The world, exploration, crafting, atmosphere, and story of Fallout 4 are all key parts of this hugely successful sandbox role-playing game. Great new reasons to obsessively gather and hoard relics of happier times, strong companions, and sympathetic villains driving tough decisions make it an adventure I'll definitely replay and revisit. Even the technical shakiness that crops up here and there can't even begin to slow down its momentum.
A vast and frequently brilliant return to Bethesda's atomic sandbox, but constant technical issues are a frustration.
A brilliant, massive sandbox of systems, albeit largely the same one Bethesda has been making for years.
A huge game that's anything you want it to be. An immense RPG, shooter, and world to explore that is only constrained by your imagination and desire to explore.
Its technical faults and lack of innovation are frustrating, but the game underneath is as enthralling and compulsive as anything Bethesda has ever made.
Bethesda has created another game you can lose your life in. New experiences just keep coming, and you always have another perk to unlock
[WARNING: Mild Spoilers] In the grand scheme of things, Fallout 4's minor issues pale in comparison to its successes. When you put the controller down, you think about the friend you betrayed to benefit another, the shifting tide of an incredible battle, or the moment you opened a drawer and found someone's discarded effects, making you wonder how they felt before the bombs fell. In moments like these, Fallout 4 can be an intoxicating experience.
Fallout 4 brings great gameplay to match its world and ambiance
It's a massive game that combines Mad Max with retro-futuristic America.
Fallout 4 may feel overly familiar to some, but there are plenty of places to go, people to see, and mutants to shoot, and most of those things are still exciting to visit, look at, and murder (though not necessarily in that order). The occasionally extreme performance issues found in the console versions of Fallout 4 make those versions more difficult to recommend than their PC counterpart. [OpenCritic note: PC version rated 4/5 stars. XB1 and PS4 versions rated at 3/5 stars.]
If you've played a Bethesda RPG, you should have a pretty good idea of what you're in for. Bethesda plays it surprisingly safe with the formula, but they also do a much better job with the story this time around, serving to elevate the game as a whole. While there's no denying that it can be a bit ridiculous at times, its sheer scope speaks for itself. Bethesda has succeeded in crafting yet another fascinating open-world RPG.
After spending roughly 40 hours with the game, I can safely place it somewhere in the middle of Fallout 3 and New Vegas in terms of quality. A lot of the franchise's signature problems have carried over directly into Fallout 4, but all of its charms have come along for the ride as well. It manages to do a whole lot right, but the story drags at times, and glitches...glitches never change.
Fallout 4 is a roaring response to criticism that the series has ignored its qualities as a shooter in favor of its deeper and stronger RPG roots. Nearly every design change in Fallout 4 poises the game as a more streamlined modern shooter with high production value across the truly open-world Commonwealth wasteland. The introduction of settlements, newly designed power armor, and deeper crafting evolve the Fallout franchise for the better. This occasionally comes at the cost of storytelling, however, with a plot based on stringently polarizing factions as well as diminished interaction with characters in general. But despite these missteps, Fallout 4 will only improve with time, assuredly with the assistance of the community and user-created mods, and soundly reclaims the franchise as a forward-thinking series in the industry today.
Fallout 4 is hugely ambitious and without a doubt one of the best games this year. It's not without its flaws, but very few games made me care more about what I was picking up, how to use it, what choices I made, and even the communities I'd founded. By streamlining some mechanics, Bethesda has made room for other more complex ideas. If you can forgive a few technical imperfections, of which there aren't as many as prior instalments, Fallout 4 exceeds all expectations.
In my mind, Fallout 4's greatest triumph, and its one major point of evolution is in its storytelling, crafting a lengthy, unexpected ending and resolution that I will remember for years to come. It also remains one of the best games in existence for those who simply like to wander and explore and unearth long-buried secrets. But it struggles with archaic gameplay systems and an inflexible engine that anchor the game to the past for all the wrong reasons. Fans may enjoy more Fallout and a brand new map to explore, but this sequel will not be heralded as revolutionary or overly impressive this time around.
Fallout 4 is another tense and enthralling romp through the Wasteland, but it's not quite the revolutionary experience you may have come to expect given the long hiatus.
Fallout 4 is the game you've been waiting for months (maybe years?) which will give you fun for weeks
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Don't cancel your pre-order, but don't rush to buy Fallout 4 if you didn't place an order already either.
If you're willing to put up with some technical issues, Fallout 4 is Bethesda's most ambitious RPG to date.