( The article appeared on my blogsite at ign.com.)
“Oh yeah…I’m the sixty minute man.” croons Billy Ward and the Dominoes on my Pip-Boy as I travel around the Boston Commons, following the Freedom Trail which takes you around some of Boston’s historical buildings like the Boston State House and the Courthouse. I’m looking for a certain faction that helps escaped androids and synths from the Institute, you have to follow the lines and some of the light posts which mimics the Underground Railroad’s mission during the Civil War. All of this sends chills down my spine and leaves hairs on my neck standing up, as I walk around Boston Commons, which ends in the Old North Church in the North Side of Boston, where Paul Revere, the famed revolutionary is commemorated. This is what makes Fallout, Fallout.
Most of the things seen here or experienced in that side quest is carried over from Fallout 3 and plays similar to the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It iterates on Fallout 3’s amazing structures and systems and adds a really dense location, starting with Boston and the Commonwealth Wasteland. Creepy monsters to fight, excellent weapons like the Excited Laser Pistol and Hunting Rifle, and engrossing Post-Nuclear atmosphere that blends 1950’s rock and roll with unsettling gore and filled with dark comedy. After more then several hours with it, I’m a level 14 now, I can see now that Fallout 4 is starting to open up with higher levels. I see myself spending another 200+ hours here if content is still there like how there was in Fallout 3.
Exploration has it’s own rewards, this is the most open world yet which arguably makes the map a bit smaller but large in it’s own way, with the Boston Ruins and the Commonwealth wasteland, eerie swamps that look like Point Lookout, the Sea. The Commonwealth is a beautiful location to explore and I’m so awed by it. It has more color then the Capital Wasteland and New Vegas, Fallout 4 may not have the best of graphics but it’s look mighty pretty, it’s impressive.
One of the things returning is Character Creation with push and sculp structure that is revolutionary in it’s own way and the leveling system has been consumed by perks, uniting them under one roof with many unlockables. You have to choose which point you want to invest in, it makes every decision count: do you want to increase your SPECIAL or spent it on a very good perk that allows non-automatic weapons like Rifles more stopping power or a perk that allows Dogmeat to pin down enemies longer, decisions decisions.
These might be general ideas, but they have a different feel when you use them. Before you say “Dumbing down.” or Fallout has become “Casualized.” , I invite you to the crafting system and equipment progression, which is impressively more defined then previous Fallout titles.
The Crafting system gives you more motivation to collect junk that isn’t nailed down. It’s easy to do: bottles are needed for glass, scissors for plastic, a typewriter will offer you springs and some metal, duct tape is gold. Nothing is worthless garbage, everything is used. The value of materials come had a high price, you can sell all for alot of caps or you can keep them for equipment upgrades like I made a Automatic Laser Pistol with a scope and turned a Laser Musket into a out of this world creation, as well I made a stopping power Hunting Rifle with a red dot sight and a bayonet with a long barrel. Upgrade the laser rifle, you can make it more powerful and split the beam like a shotgun spread. Laser Shotgun. The best part is that it makes your weapon more powerful with stats but creates diverse weaponry.
Everything about Fallout 4 is well-done and I may have not talked much about the story or some of the systems so I may not spoil it for you but everything here is well-done to perfection. Solid.