The Fantastic Fallout 4

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In 2 weeks, I clocked up 60 hours of Fallout, while still managing to work full-time and keep up to date with household chores and errands.

If I didn’t have an engagement party, family dinners and planned friend catch-ups, I could have easily made it to 100 hours.

I love this series. The game could have been half of what it was, and I would still love it. Allow me to explain…

In 2008, having just finished my School Certificate, I was introduced to the wonders of Fallout 3 that I spent the summer playing in my bedroom. 2 years later, while completing the HSC Fallout New Vegas took me away from a world of stress and anxiety into a place I could explore and decide the fate of.

Fallout 4 once again have arrived at a key time in Education. The week before it’s release I had submitted my final assessment for my undergraduate degree. I had roughly 6 months of no significant gaming, much to my dismay. It came at a perfect time of stress, confusion and boredom. It reignited excitement and adventure, pushing me to write again.

…The Fallout series will always be sentimental to me.

[SPOILER ALERT: This is as free from any specific spoilers, but does analyse a bit of the overall game story.]

With that said, Bethesda have taken the time to explore the post-apocalyptic future world unlike anything I could have wanted. The decay of the world is simultaneously believable and exaggerated, encouraging you to explore familiar landmarks, often forgetting about the main quest and diving into tunnels, townships and high-rise buildings.

If you’re not into open world RPGs, the game probably isn’t for you. Even the main quest offers many choices between factions, individuals and then the option to just kill everyone anyway. The game has dozens of possibilities, and if you’re not open for exploring and seeing where the road leads, you will have a very limited experience of this massive game.

If you’re into story, and don’t mind entering sometimes long conversations, you discover the world of Fallout is so much more than just the remnants of a 1960s society. Everyone makes hard decisions, and not all of them are right. But, what is ethical when you’re living in a world of mutants, ghouls and Vaults that gleefully conducted experiments on humans with almost no survivors. Who is the good, and who is the bad?

The narrative is one of ethical debate, as my partner plays through his own story and we discuss our options. Did the person I killed at level 8 actually have a sympathetic backstory? Was that town actually full of raiders like I believed, or was it a family trying to survive that I slaughtered without hesitation?

The companions don’t make decisions any easier. From journalists to Brotherhood of Steel commanders and the mayor of a questionable settlement, each provide their own experience and insight into the world, not hesitating to tell you their opinions when you make decisions. Like Piper, I found myself questioning what is ‘human’, if previously defined by conscious thought, where do we place robots, or mutations capable of the same thing? How will the world respond to this seemingly inevitable future development?

I finished the game almost a week ago, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. My mind is blown.

What were your thoughts?
Were you as satisfied as I was, or were you hungry for more?

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