Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Fallout is one of those series that has so much lore to it, that even diehard fans are still picking up the pieces from previous games. Eighteen years have gone by since we were first introduced to the world of Fallout. Since then, numerous sequels and spinoffs have been made. It wasn’t until Fallout 3 in my opinion that the series began to really show what it was capable of giving us.
My time with Fallout 3 was incomplete simply because I didn’t truly embrace all that the wasteland had to offer. I plan on going back when I finish with Fallout 4, whenever that may be, thanks to the included digital copy of it with the Xbox One version. In the meantime, tell my family I love them and once this review is finished, I plan on locking myself back up into Vault 111.
There is so much to talk about, however most of it tends to fall into spoiler territory so we won’t go there. The game starts you off in your home, where you create your protagonist. Once you spend the first hour there, the game begins. (I’m sure some of you will spend even longer making your character.) When you take control of the character, you are able to walk around the house and get comfortable with the controls, if you aren’t used to them.
Next, you meet your Mister Handy named Codsworth. He is your butler and useful during the introduction of the game. You spend the early portion of the game in your house when you eventually hear about nuclear fallout and have to evacuate with your spouse and child to Vault 111. This whole sequence was terrifying, simply because of the thought that something like that could possibly happen to us in the real world. Also, as a soon to be father, the safety of my family hit home. Good job Bethesda.
Once you end up in the vault, you are guided to some chambers, where you are cryogenically frozen for 200 years! Wait, I didn’t sign up for this. Well, technically I did, when the Vault Tec salesmen stopped by earlier. See kids, make sure to read the terms and conditions when you update your iTunes.
You are in a world where everything has changed, except one thing. War… War never changes. Some important story context happens within the vault so I will skip ahead more into what you can do now that you are out.
First and foremost is looking for survivors. Fans of the series will know what to expect from the wasteland, but I’ve had many readers ask me to speak for the newcomers that are interested in trying Fallout for the first time. My suggestion? Pick it up if you like Action/Adventure/Role Playing Games. Fallout does so much to accommodate fans of all different genres. You have elements from First Person Shooters, Adventure, Action, Simulation, and even tactical RPGs.
I spent the first eight hours doing missions for a group called the Minutemen. The focus of most missions was to save people from scavengers, super mutants, or other creatures of the Wasteland. Once you clear out areas, you then have the ability to “Rebuild” and make the locations livable again for the people you save. This type of feature is something I would traditionally ignore, but found myself going out of my way to make sure the others were comfortable and had something to eat and drink. Who am I?!
Fallout 4 has really changed my perception of what an all in one game experience can be. After 10 hours, I decided to look at my progress and saw that I only accomplished one story mission! This is what Fallout is all about and I’m impressed that the context of side missions is so in depth and varied. I didn’t feel like anything was redundant, which is what happens in most games’ side missions.
While you are out in the Wasteland saving people, or doing the exact opposite, since you can, you will gain experience and level up. This is where you will build up on your perks. The perks are first introduced when you are installing the game in the form of little infomercials. The perk chart is vast and gives a lot of variety on how to build everyone’s character up. A total of seventy different perks are available and each can be upgraded beyond the initial unlock.
The biggest and most important thing to discuss is the combat. Fallout 3’s combat was lackluster and not without its share of headaches. I’m happy to report that the combat has been refined and even inspired by games like Destiny. You still have the ability to change between FPS and Third Person view on the fly. I prefer the FPS mode and you can tell Bethesda really poured their heart into making it right.
Even with all these upgrades, there is still Something that has been a staple of the series. The Pip Boy makes its return with a new companion app that can be used solo or with the Pip Boy Edition of the game, which includes a life-sized Pip Boy replica that you can fit most smartphones into. The companion app replicates what your character sees in the menu section, so you can manage all of your equipment, apparel, items, map and more. You can even find little Holo-tapes that include mini games you can play on your Pip Boy.
To be honest, I’m simply scratching the surface with what you can do in Fallout 4. You can do the right thing and help people or be a total D-Bag and kill anyone in your path. I’m enjoying every second I spend in the Wasteland and really have little interest in playing anything else. I truly believe for newcomers showing interest in Fallout 4, this is the definitive entry point to get started on and if you have an Xbox One, you not only get the addition of free mods down the line, you also get Fallout 3 digitally for free with Day One editions.
I hope my review was helpful in guiding your decision to join me in the Wasteland. If you need me, I will be in the Commonwealth with the other Minutemen, making a difference. Tell my family I love them.