Home Game Reviews Fallout 4: Revisiting a Post-Apocalyptic Classic

Fallout 4: Revisiting a Post-Apocalyptic Classic

Fallout 4 review

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Fallout 4 -Feature Picture
Fallout 4 -Feature Picture

Title: Fallout 4
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Released: November 10, 2015
Platforms Available: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC Game
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Article Reading Time: 10 minutes

Introduction

War…War never changes. That’s exactly how every episode of the now legendary Fallout series, which has been with us for 30 years, begins.

Story Overview

When we start talking about the story itself, one interesting aspect is that the story plays second, maybe even third or fourth fiddle… In short, it’s not one of the reasons why players would play this game. To set the scene, fans of the series know that you are thrown into the wasteland of a nuclear world after the opening intro, which is always perfectly handled by the animation. This episode went about it a little differently, starting you off in a home that could define the now well-known term American Dream – a gorgeous house in the suburbs, a wife, a son, a car, and a typical everyday morning. This might be true if not for the doorbell ringing at one point from a door-to-door salesman who tells you about a very shortlisted Vault 111 project, to which you subscribe, leading you to the Vault. You are one of the few who will not be directly affected by the nuclear bomb blast or the subsequent radiation exposure. Unfortunately, you’ll be frozen for a mere 200 years immediately afterward. When you wake up, they’ll manage to turn your life completely upside down. Then, as a so-called Vault dweller (an inhabitant of an underground hideout), you embark on a bloody revenge portrayed as nothing more than a rescue. So we have one of the film industry’s biggest clichés that won’t be remembered in a year.

Gameplay Mechanics

When talking about the game itself and the overall gameplay, one of the things I didn’t even notice at first gave me a lot of pause and, more importantly, disappointment. Doing a bunch of different quests is familiar in RPGs. Still, the thing that set Fallout apart was that you could decide how your character was perceived by others, right from the very first episodes. It all worked on a morality mode that filled in on the side of the villain or saint, or you could remain a neutral character. From that, you had a decent line of quests in the game that were only available at a given level of morality. If I’m correct, the third installment offered morality-related perks as well. Forget all that, and if you’ve played the game a few times to try out all the possible solutions and sides, chalk it up to the minus side because you won’t find it here. The authors have dropped this fairly popular system.

Settlement System

On the other hand, one of the absolute novelties is the system of settlements that you can develop and acquire new settlers. Initially, you have only one settlement in Sanctuary Hills, which you can generate by planting plants and creating a water supply system. You can also electrify the whole area and bring various amenities. Each activity requires unique materials depending on what you need to make. You must collect all the components worldwide, which you then disassemble and use for equipment. This way, you can build entire buildings and smaller shelters for your survivors. You’ll find stations in the settlements to prepare food and make chemicals, weapons, armor, and more to help you survive. You’ll use these, especially when upgrading your weapons and armor, as you can fully modify them. So it’s no problem to change the grip of your gun, add a silencer, and have a sight. Plenty of other options spice up the game in their own way. It’s definitely a plus, as you can tailor everything to your play style.
Similarly, you can upgrade the Power Armor, a unique armor used extensively by members of the Brotherhood of Steel as one of the factions of the franchise. This armor protects you from radiation and a large amount of damage. It has been around like many other things since the first game, only this time you don’t get it until the end, but right at the beginning, as the armor sustains lives using the rather expensive Fusion Core batteries. You can also upgrade this armor extensively to make yourself an indestructible machine.

Character Development

Character development and the perk or skill tree are really high in the game, and you have to think about what style of play you want to go for. Here, one could point to the rival Witcher, who needed to be more in the skill tree and offered fewer development options. On the other hand, you can tailor your character to your liking, deciding whether to be accompanied by a companion or instead be a lone wolf and gain specific perk bonuses. There are 6 categories for each trait, such as strength, intelligence, or luck, for example. The latter has a total of 10 additional perks that are directly dependent on the level of the trait. These also work in completely different realms, such as increasing your resistance to radiation. Still, when you upgrade the perk to the max level, the radiation will even heal you. So this system is made precisely for players who want to customize their character and know what they want from the start, which is understandably difficult when you’re just starting to get to grips with the game for the first time. Other perks can, for example, increase your damage with certain weapons, unlock more challenging locks, or hack the defense system. The perk system is one of the main draws I would only partially dismiss the game for and is one of the more considerable pluses. In addition to this tree, the game also includes special perks you unlock by, for example, finding certain magazines scattered around the world.

