Article by Danny Buell
“War, war never changes…”
Developed by Bethesda Softworks and published by Zenimax Studios, there is no escaping the highly addicting success that is Fallout 4. Marked as a sequel to Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, it is pretty much a stand alone game much like the other titles. Set approximately eight to ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and four to five after Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 is set in a new area on the east coast: the Commonwealth. Filled with new characters, new atmosphere, it develops a world all too familiar to what great Fallout games have delivered since their inception.
The End of the World
The player finds him or herself as a fully-voiced and highly customizable character living the pre-War American life. Massachusetts is a part of the New England Commonwealth of the United States in Fallout’s unique alternate history. All seems nice, you have a child, a lovely spouse (if you want, you can change that), a wonderful home, a handy robot butler named Codsworth. You’re living the american dream. That is till the klaxons of an air-raid alarm follows a harrowing news report that several United States cities were destroyed by nuclear explosions.
Amongst the chaos that such announcements would cause, you are ushered into Vault 111, one of many underground shelters purposed for sheltering citizens in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Later you learn that secretly the vaults were parts of secret government experiments as you are cryogenically frozen without your knowledge and your son and spouse rest in the pod across. When you are first awaken, a scientist and a mercenary enters the cryo room, take your son and murder your spouse, leaving you to a task of revenge… before you are frozen for a second time.
When the frost thaws and the pod opens, you awake again to being the sole-survivor of the vault. After a bit of exploring the abandoned Vault and learning how the controls work, you ascend to a surface unlike the green-grass and picket-fence life you were used to. You come to the war-ravaged post-apocalyptic wasteland full of violence and despair. That, is where your journey starts.
“Fallout… Fallout never changes…”
The Fallout series is renowned for its exploration, rich atmosphere, and enticing universe that keeps players returning. Having been the Boston, seeing the wasteland Commonwealth seemed daunting and pretty harrowing. You first come back to your old home two-hundred years later to find the town Sanctuary Hills is nothing but ruined and scavenged houses. Across the town are strewn and burnt halloween decorations, husks of fusion-powered 1950 style cars, skeletons of your neighbors, and remnants of an old world.
Playing on the PS4, the gameplay seems smooth at times and then other times, such as when throwing a molotov cocktail, could result in a choppy frame rate. There are bugs here and there, some texture issues in the “Glowing Sea” and a few minor issues. All-in-all, it’s something to expect on launch with most Bethesda games as they try to be more ambitious and adapt to the new consoles unlike Skyrim.
The gunplay is very fun while listening to Dion and the Belmonts’ “The Wanderer” or Roy Brown’s “Butcher Pete”. The crafting system is very indepth and makes use for all the useless junk players usually horde in any other Bethesda game. Now junk can be applied to weapon crafting, armor building and repairing, and even building your own settlement or home. Getting into firefights feel engaging and challenging.
The amount of freedom and exploration makes it hard to keep track of going from point A to point B without seeing something interesting on the compass. Having to go to Diamond City, a small shanty-town settled in the middle of Boston’s Fenway Park, I often found myself being pulled in every direction but the one I needed to go. It took me half a week to get there because something else kept piquing my interest. I somehow found myself at another vault finding a cure for a sick child, telling a classroom of children wasteland adventures, and finding a kitten that escaped the vault.
Crawl out Through the Fallout
After emerging from the vault to attend boring functions, jobs, and to see that civilization is indeed, not blown to ash. The exploration, crafting, atmosphere, and narrative of Fallout 4 all come together to make a successful RPG. Despite a few bugs here and there that can be patched soon and coming mod support for PC AND consoles, Fallout 4 becomes richly addicting and hours can seem like minutes as you tell yourself, ‘one more quick quest’ (believe me, it turns into fifty ‘just one more’).
- New cutscenes and fully voiced character makes Fallout 4 more engaging
- Excellent crafting system of settlements, weapons, and armor
- An epic soundtrack coupled with a perfect choice of 1950 style songs
- Immersive and fun exploration with plenty to do
- Interesting characters and companions
- A choppy frame rate for consoles
- Several bugs spread all over the game
- Texture issues