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Wednesday, 02 December 2015 11:13

Unfinished Game Review: Fallout 4


Yes, I know you can blast through Fallout 4 in 20 hours or so, but where is the fun in that?

Why not meander through the lush post-atomic-apocalyptic ruination of a nuclear based ‘50s lifestyle at your own pace?

That’s what I have been doing. And my story will be completely different to yours. Thus is the nature of Bethesda open world games.

All the amazing breadth or storytelling and world scope is here, the kind of epic immersion that has proven so popular in games such as the Elder Scrolls series, particularly Oblivion and Skyrim, but also in Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas.

As are the somewhat epic bugs or glitches that so hilariously take place in these crafted virtual worlds – typically they are not game destroying, more often just a bit of weird fun.

Still, at times, on our venture out of Vault 111 in search of our loved one, we wrestled with the frame rate slowdowns and marvelled at the funny glitch situations that characters can get themselves into due to AI routines breaking down, or similar programing complexity mishaps that come with the massive scope of such a titles vision. We wondered whether Bethesda has bitten off more than it can chew here.

But we let it pass, because the world is so inviting in its hostility, so rich in its bleakness and so enticing in its horror that we are compelled on.

Sure, we can get sidetracked from our purpose along the way, something that should not happen if this was the real world, but is easy to be distracted where everything is out to either kill you or enhance you.

The “base building” mechanics are clunky, but can largely be avoided if SIMS style fort-creation is not your thing.

Joining factions and establishing relationships with companions on the other hand is not the kind of thing you want to avoid. This enhances the RP aspects of Fallout 4 as an RPG and couples well with the run-and-gun shooting feel of the game.

Depending on how you kit your character out on the S.P.E.C.I.A.L skill tree your experience will be different. I loaded up on Charisma so I could talk my way out of situations, but that was detrimental to my Strength and therefore how much loot I could carry - luckily (even without loading up on Luck) there was always my trusty character to fight by my side and be my beast of burden.

The amount of work that has gone into this post-nuclear Boston and surrounds is astounding. You may miss some of the subtle environmental linkages if you stomp around recklessly in your Brotherhood of Steel power armour, but what the hey, it is a hell of a lot of fun right?

Fallout 4, lose yourself in the wasteland for a few months.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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