Fallout 4 – Michael Hicks

After what seems at the same time like a millennium and no time at all, Fallout 4 is finally here and in my PS4. Once more do I venture into Fallout’s bombed-out husk of a world; a world packed with so much character, places to see, things to do, and things which want to kill you.  While my first-hand experience of Bethesda’s newest behemoth of a game are not the most extensive out there, never the less I am going to share how I experienced the first few hours of my adventure in Fallout 4.

After one of the most poignant and haunting opening cinematics in recent memory; we are brought to Bethesda’s much-touted new character creator. I have a tradition in games of making the ugliest gonk possible, but I decided to spice things up for Fallout 4. My player character, Tarquin became a handsome Clooney-esque man of deep blue eyes, a jawbone you could sharpen a knife with and a magnificent silver pompadour and baby-beard combo.

His wife is a bear of a woman, with satellite dish like ears that stick out a mile and a face so square that you’d assume the invisible artiste charged with designing her face had set squares for hands.  Her jaw is like that of Alien’s famous Xenomorph; coupled with a nose so flat that you’d assume that she got into a fight with Mike Tyson and lost, badly. She was also really, really big; like “her bum is so big I might need to extend the doorframes” big. I also had an adorable but strangely black baby boy (something you’re not telling me, honey?) named Shaun and a hilariously British robot butler named Codsworth. You could say they made a cute, if quirky, family. And thus my Fallout 4 adventure began; ready to explore the corny land of fifties, world-of-tomorrow Americana.

It’s immensely satisfying to stroll through areas, eviscerating everything in your path like a Terminator.

I quickly found that my character has a voice; a stark contrast to all the other open-world Bethesda RPGs I’ve played. While this threw me off initially, I quickly warmed to it, deciding that if Bethesda felt that the game’s plot would benefit from having a vocal protagonist, I’m more than fine with it. Fallout at least seems to have made the jump of mute to voice-acted player character in a much better way than that of gaming’s first lady, Samus Aran, in the now infamous Metroid: Other M.

I won’t spoil the details of the opening sequence of Fallout 4, as they are incredibly powerful and deserve to be seen firsthand, but I soon found myself in the year 2287 and in the post-nuclear war wasteland of the Boston area, on a quest to save my family. A quest to save my family that quickly devolved into helping the Minutemen, becoming an interior decorator à la Animal Crossing, modifying some guns and finding a cute puppy (he can do tricks! He and stand on his hind legs, seek out items and enemies and phase through walls. That last one’s a great trick). The concept of power armour was given an extensive overhaul. The player is now given access to it very early. It functions more as a super-powered exoskeleton which uses consumable fuel in the form of Fusion Cores; rather than another set of late-game armour. It’s immensely satisfying to stroll through areas, eviscerating everything in your path like a Terminator.  After a particularly nasty encounter with the now-terrifying feral ghouls and a raider donning power armour and wielding a Fat Man nuclear missile launcher at level six, I decided I had enough of Fallout 4, but I can’t wait to sink my teeth in again, next time hopefully taking a much more substantial bite.

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