Feb 15 2016

Late… Early Fallout 4 Review

I pre-ordered the Pip Boy edition of this game, having been so impressed with Fallout New Vegas. November came, my package arrived, I opened the box, a choir sung as I equipped the Pip Boy, installed the game on my space scrutinizing SSD, then didn’t bother to play until late January.

The delay was thanks to Battlefront eating all my leisure time over the Christmas period, but after finally overcoming the brainwashing that online shooters have on me, I took to playing the Fallout campaign like a meth head OD’ing after going cold turkey.

I still haven’t completed this game, but currently unable to due to smashing my gaming keyboard over the fact that the game is the most boring and repetitive crap I’ve ever had the chance of playing, which was made all the better when my game froze and appeared that it hadn’t been autosaving even though I’d made a tonne of fast jumps, and was left with the joyous prospect of being able to replay the last hour of shit charisma decisions over again. Fuck that shit.

I WAS attempting to complete every location and quest, and having laboured away at the game for 250+ hours, I would say I’ve completed about 4/5 of the map, with only the glowing sea left to explore, and so far, every location and mission acquired has been rubbish. I’ve got the game set on max difficulty yet enemies are still a piece of piss to breeze through. I’ve had the same guns since about 30 hours into the game, I’ve tried mixing it up but most of the guns are weak ass, so I’m out of my mind seeing the same green plasma splash on my screen over again. I played through all the Silver Shroud missions wearing the supplied outfit and piece of shit tommy gun, which was tough going on the final boss fight having to save a troublesome ghoul, yet wasn’t rewarded anything extra for that apart from a screen full of Nvidia PhysX wood chippings.

Now, for those interested in the small details and have been living in a vault for the last 20 years, Fallout is about surviving the elements and mutated monster hordes in a nuclear post apocalyptic alternative future of civilisation if the 1950’s style of technology and fashion had remained. Not ruining any of the story, you emerge from a vault to find a world of crumbling city landscapes that’s been wasting away from 200 years of neglect and radiation. With the game being open world, you can go off into any direction and complete the game anyway you like. Of course, going the route of the main campaign introduces you to plenty of annoying characters, whom if you buddy up with, will annoy you much more until you finally unlock a semi-useless perk for yourself.

Big differences between this iteration and New Vegas is that there is more emphasis on using suits of armour known as Power Armour. Plenty of different models exist in the game and can be customised to a users preference. They do add a greater level of protection for the wearer than any other clothing articles are able to provide, but can become annoying when having to jump in and out to interact with objects. Weapon durability has been removed, which before gave all the excess weapons that you would find in the wasteland some purpose as you sacrificed them to repair your favourite weapons; now, even a nuke launcher is discarded in disgust when a bottle of water can be sold for more caps at the shops.

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A new feature to feature in this featurette, is the ability to build up settlements for lazy npcs incapable of looking after themselves. There’s something of 30 sites in the game, that allows the player to build shacks for random npcs to take residence in. Many people on YouTube have built some works of art, whilst I’m struggling to even get two pieces of flooring to snap together. I spent something like 10 hours building an extension with a bar to my house in the protagonist’s home town, Sanctuary, to step back and contemplate what the hell I was doing with my life. Basically, settlements are boring and repetitive. Collecting subway tokens only to find they’re useless, boring and repetitive. Collecting overdue library books, boring and repetitive. Missions to clear out the same lame ass raiders over and over at the same location, you see where I’m going with this.

The only actual moment where I enjoyed this game was the first time I came across the synthetics. I was just staring into space in the gym of the Boston Mayor shelter when all of a sudden I hear this robotic voice behind me, ‘You must be destroyed’. I whip around to see these skeletal terminator robots at the door frame, and instantly I’m blasting them away, running towards them with no regard for my health. I clear out the corridor and go back to the gym to resume staring into space, when I notice a hole in the side of the gym, so I go to explore only to have a humongous Deathclaw (basically the devil himself) fall from out of nowhere, commencing a battle I’m absolutely bricking through. Overall this experience lasted for about 5 minutes, and has been, the only enjoyable 5 minutes of the game.

I’m not going to mention every gripe I have with this game, as everyone else has it well documented. Essentially it is the worst Fallout yet in the series, as usual full of bugs and graphic glitches, with a mundane story arc and plenty of characters up their own ass. Something that winds me up and relates back to why it’s best to be a late gamer, is that the essential monthly updates that provide fixes for game breaking bugs are also introducing features like PhysX debris. I feel sorry for the gamers that completed this game within release week who have missed out on this additional ‘free’ feature that should have been included at release. Again, my proverbial message is that it’s always best to wait for a Game Of The Year Edition with all patches and DLC at a discounted price.

The graphics are the only things this game has going for it, with eerie landscapes and glowing monsters. Explosions are impressive. Also, teddy bears are dotted around the map in funny surreal postures, so something to keep an eye out for if I’ve not managed to dissuade you from playing this one.

One of the biggest issues I’ve had with this game is the protagonist. Whilst the face creator at the beginning of the game is cool to use, you quickly realise what a douche your character is. The protagonist has been given extensive voice dialogue that reacts to many situations, but a lot of his responses are always sarcastic in a situation where you’re trying to play the game sincerely rather than piss npcs off. Bethesda for some reason decided to only show a summary of the choices of what your character can say, rather than what is actually said, which has relied on the modding community to counter this.

The game is expansive, made even more so by the hundreds of modders out there providing free tools to add to the game such as extra weapons, clothes, companions, dungeons and much, much more. Even though I don’t own the season pass, the first DLC to have been released, Automatron lets you build your own robot sidekick and includes an additional workshop. For paid content, not as impressive as the free lightsaber mod that was developed by the community.

Something that actually pissed me off at the game’s release, was that this won Game of the Year over The Witcher 3, though it had only been out less than a week!? I haven’t even played Witcher 3, but you can’t be giving awards to a piece of shit you haven’t had a chance to play past entering Vault 111.

Wait until the Game of the Year edition version is released, then wait for that to go on sale on certain websites (G2A) for a fiver before even contemplating purchasing. Oh and the Pip Boy that came with the collectors edition, I only ever used it for 5 minutes in conjunction with the game. Trying to wear a plastic sleeve that restrains your wrist from moving along the desk to reach the keyboard is a real bummer for PC players, and definitely not worth the additional 80 quid.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-early-fallout-4-review/

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