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‘Fallout 4’ is a great but flawed game

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“Fallout 4” is a post-apocalyptic role playing game made by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Its release date was Nov. 10, 2015 and is currently being priced around $60.

“Fallout 4” starts off with you experiencing an alternate universe. Your player, who lived in Boston as they call it, The Commonwealth, was rushed into a vault with your family in order to survive the nuclear apocalypse. Events transpire, and you eventually escape the vault 200 years later to find yourself in the middle of a wasteland with your son missing.

At first, It is very easy to see that “Fallout 4” is a huge game. With so many side quests, places to explore and the new settlement system where you get to create your own settlement, it’s easy to see that you will be definitely getting your money’s worth with this game.

However, while this game is extremely fun to play and I definitely recommend it, I often feel as if “Fallout 4” is a step down rather than a step up when compared to other games in the series when Bethesda attempted to streamline their game.

The first problem I found was with the skill system. It feels a little better, but at the same time, it feels oversimplified. The new perk tree system works like this: there are 10 perks for each tree, and there are seven trees. One for each letter of S.P.E.C.I.A.L (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck). There are then about 5 points you can put into each perk, with some exceptions to this rule where you can only apply one or two points.

This all seems very well and good, except none of these perks really feel unique. All of the perks can be summed up into two categories: The simple percentage increase in a stat, or a perk that gives you some ability that is not very useful or necessary in the end.

All the perks just feel bland and uninteresting, where in previous games, I would find myself really making hard decisions on what perks I should take, I now find myself not making any decisions and I spend my perks randomly due to the lack of interesting perks and the fact that no level cap means you can eventually get everything anyways, so what’s the point?

The second problem for me arose with the dialogue system. It seems Bethesda wanted to go with a “Mass Effect” style dialogue system where there are multiple options of what the player could say to help fit the new feature of a voiced protagonist. The problem is, it doesn’t work at all. There are only four options per dialogue sequence which can be summed up as: a sarcastic comment, a good comment, a persuasive comment, or a goodbye comment(with some of these being switched out for a question option).

The main problem with this system is there just doesn’t seem to be enough options. There is no option that allows your character to make bad choices. So you constantly feel as if you’re being forced into this option of being “the good guy”. I wouldn’t have a problem with the illusion of choice if it was done well, but it isn’t done well here. It is painfully obvious to see that you really don’t have any freedom when it comes to your choices.

Another problem I have with “Fallout 4” is that your choices don’t have an impact on the world. In previous games, You make a choice, and it impacts everyone in the area, whether for good or bad. For example, within 30 minutes of Fallout 3 you could make the choice to blow up the first town you come across, killing everyone in there, causing you to lose a great trading place and potential player home, but also gaining the favors of others.

In “Fallout 4,” there are definitely choices you have to make, but each choice just seems to result in the same exact thing, just a little bit differently, and it doesn’t have that big of an impact at all on the world.

The final problem for me with “Fallout 4” is the lack of player freedom. With “Fallout 4”, you are forced into the identity of being a soldier in the army (or his wife) and you are forced to have a son, being as it is the entire plot of the main story to recover your son.

One of the greatest attractions to me when it especially came to Bethesda Games was that you got to create your own identity. With “Skyrim”, “Fallout New Vegas”, and in some cases, “Fallout 3”, they gave you little to no identity, allowing you to be whoever you wanted to be. You could make up backstory for your character or how you want your character to act. With “Fallout 4”, you are stuck with this identity with no way to get rid of it and no way to shape how you want to act being the good guy all the time.

“Fallout 4” is a great game, full of fun, challenging battles, improved combat, great companions and a great world to explore. In fact, probably my favorite Fallout world to date. Bethesda just seemed to take a few steps in the wrong direction taking away some of the most appealing features of the Fallout games.

 

by RYAN FOSTER

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‘Fallout 4’ is a great but flawed game