Fallout 4 amazes and annoys

Fallout 4. Few times over the years have I witnessed a such an insane amount of hype over a game. A good part of that buzz is warranted. After all, the Fallout series has a long pedigree of quality games, and its developer, Bethesda, is known for delivering on that promise (mostly). Read on to see whether it’s the ultimate hybrid of an RPG and an FPS, or nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Setting the stage

For the uninitiated,  the Fallout series takes place in an alternate timeline where the world was blessed with cheap energy and technological wonders aplenty. One day, the sun was shining, birds were singing, then the buckets o’ sunshine landed. Nuclear war wipes out most of the world. Raiders and scavengers roam the wastes and devastated cities of the post-apocalyptic landscape, and basic needs like food and water are not guaranteed. Despite that grim outlook, humanity is slowly rising from the ashes centuries after the mushroom clouds dissipated.

Fallout 4‘s story begins just before the nukes hit. The protagonist’s wife (or husband) and baby boy hide in one of the game’s signature nuclear shelters—a Vault—where they’re unwittingly put into cryogenic sleep for many years. At one point, mysterious Wastelanders defrost the family, and our hero is forced to watch while the interlopers shoot his spouse and kidnap his child. After another stint on ice, it’s time for the protagonist to find his son and exact revenge.

The game follows the now-familiar formula established by Fallout 3 and New Vegas. It’s an open-world role-playing game blended with a first-person shooter. One could very loosely describe the gameplay as “a post-apocalyptic Skyrim with guns,” but that’s only half the story at best. Take combat, for example. Fallout includes the series’ trademark “V.A.T.S.” combat system, which lets players slow down time and pick specific enemies and body parts for their character to shoot, stab, or punch. Then there’s the whole 1950s-meets-wasteland-meets-sci-fi setting, with its unique retro-futuristic technology. And the guns. Lots and lots of guns.

Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

A crafty wastelander

If you’ve played the previous games, you may be wondering what’s truly new this time around. For starters, Bethesda gave the game’s crafting system a massive upgrade. Players can customize weapons and armor to the Nth degree, and they can also cook their own food and drugs. To do those things, you need to chase down specific types of junk or that can be broken up into specific components at a workbench. The reward of all this dumpster-diving is that an unimpressive pistol may well turn into a weapon of mass destruction by the time you’re done upgrading all its bits. Or you can add lead lining to a suit of armor to make it radiation-resistant. Power armor is upgradeable, too, so it pays off to keep an eye out for mechanical arms and legs worth using. These are just a few of the many, many paths you can take with the crafting system.

Fallout 4 also lets the player build their own settlements. It’s hard to describe in few words, but probably the best analogy is The Sims meets Fallout, complete with the time-sinky nature of both. Find and scrap junk to construct power stations, houses, furniture, defense turrets—you name it. Make sure your settlers can grow food and have access to fresh water. Then do it again in another spot. Settlements can be connected together using trade routes, and they can provide you with a safe haven where you can store all your hard-earned junk. One can easily spend tens of hours playing house without touching the main story at all.

Crafting does come at a heavy price, one that your character’s spine and experience points will have to pay. As we just noted, to craft, you need junk. That junk needs to be physically transported to a workbench at one of your settlements. While that sounds reasonable enough, encumbrance and inventory management are central to playing the game. This means your character will often bump up against their limited carrying capacity, especially early in the game. Companions (including your loyal canine friend Dogmeat, somehow) can carry a limited amount of stuff for you, but you’ll often end up in a place where there’s not a single workbench in sight. Get ready to drop that hard-earned desk fan in favor of a more appealing piece of trash.

Of course, you can elect to skip crafting entirely, but it’s a suboptimal way to play the game. You can buy ready-made versions of fancy weapons and armor, but they’re hellishly expensive and hard to find. By the time you find That Exact Chestplate from a roving trader, you could have just crafted a better one on your own. If you really want to get ahead in the Wasteland, be prepared to dig through the mountains of junk and ruins for that precious screw or roll of duct tape.

 

Change is good… or is it?

Bethesda overhauled the series’ trademark SPECIAL attribute system and character leveling in Fallout 4, too. Fallout 3’s system was similar to D&D. When levelling up, you got a certain number of skill points to spend in abilities, and that was it. Periodically, you also got to select perks or increase a base SPECIAL attribute—your strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, or luck.

That’s all changed now, perhaps for the better. The new system feels simpler, but it still leaves  a lot of room for choice. Levelling up gets you a skill point, which can be used to improve a base ability like Strength or Endurance, or it can be directly applied to a perk. Many perks have multiple levels, too, so you can go from a novice lockpicker or hacker to a walking national security risk.

