‘Fallout 4: Wasteland’ introduces players to extreme new setting, features

by: RILEY GOLDEN/Staff Writer

Imagine a futuristically stylized 1950s Boston… getting almost completely annihilated by nuclear warfare.

“Fallout 4” starts in the year 2077, as you and your family are barely able to make it into Vault 111 just in time to watch the bombs land miles away.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Vaults were built underground by the government, in preparation for nuclear fallout. For the sake of spoilers, I’m just going to say fast forward a considerable amount of time into the future, and your fully customized, male or female protagonist is ready to explore the wasteland, specifically, the Commonwealth.

The first location you visit is your old Neighborhood, Sanctuary. You come across your old robot, and he points you in the right direction. But you end up running into a group of survivors who you save from some raiders. The survivors point you to a town called Diamond City, a makeshift town built inside a falling-apart baseball stadium.

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The whole time you’ve been on the move, you’ve been picking up weapons, clothing, armor, and crafting supplies. After I opened up the weapons crafting menu, and only having visited a few locations—some of which (like the aforementioned town of Sanctuary) you can build up and add on an extensive amount of structures, lighting, and resources—all I could think was, “Wow, this game is massive.” At times, it’s overwhelming so much so that it starts to feel like a chore, having to walk miles to do the smallest of side quests. But that’s part of the “grind” of Fallout that attracts so many people to the series.

I repeatedly found myself getting lost in some side quests, thinking, “wait, this isn’t the main quest?” You have the option of siding with the Institution, the Brotherhood of Steel, or the Railroad, and they each have their own set of quests that will alter your game in their respective ways. The Institution is a company that developed synths, or synthetic humans, most of which are enemies. For the people of the Commonwealth, Institute Synths killing or abducting, and then replacing, someone they know is a very real threat. The Brotherhood of Steel, on the other hand, is an elite army constructed after the nuclear fallout to defend the people of the wasteland. The Railroad are like a secretive, paramilitary group, similar to our CIA.

One of my favorite improvements from “Fallout 3” to “Fallout 4” is the addition of color. The Commonwealth is no longer solely a mixture of solemn greys, greens, and blues, although that makes up a lot of it. It is, in fact, a wasteland of random buildings, cars, and settlements that might have a lot of color to them, and it’s typically aesthetically pleasing.

Another large improvement is that you can actually shoot enemies outside of V.A.T.S. (V.A.T.S. is the ability to slow time and focus your fire on certain body parts of your enemies), in “Fallout 3” this was relatively hard to do. But “Fallout 4” has fixed this 100 percent.

One addition to “Fallout 4” that I personally like, although isn’t loved by many fans of the series, is that the main protagonist now has a voice. I find this addition makes the dialogue of Fallout easier to pay attention to, even though I don’t love the voice actor.

Overall, “Fallout 4” is a fun experience, and it will definitely hold you over until Christmas, if not longer. I give “Fallout 4” a 5 out of 5.

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