So, i wrote a review of Fallout 4 and i wanted to post it on Steam but it was to long :C
So i thought i would post it here. Enjoy.
So, i think there is some things i need to make clear before i give you my feelings on this game.
1-I have played Oblivion, Fallout3 and Skyrim. I may have around 3000 hours spent into those three games and i preordered Fallout3, Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim many months in advance.
2-I have never had a chase to play any other Fallout games besides 3 and New Vegas (this i mostly steams fault since i cant seem to get them to work on my pc even though i spent hours in forums trying to get them to work)
3-I preordered Fallout4 many months in advance. In other words i was beyond hyped for this game.
Ok, now for the actual review.
The game itself fictions more or less OK. Many people like to talk about this game being “broken” but i feel people really misuse that word and don’t really understand what it means for a game to be broken. As in any Bethesda game there are glitches. Funny glitches, odd glitches and some time frustrating glitches but I’ve seem to have come across those kinds of game braking ones few and far between. For example i have only had about three crashes and i have been playing for about 150 hours. But honestly i think at least two of those crashes were due to mods so i can blame the venial game for those. And for the one large glitch the people have been talking about, the one where you get stuck in a terminal? Well, it hasten happen to me so i can not talk from experience. But what i can talk about is the frame rate problem. For some reason this game will just decide to go form 60FPS to 30 or sometimes even less then that just for shits and giggles. And god forbid you’re in the city and some raiders attack some super mutants while the Brotherhood show up in a vertabird. Well, lets just say i have seen signal digits in my frame rate. Sure, with some tweaking and a pc from NASA you can keep it above 30 (or at least keep it form going below it) but i feel that this has little to do with my pc and more to do with my game since i have heard about the same problem from people was vastly superior pc’s then i had.
So, verdict on how functional the game it. It’s OK. Bethesda really needs to do something about the frame rates but beyond that i feel using the word “broken” is misleading at the very least.
So, is the game fun? How does it play and how are the mechanics?
Well, as a fan of FPS’s i find the upgrade of the shooting mechanics to be good although i think the whole “iron sites” thing for most FPS’s are getting about bit old (Side note, what i mean by that is since you are playing on a 2D screen just looking down the sights and doing nothing else is silly. Why not blur everything else on the screen and magnify what you are looking at down the sights? You know, giving the illusion of depth perception. Anyways, moving on.) but its a much needed upgrade from Fallout3 and New Vegas when it comes to the “run'n gun” gameplay.
Now, when it comes to the “RPG” elements to the game, i feel a bit divided on it. I do like some of the ideas of the new perks system and sometimes simplification can be a good thing and it still feels that you make a very specific kinds of characters. But then again i feel that you cant truly make an individual character in not just how you play that character but how you play that character in the story and the distinctions you make. Ill get to the story bit soon but i feel that i really need to talk about this first. I don’t like that fact that you can level up forever and make your character perfect. I also hated that in Fallout3, New Vegas tried to fix it but they just ended up using mods for the mods community and nothing else. What makes a “role playing game” a RPG is the fact that your character is not perfect, they have strengths and weaknesses. So, for example, if you have ever played D&D then you already know that is the heart of role playing, not being perfect. Like having a character that is an amazing sword fighter and can smooth talk their way out of almost anything but put a riddle or a math question in font of them and they get a headache. Or having a pyromancer that can speech 10 different languages but with an anger problem and has no idea how to correctly socialize with other people. So to me, the perk “Almost Perfect” in Fallout3 and the ability to level up forever in Fallout4 kills this core concept of role playing. Another major problem that i find kills the “role play” in RPG is the voiced protagonist and here is why. You spend a hour (like i said) making your character. A hansom but grisly, buff 30 something year old that is basically a sword welding, pistol toting cowboy with a tongue of silver. So, you play as this character, now you first realize very quickly that you don’t really know what you are going to say, how you are going to say it and it what context. Yes, I’m talking about the conversation wheel. I didn’t like it in Mass Effect and i don’t like it here. Sure, a simple mod kind of fixes it but ill tell you why that is a moot thing to do. So, you finish the main quest at this silver tongue sword welding cowboy and have done most if not all the side quest and you don’t want to level this character up to max. So, you decide to make a new character. How about a skinny, cranky and sarcastic 60 something year old alcoholic doctor that has his trusty syringe launcher. So you spend like a hour and a half trying to make his face looking the actor Charles Dance (ya, i did this) and then you go out into the world of the wasteland. Now, if you are like me you just loaded up the save that is before you leave the vault, skipping the into. But then it becomes immediately apparent that this 60 year old doctor has the exact same voice and basically says the exact same things. This experience made my realize that Fallout4 is not a “role playing game”, or at least not in the way that i know them and want them to be.
