Games like Fallout 4 only come around every 5 years or so. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out in 2011, and for the last 4 years, it was the game to which all open world RPGs have been compared to. Fallout 4 is going to be that game now for the next several years until Bethesda outdoes themselves again, and make no mistake, they’ve outdone themselves, big time. I won’t be reviewing this game, heck, I probably won’t even finish it this year, and we all know it’s a great game, so here’s my impression of it so far.
Choices matter. In any open world RPG, if your choices don’t affect the story, it’s a bad game. The amount of choices I’ve been given in the last few days of playing Fallout 4 have been staggering. First off, you have to choose between being a male or female protagonist. No big deal for Bethesda, right? Wrong. Unlike previous entries, this game is fully voice acted, much like The Witcher 3, and so far, it’s done just as well. Gone are the days of your silent protagonist, character interactions are mostly small cutscenes now, and sometimes, being blunt gives you blunt results like in the video above. I expected maybe a little pushback when I said “Kill the Synth,” but nope, he was dead 2 seconds later. I have no idea what a Synth, or The Institute for that matter is, but that happens in open world games. Sometimes you’re thrust between factions without even knowing it. There’s also a million weapons to choose from, my personal favorite so far is a Chinese Officer’s Sword. As you’ve also seen, I also have a Big Boy, but I’ve yet to find any ammo for it, so who knows, shooting mini nukes may become my favorite weapon. There’s a bunch of different guns, melee weapons, and other stuff, including a freeze gun. Personally, I suck at using guns in Fallout 4, and I’ve done just fine with a melee build so far, occasionally pulling out a gun for unreachable enemies, so there’s plenty of choice in weaponry. The biggest new addition to Fallout 4 are settlements, where you tear down and rebuild places so that you have safe territories to send workers, store items, mod weapons, or just take a break from killing raiders, and there’s more than one. Settlements take a lot of time to work on, so it’s up to you to choose how robust your settlements become. Aside from story, battle, and settlement choices, you also have to decide at the beginning of the game where to dump a lot your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points.
Stats in Fallout 4 are kind of complicated, but here’s the dumbed down version. Each category has 10 levels with a perk for each level. Some perks have multiple levels. Unlike previous Bethesda entries, there is no level cap, which means you can eventually get every perk and every level. Unless you’re playing on PC, getting all those perks will take a very long time. So choosing what to pick first will set your tone for the rest of the game, because you can’t respec later on. Are you going to focus on crafting, or survival, or maybe hacking and lock picking? There’s a lot to choose from. You start off with 20 something points which can only be used for category increases, but no perks. As you see above, I put most into Intelligence because more intelligence gives you more experience, but depending on how you play, you might focus elsewhere.
So, I’m going to get back to playing Fallout 4. I’m only level 7. I am not prepared for what lies ahead. Let us know in the comments below how you’re enjoying the game. This is my first time playing a Fallout game, and I’m sorry I wasn’t sooner. I’ve played my share of Elder Scroll games, so I’m familiar with a lot of the basic mechanics, but I’m enjoying the hell out of this new setting.
Name: Fallout 4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Game purchased by reviewer and reviewed on the PS4.