Your followers — of which there are quite a few, including a German shepherd named Dogmeat who you encounter early on, as well as a synthetic and a reporter — can also be talked to, and will voice their thoughts from time to time. The dialogue tree extends to them, although it’s obviously different when you’re asking them to do something, and Dogmeat has his own unique options. You can ask him to look for things for you, or even play with him, which is a nice touch. I didn’t keep him for too long, and wish that he wouldn’t have counted as a companion because he was nice company. Alas, he’s helpful and contributes in battle, so it’s understandable that he’s only able to be your one and only follower if chosen.
The wasteland is large, brown and rocky, with many different types of locations to explore. You’ll find familiar cities and towns, along with an iconic ballpark that has been turned into a tent city. It isn’t named, but it’s not hard to realize where the developers took their inspiration from, given that the interior and exterior look relatively similar to the real Fenway Park. So far, it’s my favourite location in the game, although I haven’t seen or found everything and look forward to exploring more. Massachusetts natives will be in their glory, though, as they’ll likely recognize places they live in or near, or locations that they’ve travelled to.
Performance-wise, things have been pretty good so far. I’ve encountered the odd hitch or slight frame rate drop, but nothing major. The game is presented in 1080p and 30 frames-per-second, and honestly looks as you would expect it to. The easiest way to explain would be to call it a crisper, cleaner and visually upgraded Fallout 3, which uses next-gen tech to its advantage. Granted, Fallout has never been an absolute, bonafide looker, so don’t expect the best-looking game of this generation, or even the best-looking title of 2015, because you won’t get that. This is, after all, an open world RPG with lots of content, so expectations need to be tempered a bit. I was impressed with how things appeared, though, and appreciated the more detailed character/enemy models and environments.
As expected, there are a lot of muted brown tones to be found in Fallout 4, as nuclear warfare doesn’t tend to leave things beautiful in its wake. Colour mostly comes from the dilapidated buildings, destroyed cars and other hints of humanity’s past, including all of the 1950s-era advertising and merchandise, such as the returning collectible bobbleheads. The wasteland does come alive, though, with fog and electrical storms that seemed to give me radiation poisoning with every passing bolt of lightning. These touches are appreciated, for sure.
I must be honest, though, and admit that I haven’t had the opportunity to complete Fallout 4 yet. It’s such a long and involved game, and releases at such a busy time of year that it’s been difficult. I have put quite a few hours into it, though, have experienced a ton of what the wasteland has to offer, and look forward to spending more time with my most anticipated game of 2015 over the weeks to come.
Alas, it’s time to conclude this lengthy review, and I’ll do so by saying that, although it isn’t perfect and has some elements I’m not a big fan of — such as the settlement building and management mechanic — those things don’t drag down what is an otherwise great game. Fallout 4 is very similar to Fallout 3, which people may complain about, but it pushes forward and is certainly its own title, one which everyone should consider picking up.
This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, which we were provided with.
In creating Fallout 4, Bethesda has built upon one of the greatest games of all-time and released a very impressive and immersive sequel. It's not perfect, or the exact sequel that I was hoping for, but it's a rich and detailed experience that fans of the series will surely appreciate.