While I think the SPECIAL system is pretty well implemented overall, there are some interactions with the rest of the gameplay that take away from the freedom it provides. For example, carrying junk for crafting is a constant pain in the back. You can invest in the Strength attribute or spend skill points in perks that let you pack more stuff, but that feels essential to getting ahead in the game, not like a choice.

Crafting forces the player to make the same kind of choices. If you want to make better items, you’ll have to spend precious skill points on the four separate crafting perks. That’s not even accounting for the extra perks you’ll need to make good use of settlements. Considering how fundamental the crafting system is to playing the game well, it doesn’t feel like you have much choice here, either.

I’d love to fix that roof, but I need more materials

Another annoyance bears mentioning. While the perks list does look extensive at first glance, it really seems to favor two strategies: direct combat or stealth. If you want your character to be a great scientist hacker, you’ll have a much harder time in Fallout 4’s wasteland. Not only is your set of skills far more limited, but only a few quests can be solved either by brains or guile. Sure, you can hack terminals to disable turrets and make Protectron robots fight for you, but that’s often simply not enough for many situations. Deus Ex: Human Revolution spoiled players by consistently offering two or three avenues for performing a mission, and it’s a little sad that Fallout 4 only pretends to do that.

Stealth is also quite overpowered in the new game, and I say that as a person who always plays the sneaky bastard thief when given the option. On the one hand, it’s great to have plenty of choices open for indirect combat, but it’s really easy to game the system—mainly due to the brain-dead enemy AI. Once you have silenced weapons and a couple sneaking perks, you can take out a whole settlement of Super Mutants with one arm behind your billowing cape. Enemies often don’t react as expected—it’s bad, yet amusing, to see gangbangers completely nonplussed by their friend’s corpse wearing grey matter for makeup. Shoot someone in a group from afar, and they start shooting in your general direction, but don’t always make much effort to actually try to find you. Even when they do, avoiding detection tends to be trivial anyway.

It’s not like your faithful companions are any smarter this time around, either. Despite preferring to play the lone wolf in RPGs, I gave a shot at having a companion around. That lasted about all of 10 minutes, because helpers end up becoming hindrances more often than not. They get in your way (especially when you need to get away), aggro enemies, eat up your shared ammo pool like it’s peanuts, and vanish when they should be right behind you. Oh, and they’re attracted to traps like hipsters to overpriced coffee desserts.

The VATS combat system also gets a few adjustments. In previous Fallouts, entering VATS would completely freeze time so you could carefully allocate your precious Action Points. In Fallout 4, though, time doesn’t stop—it only slows down 90% or so, forcing you to think on your feet. I normally wouldn’t have a problem with this, except that in particularly hairy situations, even that snail’s pace of passing time is enough to take you from “alive and kicking” to “kicking the bucket” because you didn’t point and click fast enough. I suppose it’s a matter of personal preference, but I find that if I have to be fast and precise with my clicking, I might as well just take down that Deathclaw in the traditional FPS fashion.

Bethesda also saw it fit to drop the broken karma system used in previous Fallout games. While karma was well-intentioned, it led to paradoxes where your character would be praised for blowing up a camp of raiders, yet shunned for looting it. In Fallout 4, you’re forced to live with the consequences of your decisions, but there’s not a pair of scales measuring good or bad for you.

I just killed about thirty wastelanders, and now I’m feeling a little Zen-like

Fallout 4’s health system is slightly tweaked, too. Radiation exposure decreases the player’s maximum health instead of adding skill penalties, and food or stimpaks take a few seconds to take effect. There’s still nothing stopping you from bringing up your Pip-boy and instantly consuming half a pallet of Salisbury Steak boxes, though. There are probably historic tales in Deathclaw culture about certain unkillable humans that carry tons of food in their backpacks.

 

It’s a huge world out there
Fallout 4’s map is big. Really, really big. A quick Mark I eyeball estimate says you’d probably need a hundred hours at minimum to find every location, and probably two or three times that to fully explore all of the game’s interiors. Fallout 4 has a definite sense of scale to it, and its mini-universe is executed in a way that makes it feel much more than a collection of icons on the in-game map. Having said all that, the “minor” locations are quite samey-looking. I’m finding it hard to believe that there were only a few desk models and barrel colors in the whole of Boston, for example.

