Crawl Out Through The Fallout

Fallout 4 Review

Put down your Nuka Cola and find that bottle cap stash you hid somewhere in your shelter because Fallout is back! What started off as a 2D role playing game on the MS-DOS operating system has over the years become a triple-A title grossing over $750 million (fortune, 2015) on launch day alone. Wait, you haven’t heard about Fallout? Ah! You must be the Vault dweller everyone’s been talking about! Have a seat and let me explain what you’ve missed out on…

The Fallout series takes place in the now post-apocalyptic United States of America, where every resource is scarce and every survivor is a potential foe. The heroes of the series are lucky individuals selected to partake in a governmental program, which provided its citizens with state of the art nuclear shelters, simply referred to as Vaults. At least that’s the official version of what the inhabitants were told. The truth was much grimmer. The secondary mission of these Vaults was to carry out social experiments on selected strata of society.

The story of Fallout 4 begins in an alternative version of 1950’s Boston, sprawling with high-tech butler robots and nuclear powered cars. The American Dream continues as we are introduced to the main character, his lovely wife, their robotic butler Codsworth and their newborn child. All is well until we are greeted by a Vault Tec representative, who informs us that we have been given a free ticket to their state of the art fallout shelter, Vault 111. Surely only a mad man would turn down such an exquisite offer.
Not long after the Vault Tec representative heads off on his merry way, shit hits the fan, except it’s not shit but nukes and the fan is Boston. And so our character and his family conveniently seek shelter in Vault 111, ready to repopulate the Earth once they wake up from their cryogenic sleep.

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Vault 111, where sweet dreams turn into nightmares.

The gameplay is a major step forward, when it comes to gun play in the Fallout series. Aiming is smooth as can be and the V.A.T.S. system no longer freezes time, instead we can feel like Neo from The Matrix and fight our foes in slow motion bullet time. However, the role playing elements did suffer substantially due to restricted dialogue options and an OK story line. Once again mods can solve this problem but ideally a player should not need to mod a game to make it playable.

All other gameplay mechanics seem to work out well in practice and the addition of a customizable personal home base is a nice touch when it comes to immersion. After all, who wouldn’t feel attached to something they built from scratch? Especially if a band of blood thirsty super mutants is on the way to turn your fellow survivors into tasty snacks.

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A Deathclaw in its natural habitat.

If you’re ready to have your mind blown by realistic water effects and life like character animations then you’ll be a bit disappointed to say the least. The so called Creation game engine which Fallout 4 utilizes is the same old but trustworthy engine used in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which as we all know is more or less four years old. I will not lie, I cringed a couple of times at the awful face animations of creepy junkie Mama Murphy. However not all is lost, lo and behold the glorious mods of the PC master race! Once you install a couple of these mods you can feast your eyes upon realistic water, lifelike eyes and more! All right, installing mods is not optimal but for those of us with fragile eyes they are a god send.

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Visiting Diamond City, crown jewel of the wasteland.

“Bongo, bongo, bongo I don’t wanna leave the Conggo Oh! No! No! No! No! No!”(Civilization, The Andrews Sisters & Danny Kaye) I also don’t want to quit listening to that awesome soundtrack which accompanies me as I scavenge the wasteland in search of trouble. When it comes to the music department, Fallout 4 easily beats anything else I have had the opportunity to play. The soundtrack consists of period music from before the fictional Great War and boasts stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Ward and the Dominoes, Cole Porter, Dion and The Belmonts and many more. Good music has become the hallmark of the entire Fallout series and every fanboy and fangirl out there will agree with me that this is one of the reasons that people keep buying these games. The atmosphere and immersion is simply irreplaceable.

Hold on to your seats, the verdict’s in! If you’re a hardcore fan of the series, you should do yourself a favor and get the game if you already haven’t. If you’ve never played any of the games in the series then there’s no better time than now to dive into the majestic world of this franchise. It’s not a perfect production, but that’s not what this game is about. It’s all about the suspension of disbelief that Fallout 4 achieves with its immersive and fascinating fantasy world.

 

Story                      7/10

Gameplay             8/10

Graphics               7/10

Music                    9/10

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Overall Score     8/10

 

 

 

Sources

‘Fallout 4’ generated over $750 million in 24 hours. (2015, November 16). Retrieved December 8, 2015, from http://fortune.com/2015/11/16/fallout4-is-quiet-best-seller/

 

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