“Where to begin?” it’s the age-old Fallout question. Not only does it apply to the game – you could pursue the immediately engaging main storyline, any number of the distracting side-quests, clear out a dungeon or acquire all the companions and power armour you can – but it of course also applies to any attempt at reviewing such a game.
I honestly think there is something in this game for everyone, or something to cater for any mood. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed simply exploring, fighting my way through the combat-zone, crafting armour and weapons, constructing my settlement or running errands for an eccentric bunch of marauding robots marooned atop a building (that will make sense when you stumble across it). The combat is a prime example: you can play with real-time combat, fast-based and action-oriented, or switch to VATS for an almost turn-based, tactical RPG-style of combat. There is a style of play for everyone.
The Fallout concept has been developed nicely in the years it’s remained dormant. The gunplay – whilst not entering the upper-echelon of slickness quite yet – has vastly improved in its fluidity. The overall presentation is dramatically overhauled, whilst maintaining the trademark retro-future feel we all recognize as Fallout. I was tremendously pleased to see environmental story-telling play a greater role as well. Whether it be the main story, side-quests or the environment, there is a story to be found around every corner.Fallout 4 is a beautifully personal experience too; I genuinely feel like I make my own, unique impact on my own version of the post-apocalyptic Boston. My interactions with characters, the direction and methodology of my exploration, the way I select dialogue, the way I kill or be merciful, or the way I sculpt my settlement and where I choose to do so, feel like personal decisions not identifiably tied to mission objective or a karma system.