Fallout 4: Visions of the apocalypse

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Like many of you, I assume, I was playing a hefty dose of Fallout 4 last night — with no regrets, I might add. Man, I needed some good post-apocalyptic adventures in my life this week. I probably clocked in around three hours and I’m already thinking about restarting to build my character a bit differently. I hear luck is a really good stat this time around and I only have three points.

Anyway, I really, really like how the game starts us out pre-apocalypse — a first for the Fallout series. Getting to see a slice of alternate timeline Americana was a treat, from the robot butlers to the sci-fi ’50s cars. Knowing what was to come, I took so dang many screenshots to preserve the moment.

Seeing the bomb drop — and narrowly escaping the heat wave — was harrowing as well, although I was perhaps a little more distracted by my character’s choice of high-waisted pants.

Bethesda got a little bit clever with the Vault conceit this time around, turning it into a carbonite chamber of sorts to shoot us forward in time. I definitely liked the Vault from Fallout 3 more with its full cast of characters, but it was pretty cool to wake up and have this smaller Vault to explore.

Then came the first visions of the post-apocalypse, 200 or so years later. And it’s actually a bit pretty. Life post-bomb is returning and it’s not all muddy browns and depressing greys. There’s a New England fall beauty to it and some welcome splashes of color amid the wreckage.

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I deeply appreciate that the game wasn’t trying to rush me through a narrow corridor of a storyline after the Vault. Instead, I had the freedom to poke around and get my bearings, not to mention loot, loot, loot. There’s something about the wasteland that turns us all into gleeful scavengers, and Fallout 4 definitely plays this up.

I worked my way through the little burb of Sanctuary and its surrounding outskirts, netting some weapons and, after a raider attack, some armor. I’m still trying to get used to switching over to VATS during fights for better ammo efficiency and cooler moments.

Getting Dogmeat was a lovely treat. I loved seeing him go to town on molerats, and while he did get in the way from time to time, having a happy dog bound around you makes the wasteland feel a lot less lonely.

One thing I’m not looking forward to is the sub-game of base building. I don’t know what it is about single-player RPGs these days and the need to cram in a base building system, but I do not care about such things outside of persistent worlds. I’m not going to spend 30 hours building up a base in a game that has a “Game Over” screen, and it’s not important to me here. I just want to wander, explore, loot, shoot, and quest.

I feel like I’m missing a lot — Fallout 4 does not exactly hold your hand nor does it adequately explain many of its systems. I learned early on that splashing around in the water is a good way to get radiated, so I am adapting.

But in the meantime I’ll just poke around and enjoy the journey, seeing where it takes me. Hopefully somewhere with better armor and a shotgun.

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6 thoughts on “Fallout 4: Visions of the apocalypse

  1. SynCaine November 11, 2015 / 9:24 am

    You mentioned Fallout 3, so how did you not know splashing around in the water is a bad thing in Fallout? Or do you mean how rads are handled in this game vs the previous ones (penalty to max hp vs stat hits)?

    I think the base building is mostly optional, and what isn’t optional can be done very quickly. (That said, at least one of the side quest chains is pretty heavy on base building) Base building does tie in very well with scavenging for parts, so doing a lot of one but not the other might feel off long-term (you will have a ton of random junk that you never use since you don’t build bases).

  2. Syp November 11, 2015 / 9:26 am

    It’s been a long, long time since I played Fallout 3. Pretty much forgot all about the smaller details.

  3. Particlebit November 11, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    What system are you playing this on and have you had any technical issues so far?

  4. Lance Latham November 11, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    Howdy sir. Enjoying the game as well. Dropped in 4 hours after the kiddies went to bed. I like the new VATS. Still have time to plan an attack but the constant enemy motion adds a nice level of tension. Better shots can line up, too. Getting out of the vault in a fraction of the time it took in FO3 was a plus, too. It was good then, but most players want to get to the wasteland asap. Been building a little bit not much since there’s no real tutorial on that. just hope it’s not too similar to Fallout Shelter: not into micromanaging other people’s happiness. I have a family for that. Looking forward to more wonders in the wasteland.

    PC, pipboy edition
    i5-4690
    GTX980 4GB MSI
    Bend 1080ST
    84″ Elite screen

    No problems performance wise so far. Auto detect set me at ultra but Noticed some FPS drops at times. Smoothed out on high.

  5. Syp November 12, 2015 / 9:28 am

    Particle – I’m playing this on my PC and haven’t experienced a single issue so far, including any lag.

  6. Syp November 12, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Lance! This guy was my college roomie, everyone. Glad you’re liking it so far!

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