War. War never changes. And for the core gaming experience, neither dies Fallout. In preparation for Fallout 4’s release, I dusted off my old 360 and started a fresh game of Fallout 3. Despite the obvious graphical limitations of going back to a last gen game, I had a blast. I even managed to discover new things in the capital wasteland. And it’s the same with Fallout 4, from the get go, I was having fun. Everything just felt natural. I was home.
Of course, this was a slightly different home, and the first real indication of how different some parts were going to be was when I met my first feral ghoul. These were fairly manageable creatures in Fallout 3, but now they are more like Danny Boyle’s rage Zombies. Once they see you, they rush you. Empty a clip into them and still they come. Shoot off their arms, and they don’t slow down.
Tread very carefully wastelander,for this is not the Capital Wasteland.
Bethesda have left the heart of Fallout alone, and tweaked or changed everything else. And it’s all in a good way, so I’m not going to list and detail everything that’s been changed, that would spoil the fun of discovering it for yourself. I will go into a few things, but Fallout 4 is just waiting to be discovered by an adventurous sort.
The story in Fallout 4 begins briefly before the bombs drop, but the fun really begins 200 years later, when you rise from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix. The world you knew and loved has gone, replaced with a rather nice looking atomic wasteland.
The basic story-line is similar to Fallout 3’s, another find the missing person quest, set in the greater Boston area. The Brotherhood of Steel are still a force to be reckoned with, and are still trying to prevent people from using dangerous technology. Lots of Super Mutants are still ready and willing to kill you, even having suicide bomber versions and their own mutant dogs! And of course there are the raiders and a rather well outfitted mercenary group who will also kill you on sight. There are of course plenty of friendly people, and possible companions. Companions that can be flirted with and romanced.
The new player in Fallout 4 is a shady organisation called The Institute, a group of scientists who went underground when the bombs began to fall and are responsible for the growing scourge of synthetic humans, or Synths. They also seem responsible for kidnapping your child when you were trapped in vault 111.
Yes, I said seem responsible. I don’t really know who is responsible for anything yet, I’m over 30 hours into Fallout 4 and I’ve still got plenty of the main story to complete. With all the new features (you could get lost in just scavenging and building a community for a vast amount of time if you wanted to) there is just so much to do and see. The side quests always seem to lead to more side quests, and whilst their is an ache to complete the main story-line you just don’t want to miss out on anything the game has to offer.
The area of play is massive, and an awful lot of it contains buildings that you can explore, and some of these buildings seem to be like the Tardis, making exploration both a joy and a time consuming hobby. One thing to be wary of – and if you’ve played Fallout 3, you already know to save regularly – is that you never know who is sneaking up on you. Last night I had just cleared a building of raiders as part of a side quest, and had started looting the place when something attacked me from behind. Shit, I thought to myself, I thought I had cleared out all the raiders, only to turn around to find myself backed into a corner by a Deathclaw.
I died in that corner, a horrible death, made all the more horrible by the realisation that I hadn’t saved since entering the building. I was going to have to kill those raiders all over again.
Hold on a second I hear you cry out, you haven’t mentioned the bugs. The bugs that people have been saying destroy the game. Well, in any game you allow for a certain number of minor bugs. Then you get large open world games like Fallout, GTA or Assassin’s Creed, where you allow for a larger number of bugs. That’s the pay off for being given freedom in a large environment. In my 30 hours of playing Fallout 4 I’ve only encountered one major graphical glitch, a few minor funny ones (the type you expect), a couple of creatures stuck in the scenery making it easy to kill them, and a brief moment when a couple of synths an NPC killed vanishing in-front of me before I had time to loot their bodies. I’ve yet to encounter anything that has adversely effected game-play.
Fallout 4 is a game I will quickly return to once I’ve gotten through the backlog of games that always swamp me in the lead up to Christmas, and will see me through the traditional game drought early next year. It’s one of the few games that will encourage me to replay it once I’ve finally finished it.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R18 Graphic violence and offensive language.
Reviewed by: Jonathan