There comes a time when we have to decide whether or not to skip work, school, or time with friends for a video game. As it turns out, the release of a Bethesda game is an occasion to say “skip it” – especially for the long-awaited Fallout 4. The Fallout universe is gigantic, with a rich lore, and this game expands upon that, and makes every hour you spend in it feel like minutes. In Fallout 4, we head to Boston and its historic surrounding areas. Welcome home to the front-runner for Game of the Year, and a world fans have dreamed of since the release of Fallout 3.

Fallout 3, as well as Fallout New Vegas, are two of the biggest games on last gen consoles. They had a massive open world, and are famous for giving gamers a hundred hours of entertainment. Now, about 6 years after Fallout 3, we have Fallout 4. There is a huge difference between 3 and New Vegas, and the much improved 4 – especially when it comes to the color palette and new speech system. This game is charming, has an amazing sound track, and a lot of great pre-war product placement. While we will be going over a lot of information, this review will be spoiler free – so you don’t have to worry. Without further ado let’s get started, Vault Dweller.

Fallout 4 In-game screenshot: Exploring the ocean in power armor.
In-game screenshot: Exploring the ocean in power armor.

Fallout 4 In-game screenshot:using a glitch to find an eater egg ship wreck.
In-game screenshot:using a glitch to find an eater egg ship wreck.

Fallout 4’s New Storyline

Fallout 4 has a lot of story to it, even if it’s not considered the main quest. You start out pre-war living in an American dream suburb, complete with a white picket fence. You have a new-born infant and a spouse, as well as Codsworth, your trusty robot. However within minutes, everything changes, and you’re running to Vault 111 with your family to avoid the incoming nuclear bomb. Once inside, you end up in a cryosleep chamber, frozen for about 210 years, until you awaken to see your son kidnapped and spouse shot and killed (Hold back those tears!) 10 years later, you unfreeze and start on a quest to find your child that ties in with the synth-making Institute, and spans across the entire map of post-nuclear war Boston. As you explore more, you will find more people in need of help that all have their own stories and daily routines.

The Commonwealth consists of a lot of factions you can align with for new quests and gear. The first one you will encounter is the Minutemen, who fight to free and ally settlements all across the Commonwealth. The second is the Brotherhood of Steel, who appear to oppose the Institute and are trying to secure weapons, technology, and new recruits.  The third faction is the Railroad, who want to help synths fight for freedom and escape being hunted down and destroyed. The last is the Institute, who has advanced technology, develops advanced scientific creations, but are pretty much considered evil. All of these factions can give you different advantages in the wasteland, and all have story lines to learn about and complete.

Fallout 4 In-game screenshot: NIght falls over Sanctuary Hills.
Fallout 4 In-game screenshot: Night falls over Sanctuary Hills.

Let’s talk about the gameplay and customization in Fallout 4.

The combat in Fallout 4 has been greatly updated. The gun play feels smooth, and is more fun to use. V.A.T.S is now slow-mo, instead of freezing the game, forcing you to strategize quickly. On top of that, there is gun customization that allows you to make the perfect wasteland-tackling weapon. Radiation even plays a part in combat, where some enemy’s attacks give you radiation each time you connect. The more radiation you take, the more your health bar is taken up by Rads instead of HP. The enemies are also A LOT smarter – they will use cover and strategically throw grenades at you. Some can even use a Mini Nuke Launcher if they’re humanoid!

Customization also makes a huge splash in the Commonwealth. Unlike Skyrim’s Hearthfire, this is a fully functioning “choose everything” system. You have several different settlements to choose to build on, including your characters hometown. You can collect junk throughout your quest, and keep bringing it back to scrap for limitless supplies, as well as get a lot of materials from cleaning up the building zone you’re working in. You can customize your weapons, power armor, and wearable armor in your settlements. You can also get the leadership perk, and establish functional stores, and even get a perk to establish trade routes between settlements.

Fallout 4 In-game Screenshot: THERE ARE EVEN CATS THIS TIME!!!
Fallout 4 In-game Screenshot: THERE ARE EVEN CATS THIS TIME!!!

Perks, quests, and companions, oh my!

Perks, as well as the speech system in Fallout 4, have both had a pretty big make-over. The perks now include your basic stats that you choose to level up by putting stars on them. The more stars you have, the more perks you can unlock under that respective stat. Perks have different levels as well, and each star you add strengthens the effects of the perk. Speech, on the other hand, has been simplified. You now have a wheel of four options to choose from, instead of a list of sentences that aren’t voiced over. There is usually a good, bad, and neutral option, and your charisma greatly effects the things you say at certain points. The partners that follow you are also affected by your reactions to things, and it will change their level of affection towards you.

Quests and companions are pretty much the same, with a few tweaks. You find a farm who is being attacked by raiders, so you go clear the factory – and BOOM – experience jump. The quests can either be simple, or go in a longer, story-driven direction (like every other fallout game). You have the freedom to choose what you do, and when it will be done. The same goes for your companions – you choose who follows you, and when. The companions do have a few more commands now, but they still fight and carry extra items for you. The only difference is, now you have affection levels, so if you reach the height the affection level, you get a perk to help you out in the game. There are different types of companions – from animals, ghouls, reporters, and robots, to humanoid synths.

Fallout 4 Screenshot Cage armor and some shades
Fallout 4 In-game screenshot: Cage armor and some shades.

So who is Fallout 4 for?

I love Fallout, but it has a lot of mature content! If you dislike violence/language/horror I would stay away, and kids definitely should not be playing this. Other than that, it is great for adults, and caters to males as well as females. If you love Skyrim, this will be just as great for you. Just be warned, if this is your first Fallout game, it’s a lot more violent and darker than its sister series. If you are worried about glitches, they are more under control, than in Skyrim’s launch, although allies do disappear at times, and there is a weird floating Yao guai (a mutated black bear creature in the game) glitch – but I have not come across anything game breaking yet (and I am about 32 hours in!)

What do you guys think of Fallout 4? Do you like 4 better than the others? Are you a fan from since Bethesda bought it? Have any funny glitch stories to tell? Let me know in the comments below!