Ignore my username, this is my serious review of vanilla Fallout 4, not another shitpost (I'm good at them though). After seeing CT Phipps review I learnt, no offense to CT Phipps, that opinions can be wrong. I'll be marking 10 categories out of 10 each, to give a score of 100- like Metacritic. We all love Metacritic right? Gameplay I'll start it off with gameplay, because I feel that this is the Bethesdrone's last line of defense- that above all, bethesda improved the gameplay. But did it? No, no it really didn't. Certain weapons have better handling- the 10mm pistol, rifles and the plasma weapons to name a few. Modifying weapons seems nice, until you realize that the only modifications you want are the ones that do more damage. Plus there are now less weapons in Fallout 4 than there were in Fallout New Vegas. "Legendary" weapons are a fucking joke, and to rub salt in the wound they didn't even bother to change the effects in the game files- they're still recognized as "enchantments". Stealth is horrible. Enemies detect your footsteps even if you have maxed out every single stealth perk, are carrying less than 30kg and equipped in light/no armour. Plus being stealthy means your bullets do more damage. Enemy AI is a step up, but it's still horrible for a 2015 game. New features from New Vegas were completely removed- like new ammo types. You can change receivers on guns to change the ammo... sigh. The animations are improved, but much like the AI it's really not impressive for a 2015 game. It's been dumbed down like most of the game to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Give me crap gameplay and an amazing story over Fallout 4 any day. 6.5/10 Story So you're living in a suburban paradise, away from all previously established plagues and crippling inflation when suddenly there's a giant nuclear explosion, that doesn't blind you. Oh no, better go run to the fallout shelter that you've only just heard about that's probably taken years to build and is 25 feet away from your house. I hope you've gotten attached to the spouse you've spoken to twice because they're dead now. Go find your horribly animated child. What a hook. So through several "clues" you find out that there's a detective that can help you find your son. You save him from these gangsters who are never mentioned again and hop on down to the antagonist's house to look for him. At this point in the story you learn your son has been taken by the "Institute"- a mysterious faction full of scientists that create human replicas to do... things. And the antagonist works for them. Now, what if you want to go straight to the antagonist's house before finding good ol' Nicky Valentine? Well the clue doesn't spawn until you save your detective buddy. Then your dog, who's named Dogmeat (for nostalgia I guess), helps you track down the antagonist- from central Boston to Natick using only his doggy sense of smell. Wait, why am I getting mad about this? Bethesda are the same guys that had you ride a minecart from D.C to Pittsburgh. Long story short, you find the antagonist, and you have to kill him. But then you get a piece of his brain- and the story gets better from here, I promise. spoilers it doesn't You're introduced to the Brotherhood of Steel - a militaristic group led by some 19 year old that looks like he's 45. They are equipped with super armour, that if you wanted it you could've obtained it within 15 minutes of the game (I'll get back to that quest later). They want to defeat the Institute to... fuck I don't want to say it but I know I have to... they want to save humanity from itself. I could write better crap than this. I'll spare you the rest of the details but the game ends with you either nuking the Institute, the Brotherhood of Steel- or if you're feeling edgy and rebellious both. Then there's an end game slideshow with no Ron Perlman. They had him in a cameo at the start of the game, so why would they need the voice of Fallout anyway? I'm sure generic white guy and generic white girl are just as good. 2/10 - the two points are for cool shit. I have to admit, the Brotherhood's entrance was cool, if completely out of character. Non-story content/quests The first side quest you'll likely come across is saving 5 people cornered by generic raider bad guys. You have to find the best armour in the game (it's in the same building as them, don't worry you won't have to put effort in) and a minigun. Then you kill the bad guys but there's a deathclaw- a mutated lizard that looks more like a dragon than it does a mutated lizard. Cheeky Bethesda, reusing those dragon models are we? Most of the quests boil down to: talk to guy, clear out x, or find x, then return to guy. Those that don't follow this formula I can count on one hand. Lets talk about them. The Linear Voyage of the USS Constitution: Speak to robots, kill bad guys, speak to robots, speak to scavenger, help scavenger and then kill them all, or alternatively: kill scavengers, go to dungeon and retrieve special equipment or fix it yourself if you're character has maxed out intelligence, speak to robots. Diamond City Blues: Initiate a heist with this adulterer. Or don't- you can go alone or enlist help. The adulterer has a score to settle so he won't take any of the haul, but this random guy who shows up in casual-wear and the worst gun in the game demands half of the loot for essentially doing nothing but turn up. Later you frame it on this drug dealer and kill him. Except that's what the quest should be, because it breaks every time I try to complete it. More on that later. There's a quest where you dress up as a comic book character and go around punishing drug dealers and murderers. It's fun, and one of the few instances with good dialogue. There's another where you find a guy possessed by aliens and he uses telekinesis... 