the ladies, the choice is yours and trust me the choice is a tough one.
The biggest changes comes in Fallout 4’s crafting system. Every item in the world now has its uses so no more ignoring junk. That spoon can be ground down to get silver and that plunger can give me rubber and wood. These components are used to craft upgrades for your armour or mods for your weapons and even build your own house. Wait what was that I hear you say? Build your own house?! You heard me correctly. In Fallout 4 you can build settlements from the ground up considering you have all the materials. This can soak up your time in a flash, its incredibly addictive. I built a small hut to get the feel of it. I installed a water pump for a steady source of water and a generator which gives me power. I then fixed up some lights in my different room and wired them up. I made my own bed and planted my own crops for a steady source of food. Why go and rescue my son when I can just chill in my very own home? It’s extremely complex but seriously fun. The early settlement missions ease you into it but you are free to go wild from the get go.
Another big change is the Power Armour which you now get early on. Its battered but its a great frame to build upon. I used mine to take out a hulking Deathclaw then i took it to my settlement where there was a power armour station. It turned into my pride and joy. I came back to it whenever I found armour pieces to make it into a serious death dealer, only taking it whenever a tough mission beckons. The game-play differs slightly in power armour. You get a new HUD, you are unaffected by falling damage and you can wield huge mini-guns with ease, not to mention it takes some time and damage to kill you.
Fallout 4 is without a doubt a phenomenal game but as with any Bethesda RPG, its not without its fair share of bugs. Noticeable graphical hitches plague the game. Although i haven’t had my experience ruined yet by any fatal ones, graphical hiccups are plentiful. I went to speak to a guy in my settlement to find him stood on my TV with his head through the ceiling, it was hilarious and stupid. It didn’t ruin my overall experience though thankfully.