Who and Why?

People responsible for Fallout.

Because they made my childhood dream come true.

I have played the game on the Playstation 4 Pro for 50+ hours

And now it is time to say goodbye.

Because, war.

War never changes.

WHAT & WHEN?

Fallout. I learnt English from the original game, and I was not the only one – as many non-English fans of the original Fallouts can attest. I remember it was like yesterday. It was a sunny day on Cyprus (as was per custom in that particular region of the world), and, in a Woolworths I saw a box in the bargain bin with a little isometric man on it exploding into a bloody mess and lots of text in a language I did not fully understand.

I was hooked ever since.

But the real testament to Fallout 4 is that it is a game accessible to all players, with so much to do and so many apparent reactions to your player character’s actions that it builds an illusion of a living, breathing world. And in this world, Fallout 4 is ultimately about your story insomuch as it is the story designed by the game’s creators.

Yes, there are quests in it, with stories, but these all become your stories. Especially on Survival difficulty. The rush of adrenaline as you wander through a nuclear lightning storm in a ragged radiation suit, sneaking over hills, spotting Deathclaws and Radscarpions in your rifle’s scope. A rifle that has long ago ran out of bullets. You don’t care about anything but surviving, and you can’t save because on this hardest difficulty level you can only save when your character physically sleeps. And yet, this can all be completely bypassed for those not looking for that kind of challenge. On easier difficulties (Normal is the default), it is accessible to everyone.

My fiancée has been building her settlements for hours.

And all her settlers are happy.

And you get a castle! And every location is filled with secrets to explore, stories to tell about the world that could have been, told in a time when we may be right to fear that the future that could have been may yet come to pass.

Traders trade, caravans go on their routes, and stories within stories tell more about this imagined world and their inhabitants and their struggles. And, through superb voice acting and very good writing, they, the characters, make you care about them.

Quests can have multiple steps to complete, but almost always involve characters.

There is an elaborate base building mechanic, which seems especially helpful on Survior difficulty, where you want to eat & drink, and can have farms grow you food and provide clean water. Yet this can be completely ignored and you can immerse yourself into the atmosphere and struggle of the main factions.

The atmosphere is like Blade Runner meets A Boy and His Dog, cool like wet socks.

There are plenty of factions, with a quests attached to a number of characters within each faction.

There are the anti-ghoul Diamond City elitists.

There are the freedom-lovin’ Children of the Sixties-style band of misfits ruled by a ghoul pirate dressed as John Hancock (who, through a quest you might potentially never even take, can become your companion for the rest of the game).

There are the Institute, who are a kind of a long story, and the high tech knights of the future of the Brotherhood of Steel.

After 50+ hours of play, although I am level 42, I feel like I have only began to scratch the main story’s surface.

Loot is often randomized within parameters according to the NPC levels who had these items.

Very good visual effects, clearly showcasing the strong side of the graphics engine.

Very good artistic direction all around.

Writing is concise, proof-read, and always advances character or develops the plot. Does not feel intrusive. Characters seem like real people rather than “quest givers,” the effect of which is helped by characters having day/night and job cycles (another game that does this exceptionally well is Witcher 3).

There are some bugs and glitches, but nothing broke the experience too much. Only once I got stuck in an end of a corridor in the Boston LIbrary with an invisible outer walls once you cross the into a map sector, which was the level builder’s mistake, but, having said that, overall the levels are excellent.

The architecture of a Boston-that-could-have-been is captured with loving attention to detail.

PS4 controller vibrates and changes color at appropriate actions. When pulling a Dirty Harry-type revolver, it vibrates too, just to make you feel lucky, punk.

I am tempted to play the game more and hijack a Brotherhood of Steel airship Vertibird with my pirate ghoul sidekick, high like a flying squirrel on Buffjet, but, alas, enough is enough.

Time is forever the enemy.

The truth is, when I was playing the original Fallout games, I dreamed, what if, one day, technology would advance so far that the image on the screen would be close to movie-like quality? Or, rather, to how “I’d imagined it in my head” as I looked at the isometric sprites of the original game, completely immersed in the post-apocalyptic role playing game.

Fallout 3 was what I got and I was not disappointed. And Fallout 4 further gave me an alternative reality to which I loved to escape to when I was a kid.

Thank you everyone who made Fallout 4 possible.

So Fallout 4, no, this is not goodbye.

It is arrivederci.

WORD COWBOY STARS (OUT OF 5)

A masterpiece of game design, world building, and more-than-decent, often downright-inspired writing, with lines delivered by strong voice actors. A game with subtexts within subtexts like a Mini-Nuke wrapped in cabbage. You’ll be lost in the cabbage and forget all about the bomb.

The only reason I give it a 4.9 out of 5 instead of 5 is because of my personal preference of Ron Perlman’s delivery of the game’s tagline, “War, war never changes” to that of Liam Neeson’s in Fallout 3 and 4. I thought Ron Perlman’s delivery sounded way more sinister.

And nuclear war is certainly sinister.

Thank you for reading.

CONTENT FORM WOULD I play MORE games by THIS developer? WORTH playing?
4.9 5 Yes Absolutely

 

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