2.5/10 - radiant quests can be done right. In Fallout 4, they weren't. Graphics/Optimization Look at Novigrad (The Witcher 3). Look at Diamond City. Take a look at Novigrad's inhabitants. Take a look at Diamond City's inhabitants. Listen to the inhabitants of Novigrad talk about their laws, history, culture, society etc. Listen to... there's no equivalent. Because Bethesda's engine is incapable of having all of this extra stuff talked about or at the very least shown. The gamebryo engine is old. Bethesda need to unplug the life support. They need to seriously get to work on a new engine or just cough up and buy one. There are like 6 NPCs in Goodneighbour. Boston Airport is virtually empty. The "stands" in Diamond City are empty. It can hardly render birds. There's no fish in the water, loading times are atrocious- this game is horribly optimized. Not to rip on the graphics too hard, they're at least a step up from 3/NV (not that that's something to be proud of since those games looked like shit.) They've removed the green filter, and replaced it with nothing. The game looks bland- they throw in all these colours, but there's no shadow lighting. They have "godrays" which are the dumbest trade off I've ever seen. 1.5/10 - it runs worse than TW3. That right there is enough said. Sound/Music/Art The soundtrack can be summed up in one word- forgettable. These heroic combat themes are dull, I'd say they belong in CoD, but at least CoD's music is tense and upbeat. 90% of tracks in 4's OST are just drums with long drawn out string instruments added over them- listen to the soundtrack then tell me otherwise. There's one I can remember from the combat theme- and it was a dark, synthetic style track that played when you were in stealth; maybe if the bass was boosted it could've been better, but considering the only good combat track needs work done to be better, it's really not a compliment. Ambient music is just meh. I'm going to quote MrMatty here and say it's "painfully average", because it is. The Institute theme sounds like one of those amateurish tracks that never made it into Mass Effect- only 100 times worse. Sound effects are good at least. That'll bump the score up a few points. The art style is decent. What I mean by this is even though most of the models are bland, a few nice set pieces looked really nice. People described the art style as "cartoony", but it's really just Bethesda's terrible attempt at photo-realism. I could get lynched for saying this, but for Fallout 4, I think a Borderlands art style would've worked great. They're both repetitive dungeon grinds, the only difference being one of them is also a good game. 4/10 - majority is shit, but those few pieces of music/art that stand out are really good. It's a shame because Inon Zur can make good music- I think he's been told to make it "heroic" rather than dark. Character Customization So they added new hairstyles. That's pretty good. But they removed traits. That's bad. There's tons of new scars! That's alright. But they removed skills. That's horrible and worse than- BUT THEY ADDED insert facial feature here Fallout 4's new character customization means that whilst you can you create two characters that look incredibly different, when it comes to play styles they'll act very similar. You can eventually gain every perk in the game- which turns you into an invincible god, removing any "challenge" in the game. In older games if you put one too many points into one skill tree, you could not have enough for others and be locked out of certain perks. This is choice and consequence- something Fallout 4 lacks. But here's the real reason Fallout 4's character customization is shit. Every time you start the game, you're either a male soldier or a female lawyer (wow for a politically correct company you sure are playing into those gender stereotypes Bethesda, and don't use the "50s" excuse, you've already butchered everything else about Fallout) looking for their lost son. Your character has a voice- it's either a white guy or a white girl. You want a black/asian/hispanic character? You can't. These voices are white people's voices. Are they bad voice actors? No, I think they're both good, but Fallout should never have a voiced character. We're meant to be their voice. Coupled with the terrible dialogue wheel that even Toddie admitted was a mistake and you have a recipe for a shit game. They tried to rectify this with the DLC, but even if I was reviewing the DLC as well, it'd lose more points given how feeble their attempt at improvements were. 0/10 - you control a pre-made character each time. I cannot award any positives for any of these changes. NPCs Enemies have casual banter if you sneak past them. It's funny at times. Then you have the arbitrary yelling at you during combat. That's about all the depth enemies have. I mean you could read their about