An everyday story of one man and his dog… wandering around an apocalyptic wasteland populated by zombie super mutants.
The latest addition to the Fallout series, unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past few months, is a very big deal indeed. Gamers have been hyping up the release of Fallout 4 to head-spinning proportions recently, eager to get their hands on what is potentially the biggest release of the year.
As the game has been out a week now and I’m a little late with this review, let’s be honest; you’ve probably read 101 reviews already praising this as the Second Coming of video games. So I’m left with a bit of a dilemma. Do I review the game from scratch, repeating much of what you have already read? Or instead, do I take an alternative viewpoint, acknowledging this as the great game it is, but point out the fact this may not be the ‘game of the year’ we have all been promised. There is no doubting the fact this is a highly enjoyable and immersive experience. But after playing umpteen hours and completing x-amount of quests, I can’t quite give Fallout 4 the same gold medal as everyone else. My reasons for this? Well let’s jump straight to the nitty gritty…
The biggest issue with Fallout 4 is that it is basically the same game as Fallout 3 and its sequel, Fallout New Vegas. Granted, the game has been given a slight (and I emphasis slight) facelift for the new generation of consoles, but for all intents and purposes, fans of the previous titles will feel instantly at home here. Of course, that is not necessarily a bad thing, as Fallout 3 and New Vegas were cracking games to play – and many other titles such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty have almost annual updates with little new to shout about – but you can’t help but feel a sense of disappointment when you realise the developers have played it so safe. With the introduction of 3D graphics, Fallout 3 was a huge leap forward for the series, whereas here, Fallout 4 is just more of the same with little of note changed.
Visually too, considering the graphical potential of 2015’s console line-up, the graphics are more functional than mind-blowing. Granted, a post-apocalyptic wasteland is fairly limited in terms of graphical appeal, and one battered building looks similar to another, but like the gameplay, you would be hard-pressed to notice any difference between last generation’s titles. Even the player characters and opponents you encounter look decidedly second-rate. Considering how incredible the likes of Need for Speed or Call of Duty look, you can’t help but feel a slight lack of effort has been made here.
The final criticism is the overall game speed. Walking from location to location is painfully slow, exploring a new area is a plodding affair and even combat can seem long and drawn out. Am I being too harsh here? Possibly, but I can help but think this would be so much better had it been a tad faster paced. A higher framerate and an injection of ‘Boost’ is much needed…
Of course, don’t let this cup half empty review put you off this game. I’m just having a bit of a moan. It’s a cracking title, and it offers you many months of satisfying gameplay ahead. This is more an alternative view to all the endless praise. Fallout 4 isn’t quiet the game to end all games. Instead it’s a case of more of the same… which might not necessarily be such a bad thing when you think about it.