This isn’t even close to all the places you’ll go

The staggering amounts of quests and their variety is also guaranteed to keep players hooked. Point in any direction and start walking, and you’ll soon come across someone needing help, a shady character trying to con you, a big fight between Super Mutants and knights of the Brotherhood of Steel, or a corpse with a strange note on it. The numerous terminals you find along the way often contain their own tales of life before the war. All this set dressing helps flesh out Fallout’s world in a believable manner.

The main quest line is equally interesting. What starts out as a simple kidnapping ends up involving things much bigger than a man and his dog, and the game reveals its secrets at just the right pace to keep the interest going. There’s also a great story twist halfway through that the game builds on beautifully.

The writing and voice acting is a little uneven, however. There are great stories to find in the wasteland, but sometimes things just plain don’t make sense. For instance, people in Diamond City are scared crapless of synths and hate them deeply, yet their local detective just happens to be one. Sometimes you get genuinely intriguing or funny tidbits of dialogue, other times they’re delivered with enough ham to open a butcher’s shop (I’m looking at you, Mama Murphy).

Going through this game in a straight line is exceedingly difficult. That’s not because of the terrain, mind you, but it’s human nature to be curious, and going from point A to point B will likely involve at least half a dozen detours. Unlike previous games in the series, there’s stuff outside the borders of the map, too—a fact I only discovered recently. Just beware, there be dragons there.

Keeping balance in an open-world game is always tricky business, and Fallout 4 does pretty well with that challenge. In New Vegas, for example, it was trivially easy to get into more trouble than you bargained for at the beginning of the game. Fallout 4, on the other hand, smoothly directs you through the game’s initial stages so you can get a good sense of the world around you and what its dangers are. A rule of thumb you’ll quickly develop is that monsters and situations get more dangerous the farther south you travel, so it’s reasonably easy to predict how much trouble you’ll face when you look at a quest’s map marker.

Wastelands can be beautiful too
Fallout 4 runs on a much-improved version of Skyrim’s graphics and game engine (called Creation Engine), and it shows. There have been criticisms flung at Fallout 4 stating that it looks bad, but I strongly disagree. Fallout 4 isn’t Crysis XIV material, to be sure, but the much-improved lighting and other graphical niceties make the game look pretty darn good to my eyes. Our Editor-in-Chief, another hardcore Fallout fan, thinks this is the best-looking game in the series.

All that shading and volumetric lighting is just so last gen

Most of the wasteland is dotted with ruined homes and settlements, but there’s enough variety to keep players exploring. Some of the game’s Bostonian vistas are gorgeous and make for good screenshot material, especially when you’re sitting atop a skyscraper. The power armor experience in Fallout 4 is nothing short of awesome, too. The power-armor-specific clunking sounds and camera animation give a perfect feel of walking inside a powered exoskeleton. The helmet changes the protagonist’s voice to something more tin-soldiery, and when it starts raining, droplets flow beautifully down your visor. It’s easy to get lost in these details—and then a Deathclaw takes your head out of the daydream.

The real graphics-related problem in Fallout 4 is its absolutely terrible facial animation, which looks straight out of an early 2000s game. One particularly nasty moment happens during the game’s tutorial. You pick up your cute little baby son Shaun and get a faceful of a creepy doll straight out of a horror movie. The game’s wooden human animations also kill the mood a bit. The game’s beasts and feral ghouls get pretty natural-looking movements and attack motions, though—or at least as natural as those mutants can be.

 

Bethesda… Bethesda never changes

Before you think our glasses are too rose-colored regarding a Bethesda open-world game, it’s time to offer some sharp reminders of that fact. And I say that with a straight face, despite those thousands of hours I’ve sunk into the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series over the years.

First off, there’s the matter of the user interface. In one word, it’s terrible. If you need proof, the existence of DarNified UI and SkyUI should be enough. Even though Bethesda often hints at treating the PC platform like a first-class citizen, the harsh reality is that the interface seems to have been designed with consoles and controllers first.

With this kind of balance, it’s no wonder Brahmin-tipping isn’t popular in the Commonwealth

Take the trade and transfer windows as an example. Even though there’s a ton of screen real estate, they never show more than a few lines at a time. The same flaw is evident with the Pip-Boy. While it’s cool to have a wrist mini-computer at one’s side, the Pip-Boy uses enormous fonts that force the player to waste time scrolling and scrolling, especially in the late game when you’ve amassed a huge collection of notes and recordings.

Things just get worse in the crafting system, which reuses the same part of the screen for a four-deep nested menu. There are no icons or colors to help you during this process, just a bunch of uniform text. I found it trivially easy to get lost in this interface. And the list scrolls, of course, because (surprise!) only a small portion of the screen is dedicated to the crafting UI itself.

