Fallout 4 Review – Bethesda Never Changes

If you’ve ever played or seen any Bethesda game in the past, you probably know what to expect when it comes to Fallout 4. And while Fallout 4 never exactly blew me away with it’s story or gameplay it did manage to keep me hooked for hours on end. Chasing side quests, main story missions and just exploring the vast wasteland. For new and old fans alike, Fallout 4 certainly has a lot on offer. Even if what’s on offer isn’t always stellar.

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Fallout 4 tells the tale of a pre great war citizen who is thrust into the commonwealth (Fallout 4’s wasteland) in hopes of finding their lost child. In doing so, your character will  find him or herself in a war between factions who all share a common enemy in the Institute. A shady group that everyone fears and who you believe has taken your child.

While the narrative isn’t exactly great or original, their were enough twists and turns to keep me interested and their was always the constant drive to see the story through to its conclusion. What’s disappointing though is that I never truly felt like my decisions actually affected anything in the story. The only choices that seemed to change the ending was what faction you ended up siding with. And even then it’s just a short cutscene.

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The world of Fallout 4 is a terrifyingly beautiful one. From the lights and structures of Diamond City to the desolate landscape of the radiated Glowing Sea. The world is made even better with the inclusion of a great soundtrack and an excellent radio station. On a technical level Fallout 4 is nowhere near what it should be in terms of graphics. But the world is just so alive and full of character that it’s easy to ignore subpar graphics and performance issues. 

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Gameplay is the main attraction in Fallout 4. Gunplay, traversal, combat, levelling up, it’s all here and it’s better than ever. Shooting feels especially refined, with weapons that are noticeably different from one another. V.A.T.S make a return and with it you’re able to slow down time and deliver blows to specific body parts. It becomes especially handy once you get to the harder firefights in the game. 

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Companions are one of the biggest parts of Fallout 4’s gameplay. Companions can be anyone or anything, from super mutants to robots. They mostly just assist you in shootouts but they also now serve as the game’s karma system. This does somewhat ruin things though if you want to be evil, since your companion won’t like you much if you steal or kill innocents. And of course you can romance them and doing so unlocks special perks as well as the ability to sleep with them, which grants an XP bonus. 

Using a workshop you can upgrade and craft weapons which makes killing things all the more fun when you do it with something you spent hours putting together. Crafting also extends to armour and chems as well as power armour. 

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For the first time in a Fallout game, you’re able to customise and build settlements. Anything from building and placing structures to creating complex trade routes between all your settlements. While settlement building isn’t exactly necessary, it does help in the long run by providing caps and giving you extra fighters in the minutemen faction. It also gives new meaning to collecting loot since everything can be used in your workshop. I once went around collecting hotplates in order to use their copper to build electronics.

In terms of bugs and glitches, I didn’t run into many but there was this reoccurring one where NPC’s would spawn on rooftops. Which can be especially annoying if they’re a quest giver. I also fell through the world a couple of times. Lip syncing and animations were also off some of the time, even to the point where it became comical. While playing on PS4 I did experience noticeable frame rate drops and often objects didn’t load textures. It definitely doesn’t seem like a game released in 2015, but luckily the game’s content is good enough that technical issues can often be overlooked.

Nearly forty hours in and I’m still finding new things to see and do in the wasteland. From helping a radio DJ gain some confidence to uncovering the truth about a companion. 

Once again Bethesda did it, they delivered a massive open world RPG with plenty to do. But in doing so, they once again created a game that feels cheap and unpolished at times. 

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But even with all of it’s drawbacks, none of them truly detract from the experience. Fallout 4 is a game bursting to life with character and humour. The narrative is engaging, the gameplay is heavily refined and the world in which the game inhabits can be truly breathtaking.

Fallout 4 Is A Great Game

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