Sigh. You know what it's like when someone is so incompetent that your expectations just go straight down the toilet and anything they do that rises above those toilet level expectations seems better than it really is? Even though by any other metric they still suck? That's how I feel with Bethesda and this game. Bethesda is a shit company. They have NEVER made a good game and they never will. They are completely incapable of this and have demonstrated it again and again for decades. The most you can hope for with their sorry, garbage, incompetent ass is an okay game that's possible enjoyable for a bit AT BEST. And that's basically what Fallout 4 is. For a Bethesda game it's actually not that bad. That's what the tagline should be for this shit on the back of the box. "This game is actually not that bad".
Firstly let me say that this game is almost exactly like Fallout 3. They've made some targeted changes, tweaks and improvements to make it a little better, but the foundation is still exactly the same. In other words, shit. I'm pretty sure the engine is the same. They've made surprisingly little graphical improvements, and in true Bethesda tradition, all the character models look like absolute fucking shit. That's why I didn't spend ANY time on character creation. Don't waste my time. I left it on default and completely skipped that shit because I knew it didn't matter how much time I spent on it, my character would still look like butt, just like everyone else in this ugly ass game. And of course. This is Bethesda, after all. As the quintessential western developer, there isn't a drop of artistic ability or aesthetic sensibility in that god forsaken studio. Oh that's right, I said it. Western developers only know how to make ugly things. Fact. Final Fantasy XV will be a piece of shit, but at least we can rest assured that it'll be a beautiful piece of shit. This game is a piece of shit that also LOOKS like shit. So it's DOUBLE shit. Seriously if I made a game with characters that looked this bad I would be embarrassed to even release it. But that's the problem with faggots like whoever the fuck is in charge at Bethesda. They are completely blind. They've had decades to change their ways but they refuse to. They don't even see a problem. Long as the money's coming in, right? Disgusting.
To make matters worse, story-wise this game sucks from the VERY beginning. Seriously, it drops you into some kind of fucking nightmare life scenario where you're already married and have a baby. Who the fuck would be stupid enough to have a baby in the year of our lord 2015? Or... in any year for that matter. Minutes from starting the game and the little shit is already crying. Great. So my character fucked up and I just have to accept it? Shiet. Plus, that baby looked a little tan if you ask me. Probably not even mine! Great, so on top of everything else I get cucked and now I'm stuck raising Tyrone's devil spawn. This game SUCKS.
But seriously though. This is easily the worst storyline out of any Fallout game. They've changed how the protagonist works compared to previous games by giving them much more of a personality, voice and dialogue. It's a big mistake because the protagonist is in an awkward position where the game still kind of wants him (or her) to be you, as in previous Fallout games, but at the same time they have enough of their own personality, feelings and motivations that it oftentimes becomes impossible to feel as if they are really you. You need to either make the protagonist be a vessel for the player to make their own story, OR make the protagonist their own character and make the player an audience to this character's story. This half-assed chicken shit trying to play both sides just takes me out of it. I mean, first of all I would never fuck up so badly in my life as to end up with a baby. That's first of all. So from the very beginning this character already can't be me. But from a general story point of view, what they did in this game of starting you off already with a family like this, and making the main focus of the plot searching for your kidnapped son, is a big mistake because I can't bring myself to give a single shit about a wife and kid that were just forced on me with no backstory or development. In fact, I'm fucking GLAD they took the baby away. So it's jarring when your character is talking about looking for their son and getting all choked up and emotional about it in their voice acting when you could not give a single flying FUCK about this kid.
They've also overhauled the way stats and leveling up works. They've changed it in both good and bad ways. First, the good: they've removed the level cap. This is excellent and about fucking time. The perk chart is also very good. There's a lot of good perks to choose from and there's always something you wanna get, so the process of leveling up is good and fun. That being said, I don't like how they took away the importance of the SPECIAL stats. Now in Fallout 4 you are able to put points into all of your stats every time you level up. In earlier games you assigned your stat points at character creation and that was it. There were some ways to add a few points later on, but not many. I actually prefer the classic system because it makes the character creation process more meaningful. It made for more unique and interesting character build experiences. Like, will you go for an intelligent character, or a dumb brute, or a charisma character. Will you go for a high strength melee build, or heavy weapon build, or high luck crit build, etc. In Fallout 4 you can just keep pumping points and be god mode at everything, so how you distribute your stats isn't as important.
