It has been over five years since Bethesda has taken us out of our seats and into the wasteland with the acclaimed Fallout series. In the meantime, the team responsible for games such as The Elder Scrolls and RAGE have craftily reinvented the Fallout series with Fallout 4, a tale of desperation, gun-running and hours upon hours of entertainment.

Fallout 4 brings the player into nuclear-holocaust Boston in the year 2287. Your character, a dweller of Vault 111, seeks revenge upon the group who stole his child and murdered his wife while in cryogenic freezing. From there, the plot takes you around Beantown and its surrounding neighborhoods, encountering old friends and new enemies on the way.

Despite playing the game for roughly 40 hours over the past week, I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface on my exploration. I’ve taken in the beautiful scenery while looting everything in sight. Speaking of looting, Fallout 4 encourages you to explore all your surroundings in order to search for materials to help build up not only your weapons and armor, but also your settlements, making all items virtually useful.

The crafting system is profound in this iteration of Fallout, allowing any player to transform their gear 180 degrees. This system encourages you to build up your crafting perks in order to have an overall more powerful arsenal. With a few touches of the Pip Boy, the ultimate wristwatch at your disposal that contains your stats and inventory, I could turn a simple pistol into a high-caliber sniper rifle.

Enemies are as varied as ever in this iteration of the series, having your character square off against anything from your simple pesky raiders to massive Deathclaws and Behemoths. Fallout 4 also introduces the premise of legendary enemies, who drop rare, exclusive loot that can make or break the progression of your inventory.

One of Fallout 4’s strengths lies in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, the new upgrade dashboard that allows one to characterize and tailor their wasteland experience according to their strengths, whether it be the ability to pacify wild creatures with Wasteland Whisper or gain strength and endurance during the day with Solar Powered.

Bethesda also returns with the V.A.T.S. system, which allows the player to slow down time in order to get a more accurate shot at their enemy without completely stopping time, a complaint in early iterations of Fallout games. With this improvised system, the mechanics allow the player to keep the action going while the battle remains to their advantage. The gameplay as a whole allows for extremely smooth playing experience, showing almost no hiccups during the explorative journey.

Being from the Boston area, this journey had a twofold effect on my interaction with the overall experience as I voyaged the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park (which has now been transformed into Diamond City), noticing the sharp attention to detail the developers implemented. Paired with this overarching sense of nostalgia came the signature soundtrack of the Fallout series, consisting of crooner tunes from the early 20th century.

As much as the game gets right, the game definitely experiences its fair share of bugs that spoil both the graphics and character models, but overall didn’t impede on my enjoyment of the game. Fallout 4 also has an influx of repetitive missions that usually have your player wiping out raiders or finding new technologies, but that is expected from an RPG of this magnitude.

At the end of the day, Fallout 4 is beautiful and grittily visceral with its plethora of memorable missions and character arcs. There is no cap to the (mega)tons of fun to be experienced in the countless hours that you’ll end up investing into this memorable RPG and surefire candidate for game of the year.

 

9.3/10

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