Fallout 3 is a game that I remember
most fondly. At the time back in 2008, nothing felt quite like it.
The game rendered Washington D.C. as a moody post apocalyptic setting
perfectly, and the sense of wonder that had made Bethesda's previous
games such as Oblivion and Morrowind unique experiences was ever
present. Fallout 3 to me was actually the superior experience out of
that trio of games, it fixed a lot of Oblivion's problems even though
it was a relatively much shorter less “grandiose” experience.
Enter Skyrim, which is perhaps the
greatest open world RPG ever made to this day (yes even better than
The Witcher 3 in my humble opinion), Skyrim in 2011 quite late into
the console cycle managed to look and play a generation ahead of
Fallout 3 and Oblivion, it was a gigantic game with a world so lush
and beautiful that even though it was plagued by a thousand bugs most
critics including myself looked past that to rate the game a 9.5 out
So naturally Fallout 4 on newer more
powerful consoles had huge shoes to fill and even bigger steps to
follow. So does the game live up to the expectations?
MUNDANE NEXT GEN VISUALS
Maybe playing the Witcher 3 first
ruined the Fallout 4 visual experience for me...or maybe it was
playing Rage on the 360. Fallout unlike it's predecessor did not wow
me in any shape or form by its gigantic post apocalyptic version of
Boston. The character models are ugly, the lighting is fantastic but
the textures look dated in a way it looks like a 1080p version of
The game looks better, much better
than FO3 but it doesn't feel like a leap and certainly most worry
some is the fact that Skyrim at least to me looked, dare I say more
impressive? Sure FO4 runs better, has better lighting and better
textures in spots than Skyrim...but the majestic vistas are missing
and there is no wow or shock factor to be found here on the visual
To be honest a post nuclear disaster
environment is not a pretty place to look at, so FO4 has a lot going
against it when compared to the Lord Of The Rings like wintry
environments presented on Skyrim and the colorful Witcher. That
doesn't excuse the poor texture work and animations. Rage was far
more impressive back in the day and ran at 60 fps.
Even GTA5 which is a remastered last
gen game manages to catch and impress the eye (the water effects in
GTA5 are pratically unmatched as of yet by an open world game) more
than FO4 does.
Character models have been improved
somewhat from Skyrim's but they still look flat out a generation
behind Witcher 3's. The game has come under fire from both critics
and gamers alike on internet forums for the lack luster visuals, the
developers have insisted that Fallout 4 does things that no other
Fallout 4 does a lot of stuff, not
enough for me to justify a high score on the graphical department,
but enough for me to take into account certain things. FO4 is a
sharpened, refined version of FO3.
Back in the days of FO3 and New Vegas
the shooting was better left to the V.A.T.S. System because shooting
in realtime was an awful, inaccurate experience that would often lead
to a premature death. I am happy to say that while FO4 doesn't have
the shooting precision of one of the newer Call of Duties, it is
quite a competent shooter. In fact I recommend shooting in realtime
in just about every situation, though VATS still quite an useful tool
to spot hidden enemies. Sniping is pleasure, and in the early stages
of the game, sniping is a must in order to take down some of the most
powerful enemies. While FO4 plays like a shooter, success will likely
be determined by your character's level and the enemies level than
the skill the user has as a First Person Shooting player. So yes
Fallout 4 still is at its core an RPG.
Leveling up is a slow some times
tedious process, even killing big time enemies doesn't yield a great
amount of EXP. Completing missions is the biggest source of EXP in
the Commonwealth, that and finding magazines that immediately boost
your stats by a point.
The game features a new creation
system, that allows the player to develop settlements and create
anything from a gasoline power plant for electricity to ammunition
for your weapons...to practical upgrades to said weapons.
The system is one that is relatively
simple to use provided you have the proper amount of raw materials at
hand. During my 50 hour play through I mostly used the system to
complete some missions which required me to build certain stuff such
as Radio transmitters, Power plants and such. I really didn't dwell
much in it, though I have seen players over the internet do some
amazing stuff with the system in the game. So props to Bethesda for
adding an new component to an already great playing game.
The game still follows the mission
progression system Fallout 3 had, basically you complete missions to
get EXP and move the main plot forward. While the games has improved
its gameplay mechanics and control, it has taken a step back
specifically from Skyrim, in size, grandeur and just the overall
number of Quests. FO4 is a short game in comparison to Bethesda's
Of course in an effort to keep the
game relevant for a few years, Bethesda will release the mandatory
expansions, but as a stand alone title I expected much more from FO4
than what I got in the final product, especially considering Bethesda
was coming off releasing their greatest game ever.
