Bethesda is best known for its Elder Scrolls series, with Skyrim defining what fantasy, open-world RPGs should look and feel like; and the Fallout series, with Fallout 3 considered to be one of the greatest open-world, post-apocalyptic survival RPGs to have ever been made at the time of its release.
So when the game developers released Fallout 4, we were frothing at the mouth with excitement (naturally) to get started with this Fallout 4 review. After spending more than a week exploring and fighting in the nuclear wasteland of Fallout 4, we thought it we gathered enough experience in to give you an accurate Fallout 4 review. Take care, Fallout 4 is a very deep, very immersive world and you will lose days, weeks even, before you try to come back to your real life.
The Fallout 4 gameplay takes the best things about Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas and amplifies it to give you a much more concentrated version of a post-apocalyptic survival RPG game. Actually, Bethesda seemed to be a bit too eager to show us what Fallout 4 is capable of, as you are given a powerful weapon and a huge armour right at the beginning of the game to fight against a vicious enemy. The SPECIAL system, an RPG skill development element picked from the previous Fallout games is changed slightly, and we felt it was somewhat watered-down. Though the basic structure of Fallout 4 remains the same, pursuing the skill tree shows that although there are many unique strengths to be gained, you are not subsequently crippled by many weaknesses. Regardless of the generality of the skill system, every new skill point changes the dynamics of the new Fallout game.
Fallout 4 is very similar in terms of storyline to the previous installations; you are a survivor of the nuclear apocalypse because you had, a long time ago, found shelter within Vault 111, a massive underground facility filled with everything you need, before the bombs fell. Although the main character is basically searching for his family, the video game turns into an intricate struggle for survival as you are forced to choose between factions that have their own twisted philosophies. Fallout 4 is even more morally nuanced as you will need to think about the consequences of siding with the wrong people just for the sake of survival and protection.
Though the graphics of the new Fallout game may not be as impressive as some other popular video games that have been released recently, the attention to detail is borderline obsessive. Fight scenes are gory and you can see burns and bullet holes forming on the bodies of not-so-innocent enemies that underline the grim nature of post-apocalyptic survival. The world in Fallout 4 is not as grim as it is in Fallout 3, you have blue skies and quite a bit of colour instead of the omnipresent brown of rust. In fact, the nuclear wasteland is so well done that it may even look beautiful to some. PC users can also choose to make their gameplay or graphics a bit better with downloadable mods.
As Fallout 4 is a survival game, the theme that Bethesda goes for is moody and atmospheric. The soundtrack of Fallout 4 works perfectly to achieve the sense of doom and isolation, along with the militaristic and gritty music needed for fights. The main opening theme is rousing and inspiring, filled with heavy percussion and horns while the theme during exploration is minimalistic and moody. There is a host of percussion-heavy soundtracks in the game that you listen to during cutscenes or during fights and it works perfectly for the content.
Unlike any of the previous video games from Bethesda, the protagonist of Fallout 4 has a voice! It helps to improve the dramatic feel of the conversations, but there are still some glitches that we came across, like losing the voice mid-sentence. Cinematics are not quite the greatest assets of video games from Bethesda, although the story-writing has seen a considerable improvement as compared to their previous games. Dialogues are well-written, and the variety of side-quests sometimes show surprisingly genuine humour. Many of the Fallout 4 stories you stumble across on the wasteland are not even narrated, all the skeletons and items are carefully placed to give you an idea of what those poor souls must have been doing when the bombs struck.
There are many things that Fallout 4 gets right; the massive, open-world wasteland, interesting side-quests, dark humour, and very high replayability value. Not to mention that the armour and weapons modification feature of this video game is probably the best we have ever come across.
However, like all the other Bethesda games, there are some issues. The crafting system is so good that it leads to a hoarding problem. Managing inventory space is simply agonising as everything in the wasteland is potentially precious. There is also a host of minor AI glitches and environment bugs that remind you that Fallout 4 also can be imperfect.
Both the ambiance and theme of the new Fallout game are consistent and the game surprises by throwing morally ambiguous choices at you all through the latter half. Like any other Bethesda game, Fallout 4 has so much to offer in terms of gameplay experience that you cannot help but look past the minor problems and see the game for what it really is; a fantastic and gripping survival video game that tests your moral fiber, just as much as it treats you with unique gameplay.
• Tons of locations and characters
• Great crafting system
• Outdated Graphics