Arts

“Fallout” Stays Ahead of the Curve with Storyline, Nuanced Characters

4th Installment to Legendary Series Might be Best Yet

By Jason Wisniewski

“Fallout 4,” the latest installment in Bethesda’s Fallout series, is a shooter RPG game, set in a post-apocalyptic world where nuclear war has ravaged the land. You, alongside the last survivors of humanity, need to survive in this desolate wasteland. But more importantly, Fallout 4’s plot revolves around the rescue of your infant son.

Your character, Nathan or Nora (or whatever name you choose to give your character) is saved from the initial apocalypse of the world by VaultTech’s underground bunkers, vaults. While inside the vault, your son is taken from you, and you chase after his kidnapper – remerging to a desolate, destroyed world ravaged by nuclear winter. Of course, you discover that humanity has survived apocalypse and continues to rebuild from the ashes.

Throughout the course of the game you meet a cadre of characters, unique in many ways, but you also become acquainted with companion characters – individuals that can travel alongside you and fight with you. These characters, apart from “Fallout 3’s” companions, continue to converse with you throughout the game – and eventually – can lead to a romantic entanglement between your character and the companion.

Much like the main quest, however, there are plenty side quests that are not just one-shot deals. Some side-quests expand with as much detail and story as the main quest; Primarily the Brotherhood of Steel’s involvement with the wasteland of Boston.

Without spoiling the ending of the game – the story does take you to places you never thought possible. With impressive twists and turns that leaves you wanting more, the game’s ending has multiple outcomes with various minor tweaks to each choice – giving you the opportunity to have an ending tailored to your designs, rather than simplified and final choices behind door one, two, or three.

The depth of characters in “Fallout 4” has evolved, giving it the same life-like feeling comparable to Bioware’s Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. The advancement of companion stories, along with the primary story itself, keeps you going forward – eager to discover more.

“Fallout 4,” like its previous installment Fallout 3, is jam-packed with hundreds upon hundreds of hours of exploration, combat, dialogue, and crafting. Crafting, the new element of the Fallout series, allows the player to build/rebuild settlements and manage populations of survivors. Everything from the necessary elements of food and water, to more complex matters like government and trade – your character can establish these details throughout the course of the game.

Of course, “Fallout 4” also focuses heavily on combat and dialogue. Your choices matter. Your interactions with other characters can lead to their demise or salvation. You can dissolve tension between characters peacefully – or have an all-out war and reign destruction. In fact, a recent article about a Fallout 4 player, delved into detail about how he went through the entire game without killing a single person. Even random encounter foes. It all comes down to the playstyle you choose for yourself. A playstyle, which is nearly boundless.

“Fallout 4” is a massive game, with an enormous detail to its world and its content. With respawning foes, repeatable quests, and an endless leveling system – the game provides more than enough replay ability considering its price.

Alongside the core game’s already massive content and upcoming downloadable content, “Fallout 4” – like all of Bethesda’s games – support modifications. Mods, as simplified by the community, allow you to tweak the game’s content. Anywhere from making the graphics more realistic, to spawning a thousand of your game’s most difficult foes in one location – the accessibility of mods allow you to change the game’s design to fit your needs.

The game’s map is massive, alongside the various settlements and locations that restock over time. You can easily return to previous towns, districts, and bases previously empty – to find it overrun with new foes, often stronger than before, challenging you to greater lengths.

Of course, given that it’s a Bethesda game, there is a stigma with the stability of the game’s design. PC users often escape from some terrible bugs, while console players are doomed to wait for updates. Gladly, Bethesda took more time into Fallout 4’s design, and have eliminated a lot of issues seen in previous titles. Even after over twenty-four hours of gameplay, I’ve still encountered very few bugs or glitches. And the few that I have were easily repaired with a quick load or some movement.

“Fallout 4’s” long, detail-packed game will leave you playing for many hours on end before its replay ability begins to dull. With a gripping story, life-like characters, and all the classic elements of an RPG and similar features of previous Fallout games – Fallout 4’s journey into the wasteland is just as entertaining as its previous installments, and then some.

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