Now, this being a Bethesda game, it's Open World, which means that it automatically sucks cock right off the bat. I will say though, that they've done a respectable job with the fundamentally flawed concept they've got going here. They've done a decent (but not great) job of making places in the game not feel too repetitive by doing little things like adding bits of lore about each place in computer terminals/notes/tapes, or sometimes putting in mini quests or neat visual things like the running gag of placing teddy bears in creative positions, like you can find a teddy bear sitting on a toilet reading a newspaper and wearing glasses, or a teddy bear behind a shelf with an army hat on and a cigar in its mouth, or a teddy bear inside an upside-down wastebasket that makes it look like it's in jail and it has handcuffs on. And so on.
Easily the biggest improvement to the game is the addition of the crafting system. Now you can mod and upgrade your guns, armor, and power armor, and to do so you need materials, which you obtain by picking up junk all over the world. They've made it so that now every piece of junk in the game has a use in crafting. This is a really good change because Bethesda games have always been really annoying with how much pointless garbage is littered throughout the world. Obviously, the proper course of action would be to STOP PUTTING SO MUCH GARBAGE IN YOUR GAME... but this is an acceptable second choice. Now all of those pencils, mugs, typewriters, plates, forks, etc all over the place actually have a use in crafting, giving you a reason to pick them up. Hell, for a while some materials are even scarce enough to make you want to explore and try to find stuff lying around, especially adhesive.
Of course, this doesn't last. Eventually you have too much of everything and then exploring becomes just as pointless as it always was in these fucking Bethesda games. One of the biggest reasons for this is a problem endemic to open world garbage like this game, which is that stuff always resets and respawns after a while, which makes exploring and clearing places less meaningful. Like, exploring and picking up items becomes so much less important and rewarding when you know that you COULD just go back to an old place and pick up all the things that have respawned by now. Witcher 3 had this same bullshit content resetting issue, and so did MGSV, and so does this game. It's just a characteristic of these shitty games these days. Almost certainly a way to cut down on memory usage because these games have SO MUCH POINTLESS BULLSHIT that the system wouldn't be able to handle keeping track of everything you've done. Yet another reason why open world is a garbage concept that poisons and ruins everything. And every bandwagon jumping developer these days is too FUCKING RETARDED to see it. I wish games were more like the Souls series where every single item is unique. As in, you know that every single item you see in the game was deliberately and uniquely placed there, and once you grab it, it's gone. Sure, it could be something crappy, but just the fact that it's completely gone after you pick it up gives it meaning in a completionist sense. Whereas in a game like Fallout 4, I clear out a place and loot everything and grab all the items, but then later when I come back... it's all reset and returned to its default state. Even the safes that I lockpicked are locked again. Like for example, there's this house with a Fat Man and ammo for it, which is supposed to be rare and valuable, but when you could literally simply pick them up, leave and wait for the house's state to reset, and then go back and pick up ANOTHER Fat Man and mini nuke, again and again... it kind of ruins it.
As with all Bethesda games, expect this one to be relatively buggy. Still, I never ran into anything game-breaking which is amazing since you're always expecting their games to be damn near unplayable. Graphical and sound glitches and bugs are extremely common, but whatever, that's expected with such a shitty engine as this and you just gotta take it as normal everyday business in Bethesda games. A few freezes and crashes but not too many. I mean, this game is probably MAD buggier than I'm making it sound and I just got hella lucky for once not to run into anything too terrible, but hey. I'll take it. ABOUT TIME luck went my way for once. Must be all that karma I had saved up from getting consistently buttfucked by bugs back in Witcher 3. For me probably most annoying one in this game is just the settlement feature being broken, and that's just a nuisance more than anything, nothing game-breaking.