Fallout 4 - Brotherhood of Steel Knight
Fallout 4 – Brotherhood of Steel Knight

Combat System

The combat system and controls haven’t changed from previous installments, and everything remains unchanged. In fact, this means you can switch between first and third-person views, which can be applied both during quests and during action-packed battles. The main question for those unfamiliar with the series is how the combat system works. This can be used in the standard way as in other FPS games, the inspiration of Destiny for example is very much evident, so there is a much more interesting combat system known as V.A.T.S. To use it, you use action points marked as AP, and depending on the type of weapon, you can hit enemies several times from the full pointer. In this mode, you also choose where to hit the enemy, and can inflict severe damage. For example, suppose you only shoot him in the leg, after destroying all the health for that part, the enemy will start to limp. In that case, his mobility will be reduced and he will not be able to run away. This system uses your field of view and the accuracy of your weapon to calculate the actual accuracy with which you hit a given party. This plays a significant role in how quickly you kill a friend and in what manner. I like this system (as I have since the beginning of the series); however, using it is unnecessary, so you can play a game like Borderlands, for example. I’ll also point out that if you use the V.A.T.S. system, you charge up the critical missile pointer, which you can then use to hit with more significant damage and 100% accuracy, as I’ve never had this missile miss its target.

Technical and Graphical Aspects

The technical and graphical aspects of the game are a big theme in themselves. Although Fallout 4 is out on a newer generation of consoles this time, the gentlemen from Bethesda forgot about it, and the game runs on the updated Creation engine used in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game looks good, but we wouldn’t have to go far. For example, The Witcher, released in the same year, is entirely different in this respect. Graphically, the game does not offend outright. Still, it has much catching up, which also applies to the characters’ physics and behavior. Very often, a character is lying on the ground in a bizarre position, has a broken limb, and is made of rubber. All this comes from the engine, because there are a lot of bugs like this in the game, whether it’s characters walking through walls, broken quests, or a dog walking in the air. Although gamers are used to bugs in these big RPGs, the bugs here are beyond tolerable, as they are pretty frequent and often very glaring. Players could tolerate and accept it better if they knew the developers had created a new engine. So in this case, if they chose an older engine, they should have avoided the bugs as mentioned earlier like wall-crawling or object-caving, and not repeat the identical bugs that, for example, the Skyrim above suffered from. But the worst part is that this is the PlayStation 5 version I’m reviewing. Yet, it’s still possible to talk about the game as it was on its original release date in 2015… The only new and positive thing this “next-gen” version has brought is a higher frame rate (i.e., an increase from 30 to 60fps) and a slightly faster loading screen.

Music and Atmosphere

Music accompaniment has become essential to the games, adding to the whole experience.
In this respect, I must commend the developers because the game is accompanied by an ambient sound that can be completely turned off in addition to a perfect sound. And instead, choose a radio station broadcasting from the wilderness, which plays “period” classical music. I like this system, as you are not left to the creators’ choice but can at least partially choose what you listen to.

Conclusion

Fallout 4 was no longer God knows what kind of game on the release day, even though it has its undeniable qualities in many ways. However, this was not helped significantly by the “next-gen” version I played and reviewed (PlayStation 5). It offers several good experiences, varied quests, and a well-conceived character development system to play around with. On the other hand, it doesn’t bring anything significantly new to the series. It also has a lot of blind spots, whether it’s the older engine with weaker graphics for its time, which is also full of bugs even today, or the departure from some previously very successful things like moral decisions. Suppose you’re a franchise fan, like the post-apocalyptic atmosphere, or have played The Witcher. In that case, the fourth Fallout is somewhat out of the question to reach for. If you can survive the things above, you might even have fun with the game; just don’t expect something revolutionary that we have yet to have before.

Where to Buy Fallout 4

  1. Steam (PC): Available for $19.99. Purchase it directly from Steam
  2. Epic Games Store (PC): The base game is priced at $19.99, and the Game of the Year Edition, which includes all six add-ons, is available for $39.99. Check it out on the Epic Games Store
  3. GOG (PC): The Game of the Year Edition is available for $15.99 (discounted from $39.99) on GOG.com
  4. PlayStation Store (PS4, PS5): The standard edition is priced at $19.99, and the Game of the Year Edition is available for $39.99. You can purchase it on the PlayStation Store or get it free if you have Playstation Plus Extra at least
  5. Xbox Store (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S): The base game is available for $19.99, and the Game of the Year Edition is priced at $39.99. Check it out on the Xbox.com​. Its included in Game Pass and can be played on Cloud
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Fallout 4 verdict:
67 %
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fallout-4-revisiting-a-post-apocalyptic-classicfalloutFallout 4 offers a robust post-apocalyptic experience with a well-crafted character development system and a variety of quests. The game's atmospheric setting and sound design add depth to the overall immersion. However, the next-gen version fails to address long-standing technical issues, and the dated graphics engine leaves much to be desired. While it brings some enjoyable moments and a rich world to explore, Fallout 4 doesn't deliver the revolutionary experience that fans might have hoped for. It remains a solid game for series enthusiasts and those who appreciate the genre, but it falls short of its full potential.

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