Fallout 4 Coverage From a Complete Fallout Newb

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The entire internet is currently covering Fallout 4. From reviews to streams, memes, and videos, and more commentary than any game we’ve seen in a while, it’s hard not to trip over and grow tired of the game after only two days. That said, I do feel inclined to include myself in the mix. My angle is a bit different. I have never played a Fallout game before, unless you count 30 minutes of playing New Vegas or 30 minutes at E3 2008 playing Fallout 3. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m going into this without rose-tinted glasses, nostalgia, or any preconceived ideas. With this ignorance will come a fairly unbiased stream of thought focusing simply on Fallout 4. I will also be playing with my wife along side me, and she’s only experienced games since marrying me 8 months ago.

Note: Coverage will contain minor spoilers that you will likely have already seen in trailers, reviews, etc. If I’m going to mention a slight story spoiler I will use  (Slight spoiler) (End Slight Spoiler) tags.

Entering Vault 111

Character creation was a bit overwhelming. From what I know of Bethesda they have never been very good at faces. I think Fallout 4 character creation gets the job done. I stuck with a fairly default templated look.

Stat allocation was a HUGE point of anxiety for me. The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, luck) is way beyond my newb abilities. Graev was trying to explain over text messages how the whole thing worked regarding perks and character builds yada yada. After 30 minutes I eventually just went with something like: 1-8-2-6-6-1-5 (something like that). I know I want to use guns, and Graev told me I should have 6 charisma and 6 intel. Whatever. I don’t care anymore. I’m not going to meta game this. I just want to play! 😛

Upon entering the game for the first time I felt a need to look around and interact with everything. Much of the world could be “examined” by “activating” the item whether it be a Baby or a coffee cup; typical Bethesda style here.

What came about rather quickly was an impending sense of, “uhhh something is going to happen.”  Bri grabbed my arm and was sort of disconcerted and kept saying, “I don’t like how this feels. Something is going to happen I just know it!”

(Slight Spoiler)

Things became especially anxious when both my character and his wife went to the baby’s room and Codsworth the robot yelled for us both to return to the living room and watch the news of the impending nuclear detonation.

Rushing to the vault felt scary. Descending into the vault also felt incredibly dramatic. When I got there I felt a little confused, and I assume that’s how they wanted the player to feel. I saw the pod for decontamination they wanted me to get into and I actually thought, “oh that makes sense. Cool I’ll get in here then go to my habitation area.” Then before I could realize what happened I was frozen in cryostasis and I realized I had been tricked. Having never played a Fallout game before I had NO idea that Vault-tec was shady, and I had no idea they ran social experiments. I texted Graev like, “OMG I’m frozen halp!” and he laughed. Apparently Fallout veterans knew this would happen, but as a Fallout newb I was shocked and then mortified when they shot my wife and stole my baby. I was happy that a game was able to surprise me like this but not happy that it happened.

(End Slight Spoilers)

When exiting my pod and trying to figure out what happened to everyone I was confronted with my first bit of combat. Bri jumped and clinged to me screaming, “COCKROACH!” I began punching and, when I quickly found a gun, unloading a clip into those little buggers. She made me shoot them a few more times to make sure they were dead, and I had to assure her that the game wanted me to take their meat. She still doesn’t understand why I need the rad road meats.

Reading all of the text on the terminals was a little tedious and times, but I liked how I was being set up with a basic understanding of how something went wrong. The all-clear never came. There was a mutiny, things got out of hand, but in the end I’m still in the dark. (Slight Spoiler) Who was it that came in and stole my baby? (End Slight Spoiler) Was it an internal job? I’ll be pissed if these things are not resolved.

Exiting Vault 111

I left the vault hoping to find some answers. The world was, as expected, a wasteland. The quest wanted me to go home, but I was also anxious to get back there too! I wanted to see my robot friend Codsworth again, and I wanted to see if maybe I could find some supplies in the houses.

Having seen trailers I knew that I would see Codsworth again. What I wasn’t expecting was for him to scream, “MR. DOUG!” He said MY NAME! My name I told the game to call me, he actually said it! That poor robot was sitting around for over 200 years waiting for me to return.

There’s already WAY more story than I expected. My wife enjoys the story parts of the games she watches me play, which is why she’ll watch Assassin’s Creed but not Skylanders or something like Mario. I wasn’t expecting her to want to watch Fallout 4, but I think she’s hooked already.

So far so good on the game in general. I’m playing on the PS4 and I haven’t had any issues. Graphics look great. Gameplay runs smooth. 60 FPS this vs 30 FPS that… whatever. It runs well, it plays well, I’m having fun, etc.

Next Stop: Boston!

  • I’ve been reading a few reviews now that I’ve played the game a bit, it is interesting to see how peoples opinion varies. Some hate the story, some like the story, some claim animations look robotic others don’t. I would say overall they are positive, but there are some very vocal super fans that are just livid right now that it isn’t perfect. That it doesn’t have the 3 years of polish that Skyrim has. I find it funny.

