With the release of Fallout 76 starting to pick up its pace, I thought I’d review the older title which the basis for the newest title takes most of its influence.
Bethesda’s Fallout 4 takes form in the usual formula from the other games in the series, with a few extra bells and whistles to lift it above the others. You start in a cosy futuristic and nostalgic home with your wife and son Sean, soon the Vault company goon comes to try and harp on about the benefits of surviving the nuclear war to come and before you know it, it happens. In the panic you rush with other onlookers to the nearest vault, coincidentally just up the road, your adventure begins and you are thrust into the cryo unit and frozen in time, whilst inside you encounter some strange happenings and realise some bald dude has taken your son. The premise of the game, where is Sean?
Upon escaping the Vault you head back to what’s left of your town, Sanctuary. From here on out it is up to you what quests you take and where you go. Quests are divided depending which course you take, the usual groups occupy the world, Minutemen, Brotherhood of Steel, The Railroad or the evil Institute. The minutemen are the do-gooders, insisting that helping everyone survive by being nice to everyone is the answer, the Brotherhood are the military goons insistent on warfare to survive, the Railroad are the mystery bunch and the Institute are shrouded in all that’s evil, relying on machines to build the future, which really, is where the world went wrong initially.
The open world is completely free to roam, depending on how brave you are, filled with mutated freaks, animals, human opponents, super mutants, insects and robots. Based upon a bigger American city than before, the map is huge and has endless capabilities. Its visually stunning too, especially as you head towards the main populated areas such as Diamond City, a city built on remains of a stadium, sealed of by a great wall.
The story is not the most imaginative but certainly gives the game a purpose
Big features of this title were the customization of your character, weapons, and the big one – settlement building. The character creation suite saw a huge improvement in its looks, weapon mods were more useful and you could make big improvements. The settlement building is simply excellent, capable of building massive, sprawling, living communities horizontally and vertically, you can build beacons for travellers and nomads to come and join your cause, build defenses, shops for trading, weapon storage and power suit areas, living quarters ranging from post war dugouts to plush looking underground bunkers thanks to a vault building DLC later released. Once you unlock a leader perk you are able to manage as many settlements as you can and use them to trade amongst themselves.
The story is not the most imaginative but certainly gives the game a purpose, after discovering the main factions you are then given the option to take two of them and team up to take down the other two, benefits from teaming with any of them differ slightly, although there is a lot that Fallout does well, with number four it seems that they have forgotten what ‘sole survivor’ means, and the game has a habit of not leaving you alone to tackle the world, offering the Skyrim style companion, which is optional of course, even with settlement building comes attack waves from other factions, which at first is cool but after a while you kind of get bored with constantly looking after your worthless no named settlers, who constantly seem to complain about the state of living, do they remember that they live in a post apocalyptic world?
Overall the game is fantastic and you can spend hours doing nothing but cooking, harvesting and building a life for people, or you can be the lone wolf and go raiding and looting as before, and Bethesda certainly upped the game on this one, the choice format does not really set it apart but the combat and complexity of other areas certainly makes it an industry standard for other titles.