Fallout 4 Review: Amazing but Complex

Fallout 4 is probably one of the most anticipated games of the holiday season for 2015, and it should be. Fallout 4 looks and feels amazing. This post apolocalyptic nightmare is every RPG gamer’s dream. However, its complex mechanisms and branching storylines can be quite an intimidating albeit fun nightmare for an RPG newbie (like me).

Introduction

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So I’ve never played the previous Fallouts and I’m more of a FPS player myself, think COD, Battlefield, Halo etc. so this was really a new and novel experience for me. Of course I’ve tried Borderlands 2 and Far Cry, but I must say that Fallout certainly has a steeper learning curve. i got my hands on a copy of Fallout 4 from cdkeyplus.com that has astonishingly cheap games and boy, I loved it.

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So you basically play as a soldier who had awoken after 200 years in a cryogenic vault (Vault 111), only to see his wife killed and son kidnapped. The main storyline involves you getting your son back amidst a whole new complicated plot. You have armed factions like the Minutemen which are protectors of justice, that you can aid and join or the Brothers of Steel, an armed militia faction that you can join forces with.  You fight wasteland creatures, raiders, super mutants and the main enemy, which is “The Institute” that sends Synthetics (Synths) that are robots with laser weapons to enforce their rule of terror. You complete multiple quests along the game with the main objective of getting your precious son back, and did I mention, you walk around in a suit of steel (Power Armour). Who needs Superman when you are literally the Man of Steel?

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First Impressions

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The character customisation was really awesome, you could really create a personalised badass character to roam the wastelands. Male, female, handsome, muscular or obese, your character is truly yours as you spend hours playing this epic installment. What I loved about Fallout was that you could customise your character and choose conversation options much like in Mass Effect. Giving the protagonist a voice really lets you form a bond with the character. For the first time, the protagonist may not be a muscular handsome war-beaten hero, but an obese and strange-looking Homer Simpson.

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The graphics on this game is pretty good. Even though the texture and detail may not match some other games like Battlefield or GTA 5, Fallout has a certain lighting the makes this dystopian nightmare look awesome. However, the requirements to play this game is intense, I could feel my rig burning up as the cooling fans worked rigorously to cool my overheating graphics card down.

Navigating the wastelands and shooting stuff up is pretty easy and straightforward, controls are rather intuitive and easy to grasp at first, but gameplay mechanics get really difficult later on.

Missions

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Fallout 4 isn’t a shoot em up game. It has multiple objectives and storylines for you to pursue. Should you choose to complete all the missions on this open world game, you might be spending alot of time in front of the screen for the next few days or even weeks.

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Trying to explore all the story lines is fun but tiring, so you might consider pursuing one at a time instead of haphazardly completing side missions and the main missions which might give you a very disjointed feel of the game. Nevertheless, each individual mission has a unique story behind it which adds up to the richness that makes up Fallout. So other than chasing down the scoundrels that took your son, you get to build settlements and save camps in distress as well.

Oh and one thing, always quicksave before going into combat in case you die. Autosaves are rare, so if you don’t quicksave now and then, you get setback a long dreadful way

Gameplay

Combat

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Shooting stuff up in Fallout is great and fun. You can shoot in first or third person. With the VATS system, you can even lock on to enemies depending on the amount of action points you have. Action Points allow you to lock on to enemies and determine how far you can spring before resting. Not all shots in lock on mode will hit, you will miss, actually a majority of the time if you don’t level up the right attributes but successful shots will build up a critical meter that can be used to launch a devastating attack. If you are intending to use your critical hit, using a more powerful weapon should give you more bang for your buck.

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VATS Lock On

Your health doesn’t regenerate so you have to eat food or stimpaks to restore health. The downside to eating food is radiation poisoning that reduces overall health, but can be cured using RadAway or RadX, which are potions for radiation.

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Probably going to die

Crafting

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Post-Apocolyptic Sims

Here is where Fallout gets slightly complicated. You can craft weapons and armour for your character to upgrade combat attack and defences. Pretty clothes can also grant charisma to charm NPCs into giving you what you want, or barter with traders for a better deal. Of course there is also building a settlement, with houses, beds and power. Think a very sad and dystopian version of Sims by Ubisoft. Materials can be scrapped from your surroundings and you can grow crops, which is pretty cool, a nice break from the scary wasteland monsters.
Your workshop can be used to built beds, TVs and defensive infrastructure to defend your settlement from raiders.

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To get materials, you can loot off dead opponents or try finding them in boxes…or pretty much anywhere. Instead of always going the normal route, try exploring the map and going into rooms and buildings which you don’t really need to for the quest and you might find some much needed ammo, Stimpaks or RadAwaysTry not to steal them if you dont have a specialised pick pocketing perk or your NPCs might turn hostile quickly and shove some lead down your throat because you stole her empty glass bottle. I’m serious.

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Picking lock boxes and hacking computer terminals might grant you access to certain areas and rooms that can contain valuable scrap items and even weapons. So deviating from your mission for awhile to explore alternative routes might pay off.

Player Development

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You can choose to level up your player according to the different perks to build the ultimate survivor, you have Strength, Perception, Intelligence etc. which forms a skill tree that grants you additional perks in the game to help you find your son and save the wastelands. Leveling up is remarkably slow as this game is meant for you to play for weeks on ends so be patient with your skill level.

Companions

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Who is your favourite companion? Mine’s Cobsworth

You can have several different companions, from robotic synthetics like Cobsworth, a weird eccentric robot (your ex-maid – once again, #srs) or the cute dog named Dogmeat (yes, #srs) to have the whole gung-ho, I am Legend post-apocolyptic man and his best friend against the world feel. Dogmeat can tackle opponents and immobilise them for you to shred them with lead or you can have sharpshooters with Laser Muskets to deal some serious damage to your opponent. Honestly, they are kind of useless to be honest. All they do is carry things for me when my backpack gets overloaded (if you carry too many items you slow down). Yes, even in video games, Singaporeans need their maids to carry weapons for them. Oh of course, they don’t deal much damage, but they give your enemies someone else to melee or shoot at whilst you deal some pain.

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Overall Feel

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So here I am, having played five hours after getting back from the office. How would you think I would rate this? Amazing stuff. Even when I look at it objectively, it is still a mindblowingly vast and expansive world in which one can explore for game-year decades before even remembering you should be getting tired of this stuff. Seasoned RPG players will feel just at ease in the game, well worth every dollar, pound, euro or whatever currency you would like to buy this game in. Don’t buy this for your best friend though, unless you want to cause them to fail their next exam. And maybe the next one as well. Even though both of you might agree in the end that it was worth it. Don’t do it.

For RPG veterans, Fallout 4 is a dream come true. The multiple levels of the game, when it comes to crafting, combat and building settlements is amazing and comprehensive. The features available and objective to complete are almost limitless. If you are able to grasp how Fallout works, you are going to have the time of your life.

For RPG newbies, Fallout 4 is going to prove to be a challenge for the first couple of hours of the game. I took a full 6 hours of gameplay to understand what it was about and well, how to attach a wire to a power generator (I’m sorry). Fallout is still an amazing game and RPG newbs like me will be able to appreciate the beauty of open world games like Skyrim, Borderlands and Far Cry much better after playing Fallout. Last but not least for you noobs, here is the most comprehensive cheatcode for Fallout 4.

Costing only S$68.17 on cdkeyplus.com (as opposed to $79 on Steam), this game is super awesome. Even though I have never loved RPGs, Fallout 4 changed my mind about this genre of games and it is indeed the RPG that everyone looks out for.

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