    I’m loving F4, but I wish I would have given my character more charisma in the start.

  • Having played Skyrim, but never played anything Fallout… this feels exactly like Skyrim Apocalypse Version to me. And I’m not saying that in a bad way really… its familiar, the mechanics and such. The ragdoll/physics mechanics are exactly the same… brokenish and weird lol. People act the same way people did in Skyrim (the NPCs).

    I guess that means it feels very Bethesda? Game itself is great fun. I love finally being able to pick up almost anything and have it be worthwhile for scrap parts. And building your own community is great times.

  • I haven’t gotten to the building my own community part yet. Graev has told me that’s why he wanted me to take more points in Charisma so I could be a community leader. He also regrets not going more charisma.

    Fallout definitely feels Bethesda.

  • Sounds like a pretty cool game. I’m about to start a new job, so avoiding massive, potentially addicting games atm, but I definitely plan to pick up F4 down the line.

    Awesome that your wife can enjoy the game along with you. Is she a pure spectator or does she want to take control of the toon, too?

    • She will watch and comment. Sometimes she will want to backseat drive a bit. Makes the experience even more fun to see her take to games and enjoy participating in decision making.

  • I’m a lover of F3. Amazing game, and I just can’t get those 1930s songs out of my head. I’m like JJ though and at a time where I’m trying to avoid potentially addicting games, and I have no doubt F4 is one. Just typing this has me missing my pip boy. *scratches wrist*.

  • You know, it’s very odd but I bought F4 (as I knew I would) though I don’t find much drive to play it. Honestly I think it’s partially some RL stuff (as I’ve been in the hospital recently, very sick, and had a slight brush with death) but also that right now, I’m just not feeling my normal “wander the wasteland and just find stuff” kinda feeling. I’m really jonesing for a new MMO right now (again, RL illness and just wanting to kill lots of time while getting healthy enough to work again). The game so far has been as great as I knew it would be but I’m just seriously lacking the motivation to play. Strangely, I’ve found an odd addiction to Bloodborne (which i bought when it released but didn’t really play it much for some reason) since I got sick. I can’t really explain it. Anyway, glad to see you’re having fun (as am I).

  • I’ve played all other Fallout games a lot, but never finished the main quest. I have been content to just wander around and have fun. I’ve never felt connection to the story or interest in it. Not much anyway. So, when I started playing Fallout 4 I expected to feel the same way. I just wanted to make my character and just be “ready to fuck some shit up” as the protagonist says in the trailer. This time however things started to click together and I began to feel more attached to the character and the story. I had picked female protagonist (I just love Courtenay Taylor’s voice!) and when the tragedy struck, I felt motivated more than ever before in any other Bethesda games (well, except Morrowind, where one of the mods enhanced the story with NPCs that made the story lot more compelling). Now I have the motivation and goal to do more than just hunt stuff, clear the ruins and build personal sand castles. I love it and thank Bethesda for it.

  • Don’t feel too stressed over stats and perks; They have probably the single most casual friendly approach to it I have seen. Those two systems are tied together and you get one point every level to distribute into any stat (Up to a max of 10) or any perk that you qualify for. If you ever see a perk that you want or feel like you messed up a choice…well, just go out there and level! You can always make up for it

  • As Mouse stated above I too am feeling a bit more of a drive to complete the main quest than in previous games. Seeing someone shot my wife, take my kid and even take a moment to sort of rub it in my face before walking away really pissed me off. I am mostly a sniper rifle and shotgun toting wanderer of the wasteland but I do keep a baseball bat in my inventory all the time for when I meet up with that bastard again.

    I am a huge fan of Fallout and lots of aspects of the game are very familiar to me but the one thing that has really made an impression on me is the introduction of the crafting and base building systems. That is just so cool. I have already constructed a three story tall metal hanger at Sanctuary to serve as my base of operations and have begun to decorate it with trophies and other things I find out in my journeys.

    Like with Fallout 3 and New Vegas this game will only get better once the creation tools are released to the fans.

  • This is a game that I’ll probably pour a ton of time into at some point just like I did with Skyrim, but the thing is $80 in Canada, which is way to much for my taste. Will definitely grab it a few years from now when it’s on sale with a bunch of DLC included, though.

  • Recommendation: Play just the main storyline first, especially if your wife is going to watch. That will keep the pace going, and should only take 10-12 hours. You will be EXTREMELY tempted to check other stuff out, but focus on the main quest and get that done, its very worthwhile (at least the direction I took mine).

    Then once you have that finished, either keep going (you see an ending, but can keep playing after), or start a new character and go more sandbox.

    If you do some main quest and some side stuff (and the game is like 95% side stuff), I think you will lose the pace of the main story and it won’t have as big an impact. Also don’t be afraid to drop the difficulty if needed, at least the first time around. Some of the later missions can be a bit brutal.

  • I thought I was going to Boston but turns out I went to Concord and Lexington first. Must have thought Boston was the next step from what an NPC said. Spent the whole day roaming and working on some story. Tons of fun.