Bethesda delivers a hit with Fallout 4

On Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 12:01 a.m. EST, Fallout 4 was released to fans and gamers alike and in the first 24 hours sold 12 million copies across PC, Xbox One and PS4.  I was one of those people who wanted to get my hands on the most recent addition to the Fallout series as soon as I could.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game I’ll summarize it in a nutshell.  Fallout 4 lets the player create their own character who emerges from Vault 111 as the sole survivor. Vaults were made by Vault-Tec, a government contractor whose purpose was the construction of underground shelters to protect its inhabitants from a nuclear apocalypse.  In past games, fans have explored postwar California, Nevada, Washington DC, Pittsburg and now Boston. I would like to make it clear that to avoid spoilers I won’t be talking about any aspect of the game that wasn’t made public by Bethesda before the game launched.

I have been fully immersed in this game since day one.  One of the biggest changes from previous games is how the player chooses perks and skills after they level up.  In Fallout 3 and New Vegas a player would put skill points into stats like barter, lock pick and energy weapons.  From there they would choose one perk to either add to or improve upon.  Fallout 4 merged those aspects into a tier chart where perks can be unlocked when enough points are assigned to the character’s stats. This allows players to have 275 different perk trees, allowing hundreds of ways to experience Fallout.

Another big addition is full weapon modification and settlement building.  In past games. useless junk items like tin cans, empty bottles, hammers and teddy bears were placed all over the map and while they added to the world they had basically no use. Now, those items can be scrapped for their basic components like wood, steel, cloth and circuitry.  All of these items can then be used to modify weapons to be more powerful or accurate or to build houses and defenses to protect residents in settlements.  This feature by far is the one I have experimented the most and it is easy to see its inspiration from Minecraft.  While my buildings still look like giant boxes I have to applaud Bethesda for making this crafting engine work in real time in game.

Postwar Boston – The Commonwealth – is an incredible location to explore. Fallout 3 aesthetically was very somber.  Locations often used a lot of dark muddy shades of gray, green, blue and brown.  This color scheme I felt fit the area of a destroyed DC, after all it is our nation’s capital. Why wouldn’t it be hit the hardest? Boston on the other hand has much more color.  While some fans find the world too bright I don’t see any problem with the commonwealth being more vibrant.  Two things that come to mind when I think of Boston are historical landmarks and red brick buildings, so exploring a world filled with both really gets me invested in the game.

While I may still have a long way to go in a game that has about four hundred hours of content I know that I can say without a doubt that Fallout 4 so far has been a fantastic game that will keep me entertained for a very long time.