By Aaliyah Baker
Fallout 4 is an open world roleplaying video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. As the fifth major installment in the Fallout series, the game was released worldwide on Nov 10th of this year for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Fallout 4 takes place in the year 2287, 10 years after the events of Fallout 3, 6 years after the events of Fallout: New Vegas and 210 years after a third World War over natural resources that ended in nuclear holocaust in 2077, more commonly known as The Great War, the exchange lasted approximately two hours. The setting of the game is a post-apocalyptic retro-future covering Boston, Massachusetts and other parts of New England known as the Commonwealth. Interestingly enough, Fallout 4’s story begins the day that the bombs were dropped on October 23, 2077. The player’s character takes shelter in Vault 111, emerging exactly 210 years later.
Unlike the previous two titles, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas that used the Gamebryo engine, Fallout 4 uses the Creation Engine, which was previously used in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It has been modified for Fallout 4, and includes a revamped character creation system that allows the creation of faces without the use of sliders seen in previous games. The player can now click and drag each feature of the face to accurately customize their character that can either be a man or woman, as previous Fallout titles have featured.
For the first time, the player’s character, the Sole Survivor, is fully voiced and is able to have conversations similar to that of Mass Effect. Brian T. Delaney and Courtenay Taylor are the two player character voice actors.
There are 12 recruitable companions, all of whom have their own specific set of skills (lock picking, hacking, etc.) that may help further progression and picking up crazy cool items. Some companions can even be romanced at player discretion. Race and gender do not matter. There is no good karma vs. bad karma, but what a companion likes versus what they do not. Unfortunately, only one companion may be in your party at a time.
Fallout 4’s gameplay is similar to its predecessors, with familiar features like first and third person perspectives and roaming capabilities. Gameplay features a layered armour system, base-building, a dialogue system with 111,000 lines of dialogue, crafting systems that implement every lootable object in game and more. The game includes over 50 base guns, which can be crafted with a variety of modifications, such as barrel types and laser focus, with over 700 modifications available as well. It makes sense to pick up rusty silverware and cooking pots as they now serve a bigger purpose.
In Fallout 4, the player starts with 1 skill point in every SPECIAL attribute and receives an additional 21 points to add to these attributes. The amount of points in them affects what perks the player can have. Strangely enough, the total amount of starting points is 28, which is much lower than in previous games that gave you 40. However, in Fallout 4, each level up allows the player the option to increase a single SPECIAL stat instead of choosing a perk.
Combat has been streamlined to more closely resemble modern first-person-shooter (FPS) games, with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) making a return, real-time combat is slowed down as opposed to stopped completely and actions are played out in what can be described as ‘bullet-time’. Unlike previous games, where the player has a random chance to make critical hits, they are now performed manually through V.A.T.S. Certain actions still cost action points (AP), limiting the players V.A.T.S. actions for a time.
Bethesda has also improved ‘Iron Sights’, a feature that was added in Fallout: New Vegas to be more user-friendly, as well as adding a sprint button and a grenade hotkey. Power armour also makes a comeback and has been redesigned to be more than just a suit of armour and more like a vehicle. The armour can be modified, adding items such as a jetpack or selecting separate types of armour for each part of the suit.
Base-building plays a big part in this new Fallout installment, and could even be considered a central aspect of gameplay that comes with a new set of challenges and possible achievements. All of the loot that you collect can be dropped off at any one of the settlements and broken down into components and used to build or upgrade these small colonies. If you’re not careful, you’ll get sucked into taking care of your settlements than actual gameplay. Base-building can be rather tedious and cumbersome, unless a player finds the designing capabilities enjoyable, these things are best left alone.
The visuals of the game are beautiful and the depth of the world makes for nonlinear gameplay and the freedom to explore, there is so much content ranging from the story, crafting, characters and soundtrack. There are some visual glitches and bugs that have been overlooked, but this is understandable because of how big the game really is. Regardless, I will continue to sing my praises of this game with a 4 out of 5.
If you are interested in buying the game on Steam but are unsure if your computer will be able to run it or not, here is a website that will tell you: http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri. Otherwise, the game is available at your local GameStop, Walmart, Target and even online.
And for your enjoyment, here is the full list of names that Codsworth, your robot butler/companion, will say: http://hastebin.com/raw/eziriberin. (It’s a little ironic that my name is at the top of the list.)