Return to the Wasteland in ‘Fallout 4’

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

Bethesda Game Studios has established itself as the premiere developer for creating story worlds, and their latest adventure, “Fallout 4,” is proving to be as groundbreaking as it is rich in the mass amount of excellent content.

200 years after a nuclear war destroys most of the planet, the player character escapes from the confines of a protective vault to explore the wilds of Boston, now called the Commonwealth. After a particularly captivating live-action opening cinematic, the player is able to customize their character more meticulously than ever before. Who, by the way, is given a voice for the first time in a Bethesda game. Gone are the days of the silent protagonist.

Although, there is a downside to the addition of a voiced main character. The usually broad range of dialogue options presented throughout conversations have been reduced to a default of four, similar to the Mass Effect dialogue system. There’s a certain simplification to the game that does dumb it down a fair amount, but it is nonetheless exhilarating. It’s still a step in the right direction in role playing games.

Another massive improvement is the recruitment of more voice actors than ever before. After an hour in “Skyrim,” players start to notice that every other guard sounds identical. Yet after more than 10 hours into “Fallout 4,” I have yet to notice similar downfalls.

Taking inspiration from games like “Destiny,” “Fallout 4” has some of the most fun gunplay of any role-playing game. Combat is core to the experience and it’s never been more engaging. The addition of a broad crafting system for weapons and armor adds even more to an already rich element of gameplay.

The crafting system also added the ability to create settlements in the Commonwealth, similar in gameplay to “Minecraft.” Every item in “Fallout 4” has components that can be harvested and used to build and enforce facilities in players’ private bases. It’s an interesting addition and one I’d love to explore further.

“Fallout 4” is another stellar game from a company with an astounding track record. I only advise waiting to buy it until finals are over, because you will lose weeks, maybe months, to this game.