That's not to say the game isn't
bigger than FO3, because it is. The map is bigger, and the game might
have more missions, and yet to me it didn't match FO3's epic setting
and New Vegas Scale.
The game has an assortment of bugs as
it is customary of Bethesda's titles, so be prepared to apply some
hefty updates. The updates range from fixing or at least stabilizing
the frame rate which should on both ps4 and Xboxone hover around 30
fps, to improving the draw distance and such. For what is worth the
game didn't crash in any of my play throughs, but I still recommend
saving often while in the commonwealth.
Difficulty wise, you can adjust it to
your convenience. In normal mode, some enemies are very deadly even
after 20-30 hours of game play, I went on a murdering rampage on the
Brotherhood of Steel in which I killed their leader when I was on
their ship. This was a big mistake because I was chased around the
commonwealth periodically by the Brotherhood on their helicopters.
This is one of FO4's strengths as you have the freedom to break
alliances and betray allies at will, there are consequences to your
actions so think things through as you play for a more enjoyable
The music does it's job but nothing to
write home about, perhaps once again I am influenced by having played
The Witcher 3 first. Skyrim aurally speaking is much superior, but
FO4 does it's job in gun sounds and SFX. The voice acting isn't half
bad, and with a game this size is tough to expect oscar winning
quality voice acting.
Now FO3 wasn't a story beast...and to
be honest neither was Skyrim...but Skyrim had a soul and the Elders
Scrolls lore to fall back on. In FO4 I found it hard to care about
anything, including the main plot line which deals with the
protagonist trying to avenge his wife and while finding his missing
The writers made an honest attempt at
penning down a good tale, with some cool concepts including entering
the memories of a dead villain, but largely failed at it. The nature
of Bethesda's games so far haven't allowed for much character
development. To be honest I never felt compelled to rescue the child
I was compelled at first to discover who was, or more specifically
where was the much talked about and maligned Institute. But other
than that I wasn't really hooked on the story for the most part.
FO4's allure lies in its world and on exploring it not on its story.
In the end if you were a fan of FO3
and New Vegas you will have a good time with FO4. Don't go in
expecting a superior game to New Vegas and you will be fine, FO4
features tighter shooting, an Expansive world, Bethesda's signature :
“craft your own story and do whatever you want” recipe and tons
of replayability. Fallout 4 could have been better but perhaps it is
unfair to have to live up to Skyrim ,a game that now has been
remastered for current consoles.
Gameplay: 8.0- Fallout is an RPG
that plays like a FPS, and the controls are tighter than ever. Ho-hum
missions and a repetitive world hurt the score. The crafting and
building component is entertaining and I am sure some gamers will
love it while others like me will avoid it if possible. Building
settlements for some reason didn't feel as fun as it should have for
me. I am a story driven gamer and to be honest Fallout 4 didnt have a
lot going for it and it was tough for me to care about NPCs therefore
ruining the prospect of creating settlements for said NPCs.
Exploration and scavenging still are key in order to succeed in the
game which is marginally more difficult than FO3.
Graphics: 7.0- Outdated is the word
that came to my mind as I first played the game. Generic Character
models, 30fps, and a bland world hurt the score here. In truth
Bethesda created a world in which you can interact with many items
on screen and yet the game was outdated upon release and games like
Horizon Zero Dawn can only dig the knife deeper on FO4's visual
presentation. The shooting is tighter than ever ...near CoD levels
finally, so the V.A.T.S system will finally take a back seat during
heated gun fire exchanges.
Music: 8.0- Sound wise as always
Bethesda delivers competent Musical Scores coupled with awful voice
acting. The sound effects are nice if standard fare.
Story: 6.0- At this point I have
given up hope on Bethesda ever crafting a good story in one of their
open world RPGs. The Main quest is ho-hum and the sidequests are also
for the most part boring fare. While the ability to kill Main story
NPCs is welcomed an adds some seasoning to the game, the poor story
and bland characters do not allow this new found freedom to reach its
full potential since killing Main characters has no emotional baggage
to consider when deciding to pull the trigger or not.
Replayability: 8.5- Because of the
many choices that can be made story wise, and the fact that you can
kill everyone in the game, multiple play throughs will be required in
order to experience all posable outcomes. Even one play through can
take 30-40 hours assuming you skip some quests and locations. Easily
a 100+ hour game for the true completist.
Overall: 7.5- Not a must buy for
general gamers...a must buy for Fallout fans but beware that it is
the weakest of the three installments. Doesn't feature the shock and
awe of Washington's Fallout 3 and doesn't have the scope and just
pure fun of New Vegas. My take? A great effort in the world building
mechanic and half assed one in the actual game.