Ever since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released into the wild, the world immediately assumed that Fallout 4 was in development. Despite many many attempts from the developers to dissuade us from this belief, Fallout 4 has probably been one of the most highly anticipated games for a while. With a fairly tame holiday season, does Fallout 4 deliver the megatons that it was expected to? I will be keeping this review as spoiler-free as possible.
The main plot of Fallout 4 consists of the main protagonist being conned into going into Vault 111, which he/she thinks is a safe haven for their family. It is, in a sense, but things quickly go awry when you realise that you’ve been led into a cryogenic experiment. Yes, you’re safe from the deadly radiation, but you emerge 200 years later, alone. Your character wants to find his son, and goes off on a journey through the wastelands of Fallout 4 to achieve this goal. There is a short video right at the beginning of Fallout 4, which sets the theme, war, war never changes.
Fallout 4 starts off quite slowly, as it tends to. If you like exploring and loved Fallout 3 or Skyrim, you will love this game. It actively encourages you to look in every nook and cranny, and even entices you with things that you can’t get to yet, but you’ll want to come back for when you can. You can be either a male or female protagonist in the game, and the character modification tools are very impressive and in-depth. You have 21 points to distribute throughout your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, with all the skills having a base level of 1. It doesn’t matter too much where you put these points initially, but when you get access to the perk chart, you will want to use that knowledge to plan your character a little better. That’s because you will have the opportunity to change these attributes once before you exit the vault.
Skills have been merged into the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system to simplify things. Fans of the old skills system may find this a little polarising, but it works quite well. There are essentially 10 perks for each special attribute, which correspond to the level of that skill. The first level of every perk on the perk chart can be unlocked straight away, as long as you’ve got put enough points into the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute. However, the rest of the levels for each perk will require your character to be levelled up to a certain point. The perk chart is however quite cumbersome, and I honestly feel it would be far easier if there was a list of things to unlock, because it is very difficult to understand what is going on in this screen.