Which, yeah, the settlements. I almost didn't even wanna mention this because it's such a badly implemented missed opportunity that it's pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but I can see that they tried to make it a big part of the game, so may as well. Basically there are a ton of places in the game where you can build settlements and set up communities. To do so the game comes with a build mode with which you can put all sorts of things such as walls, fences, roofs, doors, premade shacks, beds, furniture, lights, TVs, etc. The problem... is that it's not very good. Maybe it's a little too bare bones, or maybe it's a little too open, but using the build mode to make anything that looks good is either a) impossible or b) would take too much effort to be worthwhile. Oh wait. I guarantee that it's not worthwhile. Because all of those things you can build and put into your settlements? No fucking point to doing any of it unless you somehow get some sort of satisfaction out of building and decorating shit just for the sake of it. Ya fuckin' weirdo. But even in which case you're better off playing with legos or Minecraft instead of this half assed garbage.
In any case, you can get people to come and inhabit each of your settlements, and in order to keep them there and keep them happy you need to fill a few basic needs for them, which are pretty much food, water, beds, and security. You need to have one bed, and one unit of food and water for every person in your settlement, and then you need to have as much security as the combined number of food and water in your settlement because you need to be able to fend off attacks from raiders and other enemies. If you can keep all these factors at acceptable levels your settlement's happiness rating will rise. Anyway, this is overall an interesting system, but again, the problem is just that it's COMPLETELY POINTLESS. There is literally NO REASON why you would want to have settlements at all or keep them happy. You gain absolutely nothing from having happy settlements with lots of people. In fact, you're better off keeping settlements at zero people with zero resources, just completely abandoned because at least then you don't have to worry about it getting attacked by raiders. It's all just a bafflingly pointless feature of the game despite the fact that it's very high profile and featured very prominently throughout it. Very much a missed opportunity too because it had the potential to be fun if they gave you a good reason to engage yourself in it. It's like they went "Welp, here's this stuff. See if you can have some fun with it, I guess." What the fuck is that? Don't just hand me some tools and then walk away like your job's done. Fucking amateurs.
You know what? I don't even know why I'm surprised. These niggas don't know what's up. They ain't got no sense of design. They've been making nothing but crap for years now. Something that Fallout has going for it is that it has a cool setting, and even THAT they had to go and steal. You can't expect these niggas to ever create anything of worth or value themselves. What else is pissing me off? Oh yeah, they STILL haven't fixed the difficulty. As usual, this game uses the worst possible difficulty system of all, which is adjustable difficulty. The game has a bunch of difficulty levels, but you can freely switch between them at any time by going into the options. Getting your ass kicked? No problem, why bother putting in any effort when you could just make a quick change in the options menu, pass that part, and then switch it back again? Jesus christ I fucking HATE adjustable difficulty. It's the shittiest fucking cop out you could have. It's a lazy bitch method of avoiding having to put real work into balancing your game. It gives developers free rein to be lazy fucks and just tweak some numbers without doing any real testing or balancing. After all, if any issues come up, just adjust the difficulty, right?
There are basically 5 levels, or ways of handling difficulty settings in your game. The first one, is to have no difficulty settings at all. This is potentially the best method, but the problem is that for it to be good you need to make your single difficulty level really count, and most developers are too pussy to go far enough. An example of a game that correctly utilizes this method would be the early Etrian Odyssey games.
The second level is what's generally used in action games such as the Trauma Center series, where you have several difficulty levels that you can switch between, but each one is considered separate from the others, so that if you beat a stage on normal difficulty, but then look at the completion page for hard mode, the game will prominently show you "this stage has not been completed on this difficulty level". This is a very good method as well. Although I would say that it doesn't have the highest potential, it generally works the best due to the inherently pussy nature of developers.
The third level is what most games used to do, which is to have several difficulty levels from which you pick at the beginning of the game, and then you're locked into that forever, with the only way to change being to start a new game from scratch. This method is acceptable too and works well enough because it prevents you from pussying out if things get rough. An example of this method utilized correctly would be most of the Shin Megami Tensei series, especially Nocturne and the Raidou games.
The fourth level, is to have adjustable difficulty with negative consequences for using it. An example of a game that uses this method would be The Witcher 3. In that game, you picked your difficulty level at the start, and once the game was underway, you could go into the options and change it at any time, but if you did that you forfeited obtaining the trophy for completing the game in that difficulty level, even if you changed back afterwards, and the game warns you as much. Although this method is not good, because trophies are pointless and irrelevant, it's still one tiny step above being the worst because even a tiny insignificant consequence is still better than nothing.
