Review: Fallout 4 (PC) – Part 1: On Thin Ice

Review: Fallout 4 (PC) – Part 1: On Thin Ice

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It’s here. It’s finally here. Even after almost twenty hours of playing, my head is still reeling from the awesomeness that is Fallout 4, having only scratched the surface. It’s only been seven years since the release of Fallout 3 and its spin-off Fallout: New Vegas and where its predecessors seem reserved in their expression (Bethesda only adopted the rights to the franchise a few years prior), Fallout 4 is certainly a show of force with its developer’s confidently owning the IP.

Now before we get onto the review, while there might be some spoilers here and there, I want to mainly discuss the technical aspects and my first impressions of the game where my remarks on the game’s story and how it fits into the greater Fallout lore will come in a later article [UPDATE: that article being this one]. The reason why I wanted to divide this review into two parts is because–if I speak candidly–I don’t want to rush through the quest and storyline just so I can write about it.

That isn’t to say I can’t talk about the features of the game, its engine, and mechanics, but being a follower of the Cult of Fallout since I was but a wee lad, I recognize that there’s two audiences to a franchise almost as old as I am: those who’ve been around since the beginning and those who hopped on with the release of Fallout 3 when the game’s style and developers changed hands. I might come back and write this second review in a week or a month, but it’ll be when I feel I’ve played enough of Fallout 4 to talk about it in the depth needed.

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But still, I mean, you got this review to read in the meantime and it’ll be just as rad. Speaking of rads…

Fallout 4 adds to both sides of the continuum, being the latest entry in the Fallout timeline to take place with technically the oldest playable protagonist, having been born some years prior to the Great War. Like other games of the franchise, the player-character is a Vault Dweller, having signed up for protection in Vault-Tec Vault 111 in Massachusetts. Shortly after the game begins and you and your spouse are done fighting over the bathroom mirror (the game’s clever way to create your character), you explore your suburban home in the fall of 2077. Your infant son Shaun cries in the other room and you go to play with him when Codsworth–your robot butler–calls you into the living room to inform you that the life insurance money will pay off soon: national alerts have been issued of multiple nuclear detonations across the country.

As the sirens begin to wail, you and your family run up the hill to the new vault and squeeze past the guards and descend into the vault just in time as a rush of radioactive dust and heat from a nearby detonation rushes above you. While “out of the frying pan, into the fire” might be a good analogy in any other scenario, Vault-Tec’s version of a brighter future wasn’t necessarily as advertised–or as warm. Indeed, after finding out too late that those decontamination pods were instead meant for cryostasis (I knew they looked a bit too comfy), you awake some 200 years later to find that everyone’s gone, only having woken up between 2077 and 2283 to witness your wife getting shot in the face as your infant son is nabbed by two unknown assailants.

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Much like the Sole Survivor after ascending back up to the surface as he stumbled back into the crumbling remains of his hometown of Sanctuary (oh, irony) , I was dumbfounded by the vastness of the Commonwealth’s wasteland–that is, the moniker of Massachusetts’ former territory after bombs dropped. I mean, I knew the game was big and this wasn’t the first time my eyes were adjusting to sunlight, having crawled out of some Vault-Tec-made hole in the ground, but knowing and experiencing are two different things entirely.

(Continued on Next Page)




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Anthony Magestro

Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.