On November 10th 2015 Bethesda released their latest continuation into the series. Fallout 4 has an interesting aspect most video games fail to capture.
Fallout 4 is a video game whose lifespan is not bound by lack of content or no longer supported. In most cases a video game will usually see a limited lifespan and fade into obscurity. Even with a remastering or DLC most video games simply lack replay value whether it is a multiplayer only, single player only or incorporates both.
Fallout 4 is set in Boston 10 years after the events that happened in Fallout 3. This is what I love about this game is it entirely up to you on how you want to start. You have the option of playing through the vanilla video game as the Sole Survivor of Vault 111. You also have the option to spice things up and add some mods regardless if you are on console or PC. Or ignore everything and just explore as you see fit.
Now I know Fallout 4 is not and at some points certainly was not flawless and it showed. The thing about all video games is you have the wonderful option of returning if you are not satisfied so long as you purchase a physical copy. You also do not have to play as this is not a forced or coerced upon anyone.
That said we can now delve into Fallout 4 and what makes the replay value endless. To kick things off we will first discuss the base game of Fallout 4. Next we take a look at the factions among the Commonwealth. Then we take a look at mods. We will end this review with discussing replay possibilities.
What is the Gameplay Like
Fallout 4 is a gem of a video game in that gameplay will vary depend on your preference which is something every developer studio should take notes of. This is an open-world role-playing game so there is a lot to explore.
Now there are some who have beaten the game in a rather quick rate like 2-6 hours than tout about how boring it is. Well these same people usually know nothing of the terminal entries, holotape logs and specifics of most conversation dialogues scattered all around the Boston Commonwealth. Meaning they only scratched the surface of the available content in Fallout 4 so what they say does not accurately reflect the video game or the many play-styles.
Ever played Fallout 3 than you will definitely recognize some features. Power Armor makes a return but in a different form instead of equipping it as apparel it is now equipped by entering into a power armor frame. The frame is versatile as you can mix and match different power armor pieces and modify them. Roaming around Vault 111 you may come across a familiar snout Dogmeat who is more than happy to tag along your journey. Dogmeat is just one of thirteen companions available to the player.
Adventuring through the waste is a perilous task as you can come face to face against a number of enemies who see you as a quick snack or a walking loot box. Some you may have already seen in the past iterations such as Feral Ghouls, Deathclaws, Raiders, Super Mutants, Mirelurks, Radscorpions and Yao Guais to name a few. A new variant of enemies have been added with the prefix Legendary. Legendary enemies have a chance to drop legendary armor pieces and weapons. All legendary items come with some kind of effect. There are some that are more useful than others (get away from me Junkie Items).
The crating system was one of the biggest features. You craft your own weapons, armor and modifications using scrap you have foraged out in the wastes. In addition to crafting gear you can craft other items such as aid items like food and chems. Factions have a much bigger role during the main quest line and even after in the end game. Depending on the faction you chose you may or may not be able to create settlements. Settlements are locations around the map that have some settlers living within. If taken care of properly a settlement can be transformed into a formidable outpost capable of producing for itself using the Workshop.
Fallout 4 Base Game
The base game of Fallout 4 has a great feel your first playthrough. In the prologue you get see a little glimpse of what Pre-War America. You start out in Vault 111 unfrozen alive and well from a Cryo Pod. You get a rather rude awakening which is the root motive of the Sole Survivor for the time being. From there what you do is all up to you. When you wake up 210 years have passed since you last entered the vault. The dilemma of Synths and social mistrust plague the current region.
There are all kinds of character builds you can create with the perk system. I always found it funny how a character starts out as a weakling only capable of fighting a Radroach but can go on to becoming the strongest creature roaming the wasteland regardless of your build.
Though what to do after completing the main quest as your first character? Well you can make a different character or load a save file prior to any important quest. I have one save file fresh inside the vault as a root for an alternate universe scenario.
Doing a playthrough as a different faction from your main character is an option and interesting seeing how each faction operates. Each have a motive they actively fight for and eventually want to assume power in Boston through their own means.
