Fallout 4 Review
Fallout 4 Box Art
System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Dev: Bethesda Game Studios
Pub: Bethesda Softworks
Release: November 10, 2015
Players: Single-player
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs

The best new addition to Fallout 4 is the crafting and building system, which allows you to mod your weapons and armor, as well as build up settlements that will then support you on your journey. You can build freely inside any pre-set building zone (mostly settlements removed from the city center), doing anything from creating your dream post-nuclear shanty-palace to a fort guarded by nasty traps and turrets. All the item collection you'll want to do for these systems requires an awful lot of back-and-forth due to inventory weight limits, though at least all your workshop inventories are linked. As with all the menu interfaces in the game, the building and workshop interfaces could be better, but in general this is one of the best improvements over Fallout 3, and one of the few systems in the game that is up to par with the competition.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Screenshot

Maybe I'm being too critical – fans who started out the series with Fallout 3 will find more of the things they loved about that game, with a slightly prettier wrapping and even more wacky things to discover. There's plenty of fun to be had if you're willing to ignore the thematic oddness and out-of-date design decisions. I, however, feel like we've given Bethesda a free pass on certain game elements for too long because it was once the only big company making these types of games. That's no longer the case, however. Over the past few years I've enjoyed the strong cover system in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the deliriously fun action combat of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the ever-improving open-world traversal systems in Assassin's Creed, the delightfully responsive shooter controls in Destiny, and the narrative and world-building excellence found in The Witcher 3. I've got higher expectations for presentation and gameplay these days, expectations that Fallout 4 falls short of in almost every respect.

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The open-world/sandbox RPG genre that Bethesda helped create has moved on and done some amazing things. It's even spread into and influenced other genres like action-adventure and MMORPG-shooter. My hype to see how Bethesda would interpret all these innovations and incorporate them into the Fallout setting turned to disappointment when I stumbled through a game that features the same poorly-implemented combat and all the same old Gamebryo engine annoyances and glitches we've been dealing with for years. Fallout 4 will provide some good old-fashioned fun for players who are looking for a prettier Fallout 3 (now with Minecraft!), but it could have and should have been much, much better than that.

By
Becky Cunningham
Site Editor
Date: November 9, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.4
Graphics
Improved textures and effects, but largely the same old stiff animations and major clipping issues.
2.5
Control
Awkward movement, no cover system, glitchy combat, and a poor interface make interacting with the world of Fallout 4 a tedious affair compared to other games of its class.
3.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is great, but we've heard it before. Other than the main character, the voices are more accents than characters.
4.5
Play Value
As always, there's a ton of Wasteland to conquer and interesting things to discover, provided you're down with the outdated gameplay systems.
3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • FREEDOM AND LIBERTY: Do whatever you want in a massive open world with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests. Join multiple factions vying for power or go it alone, the choices are all yours.
  • YOU'RE S.P.E.C.I.A.L! Be whoever you want with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system. From a Power Armored soldier to the charismatic smooth talker, you can choose from hundreds of Perks and develop your own playstyle.
  • COLLECT AND BUILD! Collect, upgrade, and build thousands of items in the most advanced crafting system ever. Weapons, armor, chemicals, and food are just the beginning - you can even build and manage entire settlements.
  • SUPER DELUXE PIXELS! An all-new next generation graphics and lighting engine brings to life the world of Fallout like never before. From the blasted forests of the Commonwealth to the ruins of Boston, every location is packed with dynamic detail.
  • VIOLENCE AND V.A.T.S.! Intense first or third person combat can also be slowed down with the new dynamic Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S) that lets you choose your attacks and enjoy cinematic carnage.

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