Fallout 4 – Charlotte Huggins

I’m a postgrad paying £5500 a year in tuition. I have two jobs, PhD applications to work on, and heaps of academic work that I never seem able to make a dent in.

So naturally I bought Fallout 4 at midnight and stayed up until 3am playing it. The night before a full 9am to 5pm day of lectures – I never said I was a role model.

The game opens by plunging you into the life of a woman in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage with an infant son. Kind of a disturbing amount of commitment and responsibility, but don’t worry. The game quickly kills the husband, kidnaps the baby, drops a bomb on the town, and puts you in a freezer in an underground vault for 200 years.

After 200 years as a popsicle, my character is burped out into a post-apocalyptic hellscape, determined to find her son – giant cockroaches, invisible Deathclaws and hordes of ghouls be damned.

But that doesn’t stop her from getting caught up with every single tiny petty issue in the Commonwealth though.

I’m retrieving drug money, settling squabbles, killing ghouls, taking over drug labs, murdering raiders, fixing the plumbing, retrieving paint, and generally being a conscientious (if slightly interfering) citizen with a penchant for shotguns. I even help set up a robot with the exasperated schoolteacher she’s been mooning over – maid of honour at their wedding and everything. A woman’s work is never done.

You can actually turn those bits of pre-war rubbish into materials for building, so be ready to hoard even more than in previous games.

Not to mention the fact I’ve been abruptly put in charge of all building work across the Commonwealth. Apparently there’s absolutely nobody else in the Wasteland that can bang a few beds together.

That said, the settlement building minigame is something I’ve wanted in the Fallout series for a long time. And finally, all the junk you can pick up is actually useful! You can actually turn those bits of pre-war rubbish into materials for building, so be ready to hoard even more than in previous games. It’s dangerously addictive though – I found myself spending three hours just building up the Red Rocket Truck Stop alone. I don’t even have settlers living there. That’s just where my dog stays when he’s not travelling with me. Yep, I’ve completely lost control of my life.

As I tried to decide whether Dogmeat looks cuter in a collar or a neckerchief, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d forgotten about something. I didn’t know how that was possible – all my settlements were doing well, I’d set myself up with a new girlfriend, and I’d been off the Jet for a while now. I’d even done a stint as a superhero.

Shrugging it off, I went to visit the detective in Diamond City, wondering if I could pull off some femme fatale thing with my new Black Widow perk, or maybe do some sleuthing side-quests.

Then my character starts going on about like, this baby she was looking for? Like, when had I picked up that quest? What kind of reckless mother would lose her own baby?

Oh. Yeah. That.

Shit.

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