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Fallout 4
Topic Started: 30 Nov 2015, 10:16 (86 Views)
Ankhanu
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I picked up Fallout 4 the day after release (PC), and have put a few hours into it. So far I’ve reached level 11, and am still working on tracking down Shaun at standard difficulty.
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Fallout 4 is largely the same as Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and that’s not a bad thing. The Boston wasteland is big, and it feels empty. Finding people can be difficult; finding shops is even more so. The readily available weapons and armour available are a bit more realistic than in prior games. That makeshift pipe weapons are common, while manufactured weapons are harder to come by feels quite appropriate, and makes finding them a little more rewarding (even when they’re mechanically inferior). The wasteland has been proving somewhat dangerous as well. Supermutants seem to be around any given corner, molerats burrow in and out of view, ghouls seem to rise from the dead to suddenly bank you… Ammo is also expensive and, unless you take the perk that increases ammo found in containers, can be hard to come by, making things a little more challenging, and forcing you to be a little more careful with how many times you pull the trigger.
The chat interface is a little annoying in that you are offered themes for your responses, and don’t know what the actual content will be; something like “yes”, “no”, “sarcastic” and “don’t know”. Without knowing what you’re actually saying, these options may lead you down paths you didn’t intend. There is a mod, however, that will reveal the actual dialogue options. I haven’t installed it yet, but likely will.
Control wise, I have found that the game is somewhat built around using a console game controller, and keyboard&mouse is a bit of an after-thought. Quick switching weapons, accessing chat options and the like appear as though they are designed for easy access with multiple thumb-sticks, or buttons in a star configuration, but require some less-than-convenient changes in whole-hand position for PC. It’s mildly inconvenient, but not game-breaking.
The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and Perk chart system is also a bit different from prior incarnations. The chart is like a poster (and IS a poster in the Pip-Boy edition), and each level the point you gain can be assigned to any S.P.E.C.I.A.L. trait or a perk, with the full progression always visible to you. Perks related to each trait are displayed under its parent trait. Unlike prior games, future perks and their prerequisites are easily visible at any time, allowing you to better plan your level progression.
I haven’t delved too deeply into the crafting system… well, the settlement/building crafting, I’ve been modding my weapons, etc. a fair bit. Building up Sanctuary is kind of neat, but is feeling like a little bit of a chore at the same time. The ability to build up your own town, or just home, does seem like a neat idea or process, but I haven’t let that take up my time yet.
Weapon and armour condition is largely gone from the game. This means you don’t have to keep repairing your favourite guns and armour to keep them working. This mechanic is likely present in higher difficulty settings, but I’m not entirely sure… I haven’t tested, and I haven’t read many game reviews :P
Graphics wise, Fallout 4 has taken some flack from the gaming community, and it’s not much of a step beyond its predecessors of years past. Personally, that doesn’t bother me in the least. The game has style, not HD polish… which is sort of how it should be. Fallout isn’t really intended to be photorealistic, there’s a dirty almost cartoonish charm to the franchise, and 4 sits within that aesthetic nicely.
The Pip-Boy app for smartphone & tablet is a really nice touch to the game experience. I tend to run the app on my iPad, propped on its cover next to my mouse hand set to the map for easy reference. The app does give you full control of your Pip-Boy, however, and you can cycle through your items, status, quests or what ever from your device… which is pretty convenient, though not always practical in the middle of combat. Your device and computer need to be on the same wifi network, which usually isn’t an issue, but if you have multiple routers, and/or dual-band routers, you’ll have to make sure everything is equal. I’m also running Windows 8, and found the I had to go into the firewall settings and enable all communication routes for the game, else the firewall will prevent the app from connecting. It took a few minutes to diagnose, and was a pain in the ass, but, ultimately an easy fix.
In Real Life ™, people who aim to maximize their potential for lethality are called "dangerous psychotics" and are typically avoided by everyone who isn't forced to endure their company until someone has the opportunity to put them away or else put them down. No one likes that guy. Don't play that guy.

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