Alright time for my first review. Since Fallout 4 has just come out, I feel this is a good one to start with. I guarantee that some people are going to hate this review, and that’s okay.
Let me start off by saying that I have a HUGE Steam Library, I’m at about 1,000 games. This is not me bragging, because I’ve only played about 50+ of them, and the backlog situation is real. Some of those games are Fallout through Fallout New Vegas. I played the original Fallout in the late 90’s and I wasn’t hooked on it. I had been playing Half-Life and the original Counter Strike (you know, the one that had the Wild West Mod with BOTS! Which were awesome, but another day another story); needless to say the whole tactics scheme seemed boring to me. Don’t get me wrong, the plot was neat, it was one of the first armageddon themed games at the time for me. It just lacked the fast pace action that I needed at the time. So fast forward to Bethesda’s release of Fallout 3.
I had Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360 when it first came out. I was pumped to say the least, I kind of liked Elder Scrolls Morrowind and I just thought about free-roaming a nuclear wasteland. What’s cooler than that?
Well to me, apparently a lot. Because I didn’t care for Fallout 3. Alright, put the pitchforks and torches away, and let me explain myself. Fallout 3 was a well designed game. But, it had glitches… and I don’t expect perfection but paying full price for a game, and at the time knowing that there was going to be DLC for an added fee (which was a BIG new thing); I expected better. Plus, the combat still seemed slower. I understand there was some RPG elements, similar to rolling a dice of chance. However, I needed something quicker. Fallout Vegas seemed to fit the same bill for me, fine game, fine graphics but nothing that impressed me.
Move Over Star Wars
Moving on to Fallout 4, finally right? Well I went to the local GameStop a couple days ago looking for my Thanksgiving Break retreat. At the time I was looking forward to Star Wars Battlefront (played the PC beta). I knew it wouldn’t of been used, so I was just planning on purchasing new. But then when I was scouring the used racks there was a copy of Fallout 4, mint condition with all of its contents. So I decided to veer off from the intended target and try something new. I had heard a ton of great reviews, and just maybe my video gaming tastes had changed as my actual taste-buds had changed (when I was a kid I HATED broccoli, but now I love it; see off topic). But regardless I toted the game home and prepped the PS4 for newness.
Lord the loading. Remember those radio controlled cars that had those nifty rechargeable battery packs that came UNCHARGED!? And you lug that car home, excited to play with it, yet realize it needs to charge overnight, and if you did a partial charge your parents would yell at you because you had pretty much ruined that battery… well that was Fallout 4 for me. First I had to download the patch (it’s nice it had a patch after only a couple days… insert sarcasm); then once that downloaded it had to install the game. I am grateful that Fallout 4 had comical videos with the Pip Boy as it installed, but it still dragged on for about an hour +. Once it installed it loaded up a pretty menu with a shiny graphic background (I liked this, the graphics lived up to the reputation).
Wait… Where’s the Tutorial?
One thing I hated about past Bethesda games were the LONG ass tutorials. My God… they would go through your characters life from birth to adulthood literally.
I get it, we had a life; although I currently don’t as I’m playing this hour long tutorial.
Luckily, Fallout 4 had literally no tutorial, they basically showed a quick story then BAM! Go kill some radioactive cockroaches while saying “My God” to everything you clicked on in the Vault. One thing I remember from pretty much every Bethesda game was the first steps into the real world. Aka. the light at the end of the tunnel scenes. I feel that Fallout 4 kind of slacked on this, having the pre-story before the Vault took away from the seeing the sun for the first time after years in the dark shelter. But, at least I was still young enough due to the short tutorial.
Let’s see this new Pip Boy
First complaint with Fallout 4 was the menu selection, it wasn’t terrible. But it seemed over the top and it was filled with so… much… crap… Inventory was a jumbled mess, and call me old fashioned but I like the Diablo-style inventory setup. Being able to move the gear around and having it sorted by type (Head, Chest, etc.) would make this is a smoother experience rather than say “Hey it’s all armor, even the dog collar”.
