Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Fallout 4

They say war . . . war never changes, but maybe this time Fallout has changed. I played a lot of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas (around 250 hours cumulatively) and I played Fallout 4 quite differently. I played it as a First Person Shooter and honestly it’s a pretty good First Person Shooter. It may have many technical wrinkles, but Fallout 4 has so much to offer that it’s honestly overwhelming, and that’s OK because it has the time and if you give it that,  you won’t find anything quite like it. 

Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and out now on Xbox One. PlayStation 4 and PC, Fallout 4 requires a lot of your time, but before I break it down briefly I’ll tell you this: To go through every feature, every aspect, and every facet of Fallout 4, I would be writing thousands of words. It one of the biggest games available on consoles, and to fill that time they’ve created so much content but it’s not the same content reworked over and over again. 

Something brand new to Fallout is the settlement building which is so expansive that it could be its own game. The beauty of it though is that it’s completely optional. You can see how it works, not like it or simply not have the time for it and walk away. There are set areas in the map that allow you to open up the workshop and scrap items that occupy the area for materials which can then be used to rebuild the settlement how you like it. It’s much deeper than I was expecting and allows you to generate electricity, furnish homes and even create defences from raiders who will come should you build it up. It seemed a neat little addition when they showed it off, but it’s much more than a silly add-on.

The meat of the game is exploring Boston though as you are on the quest to find your son. Upon entering Vault 111, you, your spouse, and your child were all put in cryochambers and left to freeze for 200 years. However, during that time, some people came and momentarily unfroze you to take your child and you witness your other half being murdered (I say other half because you can be either male or female). Your quest is one to find your son and find out why they took him. As with all open world games, this isn’t the only story you’ll have to tell. There is so much at play in the world of Boston that everyone will have stories no one else encountered as the emergent gameplay encompasses the most scripted of events. Stories of random encounters, of a showdown between super mutants and wildlife that you got sandwiched into.

The only thing that pulls you away from this incredible world are the technical problems. Some areas and firefights dropped the frame rate on consoles to 20 and below. Anytime this happened I began to sing the Chuggington theme song in my head which was disturbing because I don’t have kids, and haven’t got a clue what the show is but I know there is one and I know the theme song.

There is so much to talk about in Fallout 4 and like our little lives, there’s not enough time to express it all. The weapon upgrading is fantastic and surprisingly deep. Picking up a few weapons, dismantling them and taking the best parts to create your ultimate weapons is always fun. It does make the encumbrance limit that more frustrating than before though.

Here I am writing the conclusion paragraph and I’ve barely touched that much: Trade routes between settlements, density of the world in comparison to other Bethesda titles, those great little touches of visual stories you come across in the wasteland, the bloody brilliant music and 50’s aesthetic, and although I do miss Three-Dog, gameplay feels great, there are so many quests, and oh my god, I even forgot to mention Dogmeat (he’s awesome). Companions are interesting and fun.

Crazy he calls me. Sure I’m crazy, crazy in love, with Fallout 4. 5/5.


Jason Redmond

Fallout 4 at CeX

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