Rather than write a review on how awesome this game is, I've decided to give a few pointers on those few unfortunate enough not to have gotten the game by now or players who for some reason find themselves locked out and having difficulty at every corner of this game. My first playthrough was... not great. I got up to level 37 in about 3 days. Impressive if you didn't consider my many failures. I was constantly locked out of a few missions via a small miscalculation or simply not having the skill required to enter an area. Learn from my mistakes.
Despite what you've been told, Intelligence is critical. Not just for unlocking terminals or for hacking bots, but for anyone else playing the game. Intelligence actually gives you an increased amount of experience points. Not sure how much, but I've been playing on my new save file for about a full day and I'm halfway back to my previous save's level.
Charisma may seem like a stupid thing to pick up. Really doesn't help you at all much in combat on the surface, but you'd be wrong. Once you max out your Charisma, get ready to take everyone's caps. Not only do you get a base lowering of the amount things need to be purchased and get more caps for selling things, but you can persuade just about anyone to do anything. Don't want to do a quest but still want a few caps? Most people who ask you to do something for them will often have a persuade option. So instead of doing a lengthy, and possibly dangerous quest for a few measly hundred caps, you can get the money straight away and more all while doing everything at your leisure. Charisma also has some nice combat effects. Male characters can gain a damage boost against female characters and bi versa for females. You can also put points into a perk that lets your companion do more damage, do no damage to you and can eventually carry more stuff.
While you're plugging your points into Intelligence to be able to hack more terminals, do the same for Endurance and get better at picking locks. Unlike The Elder Scrolls, Fallout makes it impossible for you to open doors through picking if you don't have the proper skill. At the very least, get it so that the level for picking and hacking is maxed up to their master level. Further on in the game (about level 40+) you can actually make it so you will never be locked out of terminals for failing or have picks break.
One of the many things Dark Souls has taught me is to pick my build well. Do I want to be heavily armored and a tank or quick and deadly? Similar here as well. Before you start plugging perks into random things, try and check around the tree. You have full access to see who and what you want to be. While my first character had maxed out Strength and could deal more damage with melee weapons and hold more stuff, my current character is far better even with his measly 4 points of Strength. There are always ways to get by having low Strength like chems, stuffing your followers like pack brahmin or even just being cautious with what you carry and only keeping the useful stuff.
Settlements are actually extremely useful for a variety of reasons. When I first saw it at the E3 presentation, I thought it was a neat gimmick to be able to build towns, but it actually is quite handy. Its basically your own base. Early on in the game, you can meet up with a guy who will direct you to places that can be taken over as settlements. Eventually, this can become your own little town. You can fortify its defenses, have your own special vendors, have a convenient place to store all of your things or even just a safe place to hide out if some rogue Deathclaw is on your tail. You can also upgrade your weapons and armor at specific places in your settlement, so it can help you along the way if you're not a hoarder like the rest of us.
These were just a few of my own personal tips for this great game. I've left out a few things but that's more of a personal feeling or it would spoil a few missions for some people.
As always, thanks for reading and hope you have safe travels in the wasteland.
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