Playing on : Playing on : Windows 10 PC (AMD fx-8350, GTX 970 FTW, 12GB DDR3)
Year: 2015 (Automatron 2016) (Far Harbor 2016) (Nuka-World 2016)
I’ve been a huge fan of Fallout and the post-apocalyptic genre for about as long I can remember. Originally cautious of the leap to the “FPS RPG” spectrum that the series took with Fallout 3 I quickly learned that I loved the game and played it obsessively when I received a copy for Christmas. Same can be said for Fallout: New Vegas and all of that games expansions. Now after holding out for years I’ve finally purchased Fallout 4 along with all of its expansions. I’ve heard mixed things and I have to say I’m none too happy that the game has slid a little further away from the RPG part of “FPS RPG” and a little closer to the action FPS side but I certainly want to give the game a go and have tried to come into it with an open mind.
As for mods I didn’t want to use any that drastically change the game so I only stuck with a scant few such as more realistic blood splatters and a mod to get rid of the terrible dialogue interface and return things to a system more similar to the previous games where you can actually see what you going to make your character say.
The one thing I did initially love was a glimpse at pre-war America. I all the previous games you’ve either played as a vault dweller born well after the war or an inhabitant of the wasteland but finally in Fallout 4 you get to play as a character from pre-war times who was cryogenically frozen and thawed 200 plus years later. Long story short is your wife was defrosted at some point, shot and killed and your baby stolen. Unfortunately this all happens so fast in the story your not really given a chance to give a crap about either of them and after you yourself are thawed out there seems to be an overall lack of urgency to find the little guy. All and all it was still really cool to spend the opening part of the game walking around your pre-war home, watching TV and talking to your wife and the vault tech guy and not being in a traipsing around a 200 plus year old vault for once, even if the experience was all pretty short lived.
Combat in Fallout 4 has changed a little from Fallout 3 and New Vegas with more of an emphasis on real time combat and less on using the VATS systems. VATS now, instead of pausing the game puts everything in slow motion. honestly it’s not that huge of a change and I don’t find myself minding it too much. After doing the obligatory opening area where you get to navigate a vault in chaos and fight off the ubiquitous Radroachs I emerged into the wasteland.
The “overworld” or wastes in Fallout 4 are gorgeous in my opinion and I’m finding myself really enjoying them. I was really getting tired of the desert browns that permeated the color scheme of all previous fallouts and even though the wastes of Fallout 4 aren’t exactly colorful they feel a lot more vibrant than previously yet still convey the idea I am traveling in a post-apocalyptic landscape. This outing in the franchise takes place around the Boston area on the east coast. It’s not an area I’m intimately familiar with and I’m surprised they didn’t set things around New York city, maybe a future game?
As of writing this post I’m only about seven hours into the game so I haven’t got to experience that much of the map but I have come across some neat areas such as Walden pond. a crashed airliner and a car factory amongst other things. I’ve experienced a few weather events as well such as a radioactive storm that again, is pretty glorious to behold.
Early on in the game I got a hold of power armor, which now works different, and was tasked with stopping raiders and killing a deathclaw with it. I have a few mixed feelings about this as Fallout 4 seems to put a lot of weapons and armor in your hands early which in previous games were not acquired until later and felt more earned there. The armor works a little different as you don’t just put it on like normal armor but it acts almost as a sort of vehicle which you need fusion cores to operate for a limited amount of time and you can customize parts and mix and match. You can store the armor at particular spots and come back and put it on for particularly hard parts. I think I actually prefer the old way of doing things a little better and it just feels a little overcomplicated to me. Hell I had to look up just how to get in and out of the armor and since that inital section have not used it. I suppose its nice to know it’s there if I encounter a really tricky section but it doesn’t feel earned. Its the same thing with items such as the minigun and laser rifle and Fatman, I just feel they are acquired a little too early.
I’m also not thrilled with how the new perk system works and it just seems odd and overcomplicated compared to the previous installments though I won’t go into in this first entry since I want to get a better grasp of it before I do.
So far I’ve encountered two factions, the Minutemen which are like the local authorities and of course, the Brotherhood. I’ve been helping each out as I’m playing a relatively good character but I know the game has a third faction, the Institue, who are using things called synths to infiltrate the wastes. Unfortunately my favorite faction, the Enclave seem to be absent, not that it matters as you never really get to side with them in any games. The odd thing is that even though I was attacked by synths in the Brotherhood missions and have come across several people talking about synths I’ve never actually been given the dialog option to ask what the damn things are or what they want.
I actually wasn’t enjoying myself in the first 5 hours or so of the game as much as I thought I would. I remember Fallout 3 devouring my free time when it first came out and playing nonstop for days. New Vegas also gave me the same sort of experience with not being able to play anything else after I started the game for weeks. It feels like that magic has died a little bit with Fallout 4 and I’m not entirely sure its the game or just me. Maybe the formula is finally getting a little old to me and walking out of the vault into the wasteland just doesn’t have the same awe as it used to.
Thankfully as I’ve hit the five hour mark or so the game is starting to really warm up to me again and I’m starting to once again feel that urge to wonder the wastes. Hopefully this will continue and I’ll have high praise for the game once all is done.