deactivated-5f8db13f92e68's Fallout 4 (PlayStation 4) review

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Fallout 4 - A few steps forward and a few backward for this classic franchise

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Fallout 4 is better than it's predecessors and even other Bethesda RPGs in a lot of ways, but in others, it's far weaker. Let me elaborate. Fallout 4 takes a more streamlined approach to the point where it feels like just as much a shooter as it is an RPG if not more. This is because it has a much larger emphasis on combat than the titles that came before it and I honestly see that as a good thing.

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The combat in Fallout 3 and New Vegas was very sloppy and left a lot to be desired. Unless you used the V.A.T.S. system 24/7 fighting enemies was admittedly a bit of a pain. Now, combat is much more standard with V.A.T.S. being more of an option than a necessity. Exploration is easily the best in any Bethesda game to date due to the environments being more varied, the extensive weapon, armor, and settlement customization systems, as well as cooking that all really encourage you to pick up each and every little trinket or piece of scrap you find in the vast post-apocalyptic version of Boston, and the wastleland just looks much better this time around. It's no longer a nasty mess of grey or brown, it's colorful and even downright pretty at times which is a word not commonly used when describing this type of setting which is impressive. I've spent hours on end with no quests activated to distract me just wandering around scavenging for meds and ammo and looking for unique locations or encounters, it's a ton of fun and without a doubt the best way to experience the game.

The core elements of the Fallout series have been greatly improved to make a much better gameplay experience but there are still some things that have been downgraded as a result of all the streamlining. The dialogue system has taken a massive hit, most of the time nothing you say really changes anything or has any consequences or varying outcomes, it's just a shallow and poorly executed illusion of choice, which carries over to the game's multiple endings too. None of the four endings really felt all that different from each other. And the main story is a huge letdown, as well. Even back in the day Fallout stories have always been fantastic with incredibly deep narratives but this one is just kinda generic and run of the mill with no really interesting characters or plot points and a ton of forced plot points and cliches used to move the story forward. And the story missions themselves or just quests in general mainly consist of going to a spot on your map, shoot that, loot this, come back, here's some XP, rinse and repeat. It, like a lot of other RPGs, is very much a quantity over quality situation.

And oh my god those loading screens are atrocious, there must be a loading screen every three minutes and they're not as bad as Skyrim on last-gen consoles bad but they're still super annoying and they really break your overall sense of immersion. This is probably due to the fact that Bethesda has been using the same engine for almost a decade now and that's really apparent on the console side of things when the frame rate drops semi-frequently. It's far from unplayable but still a bit of a nuisance.

So at the end of the day Fallout 4 is good fun overall if you ignore the main story and utilize the exploration, combat, and customization to their fullest potential and have some loose fun with it and don't expect anything deep or innovative.

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