Fallout 4 review
Fallout 4 is an imperfect game.
In fact, my first two hours playing it were mediocre at best. Its dull introduction felt more like a puppet show than an interactive experience. I had to follow the game’s rules at the game’s pace, which resulted in me questioning Fallout 4‘s quality. Where was this brilliantly created masterpiece critics had been praising? I simply couldn’t find it.
That’s when I decided to act against the game, and walked away from my current objective.
Suddenly, the game became a completely different experience. I explored, spoke to non-playable characters, and discovered the game’s many mechanics. It was at this point that Fallout revealed itself to be much more than a sub-standard shooter.
As a story based game, Fallout floundered within the first couple of hours. But as an open world experience, Fallout blossoms. Proving that simply having a world worth discovering can allow players to create their own story, rather than following a narrative created by the developer.
I could be whoever I wanted, however I wanted. I could play a villain simply looking to spread chaos, or a travelling hero who wants to help save the world. I opted to play the villain.
This sense of character is mostly created through interacting with none-playable characters. Through dialogue choices, you can make friends and foes. Although I almost always chose to upset/annoy whoever I was speaking to (their reactions were always brilliant).
There are a ridiculous amount of stories to be found and created in Fallout‘s world.
At one point, I stumbled upon a community who had transformed their village into a fort. I decided to claim the fort as my home, and attempted to overthrow the locals.
It went terribly wrong. Whilst I managed to enter the location by killing the doorman and stealing his key, I was immediately murdered by turrets guarding the walls. I managed to succeed at invading the fort after many attempts, but it required careful planning and perfect execution.
Despite me failing time after time again, creating this scene never became tiresome. Each time I failed, it was so spectacular I couldn’t help but laugh. When I succeeded, though, the thrill of accomplishment made any frustration worthwhile.
Combat in Fallout is one of the many reasons why players will love playing. It’s chaotic and superficial, yet deep enough to keep players engaged for countless hours. It certainly has its flaws, such as it’s “VAT” system that doesn’t always lock onto your desired target, but the combat is always so fun it’s difficult to complain.
The main attraction of Fallout‘s combat is its weapon/equipment customisation. In addition to being able to make your own home (yes, like Sims), equipment customisation is ridiculously extensive.
Every weapon has its own customisation. Guns are far more detailed than melee weapons, but the fact you can upgrade all of your loadout is amazing. A simple weapon can be transformed into a doomsday device. Experimenting with weapons, their customisation options, and how enemies react to them is addictive.
That said, finding the correct parts to upgrade your weapons can be a drag. In order to upgrade any equipment, you must have the necessary materials to make the change. Unfortunately, locating them can be extremely tedious. It’s difficult to pinpoint where the parts could be, and despite me picking up loot for hours, I still didn’t have enough springs to make the parts I wanted.
It’s moments like these when Fallout begins to feel tiresome.
Why can’t I take other weapons apart to get materials? There is no good answer to that question, even though being able to strip weapons would speed-up weapon customisation dramatically.
This is yet another small fault in an otherwise great experience.
One issue other critics often complain about is non-playable character’s animations and the game’s graphics. Neither were a particularly big issue in my playthrough.
Character animations are bad, admittedly, but never takeaway from the experience. At their worst, they’re cringeworthy. At their best, they’re laughable. I often found myself laughing at the absurd facial expressions characters would pull, especially before I was going to shoot them.
The graphical fidelity of Fallout was probably the biggest surprise. At times, it’s great, and manages to capture its world perfectly. Other times, it looks average. There isn’t anything particularly awful about the way Fallout looks, and I’m surprised that critics have chosen to criticize this rather than its other issues.
Even with these problems, though, Fallout stands out as an excellent addition to any game collection. It’s an experience rich with potential, and one that you’ll latch onto once you begin creating your own narrative. Unfortunately, it’s not everything that the online community have promised us, but it’s close enough to keep players happy.