Fallout 4 Review
I have done a number of shorter articles for Games Reviews on Fallout, and those will be combined here for a full scored review of the game. Fallout fans will find more to love with Fallout 4. It is not a huge advancement over Fallout 3, and the graphics are not what you would expect from a highly touted RPG. That being said, we still had lots of fun with Fallout here in our offices, and could easily recommend it to any RPG fan.
The first few hours of Fallout 4 have exhilarated me, frustrated me, and made me go, “What?” That is what you are in for if you decide you want to play Fallout 4. I can safely say that if open world RPG’s are your thing, you probably don’t want to pass up on this, even if you’ve never played a Fallout game in the past.
The first shock I had was the look of Fallout 4. Bethesda has been pretty good about pushing the graphical capabilities of the systems it launches on, but Fallout 4 was a tad disappointing for me. I’m not saying the game doesn’t look good, it just isn’t great. It’s not Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it’s not The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Frankly, no one is playing Fallout for the graphics, it is the game play that matters and Fallout 4 picks up where Fallout 3 ended.
You are literally getting more of the same when transitioning from Fallout 3 to Fallout 4. Longtime fans of the franchise will be OK with this, but newer players might be a bit disappointed. The story of Fallout is actually pretty intriguing, although from what I’ve seen, the major plot points happen at the beginning and the end, with the middle acting as a filler. It’s not great, and it’s not terrible. It is the catalyst for the game play, which is the true gem here.
For newer players to the franchise, the first few hours will be incredibly overwhelming. You will gather things you aren’t quite sure what to do with – Hint: Grab Everything – use weapons that you are not familiar with, and get thrown into situations that you probably are not ready for. My advice is to take your time, enjoy what is around you, and make yourself VERY familiar with your Pip-Boy.
I have died a lot in the first few hours, and often times I like to blame this on in game glitches. This is the most disappointing aspect of Fallout 4. A number of times already I’ve experience glitches that have cost me to lose a ton of progress. This is partially a fault with the game, but human error plays a role as well. Fallout gives you the option to favorite weapons to the D-pad – on Xbox One – allowing you to quickly swap between weapons. I loaded up three weapons: a pipe pistol, pipe rifle, and a musket. While firing on a group of raiders, my pipe-rifle ran out of ammo. Using the D-Pad I attempted to switch to my pipe pistol, and although I had the gun preset, and although I had ammo available, my person never pulled it out. After the “return weapon, draw new weapon” animation was complete, I was left standing still holding an ammo-less rifle. A few seconds later, I was dead. Another glitch which I have only experienced once was switching to my musket only to be left holding an invisible gun. My hands were still where they should have been, and my finger still pulled an imaginary trigger; unfortunately, there was nothing there to actually shoot with. Again, this ended in death. These glitches happened a bit more often than I would have liked, but after rebooting the game I have yet to encounter these again. I’m really hoping it was a one time thing.
Fallout 4 is great if you enjoy lots of action outside of the main quest line. If you don’t spend at least an hour trying to create a realistic representation of yourself you are either insanely talented or you just are not doing it correctly. I know individuals who have spent hours – notice plural, hours – trying to create a realistic representation of themselves. I’m not that dedicated or talented, so I gave up just over an hour in. Frankly, I got to a point where I just wanted to play the game, and couldn’t care less about the character I created – especially since I play exclusively in first person!
I spent a majority of my early time in Fallout 4 working on my home base. The game gives you multiple areas to establish a base, and as you add more to your bases, people will come to live and work there. Off the top you are given two choices: the town where you originally lived or a gas station nearby. Personally, I would suggest beginning at the town where you start with a good group of individuals to help you out, as well as lots of items to scrap, food to eat, and more.
I would say the game does an OK job to explaining how creating a base works, although I did have to Google more than I would have liked to fully understand what I was doing. The first thing I did was walk around the town scrapping anything and everything. Broken doors, rusted out cars, fallen trees, and more will provide you with valuable resources for crafting other items. It wasn’t long before I had a good amount of steel, wood, cloth, and other items. I was all ready to base build.
Building a base is relatively easy if you know what you are doing and don’t have to run off to find crafting items. Your first task will be to craft beds for your residents; should you have ample wood and cloth, this should be fairly easy. I know a lot of people who just plopped down 5 beds in one house – even placing one in a bathroom! – but I choose to clean out a few houses and place beds around the town. After you have finished creating beds, the game will lead you through water collection, food collection, and defenses – yes, you can get attacked.
For the most part, this tutorial worked. However, when I ran out of resources I navigated via my Pip-Boy to my junk collection and realized I had items that could be scrapped to get me the resources I needed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to scrap junk that contained multiple resources. After lots of menu searching, I hopped on the Internet and realized all I needed to do was transfer my junk from the inventory to the workbench, and it would be scrapped automatically when the resource was needed. Straightforward, perhaps. However, the game NEVER explains this to you, which has caused frustration for more than just myself.
Overall, base building is really great, and loads of fun. You can create your own rooms, put up walls, floors, and a roof. You can place furniture and other items around the house. It won’t look pretty – it is Fallout after all – but it will be usable space that your residents will appreciate. Once you begin building, don’t forget to actively check back in. Without your consistent support, residents will become unhappy and leave. The more productive your base is, the more you will get out of it in terms of resources, ammunition, bottle caps, and more.
Overall, Fallout 4 is still a really great experience, despite minor glitches and a underwhelming graphical engine. The game still plays great. The story – which is pretty good overall, despite a few disappointments throughout – is probably the worst aspect of the game. That is saying a lot. Bethesda has done so much with Fallout 4 which makes it easy to overlook minor issues. Whether you are a Fallout fan, an RPG fan, or if you’ve never tried a game like this before, I’m almost positive you will find something to love that justifies your purchase.