Graphics:
8.6
Gameplay:
9.3
Sound:
8.8
Control:
8.9
Replay Value:
9.5
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Bethesda Softworks
Developer:
Bethesda Game Studios
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/RPG
Release Date:
November 10, 2015


The wasteland has stories. If you’re well-equipped and determined, you might just manage to survive long enough to learn about those stories. The nuclear apocalypse has come and gone and humans struggle to forge their way in a very new landscape, riddled with desolation and desperation. But buried beneath the filth and detritus, lurking just below the surface of some humans that have become animalistic, lies a glimmer of hope. This hope sits at the core of Fallout 4 ’s narrative and despite its slow start, occasional plodding pacing, and some small logistical issues, this is an adventure that will resonate long after completion. A dark world filled with mystery and promise, and you play a crucial role in the fate of humanity…hard to get more poignant.

Boston after nuclear fallout isn’t exactly a welcoming place. But that’s the point, is it not? The developers go to great lengths to present the player with an authentic and forbidding atmosphere, one that both stimulates your survival instinct and fills you with restrained wonder. And it’s only restrained because no matter where you turn, you’re forced to remember the way things must’ve been; i.e., what we’ve lost as opposed to what we might gain in the long run. In such landscapes, heroes are made and the weak are quickly eliminated. Setting aside the technical merits and drawbacks for a moment, this is a world capable of drawing you in and making you feel .

Strictly from a technical standpoint, it’s not the best-looking game you’ll ever see. I imagine franchise fans are okay with that because Fallout has never challenged for graphical superiority. Character models during cut-scenes appear old-fashioned and certain textures are just plain poor. And you can’t get away from a few small slowdown issues, especially when rooting around inside one of those burned-out buildings. Even so, where the game excels is in the construction of its vast environment. If you just stand and look toward the horizon, the sight is indeed impressive. This is how Fallout 4 grabs you with its scope and design; it’s not in the minute intricacies of visual presentation. And while we can’t ignore the shortcomings, we also should acknowledge the accomplishment.

The audio can – and often is – a big highlight, even if I believe the score could’ve played a bigger role when simply wandering (remember, you’ll be doing a lot of that, and a gently haunting and shifting soundtrack would’ve added some flavor). The voice performances are solid without being special, although a few characters really shine. The effects definitely take center-stage during the majority of the game, and these stellar special effects serve to amplify the aforementioned atmosphere. One’s immersion always increases when the mind actually believes what it sees and hears, and we often forget that our lives are filled with ambient and background sounds we typically dismiss. But these effects, which are abundant yet subtle in the game, help to solidify any virtual reality.