The fifth level is what Fallout 4 uses. Freely adjustable difficulty at any time with no consequences. This is the absolute worst possible method that you could possibly use and ruins any sort of difficulty the game could have.
Fuck man. I don't even know why I bother explaining this shit. NOBODY understands what a problem this is other than me. And they never will. Not the players, not Bethesda, and not the scores of bitch ass developers trying to copy their terrible ideas. See, this is what pisses me off the most about Bethesda. Not that they suck. Not that they're garbage. Not that they're bitches. Not that they're pussies. Not that they're faggots. It's how they poison the ENTIRE industry because other developers are SO STUPID that they copy their ideas without realizing how terrible they are because EVERYBODY is blind except me. It's happened with the Open World Pandemic, of which Bethesda was one of the pioneers. Every faggot and their grandma's dog has copied this. And it's also been happening with this adjustable difficulty bullshit of which they were also one of the pioneers. It's sad and depressing but this is where gaming is going in general. As the years go by, without fail, all games and all series steadily become more and more casual, friendly, and baby mode. This is the trend and it cannot be stopped. We're approaching a dystopian future where every game is going to have freely adjustable difficulty. I'm seeing it happen with my own eyes.
Where the fuck did it all go so wrong? Back in my day if you got to a part you couldn't beat you didn't have the option of changing the difficulty. You had to nut up and actually work at it. Kids these days will grow up being pussies who never had to put in any effort. Hell, it's pretty much already like this. I swear you cannot find an honestly difficult game these days unless you play a) older games or b) indie games. Even series with a reputation for being hard like the Souls series are easy as shit. I'm sick of this pussy world. Just to give an example with a game that had actually legit difficulty, can you imagine if Etrian Odyssey 3 had had adjustable difficulty? When that glorious, beautiful final boss in that game so thoroughly broke my body, hope, soul and spirit, my only options were a) nut up, and b) quit playing. That's what made putting in the 2 days of work and finally beating him so special. If I had had the option of cheating and beating him without doing any work by adjusting a bar in the options it wouldn't have been the same. But developers these days can't fucking understand this. None of them can. It's depressing.
Siiiiiiiiigh. Fuck this gay earth. Where was I? Oh right, Fallout 4. Fuck this game. What else is there even to say? It's fuckin'... the same mediocre shit as 3. Companions are stupid, useless and ALWAYS a liability but they happen to have a lot of dialogue, which is fun, so it's worth using them just for that. That makes Dogmeat the lowest tier companion because he has no dialogue. So he just straight up sucks. Plus he ain't SHIT compared to the dog in Metal Gear Solid 5. Like, as much as I hate that game too, they did an incredible job making the dog useful in that. That was a good fucking dog. Compared to that, Fallout 4's dog technology is straight booty.
You can also romance your companions but frankly the romance in this game is also very weak and disappointing. Not just because the character models look like dogshit but companions have a grand total of about 4 relationship dialogue events which come extremely fast, and after that there's pretty much nothing. Snore. Well, of course it would be bad. Being an American game, they have not mastered waifu technology. Like, what was that one game... Conception II. That game fucking sucked BALLS but the waifu technology was so high level that I have to give it props. I fucking hate sounding like a weeaboo but gotta say it like it is. See, that's how much commitment I've got to the people. I'll even risk sounding like a complete fuckin' weeb just to get the truth out there. You should be thanking me. But noooooo, all I ever get is complaints. "Wah, your review sucks, Bethesda is the greatest and I don't like you and this that and the third." Well you know what, fuck you. Y'all niggaz don't even deserve me.
In conclusion, fuck this mediocre ass game. It's not terrible, and they may have made a few small targeted improvements here and there, but it doesn't matter how much you polish a turd, it will NEVER be good. It may be enjoyable for a bit, but it grows to be extremely boring especially once you have maxed all of your gear and have more materials/ammo/money than you know what to do with. There's a crazy amount of stuff to do but as usual with these types of games it starts feeling very pointless and boring once you get to a certain point. I still had plenty of sidequests and unexplored locations left but eventually I got so sick of it all that I just gave up. Why bother exploring or doing more quests when I don't even need any of the junk I'll find anymore, and most of the quests aren't even inherently interesting. Snore. Don't play this shit.
Final Verdict: C
Final Playtime: 142 hours