Like Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas before it, Fallout 4 is less of a game than it is an exploration portal. You’re launched into an alternate universe to explore a nuclear wasteland and play out a loose story with multiple side quests and multiple ways to shape and define the very land you’re exploring. In Fallout, you’re less of a hero and main character and more of a director and a screen writer. You mold the game you play in. There are a few games on the market that are similar but none that come close to depth and innovation that the Fallout series has had, and their latest entry into the franchise is Fallout 4.
With this iteration of Fallout, we start out in the Northeast U.S. We’re an old ex-soldier removed from the service who’s now a family man. He has a wife and an infant son. One morning, after you shape and carve your face in the morning, a salesman knocks on the door to sell you vault insurance. Knowing what’s coming, you buy it. Once you buy the insurance, not five minutes later the sirens start to blare and a nuclear attack is imminent. So of course, that’s where you head into the vault. Once you’re in the vault you don’t actually live in the vault, you’re froze in cryo-stasis and when you wake up, your wife and your infant son are nowhere to be found. That’s when you enter into out into the wasteland to find your family and to figure out what happened to them.
Fallout always has its quirks. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas each had a ton of bugs to them. The same can be said for Fallout 4. With a universe of characters on the scale of the game that’s created there can’t be a set pattern of behavior like other first person shooters out there. It has to be more of a loose pattern of behavior with user influenced reactions. That’s why there’s always been weird sprite and object bugs with Fallout. With the biggest Fallout game to date, of course that means that there are going to be more bugs and more problems. Honestly, that’s just an expected part of the experience. When it happens and it affects the flow of the game, well that sucks. It does occasionally, but again – that’s what’s expected to happen. You reload the last check point and try it again. Such is life.
One thing that I love about Fallout 4 is the vastness of it all. Exploring what’s supposed to be the Fallout universe’s version of Boston is terrific. Going through an abandoned Fenway Park and the other landmarks is a cool experience that’s unmatched. For all of the game’s graphic shortcomings there are some moments of pure beauty here too. Character models aren’t the greatest but the lighting and the wall textures are. It’s a distinct style that fans of the game have fallen in love with over the years, and they do enough here to keep that tone and direction going. The game looks great and there’s a vastness to it to explore but the gameplay is really where it’s at. Fallout exceeds what we’ve seen from the series’ previous games in combat and control but it also features some cool new features like crafting to further the experience of those playing it.
There are hundreds of hours to input into the Fallout 4 experience. Just like previous games in the franchise. You can play through the game multiple times and never have the same experience. That’s as good of an experience that’s out there in video games right now. If you’ve ever been a fan of the franchise or a first person shooter with lots of depth, then you should check out Fallout 4.
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