I, like the rest of the Fallout fans in the world, pre-ordered Fallout 4 (PS4) so I could get it on release day. I made a point to finish up Farcry 4 before starting Fallout, and then went headlong into the game… and after beating it a couple weeks back, and having time to reflect, I have to say… I’m disappointed. Fallout 3 was a great re-imagining of Fallout in a first person shooter. The story was good, and the gameplay was good, albeit a bit “dark” (as in, there was a lot of wandering around in areas that were too dark to see what was going on). New Vegas fixed a lot of that, and gave the game a lot of depth when it came to options. You could talk your way out of things, sneak around things, etc. Fallout 4 undid, almost all of that. You were, basically, Arnold Schwartzenegger, out to get revenge… and would kill anyone that got in your way. Which means, yes, you basically had to kill everyone. Key points in the game required killing. Whether you did it, or glitched the game into NPCs doing it, or whatever: certain people had to die. And that seems like a step backward. Fallout has always had choices. Big ones, small ones, etc. From picking SPECIAL stats, to perks, etc. So with this, the game felt very open, and yet linear. Go here, kill this guy, go here, join this faction, go here, kill this other faction, etc etc. It just seemed, sloppy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the game was enjoyable. And the story was enjoyable (albeit, oddly close to home since my son shares the name of the protagonist’s). And they did a good job of making the factions “real”. Albeit, they may have made the Brotherhood a bit TOO asshole-ish for my tastes (though, in Fallout, and Fallout 2, they were complete jerks). The game is also really pretty, and even though everyone was complaining shortly after release, I had ZERO issues with crashing (well, almost zero, I think the game crashed on me a total of 2 times in over 80 hours of gameplay). And unlike New Vegas, there were never any game breaking bugs. So really, I’m looking forward to the DLC to see if they address any of these shortcomings. Because right now, I’m very conflicted about the game. It’s enjoyable, and it’s fun, but it’s not replay-able at all, in my mind. And the ending… seriously disappointing (just, uninteresting, phoned in, bleh).
All that said, at this point, I’m going to give the game a reasonable score. It’s fun, pretty, and enjoyable to play. But when you’re done, it just leaves you asking “What did I just play?” I know everyone said Fallout 3 was Elder Scrolls with guns. And that Skyrim was Fallout with magic. But Fallout 4, to me, felt a lot like what people complained about with Skyrim. Go kill this dragon… now do it again 15 f’ing times!
Here’s hoping the DLC improves things, or Doom is a better showing… because it would seem the Bethesda Fallout “team” is straight out of ideas.