The confusing keyboard shortcuts don’t help matters. The Tab key brings up the Pip-boy, but it’s also used to back out of terminals and other menus. I remapped Tab to a mouse button, only to find I have to use the key anyway in many places. The keyboard shortcuts aren’t consistent everywhere, either. For example, “take action” or “accept” is often done with E, but skill points are confirmed using Enter. You’d think Enter also applies to confirm a trade, but no, it’s R instead. It’s simply maddening. I’ve sunk about a hundred hours into the game, and the inconsistent keyboard shortcuts tripped me up until the very end.

There are other minor but chafing UI bugs. Trying to skip conversation lines by pressing the left mouse button is possible, but it has to be done with care, as I’ve shot people in the face by mistake when trying to skip through Brotherhood of Steel pontificating. And don’t even get me started on the lack of in-game help with settlement building. When a player that’s been around the block a few times needs to bounce to Google every 10 minutes to find out how to do something, you know you screwed up.

Dang, dawg. You got some upper-body strength!

There’s a great UI feature in Fallout 4, though. In the previous games, you had to press E to loot a container or body, which brought up a menu that paused the game. Players then had to rummage through that filing cabinet or refrigerator before pressing E again to get back. Now, a  pop-up window appears when you’re close to a dead guy, a closet, or any other sort of container. Just move close, scroll through the items, grab anything interesting, and move on without interruption.

Of course, a Bethesda game could never be complete without the usual slew of bugs, too. In confined spaces, Dogmeat probably spends as much time inside walls as he does by your side. Enemies’ AI will lock them in place, making them dance in tight circles. Your weapon can turn invisible. Certain areas have sharp framerate drops even on powerful hardware. To top it off, if you want to configure the game beyond the basics, like adjust the field of view or disable mouse acceleration, you have to edit the game’s configuration files manually. This is Fallout, not Debian.

Conclusion

If I had to describe Fallout 4 in one word, it’d be “uneven”. You can very easily get immersed in its vast world for a while, only to be yanked right back out thanks to an annoying interface bug or technical glitch. If, like me, you’re a sucker for open-world exploration and have it in your heart to forgive flawed games, by all means, go ahead and buy it. The hours will surely fly by. However, if you’re still on the fence, I’d advise you to wait for a few more patches and mods. This Honest Trailer’s jokes cut a little too close for comfort.

Comments closed
    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    i finished as institute because it was the fastest way to end the game.

    • slowriot
    • 7 years ago

    I stopped playing FO4 after about 45 hours. Same fate as most recent Bethesda titles for me. Very similar reasons as well…

    The story and characters are not compelling IMO. The story up to the point I stopped was so obvious, predictable isn’t a strong enough word.

    The animations in dialog and cut scenes really drove me crazy. They’re really bad. The dialog writing is somehow even worse than those animations. The dialog choices suck. There’s a) Virtually no impact to your choices, b) The choices sometimes don’t line up at all with what your character would say…

    UI. Probably the ultimate reason I stopped. Inventory management of armor and weapons sucks. The UI for base building straight up gives me headaches.

    I played for 45 hours mainly because collecting weapons is fun and the world itself was semi-interesting to explore. But really the experience just left me wondering why CD Project can make Witcher 3 and a giant like Bethesda can barely release a functional game on an engine they’ve been using for years and years.

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    Fallout NV was *so much better* with mods than without (so was Skyrim/F3)…I’m going to wait for a long while before picking up F4. I have to disagree about editing the configuration files, though–what always irritates me to no end are games that either eliminate or encrypt the config files solely in order to confine the user to in-game menu configuration options–because generally they fall short of allowing the user to manipulate as many settings as are exposed in a config file.

    • Steele
    • 7 years ago

    I can’t bring myself to finish this game. Not because it’s “so good”, but because (SPOILER ALERT)

    I don’t want to have to kill off the Railroad or Minutemen or BoS! Hell, The Institute HAS to go, but there’s CHILDREN down there FFS, I’m not gonna straight up murder them and everyone else down there!

    So until a mod or DLC comes out allowing us to find a more peaceful way to settle things down, I’m not booting it back up.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Legit beat it on survival and it was too easy.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Pfft, try Battletoads and Silver Surfer on the NES if you want a real challenge.

    • nanoflower
    • 7 years ago

    Wow.. I had no idea you needed to do that. Thanks for the info.

    • Pitabred
    • 7 years ago

    Make sure you enable the patch… I was running into similar issues and realized that you have to go into the file manager thingie in the startup program for the game, and enable all the patches and add-ons and such you want. That fixed almost all of my issues.