Now, to be honest when it comes to the rest of the game play mechanics, i have little problem with. The upgrading and modding of weapons, armor and power armor is satisfying. Although i feel the settlement mechanic is a bit tacked on and very poorly explained but it to is OK. Now i feel one of the most best things that has been changed is the power armor. Now, if you enjoy the lore of the Fallout universe then you know how power armor is show to be. It was a game changer in the battlefield, it turned men into tanks and you feel like a tank when you are in one. I feel the only major problem is its excitability and the amount you can use it. Perhaps it should have had harsher draining on the fusion cores and one would “call in” the armor as if it was an artillery strike.
The companion mechanically are only a bit better then other Bethesda games. I find myself not using the commands to often expert if i need a door opened or a computer hacked. But i will say having them around is really interesting since their compartment is most of the time really cool and nice to hear. Although trying to please some of them can be a pain but that can be ignored.
Now, the story, how does it hold up? Is it better then Fallout3 and New Vegas?
Well, yes and no. Overall i enjoyed the story. One man (or woman) agents the wastelands trying to find there son. Although, after a specific point i kind of had a good idea of how things were going to play out but then again im like that with most stories. Now in this game there are factions, kind of like New Vegas. There are The Minutemen, a band of military like man that are there to help the common wastelander. The Brotherhood of Steel, an army of power armor toting men and woman hellbent on perfection humanity from themselves be gathering all prewar tech to themselves and killing anything mutated. The Institute, a underground and infamous power capable of things like advised robotics, generic alteration, teleportation and even building synthetic human beings bone by bone, strip of flesh by strip of flesh. And last but not least there is The Railroad, another underground organizations diamante to end slavery (in Fallout3 they made it quite clear that they wanted to stop all slavery, not just the slavery of synthetics). Now, i gather you can see some ideological differences between these factions and you would be right. One of my favourite changes was the complete removal of the karma system. To me i always found it odd how games basically based on stuff like A Boy And His Dog and Mad Max thought it was a good idea to somehow quantify moralist in a world or morally ambiguousness. So now you are more or less forced to pick a “necessary evils” per say. Although there is one problem i had with this. It seems that you really only pick between the Brotherhood, the Institute and the Railroad. The Minetmen just kind of, well, you know, just go with it. I still find that really odd and even odder is how the game really seems to go out of it own way to create conflict. Yes, i understand conflict is needed, i know but i find it odd how almost all of these factions have 100% trust in my character yet i can somehow i can’t concise any of them to talk? Consider compromises? Well, odder, odder thing is, you can get them all to work together but it is a complicated and overly concluded way of doing it to the point you have to look it up on youtube and get a step by step instructions in how to do it. Now, im not going to go an further into the story line since i want you to experience it yourself.
And now, how do the graphics hold up? Is it up to snuff of other modern games?
Now, i remember when the first game play footage of the game came out and people bitched and bitched long and hard about the graphics. Now, i was not one of those people and even now i still like how the game looks, but i think i can have some sympathy to those who thought differently about it. The overall world, the colors and environments look really good. A huge dispatcher from Fallout 3’s greens and browns and New Vegas’s browns and reds. And overall the textures of the world does look good, at least to me. Now, i feel that some of the characters look, well… Bad. I don’t get how your characters textures as most of the time vastly better then some of the companions and other people and creatures you meet in Boston. Hell if you ever come across a super mutant that does not want to crush your skull, well, standing close to one and you see how poor the textures are to the point where it is an eyesore. So, all in all, the graphics are OK. Some of it is good and some of it is sub par.
Now, final verdict. Should you buy this game? Is it worth your time?
To me, i do not feel bad for buying and playing this game. I do feel that i had some expectation that were not meet and i don’t think those expectations were too much to ask. I think i was excepting a different kind of game. So, i am personally a little disappointed but i still think this game is worth playing. I just think you as a player have to have an idea of what kind of game this is and to not get your hopes up like i did thinking it was another kind of game. Although, for me and my personal wants of this game there is still hope. Bethesda has had a good track record with their DLC and game like this has always had a huge modding community so i think i will stick around just to see where the modders and Bethesda take me next.