tragic backstories on their computers, but that's just Bethesda's lazy way of trying to add depth to their shallow world. Most of the NPCs you meet are quite rude with you *the Railroad*, but they'll generally warm up to you when you tell them about your missing son and offer no proof whatsoever. I mean, if some guy wearing a armour made from barbered wire and street signs came up to me holding a minigun and asked directions to the nearest town populated with people because they were looking for their "son", I'd be shitting bricks. My point being, the NPCs don't react to you until you decide to take that minigun and start shooting it. The mayor of Diamond City will say "you look like Diamond City material" regardless of what you're wearing. A minor complaint? Not when you're wearing his suit that you pickpocketed off of him and wore whilst speaking to him. I think if someone stole my clothes that I was wearing, and then talked to me whilst wearing them, I'd fucking notice. But wait! There are NPCs that react to you! They're your companions. And they suck. Whenever they don't like something you'll get a nice popup message telling you they didn't like it. If you want to impress them, do things they like. Piper likes it when you picks locks- if you pick 150 locks you can have sex with her. No, really, you can. There's the depressed cowboy who spawned that settlement meme. There's an Irish drug addict with a shit accent... the list goes on and on. But none of the companions are evil- sure Hancock "the guy that became an irradiated freak from taking some magic drug" and the Irish fighter like you taking drugs and beating people up. But murder someone and they detest you. Strong the incredibly dumb mutant likes it though. I could discuss how stupid the faction's motivations are, but that'd add more space to this already long thread. In fact, I have a nearly finished segment here just on the Railroad, but it's more of a Nuka rant format than a review. 1/10 - not immersive enough. The World I want to go into detail on this, I really do, but look at my thread ratio of raiders to settlers. As far as I'm aware, it's the most detailed comparison of enemy placements/non-hostile NPC placements in NV and F4. And it shows just how lazy Bethesda are. This world could never exist. Ignore things like mutated lizards and sentient robots for a minute, but if there are 15 raider groups for every non raider groups, what do they eat/ who do they raid? None of this makes any sense, but I don't think anyone wants to listen to a discussion on realism in a post apocalyptic game with talking mutants... There's a ton of amazing locations in the game. A fight club in an abandoned theater, a robot racetrack, the Salem Museum of Witchcraft etc. It's just a shame they're filled with nameless enemies for you to kill. Exploration in this game isn't rewarding. All you're doing is looking for duct tape so you can finish that 4 story house you've been working on (I wish I was making this up, but if you've been living under a rock for the past year, Fallout 4 has a minecraft mode wherein you build structures to be occupied by nameless settlers). I'll cover settlements in this segment- they're fun, albeit pointless and unrewarding. I enjoyed building stuff in F4. But it served no purpose and was a last minute addition cobbled together by Bethesda to further appeal to the lowest common denominator. That's all I can say on them, there's the DLC but like I've stated before this is a review of the vanilla game. There is one last thing I can add- there is only 1 large town, 3 small towns, a couple of rooms mashed together that counts as a settlement, and 5/6 farms with ~4 NPCs each. Everything else you have the honour of building yourself! Whoa! I love it when the developers make me do their job for them. 2.5/10 Robustness This game is buggy as hell. Quests that can't be completed to simple graphical errors- this game has the lot. I don't think they even play tested it. Mods can't even fix the mess that is Fallout 4- it's been nearly a year and whenever I hop back on to try out some new mods it's still broken. And don't blame the mods, they're made by people that put effort into what they do.* *I do want to clarify I'm sure there are a ton of cool people passionate about their work at Bethesda, but they're overshadowed by Toddie, Petey and Emilio. 3.5/10 - if the proper critics want to judge games like NV on their release state I'll do the same. Replayability I won't lie- I had to force myself to replay the game. The temptation of using console commands to skip the main story was overwhelming. Then I realized- there's nothing new this game offers. Most of the quest endings give similar/equal rewards to their counterparts, and the ending to the game is nearly identical- you just choose where you want the nuke to go off. Every character I made was the same. You can't be a bad guy, you're always the good guy (you can throw in a bit of sarcasm and unfunny jokes every once in a while). 2/10 - when you have to force yourself to replay the game, you know it's bad. Total: 25.5 / 100 Just over 25%. Thanks Toddie, you blessed us with a great game, and in return we blessed you with great reviews (not mine though, pretty sure at some point it devolved into swearing and ranting). Tell me if I made any mistakes, I'm terrible at checking.