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    Ha, ha. Ha.

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    I know an easy fun game you could play, it’s called Dark Souls.

    • jacekm
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t like this game at all. It is too difficult to play for occasional gamer. Even on the “EASY” setting it is mostly exercise in dying over and over again and searching for ammo desperately. Thigs to complete require searching for materials around the same areas of the wasteland. “Far Cry” series is a much better game IMHO. Just Cause 2 (not 3 unfortunately) is far better than this.

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    Before I got sick I still played games. Just not to the extend I do now. Its a way to pass the time. If I didn’t have my computer, kindle, and a huge collection of real books I would have gone stir crazy long before now.

    Heck I’m a first generation computer gamer being born in 1969. It started with Pong and just got better and better from there.

    • BorgOvermind
    • 7 years ago

    Nope. Storyline is doable in a few h. The rest is exploration, construction, repeatables etc.

    • BorgOvermind
    • 7 years ago

    + Guns customization
    + Storyline
    + Companions

    – Too much repeatables (outposts keep giving same missions).
    – Minigun is a mockery (from a DPs perspective)

    We’ll probably get nice DLCs for it.

    • juzz86
    • 7 years ago

    +1 to you my friend, thankyou for the wealth of info!

    I dabbled in mods for Skyrim but never found it necessary to get hooked on New Vegas – testament to the game, I suppose!

    I was actually just reading up on Project Nevada from your previous link to the Top Mods. Some amazing work there. Even the FO3 mod which formed the precursor to the NV weapon modding system! Amazing 🙂

    Cheers!

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    Wow, if you’ve never played NV with mods you’re in for a treat.

    Top three? That’s tough considering my last play-through was with about 75 mods or so. I will however say that my number one favorite mod right now is “a world of pain”.

    [url<]http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/38719/?[/url<] You stumble across things in the wasteland and you go "hang on... I don't remember there being semi-hidden military grade door there. What's going on..." It makes the game feel a lot more like Fallout 2. Lots of hidden goodies and secrets. I also like New Vegas Bounties 1 & 2 and Project Nevada. But most of the mods on the top 100 list are good really. You just need to be careful not to install conflicting mods. So don't install 3 mods that change the weather system, pick one and stick with it. Once you figure it out it's not that hard to install mods, and most mods in the top 100 are pretty well sorted and have very few problems. Edit: Oh yeah, try to get new vegas script extender going. A lot of the mods use it. [url<]http://nvse.silverlock.org/[/url<]

    • Generic
    • 7 years ago

    Is there a mod to turn all the enemies into Legion soldiers?

    ‘Cause me and Boone were wondering…

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been wanting to play DD:OS, for a while, but been waiting for a better sale.

    As for PoE, I’ve never been a fan of the Baldur’s Gate series (heresy, I know!), so I have a feeling I won’t enjoy a game from the same devs. I did love P:T and IWD though (go figure), and I’m on the Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera.

    Right now, Witcher 3 and Rocksmith 2014 takes up all my spare gaming time.

    • juzz86
    • 7 years ago

    I must admit I’m with you guys, I have over 700 hours in NV and 60 in FO4 and I’m just not drawn to it any more.

    I’ve also got 700 hours in NV without a single mod, go figure 🙂

    If you had to give me your top three mods for NV, what would they be?

    • DarkUltra
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t see anyone mention fps and mouse lag. This game has a fixed fps of 60, and needs vsync enabled or physics and terminals go out of whack. If you have a proper monitor and 3D card you can enable g-sync and get excellent 144fps with no glitches except dialogue going a little faster.

    This game loves multicore CPUs using about 50% of each of my eight haswell-e cores.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    I wish you all the best. You’re not even too bad. Auxy has spent literally thousands of hours on even terrible games, though she also says she has health reasons. I spend way too much time playing video games and it’s mostly just because i’m lazy.

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    Sorry to hear, sounds rough. I had a fling with diabetes type 2 in my twenties d/t too much sugar and other unhealthy food, I wasn’t fat but I wasn’t taking care of myself either. Got rid of it with a better diet and more exercise. These days I’m an avid cyclist and MTB’r, plan to keep it up for as long as I can. Great fun and exercise both. I’ve personally come to believe that exercise can prevent and cure a lot of strange conditions which medicine can only treat.

    But then again POTS seems pretty complicated and I’m no doctor, but keep trying with the treatments and other things you can think of. You never know.

