A Fallout-Noob's First Impressions Of Fallout 4

Note; this is not a review! These are my First Impressions of Fallout 4 from about 10 hours into the game on PS4. A full review will follow eventually. 

Ever since the first whisperings of an announcement from Bethesda came to my attention, I - and a huge amount of the gaming community - have wanted to play Fallout 4. Not only did the news dominate E3, but the prospect to diving back into the wasteland again has festered in the hearts and minds of those in the wider community of gamers. 

And, to accelerate this process in the short time since E3, Bethesda has been pushing to get Fallout everywhere; you can't avoid the mega campaign, wherever you to try to hide on the internet. It's an obvious way to do things: occupy as much mind-share as possible - people will keep thinking about the game, and thus buy it. But things don't always work like that. 

In addition to making people want to buy the game, these advertising campaigns also make people feel hype. With something like Destiny (which launched in September of last year), the hype was so incredible that the critical reception from both gamers and reviewers suffered and scores were lower than expected as the game failed to live up to the stellar expectations.

Happily, Fallout 4 doesn't suffer from this, or at least hasn't yet for me.

That said, I'm in a slightly different position to a lot of people; I've never played a Fallout game before so I don't really have anything to compare or contrast it to. In some ways that's an advantage - I can judge it on a purely fun level and whether or not it's a good game. In others, it's bad: I can't see improvements for the series and whatnot.

However, what I have played the hell out of are The Elder Scrolls games. You can read my Skyrim and Obvlivion reviews: what will become immediately clear is how much I love Bethesda-style games and, specifically, the way Bethesda themselves "do" them.

This makes for some interesting background knowledge when entering the wasteland, and - more importantly - when judging from Bethesda's advertising whether the game was right for me or not.

So, imagine me pondering away, trying to decide whether I should play Fallout 4 or not. Would I enjoy the gun-combat as-oppose to the sword and shield style of The Elder Scrolls? Would the setting enthral me as it did with Tamriel?

Then I was stopped in my tracks. I realised two things; firstly, Fallout 4 is a Bethesda game and that means that the quality would be insane, and - because of that - no matter whether I liked it or not, I'd be taking part in something enjoyable. And, secondly, I remembered a comment I'd seen a long time ago, when nearing the end of my time in Skyrim as I searched for something that would - hopefully - continue the gaming-high I was on, coming of the back of what was, at the time, my favourite game ever. I'll never forget it. It said simply "Play Fallout. It's basically Skyrim with guns."

For the purposes of this post, we'll assume that truer words have never been spoken. In it's overall style, Fallout 4 is very similar to Skyrim. You have a massive open world to explore, factions to join, quests to complete and a really fun main story to experience. Each game has a little more on top of that, but this is the very base experience, and - as I said before - it's something that Bethesda has nailed time and time again and - I'm sure - will continue to do so for many years to come.

So, what I do I like about Fallout 4? I like the character creator, the idea of building a "Sanctuary" (which, much like The Witcher 3's Gwent, should really be a game all by itself), the quests, the idea of levelling up a character and somewhat choosing how they turn out, the guns, combat, the beautiful look of the world (anyone who says otherwise is sorely mistaken). In fact, the only negative point so far has been the single bug I've experienced and all that did was meant that dialogue only came through when in a menu (fixed simply by rebooting the game).

If you - like me - are someone who's loved The Elder Scrolls and aren't sure whether you'll like Fallout 4 then please, give it a try. If you don't, you'll be missing one of the best games of the year. 


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