My Game of the Month – November: Fallout 4

It’s probably bad that I’m about to say this, but this choice was going to be pretty obvious wasn’t it? Yes, the biggest month of gaming has fallen upon us and we as gamers, are blessed with an unholy amount of games that we can’t afford to buy all at once (that’s what Christmas is for!). So many great games such as Rise of The Tomb Raider, Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5 (last month) and of course FALLOUT 4. Not going to lie, this choice was actually nearly reconsidered for reasons I will discuss down below.

So Fallout 4 is a real, physical thing I can touch, hold, hug and caress in my very real small hands. It feels good. Only been waiting like seven years for this title to be released, no biggy. From the get-go this game had me all teary-eyed and buried in nostalgia. No, not from the 50’s lifestyle, I’m not that ancient, but from the Fallout logo and iconic power armour. It made shivers run down my spine pressing ‘new game’ on the title screen with the epic soundtrack playing in the background.

Now for the character creation, do I try and make my character look like me or look like a complete badass raider killer? I attempted to make IT look like me but it went adrift halfway through and came out looking like some pretty unrecognisable face that in no way resembled me at all. The tools for character creation are getting better and better with every new game, but I seem to be getting progressively worse at it. I have made some monstrosities in the past, trust me.

Finally, after many, many alterations to my THING, I proceed into the game. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The graphics aren’t the same level as other current-gen games but it’s still a major improvement over New Vegas and Fallout 3’s old engine. I was worried about the new introduction of a voiced character in a game where you’re meant to forge your own path and stories, but it felt pretty good. There were some annoying parts of the game though that would give you an option in the dialogue that sounded friendly but you’re character would say it in a completely different tone which often sounded rude or aggressive when I was trying to be nice. This happened an annoyingly high number of times. Another complaint about the dialogue is that it’s hard to tell which options would expand on the topic of discussion and which ones would move the conversation forward. In the past games it was pretty distinguishable which texts were for finding out more info and which ones pushed things forward, but not in this one. The responses left me feeling restricted and uneasy about missing any extra Fallout lore.

The combat has been significantly improved however. Gun combat in the previous games felt pretty lackluster, and relied heavily on the use of V.A.T.S to actually hit anything. This title feels more like a first-person shooter game now with much improved gun mechanics and animations. It doesn’t feel as smooth as Halo or Battlefield but it’s getting there. I haven’t got much experience with the melee weapons in the game but from what I’ve witnessed they seem to mirror Skyrim’s swordplay. Which leads to me to the addition of finisher animations. At first they are very cool, I love beautifully animated finisher moves, but these also get old pretty quickly as they seem to frequently repeat the same few. Skyrim (even before the update for more) had more finisher moves in the base game. I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t more, but then again I haven’t focused on melee combat. Maybe next playthrough.

The story is a very interesting topic of discussion. First-off there are multiple endings. Much like New Vegas, there are several factions in the Commonwealth that mostly dislike and hate each other. It’s your job to determine what happens to each one, bringing them together or destroying whole factions. For my main questline I joined the Brotherhood of Steel, who since the reign of Elder Lyons, have turned into a bunch of racist nazis. They don’t seem to like anyone but themselves and would sacrifice anything to rid the earth of mutants, synths and ghouls. Nobody likes them anyway but the new Elder Maxim acts like a child who won’t listen or accept anyone else’s opinion. I honestly only followed through with their story-line because of all the tech they use which is cool. The ending left a sour taste in my mouth. At first I thought it was because I had rushed through it, but that’s not valid because I had put 40 hours into it before completing the final quests. The ending simply felt wrong, unfinished and generic. The final cut scene of your character felt as though it could apply to any ending ever, it wasn’t personal to my path. To be truthful, I preferred New Vegas’ ending, at least I felt like I actually did something.

Overall, Fallout 4 has more positives than negatives, making it a very fun game initially. It’s a great RPG, I’m just not sure that everything meets the standards or expectations. I will dedicate plenty of hours into this game it’s guaranteed, hopefully on my second play-through the ending I choose then feels better than mine, because it was not satisfying in the slightest.


Alexander Jones


Author: alexwelsh95

Magazine journalism trainee. Journalism, media and cultural studies graduate, Cardiff University.

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