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    I have tried every conventional treatment and some off the wall ones. The real issue is my age and how POTS affects an older person. None of the normal treatments they use on younger people, (diets, medication, etc), seem to do anything or make things worse.

    All the medication that is available does what its supposed to do and slows my heart rate when it speeds up. The problem is the fact it does the same thing when my heart rate is normal. Which just causes the same type of symptoms when POTS isn’t affecting me. Also a Pacemaker won’t work because my natural built in pacemaker is still working, just not working correctly. If I got an implanted one it would fight with my natural one and cause worse issues, even death if the signals canceled each other out. That last one is hypothetical but every doctor I have talked to doesn’t even want to risk it. Me either for that mater.

    Compression socks and such help with they symptom of my legs swelling up and I use them when needed. I even had vein surgery to help with that particular issue and it helped some.

    The best modern medicine can do right now is just treat the symptoms and keep me semi comfortable.

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    What about compression leggings?

    [url<]http://www.amazon.com/2XU-Graduated-Performance-Compression-Tights/dp/B003LPU43E[/url<] Or cycling pants? [url<]http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Izumi-Select-Thermal-Cycling/dp/B00SOMDKTE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1453037044&sr=8-2&keywords=cycling+bib+pants[/url<] Tried stuff like that?

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah, I was a Wasteland 2 backer but just couldn’t bring myself to like it. Never finished it either. The exploration and combat just isn’t where it needs to be and the story never really gripped me. Lots of people have gone into depth about it so I won’t go into detail here.

    If you want a good isometric RPG the top picks right now are Divinity Original Sin and Pillars of Eternity. Divinity is a little bit more action oriented and light-hearted while Pillars is a little bit more mature and story heavy. Both excellent in their own way.

    • culotso
    • 7 years ago

    Wasteland 2 has a nice old school feel to it, but the camera angles are frustrating, so much so that I had to quit it.

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    I know, I figured you out ages ago and don’t take most things you post seriously. If I had I would have come up with a much ruder reply. LOL

    I figured some one else would have posted that I have no life before you did, after I posted how many hours I had in game. I can’t deny it. Sucks to get dizzy and almost pass out every time you stand up or bend over to pick something up.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Sucks, brah. I’m just teasing

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    I had one of those years ago until my health got bad. Now I have this: [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postural_orthostatic_tachycardia_syndrome[/url<] Since I found it when I was over the age of 40 I can not seem to get rid of it now and gets worse every year.

    • CaptTomato
    • 7 years ago

    On PC, the game can be bought and played NOW…..you may not love the UI, but it still works.

    • CaptTomato
    • 7 years ago

    Nothing needs to be fixed….

    • nanoflower
    • 7 years ago

    Exactly my feeling. Seems like most games need at least a month of public use before they are suitable for purchase. With Bethesda games it seems like it is best to wait a year so that Bethesda can patch up what they will and the modding community can help with the rest of the issues.

    • nanoflower
    • 7 years ago

    Spent way too much time in Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: TPS with Neutronbeam. Sadly he’s been tied up with work so we’ve not been able to play in a long while.

    Now I’m putting some time into Fallout 3 for the first time. Even with the unofficial patch there are still a few crashes which is sad. I was just loaded down with gear and chasing down a trader to sell my extra gear but I was overburdened so it was a slow motion chase. Then a scorpion attacked the trader and he ran off but I killed the scorpion and was heading back to the trader when the game crashed. Sadly I won’t be able to recapture that moment. 🙁 Thanks Obama.

    • DrDominodog51
    • 7 years ago

    Damn.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Khali, I found this for you as it sounds like you haven’t heard of it: [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life[/url<] 😛

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t find the settlements themselves to be an issue. The issue for me comes up with the radiant quests and settlement attacks that do not leave much time to play the rest of the game. Thank God for mods that let me get rid of both of those annoyances.

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t have any issue with the article at all. My point was yes, it has issues. Bethesda will do its usual lack luster job of patching. But, most of them will get fixed by the modding community just like Skyrim.

    I think the biggest percentage of the people who buy a Bethesda game do it more for the open world and moddability than for any story line that Bethesda might write for the game.

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    It is not a mistake to wait for Bethesda games to be fixed by the community before purchase.

    • morphine
    • 7 years ago

    Even though I noted as much in the article, it should be clear that I played it through the end and racked up close 100 hours. I liked the game.

    However, I also tried to be very upfront when pointing out that it has its flaws, and that as such, it might not be up everyone’s alley.

    • Khali
    • 7 years ago

    According to Steam I am coming up on 600 hours of game play in Fallout 4. I can agree with most of the things in this article. Your wondering why I have that many hours in game when I agree the game has flaws?

