Most players might not have been expecting cutting-edge graphics from Fallout 4, although “leaked screenshots” prove that imagery still matters.
Fallout 4 is more robust than its predecessor, but Fallout 3 might have made better use of its space. That’s not to say Fallout 3 is the better game or that Fallout 4 is anything less than great. It’s just that it may have been a more compelling game for its time.
The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS) was carried over into Fallout 4, but the body part targeting system is more discrete this time around. It also slows down time, while Fallout 3‘s gameplay VATS offered adrenaline-alleviating pauses.
Born of Fallout 3 mods, base building offers a way for players to store resources and set down roots in a location of their choosing. Players will need to maintain their settlements and set up defenses because raiders just love defenseless encampments.
Other notable gameplay mechanics baked into Fallout 4 include the ability to attach melee weapons to firearms, a sprint button, the absence of a level cap and a skill tree with 275 branches.
What’s Good … And Great?
There’s a lot to like about Bethesda’s Boston-based role playing game. The Commonwealth, as the game’s setting is called, is packed with engaging content, according to CNET’s Jeff Bakalar.
“Brimming with an astonishing amount of detail and content to interact with, odds are you’ll never see every last thing Fallout 4 has to offer,” Bakalar writes. “It’s easily a must-play for anyone with a solid gaming PC, PS4 or Xbox One and is all but guaranteed to provide well over 100 hours of play time.”
GameInformer’s Andrew Reiner was also pleased with Fallout 4‘s world. Despite being hit with nukes, this wasteland is “surprisingly colorful and inviting.”
“Diamond City, the central hub, almost has a cartoonish look in its color scheme and architecture,” Reiner shares. “Bethesda clearly establishes the vision of a world repairing itself, and seeing inhabitants work to achieve this goal is fascinating.”
Radroaches and other rad-active things aren’t the only bugs crawling in and under The Commonwealth.
Forbes’ Erik Kain is struggling to understand why Bethesda is getting a pass on the game’s glitches.
“It’s interesting to see so many really glowing reviews even while critic after critic points out that Fallout 4 is a buggy mess at launch,” writes Kain. “I swear, we’ve all been trained to just accept buggy messes at launch and wait obediently for a patch. Of course, while Fallout 4 may be a buggy mess, plenty of other games come out nicely polished.”
Beyond the bugs, it all goes back to Fallout 4 falling to break new ground — that’s despite the introduction of base buildings. For PCWorld’s Hayden Dingman, and many others, Fallout 4 is not the step forward he had hoped to see.
“For a long time, nobody made games like Bethesda,” writes Dingman. “There is a leniency afforded to you, I think, when you’re the only one doing A Thing and it’s A Thing people like. You overlook the bugs. You overlook the bad AI. You overlook the poor main story.”
Maybe Bethesda should have gone VR.
Fallout 4 Review Roundup: Lives Up To The Hype But Dogged By Technical Issues