Fallout 4. © Bethesda

Fallout 4 is the fifth major installment in the franchise developed by Bethesda Game Studios and one of the best action role-playing videogame of 2016. It was released on November 10, 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows and bears many similarities with the sequel. Action takes place in year 2287, after a nuclear war made live on Earth impossible and the only survivors were the ones who took shelter in Vault 111.

Key facts about Fallout 4

  • Fallout 4 has an improved crafting system and allows players to build and deconstruct items and structures while setting up small communities.
  • The game is available in both third and first-person perspectives and players can explore the outstanding world and interact with other characters.
  • Fallout 4’s story is just as good as the one that made the prequels so popular, while the characters are even better and easy to relate to.
  • In this action role-playing videogame, players upgrade their equipment but also unlock Gun Nut, Science, Armorer, Blacksmith and Scrapper perks.
  • Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System returns to Fallout 4 and in this updated version, players can manually select the targets to maximize damage.

The Fallout 4 games

Fallout 4 games are played using the same game mechanics, but players get to wield new and more powerful weapons that are prone to modifications. The concept was introduced first in Fallout New Vegas and new features were added in the sequel, with all guns being now suitable for upgrading. Players can combine the items found in the open world and there are numerous possible combinations.

The difference between the prequel and Fallout 4 is that weapons and equipment do not degrade in time, therefore it is not mandatory to replace them after intense use. Players can carry several weapons at the same time, including identical guns and modify them to come up with different performances. Depending on the game mode, players can use different weapons ranging from melee, energy and classic ones as well as basic and power armor.

The Fallout 4 games can seem unforgiving to new players, as they are granted limited access to guns and armor, but can customize them without previous experience. As they level up, players hone their skills and learn how to modify more advanced guns, therefore inflict serious damage. There are various perks to unlock, such as the gun nut, science, armorer and blacksmith but also the Scrapper perk which allows players to find and collect discarded items.

Special weapon perks such as Gunslinger, Commando, Rifleman, Sniper and Demolition Expert can be found in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L index. With each unlocked perk, players enhance the damage of their projectiles, improve accuracy and range of their weapons.

What is Fallout 4?

Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic action role-playing videogame that can be played in third and first-person perspectives. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, it was released in November 2015 and can be played on consoles as well as PCs. Players explore a world devastated by nuclear war, alone or with their companions and build establishments capable of withstanding powerful attacks. To survive in this hostile environment, players need to befriend and interact with non-playable characters.

Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda
Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda

Gameplay of Fallout 4

Fallout 4 gameplay is very similar to the one of its predecessors, with players being able to switch the camera between first and third person perspective. The new features include a base building ability, an improved dynamic dialogue system and a more complex armor system. Contrary to what the name might suggest, this action role-playing videogame is not exclusively about nonstop action, but shines brightest when it comes to conversations.

More than 100,000 lines of dialogue, convincing characters and AI controlled NPCs populate the desolated Boston of 2287. The Fallout 4 gameplay is diverse and players frequently shift between scavenging and building structures to fighting legions of enemies. These range from mole rats and raiders to mutants and deathclaws, while Dogmeat is the trustworthy companion accompanying the Sole Survivor

A huge world to explore

There are no invisible restrictions and no barriers confining players to a certain area and those who have a genuine passion for exploration will have a huge map to travel around. Enemies lurk at every quarter, but in Fallout 4 players have more than 700 modifications available for as many as 50 guns. In conjunction with the Power Armor system, this arsenal should help players survive any challenge, but when everything fails, they need to seek shelter behind their defensive settlements.

An essential component of the Fallout 4 gameplay is the ability to build bases and defend them with traps, walls and turrets. An important game mechanics is the V.A.T.S, which allows players to slow down time and inflict serious damage upon dangerous foes. The acronym stands for Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System and when this is active, players can manually select the targets, as opposed to the random damage inflicted in the previous games.

The character progression in Fallout 4 goes by the name of S.P.E.C.I.A.L and rewards players who accumulate experience points. There are nearly 300 perks available, so the more points one accumulates, the more special abilities one will unlock. Exploring this desolate environment would be far more difficult without a companion and there are 13 possible ones. Dogmeat however is the only one required to join, but all followers can interact with the environment for the first time in this franchise.

Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda
Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda

Plot of Fallout 4

Fallout 4 continues the narrative of Fallout 3, with action taking place 10 years later and more than two centuries after the Resource War sent the world to a nuclear holocaust. Most of the action unfolds in the Boston area, ravaged by conflict and populated by few survivors and nightmarish creatures. The narrative actually starts on the very day the nuclear war began, more precisely on October 23, 2077.

The entire setting of Fallout 4 is marked by war and the fact that the game takes place in an alternate version of history, resulting in a retro-futuristic environment. Story begins with the leading character, his spouse and his wife being admitted to the famous Vault 111, just a few hours before the bombs dropped. As the three family members enter the safe area, they are frozen alive by the Vault-Tec staff, thus entering a cryogenic state until they are brought back to life 200 years later.

The Fallout 4 plot advances depending on the choices made by players, with one important decision to be made in the early stages. Players can either side with the Institute against the Railroad and Brotherhood of Steel, or choose one of the other factions and fight the Institute. The Minutemen is the third alternative and once players make this initial decision, they will shape the future of the Commonwealth.

Many challenges await down the road and the campaign advances in a rather unpredictable manner, with tough decisions at every quarter. There are several possible endings, but we won’t spoil the fun of revealing the grand finale, as this is one of the reasons for why Fallout 4 is so exciting to play.

Development of Fallout 4

Fallout 4 was anxiously awaited by fans immediately after Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas were unveiled, but they had to wait many years for the latest installment. The game uses the Creation Engine, the same one that powered The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, but modified to include a better character editor. Bethesda took its time with this new release and promised to introduce mobile devices into the game, to be used as second screens.

Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda
Screenshot of Fallout 4. © Bethesda

Where can I download Fallout 4?

Bethesda has sold more copies of Fallout 4 than expected and with more than 12 million games it was one of the best-selling titles of 2016. You can download the latest installment from the official website or purchase the game in a bundle containing the previous two sequels.

What are others saying about Fallout 4?

Fallout 4 was praised by the critics for its great graphics, compelling narrative and the fact that players enjoy a great deal of freedom in exploring the environment. The Metacritic score which aggregate all relevant reviews currently stands at 88/100, which speaks volumes of this game’s quality.

See what Conan O'Brien has to say about Fallout 4 in his Clueless Gamer review:

Fallout 4 tournaments

Fallout 4 is guaranteed to provide players with hundreds of hours of gameplay, as every corner of the map can be explored. However, it is not possible to enjoy the adrenaline rush of multiplayer games, simply because the action role-playing videogame is restricted to a single player. Gear of War 4, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Tom Clancy's The Division are great alternatives for those who seek competitive tournaments.

My rating of Fallout 4

I was one of the Fallout fans anxiously waiting for the latest installment to hit the stores and my enthusiasm grew at the same rate as the high. I can honestly say that it was worth waiting for Fallout 4, a game that does the franchise justice and emerges as a proud heir of Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. The new gameplay features, the amazing graphics and fully exploitable war-torn world have earned this game a review score of 9.5/10.

Overall Score