Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic open-world sandbox RPG made by the well-known and proven developer Bethesda Softworks. It is the fourth in a series based on the premise of nuclear war devastating the world. It takes place in an alternate timeline, splitting somewhere in the 1960’s,, where the cold war never ended and America changed drastically, dividing into provinces and ‘annexing Canada. The philosophy behind the fallout series is that “war never changes” and has a constant theme of showing how mankind acts in a desperate situation.
The gameplay in fallout 4 is very well done. An in depth weapon modification system compensates for the lack in weapon diversity; seamlessly meshing the two in a impressive way. The signature V.A.T.S. Aiming System makes a return as well, but slightly modified. Instead of freezing time to line up your shots it merely slows it down significantly. Although this may seem like a small change it has large-scale consequences since the system is such an iconic staple of the series. I personally prefer the freeze time method but I understand the need for a change. The most impact and important change of all though is having a fully-voiced player character.
Throughout the entirety of the fallout series you have been silent and picked from different text lines to interact with characters; imagining your own voice in your head. I cannot put into words how huge and controversial this decision was. With a silent player character you could project your entire self into the character. With this new character, with his/her own backstory and motivation, it is no longer you inside the game but a heavily-influenced protagonist. Though some objected to it, I do not mind the change. The only problem I have is that it limits the character appearance customization for me. It has the sort of “how can that face have that voice” sort of vibe sometimes.
The graphics are slightly above average, and could also be referred to as simply satisfactory. It is a victim of the infamous graphics or content trade-off. This phenomenon is characterized by having to choose between better graphics and less content or inferior graphics and more content. There are very rare occasions where both great graphics and high content are achieved, such as The Witcher 3, but that is an exception more than a rule. The constant war between fans of one side of the trade-off and the other is a long running one. I am on the side of less graphics for more content but I respect the other side’s opinion.
Since the story is so good I am going to go very light on spoilers. It takes place in the ruins of Boston and it’s surrounding areas. Due to the timeline split it is not the State of Massachusetts but the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The wasteland is thus known as The Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is now the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. You play as either a war veteran if you pick male or a lawyer if you pick female, both married to each other with a son. The opening sequence is the first time in the series you see the world before the bombs dropped. After the alarms sound your family enters a vault and gets cryogenic-ally frozen for 200 years and you wake up in the vault for your journey to begin. Overall the story is well written and clever, with a twist that is one of the best that I have ever experienced.
I would say that Fallout 4 lived up to the expectations I had for it, but only that. Unfortunately, other than that one twist in the story, it never goes beyond what I wanted from it. It is amazing but merely satisfactory when you really think about it. That does not mean it is bad, it is on the top 10 best games i’ve ever played. If you have played fallout 3 though, it is just more of the same greatness with no big risks taken other than the voice acting.
Rating 8.5/10-GOOD BUY