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Game Review: “Fallout 4”

Rating: A+

I have to admit, I haven’t played “Fallout 4” as much as I have wanted to since it released on Nov. 10. I haven’t binged on 10-hour sessions for days on end, like many. But, what I have done is methodically, and journalistically, studied the latest offering from Bethesda Softworks.

I mostly play FIFA 2016 in my spare time, and I don’t get excited about many video games. This one had me up all night in anticipation. But, could a game with so much hype deliver the thrills of its predecessor?

I’ll paraphrase this in two words: it delivered.

Your character narrowly avoids a nuclear attack outside of Boston by entering Fallout’s famed “vaults,” or government operated bomb shelters. While being treated with your spouse in the Vault, you are cryogenically frozen for 200 years, only waking up to see your infant child being stolen. The main quest, much like the “Taken” movies, is to get your child back.

The main quest can easily be ignored, for countless square miles of wasteland, limitless loot and boundless quests taking you to every corner of post-nuclear war Boston.

The combat system is virtually the same as Fallout 3. I’m a horrible shot with a Hunting Rifle, but that could be me transitioning from the Xbox 360. You still get the bloody headshot and gory loss of limbs as before, making the use of baseball bats and laser pistols all the more fun.

The character rating system has been revamped, as perks you earn by leveling-up encompass all attributes, instead of having multiple different point values, making for a more streamlined experience with very little confusion. For example, locks have different levels, and you can only pick locks if you have the level of the perk that allows it.

The biggest addition to the open-world RPG is the workshop function. Once you are “accepted” in a settlement, you have the option to rebuild the city. You can scrap houses or cars and pile tires to build whatever you’d like. This feels a bit like “Minecraft,” and it is a welcome escape from wandering the Wasteland.

Along with workshop function, armor and weapon modifications make an appearance. While in “Fallout: New Vegas” you could modify ammunition, this system is more like “Skyrim,” with  weapons modification in which you can add enchantments and hone the weapon. Instead, you can modify grips and add scopes to guns. If you’re really looking for some fun, I suggest modifying your wooden baseball bat to an aluminum, razor-coated destruction machine.

The one problem I had is when I reached the bustling metropolis of Diamond City, a settlement in the remnants of Fenway Park, a glitch made the ground invisible, making it seem like I was walking on air. Bethesda had many years to figure the glitches out, and this seemed lazy, especially as it was crucial to the main quest that I enter Diamond City.

That being said, games are always glitchy in the first week. You cannot expect even Bethesda to make a perfect game. But, they’ve gotten close here.

I urge you to go to your local retailer and purchase this game. The value of $60 for 200 hours of time-wasting, ghoul-killing and ransacking fun is unmatched. It’s the same fun you remember from “Fallout 3.” You can do (almost) anything you want; you can be a hero or be the villain you aspire to be.

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