While Bethesda’s new release is currently being stricken by a number of release day glitches, bugs and other problems, Fallout is an undeniably good game. I have a substantial number of hours played and have barely scratched the surface of the locations, quests and stories. So today I would like to share some of the things I am enjoying about the game and some of the things I’m not. Once again, this blog will contain no plot or quest spoilers.
- Like- the new combat system
Fallout 4‘s combat system is a lot more fluid and natural compared to its predecessors. Weapons are unlikely to one shot most enemies and mechanics like blocking are a lot more natural and workable. One of the biggest changes has been to V.A.T.S., the auto-aiming system. In previous iterations of the game, VATS would freeze time and allow you spend as long as you wanted planning your next move. In the new system, which resembles the battle view in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and Mass Effect will only slow down time, meaning that enemies will still be able to attack you during a VATS session? Furthermore, the percentages, that represent the chance of hitting that part of an enemy, change as the enemy moves, giving you a lot more combat options in a firefight.
In addition, enemies have a smarter AI and will dodge your attacks, even weaving and zigzagging en route to you to make it harder to hit them.
- Like- the dialogue
On my last Fallout 4 blog, I noted on the Facebook comments it generated that I would one day love to see Bioware/Bethesda Fallout collaboration and I think Bioware has at least been inspiring the Fallout team? The dialogue (from your fully voiced protagonist!) comes in a variety of attitudes- sarcastic, negative, neutral and positive. You can mix and match these as much as possible, creating the protagonist that you want to play. Furthermore, with skills taking a back seat (or even being removed from the game?), skill based challenges like persuasion can a lot more naturally in a conversation, you have a chance based system to succeed, rather than just ignoring the option because it tells you that your skills aren’t good enough to do that.
- Like- companions
Again, in the Facebook comments on my last blog, I mentioned that I would like to see them build upon the companion system from the last instalment, New Vegas, and Bethesda have done that. Companions have likes and dislikes in reference to your actions and will spontaneously engage you in conversation as your relationship builds. So far I’ve only met two companions but the game appears to include a number of zany characters who just make the game come to life that little bit more.
- Like- the environment
Firstly, the map is huge. Yesterday, I overheard someone talking about Salem and it popped up on my map. Salem is about 20 miles north of Boston and so the map is at least 60 miles of real world terrain in the Boston area. Unlike the complete desolation of DC in Fallout3 or the desert of Fallout New Vegas, Fallout4 has everything from destroyed suburbs to clustered city back alleys to more open small towns. Oh and these absolutely gorgeous radiation storms that blow across the map from time to time. Fallout4 has been a long time coming and looks absolutely gorgeous for it.
- Like- the learning curve
Unlike Fallout3, in which you are literally walked through the tutorial as you live out the first sixteen years of life, Fallout4 drops you right into the action. I have died a lot but it’s worth because I learn something each time. The game is of course not Dark Souls hard but it has a learning curve similar to something like Sunless Sea, you will die often but over time, you will learn how to not die. However, I may die a lot because I insist on fighting everything while wearing suspenders and slacks and a batter’s hat…
- Don’t like- Legendary enemies
The game includes ‘legendary’ enemies, enemies that are specialised versions of an enemy type who are harder to kill and will yield better loot. However, these enemies are dotted so frequently around that map that the novelty wore off very quickly. Furthermore, it feels a little gimmicky and while I am not against specialised enemies, this has already been done with the increased pool of existing enemy types.
How are you finding Fallout 4? I hope you are able to play it. I eventually got around the more notorious failed start up bug by setting the compatibility to Windows 7. Tell me what you think of the game and if you’ve had any particularly crazy experiences so far! Right, now off to play more Fallout.