|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: Bethesda Game Studios|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks|
|Release: November 10, 2015|
|Players: One Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs|
by Patrick Tretina
Fallout 4 is finally set to launch exclusively on the next-gen consoles November 10 and is already shaping up to compete with its predecessor and nab the illustrious Game of The Year Award. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself with that last claim, but Bethesda’s teaser trailers, reported features, beautiful screenshots, and deep storyline are making a solid case that the post-apocalyptic RPG will not disappoint gamers early next month. The six years of development that went into this title are most certainly on display and the approach the developers took to crafting this piece is exactly what next-gen video gaming is all about.
For starters, the amount of fresh content contained within the newest addition to the Fallout franchise is absolutely ridiculous. Players are said to have the entire map of Boston at their fingertips for a truly sandbox-type experience. Can you say 400+ hours of reported gameplay in an entirely free-roaming world? I know, mind-numbing, but I digress. Not only can players essentially do what they want or interact with any aspect of the game that they choose, but their actions also have tangible consequences and will directly affect the overall gaming experiencing. This is intriguing and substantially makes one player’s gameplay experience entirely different from that of their friends. This creates an endless amount of outcome possibilities. Feel like beating the tar out that guy you just stumbled upon in an alleyway, or maybe you’d rather just talk with him and see what he’s all about? Fallout 4 will oblige and let you choose the proper course of action, even if it’s the morally wrong one.
Bethesda has crafted a beautiful backdrop to complement the substantial amount of content offered. If the developer’s most recent trailer is any indication of things to come, then it’s safe to say players could spend a great deal of time marveling at the ruins of century-old architecture, flattened buildings, and other kinds of beautiful desolation. Players will also have the ability to directly interact with these beautiful structures along their journey - blow up that abandoned car or knock out the windows of that crumbling building. The world is ending and you’ve got the freedom to unleash your inner child on the scenery around you, even if it means further destroying a once beautiful staple of Boston.
Gamers who fell in love with Riley the dog from Call of Duty: Ghosts will be able to re-experience that similar type of K9 love through Fallout 4’s newest gamer companion. Few details have been revealed about the German shepherd, outside of having the ability to use the loyal pal for specific actions, but it’s safe to say he/she will be a your partner in crime throughout the game.
The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, better known as V.A.T.S, is back for Fallout 4 and is said to allow players to seamlessly transition from roaming, to battle, and back to roaming. V.A.T.S allows you to target seven major hit zones on enemies: head, chest, left arm, right arm, held weapon, left leg, and right leg. The seven zones will also display both their hit probability and the overall health of that particular extremity, which makes it much easier to target a specific body part on the fly rather than flipping through a cumbersome user interface.
To complement the stellar return of the newly polished V.A.T.S., Bethesda implemented a rather robust character system that redefines the definition of “character customization.” Players are geared-up with seven attributes in strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck. Group these seven attributes with unlockable and upgradeable skills in the form of 70 unique perks that yield up to 275 interchangeable combinations, allowing players to completely customize their experience to their liking or particular playstyle. Each perk also provides gamers with unique dialog choices or problem-solving possibilities, which are reflected in specific scenarios or encounters during gameplay, further expanding the personalized experience.
If there’s one concern players should have about the coming launch of Fallout 4, it's the lack of information released about the types of new enemies players will get to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at. Yes, the game is massive and it’s nearly impossible to touch on every single aspect, but I would have liked to at least see something about the new bad dudes we’re going to be mowing down. I did however, notice just about every Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas enemy or variation of enemy featured within the battle trailer, but nothing that seemed to be brand new. This could have been done intentionally in order to leave something for gamers to experience, perhaps they didn’t complete the enemies when the trailer was compiled, or they’ll just let it ride with the annoying jerks from the last decade of Fallout gameplay. Either way, a few new enemies to splatter the beautiful landscape with would have been nice to see.
Bottom line, Fallout 4 isn’t going to be a game for everyone. RPG’s command a certain amount of patience, dedicated time, and decent amount of involvement - this game no exception. With that being said, Fallout 4, in just about every capacity, looks spectacular and comes jam-packed with a lot of new exciting features and an even better sandbox platform to utilize them with. This might very well be the title for non-RPG fans to fully dive into. This latest installment from Bethesda Studios has the potential to permanently shake up how the genre is presented and essentially how the user experiences the way next-gen games are designed as a whole. Even with its many hardcore RPG trappings, Fallout 4 is most certainly worth a closer look for gamers of all genre types.
Date: October 15, 2015