Fallout 4 Review
A Brief Overview
In case you haven't played and previous Fallout games, or simply don't know anything about them, Fallout is a game series in which you play a character in a future world in which a nuclear fallout has wiped out civilized life, leaving a harsh and radioactive wasteland. The first two games were developed by Black Isle Studios and release only on computer. Since Fallout 3, Bethesda has taken over the game series and so the first two games do have a bit of a different feel to them.
Fallout 4 is the forth actual game in the series (fifth if you include Fallout New Vegas which was released between Fallout 3 and 4) but since each game's story is centered around a different character, and aren't necessarily linked, you don't need to have played the previous games in the series to play the latest installment. There are a couple references to characters and events in previous games, but you can easily play through the game without that taking away from your experience.
This game is very much an action RPG with some shooter elements. You can change between first person and third person depending on what you prefer. The character is upgraded with skills you can unlock as you level up, along with getting and upgrading your weapons and armor. You are also able to play the game however you see fit. If you want to be an evil character who steals everything and treats people like dirt before shooting up the town, you are more than welcome to do that. However you can also play the good guy who helps out everyone in or anywhere in between.
The story in this game revolves around a main character who's child is kidnapped after hiding away in the vault just as the nuclear fallout begins. It's up to you to figure out what happened to your son and how to navigate the new wasteland. Sorry for the vagueness but the story really is so big and dependent on what ways you take to get there to go into much detail without giving away some spoilers. Ultimately there are four different factions you can end up teaming up with to discover what happened to your son and each path comes with its own difficult moral choices to make.
Fallout 4 Trailer
When I first saw the announcement trailer, I was pretty excited. The music was fantastic and what was revealed made Fallout 4 look like an epic journey of a game. I loved that it was announced that you would be able to customize your weapons and armor, and that they brought Dogmeat (the friendly dog companion) back from Fallout 3. I love RPGs and was excited to see one come to a next generation console, especially one from a game studio that I love.
To be honest, I didn't play Fallout 3 and New Vegas to the end, please don't hate me. While I'm an avid gamer now, and have always liked games, I was pretty new to the bigger project games when a friend showed me New Vegas. It definitely has a little be of a learning curve, at least it did for me since I am not fantastic at games and dropping me in an open world game full of deadly mutant creatures did not go well for me. Looking back I realize that the monsters that did kill me weren't that deadly compared to some of the others I could have run into, but I died quite a bit. It took me quite awhile to progress in the game simply because I was so bad at it and had never played anything quite like it before. When I finally figured it out, my game was deleted.... I thought, alright, I'm better at the game now, I'll just start over. However, my game just kept getting deleted, and not from game glitches, from other people saving over my file or deleting the save mistaking it for their own. After awhile, I kind of gave up on starting over again. I made it much farther in Fallout 3 but was distracted by other games.
But, when Fallout 4 was revealed, I was pretty excited and knew that this would be the Fallout game I'd actually complete. In fact I was so excited I ordered the pipboy edition, which is now sitting on my game shelf. Overall first impression was it was the game at the top of my list for 2015.
So after pre-ordering the game, the shipping method I chose made it so the game arrived four days later, which was edging on torture while I watched my other friends play the game. Overall, I loved the game. I played it in whatever spare time I had - which wasn't much unfortunately.
The story line started out simple enough. Watching your son get kidnapped while helpless to stop it, along with watching another tragedy seemed like great motivation to get your character running out into the wasteland hunting down the villains and finding your son. However, I was very quickly distracted by, well, everything the game had to offer. Right of the bat you are asked to help a group of people associated with the minutemen faction. While it starts off as a story quest, I quickly picked up all of the side missions from the minutemen and went completely off track from the story. From there I joined the Brotherhood of Steel, became a superhero, and so on.
It didn't take long before I was wondering the wasteland with more side quests than I could count and asking myself, wasn't I supposed to be looking for somebody....? This definitely isn't a complaint. I love a game that gives you so much to do that you can do whatever you want without being shoved into the story for lack of anything else. In fact, I think it took me over twenty hours of game play before I decided that I would check out this detective guy and start the search for my character's son.
However, shortly after this I found about a handful of other fantastic side quests, anywhere from solving crimes, helping an awkward radio host, to finding out the backstory of my new partner, Detective Nick Valentine - who happened to be a synthetic human (basically a robot) who had the memories of a human detective from before the war.
One the topic of partners, you obviously have the choice Dogmeat, a trust German Shepard you meet pretty early on in the game, Cogsworth, a robot butler your character had before the war, along with a number of different characters you meet and can befriend throughout your journey. One thing I didn't like was in this game, you couldn't have a companion along with Dogmeat. In Fallout 3 Dogmeat didn't count as a full companion, and neither did the robots so you were able to have one smaller partner and one humanoid. This game you can pick one. Maybe I'm complaining a bit more than the game deserves but I loved Dogmeat, but wanted to try out a new companion and was frustrated I had to ditch Dogmeat. My next companion was Nick Valentine, who was fantastic. His backstory is touching and he is really fleshed out as a character, not to mention his comments to everyone insulting him are hilarious. After picking him up as a companion, I never left him behind. Perhaps one day I'll go back and try a new companion...
Anyway, another bit of a disappointment was the fact that while you still had different speech options, it has been really dumbed down from the previous games. You have an option of four options and none of them are hilarious based off of your character having an intelligence level of two. I do like that the kept the fact that you can be perfectly agreeable or pleasant, or be a complete jerk, or be completely centered on how much you are going to get paid per task. There is one mission where you are supposed to find a little girl's cat, and you can simply continue to ask her to pay you more.
I also see that the story had some replay value. Along with creating a different character with a different skill set, you can also side with different factions to achieve the end goal of the story, and from what little I saw, you get some fairly different missions depending on what faction you side with, along with completely different morals. Personally I chose the Railroad the first time I played, simply agreeing with their thoughts on the situation more. Again, sorry for how vague it was but I want you to jump into the game and experience everything without bias. I would love to go back and follow some of the other factions just to see what happens.
I easily spent over fifty hours on my first play through and even though I finished the story, there is still more for me to do and explore. I haven't come anywhere close to uncovering the entire map or finishing all of the missions.
Overall, I definitely recommend you give the game a shot, even if you've never played a previous Fallout game before. If you enjoy open world games or RPG's this is definitely a game for you.