Continuing the Atomic Franchise with ‘Fallout 4’
By Devon Hobbs
November 23, 2015
As its slogan goes, “War never changes.” Neither does the remarkable open world of Bethesda Game Studios’ critically acclaimed role-playing game franchise with its latest installment, “Fallout 4.”
Once again, the well-seasoned developers have created a massive post-apocalyptic world that lives, breathes and reacts to every decision the player makes.
What starts off as a basic plot searching for the player’s lost child quickly morphs itself into a delightfully overwhelming jumble of choices and gray areas. Set in the year 2287, the Boston wasteland has become home to many factions with their own unique post-apocalyptic philosophies on how to control the region.
It is entirely up to the player to side with whoever serves their purpose better. Players control their outcome with several ways to reach several different endings.
The world itself is the largest we have seen from Bethesda, filled with side-quests that outshine the main story. Players will find themselves having trouble picking from the hundreds of locations to explore and raid.
The exploration in the game is more rewarding than it’s ever been in the franchise. Players reap the benefits of taking down enemies and looting them which earns them some powerful and rare weapons or armors that may help in the next conflict.
Players must be careful as they roam the wasteland. There are several types of enemies, from Raiders, which are nomadic human factions that attack everything in their path, to Deathclaws, which are 9-foot tall mutated chameleons who can pick the player apart with a single swipe of their claws.
Taking on new enemies increases experience level and gives the player access to new perks and abilities. Make no mistake, no matter what difficulty mode “Fallout 4” is played in, the game is tough nonetheless.
This time, the developers focused more on making the player feel like there is an adversity to overcome by incorporating harsher combat and legendary characters.
A red skull next to an enemy’s name means that their difficulty level is significantly higher than the player’s and they will most likely win in battle. If the player wants something even more challenging, the survival difficulty is available, which enables the player to face enemies at the highest difficulty level. One shot may be all it takes to send the player back to his or her last save point, which can be frustrating.
The two newest features that are leaving the fans in awe are the workshop feature and the new crafting and customization.
Workshop acts as a construction program that allows the player to build almost anything he or she wants.
When stumbling upon destroyed houses, the player can use the workshop tool to salvage materials and tear down houses to rebuild them to his or her liking. In the long run, the player is able to form an entire settlement from scratch and have survivors in the wasteland move in.
It is up to the player to make sure the settlements are properly accommodated with beds, food, power, water resources and protection. It is possible for random predators and raiders to attack such settlements, so preparation is key.
The crafting system is larger than life with endless possibilities. The player now can add a different barrel to his or her weapons, or even an extended magazine or a scope if desired.
Every object the player finds in the world, whether it is a lighter or a metal pan, has a crafting purpose that can be used to craft modifications for his or her weapons or armor.
“Fallout 4” seems to do everything right. However, it still experiences the same issue that Bethesda’s massive open-world games are known for.
Bugs and glitches every so often are common. These glitches can range from a slight frame rate drop all the way, to the game crashing and preventing the player from completing a quest. Such issues, however, should not ruin the player’s overall experience as they can usually be fixed by restarting from his or her most recent save point.
With “Fallout 4’s” expansive exploration, limitless crafting and compelling story, it holds its place as a serious contender for becoming the game of the year. Upon finishing the game, the player can still explore, as there is always something new to be discovered.