The little changes that make Fallout 4 the best game in the series
Across the world thousands of players are venturing out of Vault 111 for the first time and we couldn’t be more excited to finally get to share our thoughts about the game at long last. We’ve been testing out the wasteland ahead of the launch for the past few weeks now and so far our testers have been loving every minute of it.
Fallout 4 still maintains a lot of familiar content and structure brought in from previous franchise installments but it’s the little tweaks and additions that have made the gameplay come to life like never before.
Looting and Scavenging with Hover:
This is probably one of the first things you will notice about the game. The old looting system was kind of tedious, forcing players to click on a desk or ammo crate, then go into a new window to see what’s in that item, and then finally click the item(s) that wanted to take.
Now players can simple hover over the box or crate with their reticle will show them if the object is empty or and display what’s inside. You can even scroll within the pop-up window to pick-out what you want, all while never leaving the main-screen. You still have your option to TAKE ALL, or TRANSFER items into a box, so you can easily grab all of the goodies from a safe if you’re in a rush.
Mouse Compatibility with Menus:
PC users should love this option, you can use the mouse through all of the menus. You no longer have to scroll through the game using keys or arrows. This works with your inventory, your Pip-Boy and your all other aspects of the game as well. Previous games had players using key to navigate much of the menu system, which again slowed down the gameplay but not this time.
The Perk Poster:
The old PERK system on the Pip-Boy has been replaced with a fully illustrated Perk Poster. It can be a little confusing at first with “next level” options and the fact that the tiered-system is a little more hidden, but once you learn the in-and-outs of the requirement settings and understand the layout it should be a welcomed departure from the previous 8-bit display.
Fallout 3 had an amazing map, as well as a few simply wonderful storyline moments and Fallout 4 brings that back. Fallout: NV had a restrictive map, that stopped you from openly wondering the plains with choke points guarded by annoying high-level monsters or gates. Fallout 4 still has a few parts of the map that only the well stocked wanderer can venture, but the map is far easier to navigate than the Fallout: NV map was. There are also several weather elements to look out for this time around. These can be as simple as some heavy fog, to radioactive storms that leave you feeling sick and groggy.
We aren’t talking about character animations or kill-cams this time around, instead, we mean simple animations and graphics that have been added to the menus and HUD. Now when you get a new quest, complete a quest or get injured, your little Fallout Boy will have .gif like qualities. It’s not the most expansive update to be found within the menu system’ design, but it’s a finishing touch that adds a bit of quality to the game.
New Lighting Engine:
Fallout 4 still shares the same basic graphic-design that Fallout 3 and Fallout: NV introduced. The houses still seem a little too much like dioramas and there are a few rough edges that a PC-only game could probably smooth over but the lighting itself has been improved dramatically. Shadows are more complex and actual in-game lighting system that make-up everything from streetlights to cybernetic eyes are improved.
Explosive Beginning, Terrific Start:
If you can agree that Fallout: NV started like a murder mystery (your own actually) then Fallout 4 begins like an action-blockbuster. We won’t spoil any of the moments for you but from a story-standpoint this is one of the best introductions to a Fallout game we have ever seen. Not only does the game introduce a sense of backstory and depth to the introductory characters and current time-frame, you are given a specific mindset into why you are venturing off into the wastelands and the characters are given terrific motivations for their actions that propels you deeper into the game.
Crafting, Modding and Settlements:
We knew that crafting and modding would be one of the major additions to the franchise prior to playing Fallout 4 but we didn’t expect the experience to be so enjoyable. The game’s crafting and modding feature means that every item, regardless of value or weight, can be used to your advantage in the game and Fallout 4 has a ton of reasons to hoard those boxes of gumballs and old clocks.
It was 30 minutes into scrapping the backyard of a house I just built that I realized that this is probably exactly what I would be doing a Fallout scenario. I would be making some semblance of shelter and fortifying my surroundings from the mutants, hounds and raiders of the world from every tin-can and nail I could find and the game’s offers dozens of options to play with.
The settlements are probably my favorite installment to the game and they can play a huge part of your survival if you choose to interact with them. Throughout the wasteland you can help-out small farms and communities and if you do they will let you use their land to farm crops, build more shelters, containers or workstations and house more members and grow the community.
GO SOX! This was a big-deal to me and probably anyone else from the neighboring Boston area. Having gone to school at Boston University meant that I was trudging through the same streets and landmarks that I remember from my college years, only with more Mutants this time around. Fallout: NV offered real-life landmarks as well, including the Vegas strip and the Hoover Dam, but having the action taking place in the Commonwealth brought a real sense of traveling as I went from town to town and the whole experience was far more immersive.
Fallout 4 launches on November 10, 2015, so this is your last chance to pre-order. Depending on which version you pre-order or buy, you can grab goodies ranging from free DLC to real-life goodies. You can checkout more pre-order options, images and videos by checking out the official product page on authorized retailers like amazon.com.