Factions Among The Commonwealth
Throughout the map of Fallout 4 a player can encounter a number of Factions. Out of all of them only 4 have a main role in affecting the outcome of the main quest.
The Minutemen are supposed to be the first faction you interact with ideally and the only faction that can genuinely help make the Commonwealth safer one settlement at a time. There main problem is weak leadership and internal mistrust. By the time you meet the Minutemen there is only one soldier left. Definitely far from the strongest faction but like the player this faction can go on to becoming the most powerful group.
The other three major factions are based more on fundamentals. A person can be empathize with some of what they say but one cannot help to ignore how they disregard everything else. The Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute are interesting factions to play as but you cannot help but question their resolve during some main quests and side quests.
The Railroad is a covert group who actively try to liberate Synths from the Institute.
An elusive group whose very existence is questioned the Institute is a ruthless group. This faction prioritizes scientific advancement over all else in order to achieve mankind redefined.
The Brotherhood of Steel is a paramilitary contingent who strive to collect advanced technology at all cost. A detachment was sent to Boston from the Capital Wasteland based on a lead that a line of robots was being created that look almost indiscernible to normal humans called Synths.
Modding Regardless of Platform
Modding is now supported on all platforms. The difference is in the amount of available mods. PC by far has the most amount of mods available for download. Xbox One has a slightly favored library than PS4 but this is only because of technical issues as it is easier for community creators to make a mod compatible for Xbox One but be sure to read the description as some are untested.
So if you are wondering what mods are well in this case they are modifications made to the single or multiplayer aspect of a video game. They can be minor or major like patching up some long needed official fixes. Do your reading as all mods will have a description of what it is and how to properly install. Install at your risk is a disclaimer you should keep in mind as some may crash your game for a number of reasons. Usually it has something to do with compatibility or your load order.
There are some mods that can offer completely new start scenarios in case you wanted to avoid any of the Vault 111 fuss. Some mods even let you toy around with settlement building and allows settlers to build structures within a settlement as time goes on in game.
There are many mods worth exploring and mentioning though I will leave it up to you to explore on your own.
By the end you are able to take down Deathclaws and former Star Paladins who pose little resistance. The cool thing about Fallout 4 is there is no level cap. Meaning if you really wanted you can obtain every perk and a perfect special stat. This is entirely preferential and not required for normal gameplay. Most dedicated builds can be completed by Level 50. Depending on what factions you align with or are still alive after the main quest you could have the option to reinforce and outfit settlements to look better and more immersive.
Some may still wonder what next if you have completed all the above? Well it depends on what you like in a video game. Personally I loved Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas but there was the glaring issue of replay. There was not much to do even with DLC add-ons extending the main quest line. In Fallout 3 once the Enclave were defeated at Adams Air Force Base that was it really not much to do afterwards especially if you completed every single side quest, collected every unique item in the game and seen or heard all the lore.
Same in Fallout New Vegas once the Battle of Hoover Dam is finished you the end the game and it resets back to a checkpoint. Of course there were the amazing ending scenes which did wonders in explaining your effect on the Wastelands and the many characters you encountered. Yet there was no incentive for replaying after one has exhausted every possible outcome.
Fallout 4 did a bit better job at mitigating this issue in the form of settlement raids, defending checkpoints, and settlement building. The base game does provide ample replay opportunities but to a certain extent and only to a certain audience.
At the end of the day a majority of the joy you can experience from this video game comes from what was developed from the developers, your own creativity, sense of imagery and preference.
Have any questions or comments about Fallout 4 feel free to drop it below.
Fallout 4 Rating
Fallout 4 Rating
Product Review: Fallout 4
Product Description: An open world role-playing game set in the Boston Commonwealth 210 years after nuclear war has devastated the entire planet. You begin your real journey after thawing out of a cryogenic pod in Vault 111 as the Sole Survivor. Allowing for a vast amount of different play-styles and outcomes during main and side quests. Roam the wasteland on your own or go at it with allies from different factions and companions. This video game is fun but not a must have. No video game is as all are subject to individual preference. If you have a creative adventurous side and enjoy playing video games then maybe perhaps this might be a video game worth exploring.
Availability: Check a local retailer for latest availability.