Fallout 4 is one of those games that remind me to look outside every once in awhile to see the sun rise. From the opening sequence cuts of live-action CGs, to the powerful glints of sunrays that pours through your digital fingers, Fallout 4 welcomes you to its wretched world with open radiated arms.
Bethesda does things a little differently this time, giving you a glimpse of the world before the Great War, told through a typical family morning. The game moves quickly from the world above to the world below, where your story begins in Vault 111.
You’ve been cryogenically frozen in the Vault and for the next 200 years lie in stasis, until your rude awakening in the year 2287. You discover your significant half is killed and your son has been taken and thusly you exit the vault for the first time in 200 years to find your son.
A First Look
Though Fallout 4 looks particularly good, it hasn’t hit the high eye-gleaming factor that Fallout 3 does the first time you emerge from the vault. The environment you’re greeted with is bright and colourful, with diverse colour palettes, a stark contrast to the brownish tint of its predecessor.
Fallout 4 takes place in Boston, where you’ll be introduced to the three major factions: The Brotherhood, The Railroads and The Synths. You’ll be interacting a whole lot with those groups throughout the main quest line, as well as for side quests and odd jobs.
Storyline and Quests
Quests… Oh man…. First of all the main thing to remember is that the quest lines in Fallout 4 are interconnected with some of the side quests, not just on the surface but in a way that could change the ultimate outcome of your Fallout story. This leads to an overall cohesive plot line, but it does make you re-think all your decisions. Want to join the Brotherhood? Do the quests! But wait… “Does this help me find my son as well?”
The story overall rests a lot of its foot on the subject of being human. It does a good job of making you to stop and think about the repercussions of your actions.
Gameplay has improved overall. Aiming down the sights now actually hits! Guns now feel heftier thanks to the sound design and animation though it all still feels largely the same.
V.A.T.S; Fallout’s version of bullet time is back this time with a twist. Instead of completely pausing time, it shows everything down to a crawl. Though it makes for a faster gameplay it is sometimes frustrating to see a hit rating of 90 that drops down to 0 just because of a metal rod sticking out from the ground blocking the leg target.
Companions are back! And they don’t die forever when killed! Rejoice fellow gamers! Instead, companions now just fall to the ground disabled, and back again once the surrounding is clear of enemies.
Like in good ol’ Bethesda fashion, companion AIs still have their irritating quirks. For one, they don’t follow you closely! I can’t recall how many times I had to wait or look about to find them. This is especially frustrating in the open world with cars and houses about.
There is also another minor bug, in that you will have to have your companion nearby you before entering into another area if not your companion won’t reappear in the next area. So maybe the next time do look around before opening that red door.
Another great addition to Fallout 4 is the base building and crafting. Thanks to Bethesda’s other franchise Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, base building and crafting have somewhat become a large but totally optional feature in Fallout 4. Just a word of caution: Do try to play into the main quest line a little more before going into this feature. Trust me.
Some of the Negatives
Under the thickness of features and greatly expanded gameplay of Fallout 4, comes the irradiated and still untreated belly of the beast. Fallout 4’s UI is notably designed with consoles in mind. Clunky interface, mouse offset clicks and directional conversations; you need to be close and upfront to actually bring up the conversation UI with NPCs. We still have to look to modders to work on these things, which Bethesda should’ve learned by now.
Technical inconsistencies are still a plague here. Slow loading textures, proxy objects are seen even when you’re up close and of course the nightmare of all gamers the crash to desktop screen. (Frame rate varies with each PC setup) These technical hiccups are no different either on the console versions.
Where Fallout 4 improves on a lot of aspects of its gameplay it still fails to fix a lot of the smaller bugs. However, that being said those bugs pale in comparison to the dreaded wasteland that Bethesda has created.
Fallout 4 leaves you with a sense of curiosity and every time you try to leave chair, it begs you to stay, tempting you to find out what’s beyond that horizon. And when you face your first mobs of ghouls with your power armour…
“Ad victoriam Knight…”