Welcome back to the wasteland; make sure you keep your power armour on
Ever wondered what life would be like after a nuclear holocaust? The Fallout series has always been a window into this post-apocalyptic future — a taste of what it is like to survive in a vast wasteland filled with its own stories waiting to be told.
This time around, the game is set in Boston in an alternate timeline after World War II, where the world discovered and harnessed atomic energy to power consumer vehicles. A war over resources erupts, causing the superpowers to go trigger happy on their nuclear solutions. That’s where your story begins — as family man, or woman, in your beautiful suburban home. When the sirens sound, you are rushed to the local vault. An underground facility built to withstand nuclear attacks —where you and your family get cryogenically frozen. You wake up 200 years later to find your child missing, and an entire irradiated wasteland to search.
The world of Fallout 4 is bleak and beautiful. The art style is stuck in the 1950s vision of the future, with all its art deco, giving the game a certain charm and humour as you see signs and animated graphics on your handheld portable wrist computer of cartoon characters.
Once you create your character in the very powerful creation tool, set the attributes you want, you find yourself in The Commonwealth, Fallout's version of Boston. The Commonwealth is a massive open-level that's waiting for you to explore it.
Fallout 4 is mostly a first-person shooter experience, but you can play from a third person view too. Being in the wasteland, it’s all about survival and it’s fun keeping your eye out for weapons, food and medicines. Sometimes you will have to resort to killing and eating all sorts of creatures, like giant mosquitoes or cockroaches.
Thankfully, you aren’t alone. Along your journey you meet several characters who will want to travel with you. Early in the game you happen across a dog who becomes your companion, who you can set out to find items for you. You also meet groups of people you can build settlements around. This base building feature is extremely addictive.
With all the dangers lurking around the wastes, you will need to be equipped. You can customise and build your own weapons from several combinations. From sticking nails and electrifying batons and bats to building power fists and weapons that lob mini nukes at enemies, this is the most fun aspect of Fallout 4. Anything you find in the wasteland is potentially part of some cool weapon.
As you keep levelling up, you keep earning “perks”, which are fun abilities that add the zing to the action. Like the bloody mess perk, which reduces your opponent to pulp of squishy organs.
There are over a hundred hours of fun to be had, with lots of stuff to do. From pursuing the main story, to going off the beaten path and searching for new weapon combinations, to doing some of the several quests, to building your settlements. There are no peaceful walks. You never know what’s going to jump you and you never know what’s going to delight you. For new Fallout players, this is an experience. However, older Fallout players may not find anything new.
The game looks fantastic, with the wasteland rendered beautifully in all its gloomy, horrifying destruction. The day and night cycles, to the weather effects, to the quiet moments listening to old 50s songs on the radio. A beautiful game, but where the graphics fall flat is in the character animations.
With great action, a large open world and a rich back story, Fallout 4 is a fantastic game. Highly recommended.
Platforms: PC, PS4, XOne
Price: PC: Rs 3,299; Consoles: Rs 4,299