Review: ‘Fallout 4’ Day One

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FO4-FeaturedLast night, as soon as I got home, I fired up Fallout 4 and Twitched my first hour of play. I had pre-loaded the game two days before so I could jump right in. (Good thing, too, since it was an almost 30 GB download!)

FO4-MenuThe game starts out with a cool looping sweep through a workshop with all your favorite, familiar things you have been waiting to see–a Pip-Boy, a suit of power armor, bobbleheads, a Mr. Handy, a rack of comics (GROGNAK!), Nuka Cola, a Perks poster, and more!

FO4-OpeningStarting a new game drops you into a great cinematic that explains the familiar story of how the world got to where it is–war lead to nuclear power, which lead to sustainable power and peace… until it finally lead to war and annihilation. As we all know by now, “war never changes.”

FO4-ClaireAfter the cinematic ends, you are dropped into your home, pre-apocalypse. You can modify both the male and female (husband and wife), but you’ll have to choose one of them to actually move forward with. I slightly modified the male, before moving to the female and tweaking her. I played around with a lot of the mods but didn’t end up doing a whole lot–I did give Claire a pretty righteous scar, though. You can see my full Character Builder video on Twitch.

FO4-VATSI’m intentionally skipping over what happens after the little pre-apocalypse and post-apocalypse intro before you actually get to start playing (and learning) the game. There are some pretty interesting and surprising story reveals that happen early on, and, while you can see them all in the Twitch video, I don’t want to ruin it by writing about it here.

As soon as you find the gun in the Vault, you get to play around with V.A.T.S. V.A.T.S., for anyone new to Fallout, stands for Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. Using V.A.T.S. allows you to specifically target parts of an enemy, sometimes doing critical damage. As you improve your skills, you will get better at doing V.A.T.S. and will be able to do cool things like save up critical hits for later, shooting weapons out of enemies hands, etc. A major difference to note for those familiar with Fallout is that V.A.T.S. no longer stops time, it just slows it down. This means you need to be quick on selecting and accepting your V.A.T.S. targets or enemies will get to you and hurt you before you get your attack off.

FO4-RedMenaceAs I had hoped in my Fallout: Pip-Boy app review, you will find holotape games in the game to collect. These can later be played on your Pip-Boy app even when you aren’t playing Fallout 4. One of the terminals in Vault 111 contains Red MenaceFallout‘s take on Donkey Kong. I’ve always sucked at Donkey Kong and you can see how badly I suck at Red Menace as well if you watch the Twitch video.

FO4-PipBoyAppSpeaking of the Pip-Boy app, you will definitely want to sync it with your game. You will get full access to all your Pip-Boy features on your smart device without having to pull it up in-game. One cool feature I found is that when looking at the Junk in your inventory, you can switch to Component View. This shows you which components (like circuitry or asbestos) are in which pieces of junk. I assume this will come in handy when I get to start crafting stuff. I imagine many Twitch videos of hours and hours of crafting!

FO4-PerksOnce you get your hands on the Pip-Boy in-game, you can pull up the Perks chart. The chart is rendered as an animated poster, which makes it really easy (and fun) to see what perks are tied to which S.P.E.C.I.A.L. traits and what you need to unlock them. I can’t wait to start adding perks to my character.

FO4-TheLightAfter an hour of making my character and exploring Vault 111, Claire finally headed out of the vault and into the light. I look forward to exploring the Fallout rendition of Boston and uncovering the mystery surrounding Claire and her family. Look for more Twitch streaming in the near future, and if you don’t already have Fallout 4, what are you waiting for?!

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12 thoughts on “Review: ‘Fallout 4’ Day One

  1. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to get my iPhone Pip-Boy app hitting up on the game. I did turn it on in the game settings, even got off the hardwire network and changed to the (same) WiFi, no dice. I’m sure I’ll live.

    1. Are you on PC or Console? I’m on PC and have both on the same Wi-Fi. I also noticed that it didn’t connect until a little after I actually got the Pip-Boy in the game so if you try to connect before that it won’t work.

    2. I couldn’t get mine working either (XBone + iPhone), fiddled around with it quite a bit, but then said the heck with it and headed for Concord.

        1. That sucks guys! Yeah, I think I will try it on my iPad next time I play to see if that’s more useful. The phone is kind of small. I found myself pausing the game to fiddle with my phone. Sort of defeats the purpose 🙂

  2. I loved reading your reviews for kids on other posts. Sounds like you really like this game for adults like yourself. 😉 I am a mom trying to figure out if it’s ok for my 14 year old son…who plays while my 10 year old son might be around. I told him no M games. Too bad this does look like a great game, but it’s too much for my ages correct? Thanks for taking the time to review and share.

    1. With the caveat of every kid is different I would say that Fallout 4 is pretty darn graphic and violent. There is also the opportunity to romance some of the characters in the game (though I haven’t gotten to that point so can’t comment on how graphic that gets). It’s fairly common though for someone’s head to explode with flying eyeballs and brains so I’d say it’s probably borderline for a 14 year old but definitely too much for a 10 year old. I apologize for not including that in the original review. Thanks for reading!

      1. Thank you Will! Yes us parents love those tidbits. Especially since I don’t want to go try it out for myself. I read something about themes like drugs, etc. Maybe you haven’t gotten to that part yet? Those conceptual themes concern me as much as the graphic nature of it. It’s really too bad they make the better rated video games, the ones all the kids want so gnarly. :/ Thanks again.

        1. My son is only two so he’s not really allowed near any of my games yet so I haven’t had to start thinking about a lot of these things but yes – drinking and drug use, including becoming addicted to overuse are all also part of them (though personally I always sell all of the drugs and alcohol I acquire because I’d rather have the cash to spend on better equipment).

          1. I sell (or stash) the drugs because I never remember to use them! Somehow it was easier in the earlier versions of Fallout. Or I use them (when possible) to craft Stimpacks.

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