Fallout 4 was a long time coming since Fallout 3 in 2008, nobody knew when it was coming and nobody knew if the game even existed until December of 2013 when Kotaku outed a script for the upcoming game, two years later it released. For a game that took 7 years and patiently waiting for the game, there was critical acclaim on both sides until the game started to fade and the DLC’s began to drop.
The game took place in the year 2287 and took place in Boston, it was a very different game to that of The Witcher but The Witcher outmatched and outgunned Fallout 4 in every sense, The Witcher 3 was much better and should’ve been what Fallout 4 was to Fallout 3. The Witcher 3 was prettier, was a true RPG, and in every respect CDPR beat Bethesda at their own game. Fallout 4 was a successful, fantastic game with alot of good but also alot of bad attached to it, Fallout 4 was a game that was stuck in the past and failed to push the genre forward much like The Witcher 3 did. Here’s the Ups and Downs of Fallout 4:
I recently was thinking about Fallout 4 as I scouting my library, I saw it in my favorites and I just sat there and pondering whether if I wanted to return to it and of course I didn’t, but that inspired me to write about my time with Fallout 4 and the ups and downs of the game. It’s been a long road to Fallout 4 and I thought I would end my coverage of the game with a overall look back at the game, despite all the downs of the game, I came to not hate the game but accept it for what it is and look forward to Fallout 5.
Fallout 4 was a game that I and many other people were looking forward to, it had been 7 years since Fallout 3 and I thought that it would be what Fallout 3 was in 2008, something with that much impact and memorable but it didn’t turn out that way in the end, once the final expansion pack released. Everything that was supposed to come together didn’t come together to make that “IT” factor that Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas had, Fallout 4 stayed in the past without evolving much of anything which was disappointing, the gunplay was fantastic, V.A.T.S was fantastic but it was missing alot of things like damage, repairing your items, skill based leveling up like dumping numbers into skills and perks, choosing what perks and skills you want, everything that Fallout 3 and New Vegas wasn’t there and it felt like a complete “dumbed” down version of both of those games, it was what Skyrim was to Oblivion.
Fallout 4 didn’t have an interesting open world as Fallout 3 or New Vegas had, more so Fallout 3 then New Vegas but the point still stands. It was a somewhat boring open world, it was empty sure it’s post-apocalyptic, it’s supposed to be like that but it shouldn’t be boring. Fallout 3’s open world had things to do it that I was finding before Fallout 4 released, it had holotapes that resulted in going to a underground bunker and finding the Experimental MIRV, the open world had interesting dungeons like metro stations that led to places you couldn’t get to, the open world had alot of mysteries and interesting situations like random encounters that result in finding the Firelancer and those moments made Fallout 3 such a masterpiece and Fallout 4 didn’t have any of that, except for some letters and a few memorable moments like finding a UFO, but it was a boring world to be in.
Fallout 4 felt good, but it didn’t look good. The textures, the environment, and the overall look of the game looked fantastic but not as great as The Witcher 3 or Dying Light. Fallout needs a technical overhaul and a gameplay mechanic overhaul, be more dynamic, and return to that aesthic of a true and proper RPG where there are level caps, and number based mechanics. Seeing a game in that same mold of Fallout 3 was very disappointing, Why does it look like this? Why does it run like this? Why do these mechanics feel dated and old? That’s not what I was expecting out of Fallout 4 and I hope when The Elder Scrolls VI releases, Bethesda Game Studios returns bigger and better with new technology and new mechanics that don’t feel like they’re from 2008. The Witcher 3 set the highest bar since Fallout 3, think about Velen and Skellige in the Witcher 3 and think of the gameplay, and then in turn think of the Commonwealth, and how boring it was to play in that world.
I know I’m making it seem that Fallout 4 is a terrible game, it really isn’t a terrible game but it fails in certain aspects and in terms of the time and place it released. The industry moved on from Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Skyrim to an extent. The Witcher 3 dropped months before and it was / is still the RPG that is relevant in today’s world of games, Fallout 4 didn’t accomplish that but there are alot of ups that Fallout 4 managed to get right and I appreciate what it did accomplished, it did it well.
Fallout 4 did alot of things right. Fallout 4 did things that you can only get in a Bethesda game and Bethesda improved on the things that were in Fallout 3, Fallout 4 had alot of ups and less downs but the downs were more easy to spot then the ups. One thing that I appreciate Fallout 4 doing is that it brought lore and history to the Commonwealth, I got to experience and see what made the Commonwealth so mysterious after countless references in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. I loved how the game had brought in the history of America and the theme of the American Revolution, I love how Bethesda brought the history into the game and it was so interesting to learn Fallout’s alternative history and how that plays into the overall world of the series.
Another thing that made Fallout 4 really good was the gunplay and the game mechanics, even though it felt old. I really liked how Bethesda Game Studios brought their game up in terms of the gunplay, the gunplay in Fallout 4 felt tight and really good: When you fired the classic 9MM handgun, you felt it go back and you felt it when you reloaded another clip and when you fired the Assault Rifle, it felt like you were actually firing the weapon. V.A.T.S was improved over what came before in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, this version of V.A.T.S is always something that I imagined that it was like in the older Fallout games but it didn’t change much from the older games, it was just a new and improved version that I liked.
Another thing that I liked about Fallout 4 was the world of the Commonwealth, even though didn’t look as good as most games that released in that time frame. The world was pretty and it looked good for an engine that has been used since Oblivion, I liked how the sunlight reflected throughout the world and I liked how most things in the world was interactable and you could mess around with things like in previous Fallout’s, but this went up a notch: You could craft things with the items around you and build fortifications, although the building aspect of Fallout 4 was utter trash, I liked how you could just build things with whatever you find.
Fallout 4 wasn’t a step forward in the genre and wasn’t a step forward in the franchise, it was a more of step back and a small step forward but wasn’t a leap like Fallout 3. Fallout 4 suffered from coming too late, it isn’t 2008 or 2010 anymore. It didn’t have the same weight as those two, and it’s a product of something that was ultimately made in a vacuum and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t had come out earlier, but it should’ve been more up to date and played more like a modern game then a game from the late ‘2000s.
Fallout 4 isn’t a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a fantastic game but it isn’t Fallout or a RPG game. It’s just a glorified shooter with an RPG skin attached to it, but I hope that whenever Fallout 5 is released, I hope that the game returns Fallout to it’s roots and bring back the RPGness of it and I hope that Fallout 5 is a product of the time it’s in and Bethesda, learn from Obsidian and CDPR. You might learn a thing or two.