It’s going to be tough to survive in the Wasteland. Find out in the review!
Fans of the Fallout franchise had been clamoring for the newest installment in the series for years and their wishes were answered during Bethesda’s first ever E3 showcase/presentation. The news broke about a week before the presentation on their web site but that was only the trailer.
During the presentation, the “official” announcement was made and the gameplay demo/trailer was shown. Fast-forward to November and fans will finally be able to play the game that they have been wanting for years. The only question is “with the amount of time everyone has waited for Fallout 4, will it be up to snuff? There’s a lot to cover so let’s get right into it!
At the start of Fallout 4, everything is happy-go-lucky for you and your family. You create the way you want your character to look. You also get the basic layout of your home and the neighborhood. The game reminds me of a point and click computer game at times since you can interact with most things in the area/home you happen to be in as well as point/click to talk to people in said area. Human interaction gets the ball rolling into the main story but I’m not going to give that away for you, you’ll have to find that out on your own while playing the game.
Mystery is a large part of the game and starts right when there’s a knock at your door and by the way that’s the human interaction I mentioned in the paragraph before. It happens to be a door-to-door salesman trying to “con” you to become part of the Vault 111 project.
Another concept you can compare the game to is one of those choose your own path/adventure mystery books. The conversations you have with people play out like these books. The conversations will turn by what you say to the people in question. You could be having a friendly conversation with a shop-keep and then you say something and he thinks your going to rob him. After you come out of Vault 111, the game plays a lot like the Wild West where you have your weapon drawn and ask questions second. It will take quick wits and reflexes just to make it from town to town without dying!
I made the comparison to the Wild West previously and I feel it’s a good fit because you never know what you’re going to run into while in the Wasteland. You might run into fellow survivors that need your help and in turn, use them for protection as well as supplies. You never know what you could end out needing for survival during these tough times.
You’ll have the Pip Boy with you at your disposal to help you try and survive out in the Wasteland. You can keep track of your inventory as well as your attributes while your adventure is going on. You can equip different weapons through the Pip Boy as well as use the map to find the right way to go. The Pip Boy will be another ally that you will rely on during your massive journey through the Wasteland!
You also can trade/barter with people that you come across and you always find yourself needing something like medicine or ammunition so my advice would be if you could pick it up, do so! You can always find a safe location somewhere during the journey and store the extra stuff you find in a tool box/filing cabinet. It can never hurt to have more supplies than you need since I was finding myself running out of key items at the worst times like bullets so stock up when you can!
You can decide to be a good guy or a bad ass while you explore the open world of the Wasteland. You can help people and in return be rewarded for your help or you can say the hell with them and be your own boss! It’s up to you and that’s just another level of customization you have at your disposal. Playing the role of bad guy might not get you very far because you’ll need supplies and the only place to get them might be a run down diner and you need to keep the owner alive from gunslingers or mutant animals that were “turned” during the nuclear fire. It may sound cliché, but it’s all up to you!
There is an RPG aspect to the game as well since you can level up different attributes for your character while you fight for survival. You gain experience by going to new locations and killing enemies and trust me; there will be plenty of enemies for you to attack. The attributes range from the commonplace attack power and intelligence to being a better pickpocket or being able to attack better with long-range attack weapons.
You can also upgrade your items as you play and the more items you find, the more options you have to create. The better your items, the better chance you have to survive! You can also find animals along your quest that haven’t been, for a better term, mutated, and can become part of your team. They can help you in battle by attacking the monsters and other humans you come across. There’s an attribute that you can level up to be a better animal handler but I’m sure that didn’t surprise you, did it?
Now, with every good game there are positive points as well as negative points. Fallout 4 does have negative points that don’t hinder the gameplay too much but they are there. For starters, the controls take a little getting used to and that can be a problem when you need to have quick reflexes when someone/something jumps out of nowhere to attack you.
I found myself opening the Pip Boy when I was trying to do other actions. I also felt that the camera controls weren’t as tight as they could have been/needed to be. When you’re trying to aim your cursor/crosshair at a little item/enemy in the distance and the camera keeps jerking too fast, that’s a problem.
Another minor issue I had was there wasn’t a real warning when you were low on health or running low on ammo. In the heat of battle, you really want to know when the next hit could kill you or when you’re going to run out of bullets.
The action comes at you quickly and if you don’t realize you’re low on health and ammo, you’re screwed because if you get killed you get sent back to the last save/respawn site. If you haven’t saved in a long time, that can be a killer but that doesn’t happen too much because most things you do, menu related, activate a save. This feature must have been put in the game because they know you’re going to die a lot!
It has been pointed out that Fallout 4 is a large open world experience, one of the biggest that Bethesda has attempted to do. It would have been nice for the map to be onscreen at all times or at least be able to put the map on the screen. Having to look at the Pip Boy to find out if you’re going the right direction all the time gets a little tedious over and over. I know there is a little directional key in the middle of the screen but the map being on there all the time would have been much better, considering the size of the Wasteland!
To recap, Fallout 4 is one of the most anticipated games of 2015 and one fans have been waiting years for. It combines the look and sounds of the 1950’s with that of the Wild West. You’ll need to be on your guard because you never know who or what you could run into while you try to survive out in the Wasteland. The controls could have been a little tighter and there could have been an onscreen map all the time. However, the game has the feeling that it could be one of the best of the year. The Wild West, nuclear war, 1950’s, and mutants, sign me up!
I’m giving Fallout 4 for the PlayStation a 9/10.
I would like to thank Bethesda Game Studios for the PlayStation 4 review copy.
Score: 9 / 10