The end of 2015 is only a few days away and I find myself stretched for time as we come to the finale. There are still several reviews I would like to get out there before the best and worst video games and movies lists are released. That being said, one of the biggest games to be released this year is Bethesda’s Fallout 4. It has been a game that I have been dying to play since its release and yet circumstances have continued to fight against me. School and family matters can seriously be a bitch when it comes to a man’s review schedule. Due to this time crunch, I will not be able to play enough of Fallout 4 to create a substantial review. However, that has not stopped me in the past! As some of you who follow me habitually may know, I wrote an observational review of Evolve. A game that I did not have the opportunity to play, but was able to watch enough let’s plays and streamers to get a good feel of the game. So with that being said, I decided for the sake of my schedule that I should do an observational review for Fallout 4 as well.
Keep in mind for those reading this review that is an observational review which means that I have not formally played Fallout 4. This is an review based on YouTube Let’s Plays and Streams to get a feel for the story, graphics, and so forth. As such, I cannot comment on the gameplay or mechanics.
In a sort of change from the norm, our story begins in 2077 when the day of the nuclear fallout is about to begin. The player character and their spouse (Nate/Nora by game design) are sent to Vault 111 by the Vault-Tec representative. After spending an unreasonable amount of time sleeping off that nuclear fallout hangover, the couple is awoken by some scavengers intent on stealing their baby. They kill the protagonist’s spouse before putting you back in the Cyro Tube. You wake up as the sole survivor of Vault 111. You now have to scavenge the wasteland in search of your ten-year-old son.
The Next Gen Graphics with the Next Gen Potential
This is what I am talking about! In the same vein with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we are now seeing the games that are meant to be played on the next gen consoles. I once again have to giggle at those who immediately chucked their Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 down the stairs for next gen when it took a solid two years to release the games that are worth playing. Now we are seeing great games like The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 on next gen instead of the load of shit that was Watch Dogs and Dead Rising 3! I will not let this go! DR3 is shit!… Sorry, getting a little off track. The point is that Fallout 4 looks great, plays great, and has mountains of content worth playing, something that the first wave of next gen games simply did not have.
Fallout 4 is what I see a next generation game to be and it is something that Bethesda always does very well. Instead of hyper polishing every character that we see every pour, piece of dirt, and skid mark on the character’s underpants, the games sacrifice that ultra realistic style for content. I have noticed that some people are calling foul on the fact that it doesn’t look as polished as some other games, but I am never one to call foul on a person who is willing to give up the way my character looks to give my character more fun things to do. That isn’t to say that the game looks like 3 or New Vegas. The game has improved graphics and improved gameplay. Granted, it still comes with the traditional Bethesda bugs… Which has lead me to believe, in a sort of conspiracy like tone, that Bethesda intentionally inserts bugs just to give the real Bethesda experience. The game looks great, plays great, and has enough charm to it to make it a bonafide Bethesda license.
It is Bethesda… So there are Days of Gameplay
A lot of what makes a game great is its content. As long as a game gives you a lot of gameplay value, it is a satisfying game. This takes several shapes. You can take the arena path like League of Legends, the multiplayer shooter like Call of Duty, and various sports games for the single players and multiplayer mechanics. Fallout 4 makes a great game by giving players an immersive story and days upon days of activities that you can do. These activities can include combat, scavenging, crafting, and so forth. You can be good, bad, who gives a shit? It is very much a play it your way style of system.
I’m aware that there are some who are a little tired of the play it your way type of game. But I have always found them to be the best type of games in existence, so if you want to spam what is truly the best style of gaming (in my opinion), I am all for it. These games give a plethora of more options for us to lose ourselves in. While it does run the habit of being as repetitive of the other games, it is a type of repetitive that is a little more palatable than playing the same map over and over again or going through franchise mode for the thirtieth time.
Repetition Thy Name is Bethesda Softworks
I will say before I move forward that I understand that Bethesda games are not exactly the most exciting to watch. As a player, you can get hours of enjoyment scavenging, crafting, and building. But as a viewer, you can quickly find yourself in the habit of saying: “DO SOMETHING YOU FUCKING CHODE!” However, the repetition itself is not exactly my complaint as much as I am critiquing the ‘what’ of what is being repetitive.
Bethesda has finally bowed to the altar of ‘what everyone wants to play’ repetition that plagues the video game industry and has seemed to insert popular mechanics into their game; namely the Minecraft culture. One thing that I loved about the previous Fallout game was the fact that I could raid a place for items, know what is valuable, and thus discard what is not valuable. The extent of crafting was only what could upgrade your already found gun. I like that. It was simple, it was to the point, and it didn’t require hours of compulsive crafting in order to get what I fucking wanted.
Yes, crafting has made its way into Fallout so now you can spend literal hours to days of your life building alarm clocks to outfit the house you just built on some sphincter end of the wasteland. I know that Skyrim has a lot of crafting and the ability to build your own house, I do get that. But maybe I was just the weirdo who thought that it was fine in The Elder Scrolls but wanted to keep the simplicity of not having to meticulously craft every fucking thing in Fallout. Now everything is complex. I have to lug around several useless items just in case it has the one item I need to finish upgrading my gun from firing one bullet to a mini nuke. So yay, let’s all get back to the joys of being over encumbered and hopping our way like Bugs fucking Bunny to the nearest town to ditch our shit or break it down.
It is a foregone conclusion that Fallout 4 is in the running for Game of the Year. As of 2015, Bethesda has yet to release an Elder Scrolls or Fallout game that has failed to delivery a wonderful gaming experience.
The game can get very repetitive and the fact that Bethesda is giving in and adopting gameplay mechanics that are popular at the time does not make me necessarily giddy. However, it looks great, the story is solid, and overall it looks to be a strong gaming experience.
Final Scores 4.5/5
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