    First off, what game isn’t flawed in some way. Its to be expected from all game companies. Bethesda is just slower than most to release bug fixes this time around. Plus, Bethesda tends to never get around to fixing some things in all their games. That’s where the modding community comes into play and does Bethesda’s job for them, once the GECK/Creation kit gets released. With all that being said, Fallout 4 is still playable right out of the box.

    But mainly I don’t pay much attention to the main quest line after my first play through of the game. I figure about 50% of my game time has been spent building up a fortress for each of my various characters. The next 40% has been exploring/salvaging junk for my crafting needs. Then there is the 10% I have spent actually doing things related to the main quest just to advance parts of the game to a point where I can unlock all the factions and then go on with doing my own thing.

    For me its more about the open world I can spend hours and hours in doing my own thing. I played Skyrim the same way, once I experienced all the various quests a few times, and ended up with about 1800 hours game time.

    I get the open world and its setting from Bethesda. Then the modding community lets me change that world to my preference and fixes most of Bethesda’s mistakes. From there I just enjoy myself having fun in the world I end up with once I combine Bethesda’s wold with modders adaptations.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    and i’m leaving for most of the year! you’ll be so lonely!

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    yeah, 75 hours is a ton of time

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Muh.

    Everything I’ve read about FO4 makes me want to play the game less, and this is no exception.

    Having said that, I should really get around to playing Wasteland 2, it’s been in my queue for months now…

    • morphine
    • 7 years ago

    If you got bored seventy-five hours in, man, you sure got your moneys’ worth. 🙂

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    Still pub surfing Dungeon Defenders helping people.

    Should fire up Borderlands 1, and finish the DLC’s sometime, maybe this year……….maybe.

    • CaptTomato
    • 7 years ago

    This is still a good game, IMO, its biggest problem is TIME.
    FO3 and NV can be comfortably completed in 40hrs, but FO4 goes on too long….if it was condensed into say 60hrs, it’d be a much slicker and less tedious experience.

    that said, if you’ve played and liked F03 and NV but haven’t bought F04, you’re making a mistake.

    • Gyromancer
    • 7 years ago

    Personally, I’m just gonna sit here and continue to play the crap out of Borderlands 2.

    • dikowexeyu
    • 7 years ago

    What a wasted opportunity for tower defense…

    • mkk
    • 7 years ago

    Having played about 200 hours, I found this article spot on. The reason I’ve played as much as I have is equal parts because of the size of the map and the amount of mods that have come out, in spite of the official mod tools not having been released.

    I’d recommend waiting a couple of months longer, to those not already having the game. And add a warning to anyone who doesn’t want to fiddle with config files.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Fallout 2 had a time limit(13 years in-game) but that’s due to preventing a buffer overload bug then anything else (LOL, 32-bit code).

    • Platedslicer
    • 7 years ago

    Totally agreed.

    Seems to be a chronic issue with Bethesda. They consistently fail to deliver a game that feels coherent and made with passion. Don’t know if it’s because they have become a soulless company whose employees don’t much care for the final product and are just meeting targets, or if it’s the nature of their games (open-world, do-everything, ignore-the-story-and-wander-around).

    Considering that NV, Witcher 3, and even FO2 (which had no time limit) all had open worlds that encouraged exploration too, and still managed to be immersive and believable, I’d say the problem is probably Bethesda, not the kind of games they make!

    So sad that the Fallout franchise got picked up by them. Well, I suppose it could be worse. At least we got NV… I doubt the likes of EA would have allowed that.

    By the way, great review, Morphine.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    Add Bioware to that list; I regularly replay Mass Effect (all of it), and just did a second run through Inquisition with expansions in place, and while I liked it almost as much as Mass Effect (in it’s own way), facial and body animations could really use a boost.

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many people prefer NV over FO4, myself included. And if you load it up with mods from the nexus you can make it even better. But if you have 379 hours maybe you know about the nexus already? lol.

    [url<]http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/top/?&offs=0[/url<]

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    I somewhat agree…

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    -under-world scorpions*

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    I haven’t played FO1 or 2, but I have played NV. In my experience and 379 hours of gameplay in NV I can say I enjoy it much more than playing FO4. FO4 has better graphics, animations, guns, and I don’t care. I hate to say this, but I think I prefer NV over FO4. There. I said it.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Got Pillars in the queue on Steam (for Linux). Apparently there’s an expansion for it too that I’ll snag.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    The settlements are the most tedious thing ever. I cannot stand them. I loved FO3, loved NV, loved Skyrim. I’m over 100 hours in this game and I get bored after 15 minutes of game play now.

