Hayden Seay, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Fallout last graced the gaming world with 2010’s “New Vegas,” but after suspense, agony and theorizing over when the game would inevitably release, “Fallout 4” has finally arrived.
After visiting the ruins of Washington D.C. and the New Vegas, Bethesda introduces the Commonwealth, the area formerly known as Massachusetts, and Boston and its surrounding areas after an all-out nuclear war.
Fallout is no stranger to fascinating storylines, but this entry falls flat on plenty of levels. Bethesda tries to do many cool things by exploring the consequences of enhancing humanity through robotics among other ideas, but these are not fully fleshed out. Instead, we get snippets of what could have been a much better story if more time was spent writing, or if it was more focused on one aspect.
In true Fallout fashion, you can choose between three factions: the Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute. This adds tons of content and a lot of variability to how the plot plays out, but to get all the different outcomes, you have to play it three different times or be crafty with the save system to get the whole experience. In the case of the Institute, the storyline was rather boring, consisting of missions that take you all over the place and retrieving items. This storyline’s short length and ending left a lot to be desired.
In comparison with previous Fallout entries, “4” takes several steps forward, but several back at the same time. Early on in the game, melee weapons and guns made out of pipes and wood are essential to your survival. But after some time exploring, it is very possible (in my case) you’ll end up with a suit of T-45 Power Armor, complete with a fusion core to power it and a minigun.
Better weapons are not hard to come by in the slightest and will make whatever you had before obsolete. As you progress through levels and quests, vendors sell better weapons and different types of ammunition, usually in large quantities. Weapon modifications have also changed for the better, with tons of new customizations available to make your gun exactly the way you want it.
Easily the weakest part of the game, settlements should have been one of the coolest additions but are instead frustrating, overwhelming and boring, all at the same time.
Building settlements requires too much time, effort and materials, and because the Commonwealth has so much to offer on its own, it’s an idea that should have been redesigned or scrapped entirely.
Whether it’s a house filled with cats to Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond, there are tons of cool things to find around the Commonwealth. All it takes is a bit of exploration.
As with any Bethesda game, bugs and glitches infest every part of the game. Whether elevators glitch and leaves you to fall in never ending pits of nothingness, character’s dialogue skips and overlaps each other and enemies fall through the map and disappear. Early in the game, I encountered many instances where the game would uncontrollably lag, making it difficult to do anything. Bethesda could have taken another month or two and iron out some of the bigger bugs so the game could have been more enjoyable.
Fallout 4 does a lot of good things, but a lot of terrible things at the same time. If the story were expanded and explained better, the myriad amounts of bugs and glitches were ironed out, and other aspects were made a bit better, this entry would have been much more solid.