22 February 2017 | Maladjusted_1
Loses some of the series' RPG qualities but improves in other areas
I think we may have been holding 'Fallout 4' up to a rather harsh set of expectations. 'Fallout 3' was one of the best games of the decade, and 'New Vegas' was another excellent title. Unless Bethesda pulled off the best game of the year, there'd be a lot of criticism.
The introduction was great, and I'd place it leagues above the first scenes of 'Fallout: New Vegas'. Bethesda successfully place this game firmly within the context of a nuclear apocalypse, taking us closer to the initial devastation than ever before. It's also in the earliest moments of the game that you realise that your character can talk! Bethesda's long-awaited decision to give player characters a voice worked rather well, and I hope they expand on it in the future.
Whilst I have praise for certain character-related modifications made in this game, there are also some problems. It's very hard to play an evil character in 'Fallout 4'. As many people have pointed out, your choices tend to range from 'very kind' to 'reluctantly kind'. That didn't really inconvenience me as I tend to play do-gooders on my first playthrough, but I do find it disappointing that the range of moral choice available to players in the earlier games has been significantly reduced.
Bizarrely, as player choice is restricted where decision-making is concerned, it is expanded tremendously in another area: the workshop. For the first time, we are given the ability to expand a fairly vast number of settlements, giving you the choie to install security, add stores, build homes and - most importantly - attract settlers to populate them. One of the key factions, the Minutemen, also tie in with the settlements feature, as you'll often be called upon to defend them from a variety of Wasteland threats.
I quite liked the Minutemen and their quests, but I wasn't so keen on the Institute. They just don't look as authentic as the other factions we've met. A certain degree of sci-fi can be very fitting in an apocalyptic RPG, and I think the contrast of '50s culture and futuristic technology really gave the earlier 'Fallout' games their charm. Around half-way through this latest game, though, I felt that they went a little too far. Given the importance of the Institute, this detracted somewhat from my ability to enjoy the story, but I still acknowledge that it had some very good moments.
Do I think it's as good as 'Fallout 3'? No. Do I think it's a good game? Yes. I've logged well over 100 hours on it, so something must have worked!