Well I was walking around, minding my business when Fallout came and hit me in the eye.
I could start this piece and tell you about a brief history of the Fallout series; its premise (if the name itself didn’t give you a hint), its open world nature, the post-apocalyptic setting, the mayham, the mutants and the monsters but if you are reading this article you already know about all of that so without further a do, here is the review of the game.
For obvious reasons I will take special care not to spoil anything for you guys.
Visuals are the very first thing that we notice the moment we fire up the machine and load the game with trembling hands, or rather that’s how I roll at least.
Despite running on native 1080p/30fps the game didn’t really look any thing special. I mean it is certainly a good looking game but I did not witness any jaw dropping thing of beauty that would leave me in awe.
But you know what? That is “absolutely okay.” Visuals in a game such as Fallout 4 only need to be decent enough for you to enjoy it.
It is the world, the characters, the ambiance and backdrop, the immense freedom of going any where doing anything while exploring every nook and cranny for the tools, weapons, food and gear that would ensure our survival in this cruel and merciless post-nuclear war land.
Our character begins his life in an alternate 21st century that is the result of something very different that happened in 1945. This technologically advanced, idyllic and leisurely life had already started crumbling by 2077 as the world had slowly eaten through most of its resources when one fateful day the somber voice of a television news caster confirms our fear.
We are yanked from our house accompanied by our wife and infant son to Vault 111, an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear holocaust, where we are sealed in cryogenic chambers with a promise of a quick thawing in immediate future.
Naturally, after witnessing a brutal episode that rips your family and your heart asunder, you finally escape the Vault and step into the world again that you last saw 200 years ago.
The world will be immediately familiar to any and every veteran/fan of the series. The aftermath of a nuclear fallout is evident everywhere the eyes could see.
Debris every where, houses in ruins and carcasses of automobiles littering the streets, and of course the grotesque monstrosities that the radiation poisoning birthed roam the land on wings, and legs and often with two heads.
Combat offers a familiar experience as well. Pistols, Shotguns, Mini-guns, switch blades, tyre iron and plethora of other ranged and melee weapons can be acquired from exploring the ruins of the houses once inhabited by pre-war Bostonites.
The acquisition of goodies isn’t by any means limited to ammunition only. Be it the irradiated ‘dirty water’ or the abandoned bottles of Nuka Cola or nourishing roach/dogmeat.
The world is your Oyster or any mollusk of your choice. I would suggest to look out for the Pip-Boy toys for permanent increase to your stats , as well as bobby pins to pick safes and get hold of the precious Bottlecaps.
Speaking of stats, the acronym S.P.E.C.I.A.L sums up your perks list where each letter stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck, respectively.
As per the old formula all those stats can also be increased by accumulating XP and investing into upgrading of the perks. An official Pip-Boy app is also available at both the Google Play Store and iTunes which , when downloaded, could be synced with the PS4 and used outside the game.
As before the enemies can be engaged either directly in a gunfire or approached stealthily for maximum damage and stealth bonus.
A quick tap of L1 highlights various body parts of the hostile depicting the amount of damage that can be done to them. Select with the left stick , confirm with ‘R2’ and execute command with the ‘X’ button for critical damage.
As I have already pointed out , the game is indeed a familiar return to the post-nuclear wasteland the fans have been wading through, combing and ransacking for a long time but certain tweaking and additions to the tried and tested formula of Fallout have resulted in a much richer and satisfying experience.
Customization options in this game, to put it simply, are Insane!
Stats and looks of the weapons; every single piece of gear; every single perk that can be upgraded multiple times; the options to create and customize your own base and/or fortifying the dwelling places of your friends and allies by providing them with doors, furniture, food, power, tools, electric bulbs, guard posts – the list is exhaustive.
The power armor doesn’t fail to amaze either. Even when we could find these incredibly sturdy suits of metal relatively frequently strewn throughout the Commonwealth, they require fusion cells to operate, which only last for a limited period of time, forcing us to abandon the sanctuary of that bipedal tank and returning to them when we have more fusion cells to feed it.
As far as the story is concerned, I felt it was the “best” and most compelling story I had ever experienced in an rpg developed by Bathesda. For the most part I only stuck to the main storyline and yet constantly felt I was missing on a great chunk of story the world and various characters had to offer.
As before it is up to us to join/lend a hand to one of the two rival factions found in the world of Fallout 4, with every decision that we make resulting in multiple branching storylines.
In fact you may even encounter such villains too with whom you just cannot help but sympathize. I couldn’t help but think if the developers took notes from Witcher games.
Side-Quests are the meat and drink of any open-world rpg and man does this game have them. Fallout 4 bursting at it seems with content and a significantly chunky part of that is made up of side quests.
Gone are the days when the side quests in rpgs boiled down to fetch this and escort that. The side missions in Fallout 4 seem the part of an organic whole and very seldom appear boring or out of place. Still no Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt but a very decent effort in its own.
The voice over is simply Phenomenal! The VO of this game is without a doubt one of the best of its kind and almost succeeds in distracting you from the disappointing facial expressions of the npcs.
During my playthrough on PS4, I encountered comparatively very few bugs and glitches that I have become pretty used to by now , playing previous Elder Scrolls and Fallout games. The bugs and glitches are certainly there!
I observed my companion teleporting a furlong away while walking with me; or once when I shot an enemy his corpse sort of flew 20 feet back in the air as if I had blasted him away with a cannon, but none of the problems would hamper your enjoyment of this amazing game.
As you may have guessed from the opening lines I have gone absolutely crazy over the soundtrack.
I could go on listening to those honeyed soothing voices all day wading through poisonous swamps and blowing heads off of the Raiders and mutant stags, not to mention the Radio Jockey did a remarkable job embedding desperation, fear, paranoia and utter hopelessness in his voice.
So Yeah! I would say Beg, Borrow, Buy or Steal GET THIS GAME!…but I have always been a crazy fan of the genre and to be honest that would be rather selfish of me, so I would instead say if you are a long term fan and love the genre, this game will not disappoint you.
Let us know if you are ready to set the world…on… Fye-Yaar!!!