    I cannot stress how annoying the settlements are.

    • 223 Fan
    • 7 years ago

    Favorite parts so far:

    University Point
    Last Voyage of the USS Constitution
    Speak as Shroud

    Yes, the game is uneven. Yes the UI lives up to the 1950s motif. The main storyline is kind of dumb. Legendary Alpha Glowing Deathclaws are kind of annoying. And yet it will surpass BL2 in amount of time spent playing shortly. I played a LOT of BL2.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    I got bored 75 hrs in and haven’t gone back. No RPG here.

    • TwoEars
    • 7 years ago

    It’s an ok game. It’s just not an RPG.

    Fallout 1 & 2 (and New Vegas too) are hardcore RPGs that let you take part in a brutal but intelligent and coherent world. In these games there is actual choice and consequence, and at the exclusion of other options.

    In comparison Fallout 4 is just a theme park with cheap thrills that don’t fit together. It’s “weak sauce”. It is not clever, it’s not coherent, it’s not well written. Fallout 4 is closer to being a Fallout skin for Borderlands than it is to being a real fallout game.

    Real RPG’s released this year were Witcher 3 and Pillars of Eternity. I recommend both highly.

    • kilkennycat
    • 7 years ago

    “The real graphics-related problem in Fallout 4 is its absolutely terrible facial animation, which looks straight out of an early 2000s game. One particularly nasty moment happens during the game’s tutorial. You pick up your cute little baby son Shaun and get a faceful of a creepy doll straight out of a horror movie. The game’s wooden human animations also kill the mood a bit. The game’s beasts and feral ghouls get pretty natural-looking movements and attack motions, though—or at least as natural as those mutants can be.”

    I have not yet bought FO4. Awaiting a decent sub-$20 sale and a declining number of bug-fixes.

    However, I totally agree that BethSoft has a continuing chronic weakness in human character representation and facial animation… FO3, New Vegas, Skyrim….

    If anybody from BethSoft is reading this, I ask them to look at the PC version of the Mad Max game. Absolutely superb character representation and facial animation in the mission-getting interactive scenes. Also, the very best natural motion and lip-sync I have seen in any game to date. I suggest that BethSoft acquire the character animation and motion-capture tools used by Avalanche Studios…. ASAP !!!

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    I tired new vegas recently….kept getting attacked by scorpions under the world.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    The Fallout series is known for quality? I hope you mean things like art assets and storylines because the game engine was a massive bugfest in 3. I was hit by two showstopper bugs.

    If you walked out of the vault into the sunlight for the first time and, if you looked back at the vault, the game crashed. Great. I just escaped a fire and then the game crashes.

    The other one was when you walked into a trailer on the bridge, the game would just go black and never progress if you had more than a two core CPU.

    The game I bought at release wasn’t playable until a few months later after forum people found solutions.

    I’m not touching another game in this series. Once it was worked out, the gameplay was “meh”. Rage was better and Borderlands was *way* better.

    • puppetworx
    • 7 years ago

    I thought this review was pretty great, I hope you do a lot more game reviews in the future.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    I love post apoc, I like FPS RPGs, but I have almost zero interest in this game. I just don’t like bethesda games.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    I have spent waaaaay too much time on this game and I agree with all your points. The UI is annoying as anything with different keys being mapped to different things depending on the menu and a terrible use of real estate.

    With regards to companions, you just need to know how to use them…as a meat shield. Since they don’t die, I don’t really care if they run into the action and get taken out. They just bring all the enemies out so I don’t have to hunt them down.

    I was such a hoarder in FO3, grabbing all sorts of stuff and then wondering what I would use it for. So glad FO4 addressed my hoarding tendencies!

    For sure the game needs work (settlement building), but I expect we’ll see much improvement for FO5.

    • lmc5b
    • 7 years ago

    Me too, it makes me sad how much of a step backwards this game is compared to Fallout NV, and it stings even more when compared to The Witcher 3. I won’t buy it, specially with the console-designed UIs on pc, why does a modder have to fix their game for them? I guess I’ll just go play New Vegas while I wait for Dark Souls 3.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    I found that I was just really playing it to have it over after the first few hours. It was ok, but id figure it wasn’t enough for current gen rpgs. It wasn’t near as groundbreaking as the witcher 3, Imo.

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 7 years ago

    My feelings for this game really boils down to me just wanting Obsidian to make another fallout. A Fallout New Vegas to this Fallout 3 if you will.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!