The next complaint about the Pip Boy comes later on. It’s bugged to Hell… Later in the game you will create establishments with citizens, houses, etc. You will essentially be playing the Sims Nuclear Wasteland. By this I mean you have to have beds for people, adequate defenses for the location, food, water, etc. In the Pip Boy it shows you the areas that you have established with updated stats. The only problem… they’re wrong. My main establishment (Sanctuary) had 13 people total, however my Pip Boy said I had 9 total the entire game, plus it said that I only had 6 beds. Even though I actually had 22 beds with a fully-developed electrical infrastructure. It’s a pain when you can’t keep track of your citizens since you’re often not around them, and the backtrack is obnoxious.
Why is there a two-headed cow on my couch?
This happened a lot. A few glitches were understandable… but there wasn’t a single time that I entered into a city and didn’t see a crazy glitch happening. Whether it was a robot hitting a car across the screen, my dog standing on the roof then jumping to his death or a cow deciding he’d rather be inside on a rainy day while its shopkeeper master stood outside (can’t blame it I suppose).
The worst part of these glitches was that it made the establishment management a pain. The ground in Fallout 4 is not smooth, not even remotely. There are cliffs, rolling hills, etc. The only flat sections are housing platforms. That’s fine in the larger cities, but if you are building an establishment on the side of a mountain; housing placement might be a little challenging. Especially when the AI can’t walk inside the building because there is a 3″ step in front of them, then it becomes a pain in the ars. There were well over a dozen times I had to find the EXACT placement for a house, which took forever in the end and I thought it was unnecessary.
It’s not all bad though
I know I’ve been kind of bashing this game but I have little patience for rushed games. And I do believe this was rushed for the holiday season. Some people might say it was in development for 7 years so therefor it couldn’t be rushed. My answer to that is; if it was intended for 10 years, then 7 is certainly rushed. Regardless, some highlights I enjoyed were the scavenging feature. I have a grinding personality, I can do the same quest daily, hourly, minutely and not be bored if I have the chance to get something great. In Fallout 4 you collect “Junk” across the wasteland, then you scrap it out to build/upgrade gear and build your various establishments. I think this is a great feature. It makes the map a giant scavenger hunt and it makes you learn to manage your resources efficiently (hold onto that Copper and Ceramic). However, I kind of wish the Workbenches shared the inventory between all establishments, I understand that wouldn’t make sense in real life, but luckily we are playing a game.
Another feature I liked was the town building, it definitely had some issues as noted above. But, it was ADDICTING, I swear Peter Molyneux designed that aspect of the game, after 24 hours into the game I had realized I never went to Diamond City (which is a main step in the game), woops.
As I am sitting at this desk, pondering what score I should give this game. I try to think of what it has going for it, and what it can be. Fallout 4 is a great game, it’s not revolutionary; everything in this game has been done before in either previous titles or other games. However, it is a clever game and witty remarks are around every corner. If you are a fan of the Fallout games then yes I suggest you try it out. Because, more or likely you are used to early game bugs and they probably don’t bother you as much. For modders I think this game has a ton of potential. Today I read that they already had a dialogue mod to fix the conversations which I think is great, plus a Beta Patch from Bethesda for Steam users to fix issues in the game. Bethesda is a good company, they WILL fix these issues over time (probably the Game of the Year edition), so if you don’t mind waiting, then I suggest you do so. For those who feel that they need to explore a post-apocalyptic wasteland, then might I suggest Mad Max? I’ll do a review on that tomorrow. Overall though, here is my final rating for Fallout 4, PlayStation 4 edition.
- Buy or Rent: Rent, until the Game of Year edition comes out then I would assumed the bugs will be fixed and you can go along your merry way in the Nuclear Wasteland that is Boston.
- Alternative: Mad Max I would say. There’s quite a few alternatives that I think people would enjoy. But, new-age, post-apocalyptic, etc. then Mad Max is the way to go.