Fallout franchise has been with us for quite some time and those games are a pillar of action role-playing games. The truth be told, Fallout series is one of the greatest gaming series of all time. Back in 2008, Fallout 3 emerged from Bethesda’s woodworks and it was quite revolutionary in terms of gameplay, visuals, and setting. It could easily suck you in due to its amazing atmosphere, making it one of the best games in the series. Last year, Fallout 4 emerged and I must say that I’ve anticipated this game a lot! Is Fallout 4 a worthy return of the all-mighty Fallout franchise? Let’s find out!
Let’s begin with the graphics first. Bethesda is known for some beautiful games for PC so I expect some decent quality here. As I tried to run it on my 2560x1080p resolution, I still had to do some tweaks to make it work as it should, and oh boy, it looks great at first sight. The strange thing about the graphics in this game is that there is little, albeit noticeable difference when we talk about low and high settings. When set to low, the game has a significantly lower draw distance, so distant objects, and the grass looks blurry and simply unsatisfying.
On the other side, the highest settings are for the more powerful cards, but still, you don’t need that beefy GPU to run it properly. On ultra settings, the shadows look gorgeous, in-game world is colorful and pretty good to look at. The fictional city of Commonwealth looks solid, although the game looks poorly in some sections, I must admit. For example, the beginning of the game looks solid as you emerge from the underground and start your adventure.
I would give an environment a strong 8/10, but the characters could be done really better. Seriously… what the fuck, Bethesda?! Poor voice acting combined with some sluggish animations and uninspired dialogues doesn’t do any better for the game. Don’t expect some jaw-dropping visuals from the NPCs, just don’t. If you like gorgeous NPCs then go for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Gameplay and Setting
Fallout 4 is a first-person shooter game at its core. This year, Fallout steered away from the old-school elements where the main focus was purely on survival. Fallout fans might be disappointed as Fallout 4 offers a lot of combat, various weapons, upgrades, armor and similar. You’ll be doing a lot of shooting, but the gunplay isn’t that great. Sure, it’s fluid for the most part, but somewhat clunky in my opinion. Oh, and weapons aren’t that accurate unless you are a really good shooter. Being a role-playing game, Fallout 4 allows for customizing and creating your character. This is crucial for a Fallout game, so you can now choose different genders for your character as well as an overall look.
When it comes to the character creation, I must admit that I don’t like that our character has a pre-determined history. He is a war veteran, blah, blah. Stop it! I want to make my own character with the backstory I choose. Don’t bother; your character will still barely speak, and when he does so, it will sound literally like reading from the script… awful. Did I forget to say that there is a progression system? Oh, yes, folks and it’s not that good. It’s more streamlined, allowing you to upgrade stuff as charisma, luck, strength and similar, so no more advanced abilities.
Simply put, if you want a simpler version of Fallout’s full potential, then Fallout 4 is a great option. The quests are usually “go there, do that” and there’s not much variety. You’ll go to point A, shoot some bad guys, loot them and the mission is done. Wow, that’s so great, isn’t it? Well, no. In the beginning, it may sound interesting, but later on, the game drags so I barely managed to finish it as I was extremely bored at some point. The only great thing here is your Dog Meat companion, an obedient German Shepherd who is willing to kill for you. Be sure to find him, he is in the first few quests in the game!
The setting of the game, however, improves a lot. The fictional city of Commonwealth is a beautifully crafted environment and it’s HUGE. This makes Fallout 4 very fun to play. Commonwealth immediately sucks you in and make you explore every corner of it, I love it! Oh, there’s a side mission- let’s do it. Oh, look at that woman, she may need help- let’s do it. The possibilities are endless here, although the quests can be a little boring or feel like a filler content.
This is a new feature in the Fallout series and allows for building various settlements. But wait, are they useful? Well, as much as this system works well I really struggled to find any means to put a little more effort into building my settlement. Seriously, this is an open-world game and you’re constantly moving somewhere, so I don’t see the point of this system. It’s nice that it’s there, but that’s all.
At the end of the day, we all wait for the final verdict. Is Fallout 4 a worthy return to the franchise? My answer would be both yes and no. Yes, because it’s very fun to play, offers a huge open world to explore and that settlements system is great, albeit not that useful. On the other side, Fallout 4 isn’t a well-optimized game, the story is all over the place and still not very present, and the quests can drag and become boring over time. Fallout 4 is more like a typical FPS game with the elements of RPG, instead of being primarily a role-playing game. As we said, Fallout 4 is for the newbies in the series as it’s much more simplified experience. My final mark would be 8/10, which is pretty fair for this game. Better luck with the next Fallout, if we ever get to see it.