Fallout 4 Game Review for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Fallout 4 Game Feature Screenshot

Amazing Game for the New Generation of Gamers

Without a doubt, Fallout 4 is an amazing game. The graphics are top notch -from the distinct facial expressions of characters during dialogue sequences to the breathtaking scenery that one would not normally associated with an irradiated wasteland. The music is sparingly used, but its presence is a haunting reminder of the world long past. The mechanics are some of the best you will ever find in an open world game, it manages to balance the complexity of menu-centric RPGs while encouraging the player to engage in real-time actions. If you have never played Fallout 3 (or New Vegas), this game will blow your mind. But if you have already tried Bethesda's previous iterations of the franchise, your reaction can go either way.

The Long Sleep

One of the things that everyone (yes, everyone) loves about Fallout 4 is the intro: the game starts players off right before the bombs drop. You get to see your character, your spouse, and your infant child living in the pre-war world of Fallout and it is an amazing techno-retro mashup that instantly makes you want to emotionally invest in the game. The whole sequence is painfully short and there is hardly any room for exploration (expect to spend a lot of time customizing your characters though). But it is more than enough to set the tone and pace of the game.

Once the bombs drop and the war starts, you get sent inside a Fallout shelter -but instead of living out the rest of your life in the underground vault, you and everyone else gets sent into long term hibernation thanks to the wonder of cryo-pods. The game truly begins when you awake several generations later and set off on a grim quest for revenge.

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Combat and Conversation

As an open world game, Fallout presents players with a wide range of things to do and ways to accomplish various tasks. Those who have already played the older games would know the basics, but for those of you who are new, here's how it works:

Like other RPG's quests provide players with objectives and these can be completed by fulfilling the required tasks. But sometimes you can do something else. And still finish the job. Let's say that you are asked to get an item owned by a hostile NPC. You can try fighting that NPC and take the item from its lifeless corpse. Or you can charm your way into bargaining for it (like convincing the NPC to give up the item through reasoning or even seducing them into giving in). If you're particularly stealthy, you can try stealing it without anyone noticing you, completely negating the need to interact with an NPC. The game does not limit players from doing things a certain way, and that is how most of Fallout 4 works.

Of course, sometimes, blood really needs to get spilled. In this case, there is an option to resort to either melee or ranged combat. Players are also able to use VATS, a special targeting system not only for sequential attacks and also for targeting specific body parts. In this mode, the game relies completely on the player's stats in order to determine the success of an attack. Also, Fallout 3 players should note that VATS now has more penalties and it is now less reliable than it was in the previous game.

Weight Limit Exceeded

The biggest crime that this game commits is that the developers have decided that nothing you do should go to waste. Walking around and picking up items has been the name of the game since Fallout 3. You get random weapons, ridiculously preserved food, and the occasional old-world memorabilia that will exist in various states of decay. For the most part, these items (ranging from burned newspapers to broken clocks) simply serve as background décor. You can sell them for a few caps, some can be valuable, but most are just post-nuclear war junk. In Fallout 4, everything has value. Most of the time, you will stashing junk in your home base to use as raw materials that can be used for crafting anything and everything.

Sure, that sounds cool right? Everything you do, every loot you earn, has value. But if you are the type of player that never wants to throw away anything with value (and the gaming community is full of self confessed pack rats), that's a crazy level of OCD-inducing item management. A single mission can send you to 2 to 3 different locations. Each location will have a ton of items. And if you add up all the combined weight of all the items and the humble limit that your character can carry (even with max strength and the aid of Power Armor), that's a whole lot of trips back and forth. And even if you do the logical thing and not pick up everything -there is always that moment during crafting that makes you wish that you never had to put down that weighty fire extinguisher. If you have plenty of time to invest in Fallout, this feature is amazing. But if you are not looking to invest hundreds of hours, you might be better off not focusing too much on this aspect of the game.

Another Settlement Needs Your Help

Much like the new crafting system, the game's new companion system is a double edged sword. It's cumbersome with all the additional side-quests that the companion NPCs provide, and you also have to watch how you act around them (your actions and conversations will have positive or negative effects on your bond with the companions present). On the flip side is the wondering fact that each companion adds a good amount of gameplay, bonus perks, and of course, the great feeling of not having to travel the wasteland alone. Bethesda has also improved the system by turning companions into non-killable characters, which is why Fallout 3's companions were less used since players were wary they would die. Companions will now enter a 'downed' state when they lose HP in combat -which you will need to finish alone. But once the combat is over, they will regain their hit points. All that said, do know that Preston's “settlement” missions are not important (at all!) and they will never end.

True Character Customization

There is a ton of great things about Fallout 4 -the character customization allows you to tweak the all the facial features and even choose a character name that may or may not be used by characters (there is a wide selection of can-be-spoken-by-NPC names you can use). But aside from that, you also determine what kind of gameplay you want -focused on headshots, close combat, sneaking, etc. The game offers absolute freedom: you can even do a challenging, non-combat gameplay if you'd like.

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