Fallout 4: Welcome home vault dwellers


It has been a long five years since gamers first explored the bustling strip of Fallout New Vegas. Now vault-dwellers everywhere can safely come out of cryo sleep for the latest entry in Bethesda’s critically acclaimed franchise, Fallout 4.

Fallout 4 opens with players creating their own character in the commonwealth of Boston in the year 2077. The creator is robust and filled with adjustments for nearly every part of the body.

Make your character mimic your own appearance, play as your favourite celebrity or even mould something so grotesque you would barely consider it human.

Building your character the way you want is one of the best features in Fallout because it establishes how you want to play the game.

By making your character charismatic you can talk your way out of difficult situations, putting more points into strength allows you to carry more loot and by gaining more intelligence you can hack computer terminals or even unlock safes with ease.

After signing up for Vault 111 and hearing sirens of an incoming nuclear strike, it’s time to head to your local Vault with your family and go into a long, induced cryo sleep.

Two hundred years later, raiders wake you up only to kill your significant other and kidnap your son, Sean.

With a mind set on revenge and seeking out the last member of your family, prepare to leave the Vault and enter a world you may no longer recognize.

The once populated, futuristic city of Boston has now been decayed by nuclear war. Buildings are caved in, resources are scarce and the world’s inhabitants have become completely insane or mutated beyond belief from long exposure to radiation.

Fallout 4 is a non-linear game and the most ambitious entry into the franchise yet. Players are free to explore the post-apocalyptic world at their own pace and interact with nearly everything in the environment.

The new crafting system is deep and will surely take up hours of time, placing you as the leader of your own society. Everything you find in the environment from weapons to pencils can be scrapped for valuable resources.

By accessing workshops around the wastelands you can use those resources to build entirely new towns with powerful defenses, customize an arsenal of weapons to prepare for any type of battle and provide resources like electricity and water to fellow survivors to keep them happy.

The combat feels tight and responsive compared to previous entries in the series. Before, weapons needed to be in top condition to use them accurately against enemies but now every weapon can be used easily and no longer needs to be maintained.

Simply add fun modifications like new sights, barrels or grips to enhance any weapon or even build a completely new one entirely out of spare parts that you’ve looted.

The signature V.A.T.S system returns to give an upper hand against enemies, allowing you to pinpoint what body part to target on your foe and giving a more cinematic feel to kills by going into slow motion.

The Pip-Boy has also had some noticeable improvements made to it. The Pip-Boy serves as your all-in-one inventory device. It still allows you to micro-manage everything about your character and find new radio stations to listen to but the new feature I found myself exploring was the perk tree.

When your character levels up you can upgrade them by giving them a perk. These are new ways to develop your character and modify your play style.

For example, pick up the “bloody mess” perk if you want to create a gore fest when you kill an enemy or choose something like “local leader” if you want to become more involved with your settlements by establishing supply lines and creating marketplaces.

Quests are the highlight to every Fallout game. I’ve fought against sea monsters with a local militia, investigated a mystery with an android detective and have even destroyed synthetic life forms with a heavily armored paladin from the iconic Brotherhood of Steel.

After clocking more than 18 hours I know I’ve only scraped the surface of what’s out there in the world.

The game is fully voice-acted which kept me more invested in the conversations I had with characters compared to previous entries where you could only choose a text option and never heard your own voice.

Fallout 4 is not without its share of bugs and glitches that can take the player out of the moment or even completely halt progress.

Players on PC have access to console commands that can fix some of these problems immediately but players on consoles will have to wait for updates before the issues are fixed.

There are also stuttering issues, frame rate drops and crashes reported across all platforms, which happen commonly in heavily populated areas or in large combat engagements.

Newcomers may also feel overwhelmed by how much freedom they have in the game. With so many things to do and customize it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where to spend your time.

Despite these issues I can’t help but get excited each time I turn on the game and see the title card. Each game session I do something memorable and I can’t wait to talk to friends and swap stories of what we’ve experienced or found in one of the best open worlds I have ever played in.

Fallout 4 is recommended to any gamer looking for an intensely immersive role-playing experience. It’s definitely a game of the year contender.