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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fallout 4 Complete: Xbox One Review - 9/10

Alright. So since the last of the DLC for Fallout 4 has been released I thought I'd make my own little review on how the full game is. This might seem like a waste of my time but usually I've found a lot of people like to buy the full finished product once its been released like with the Skyrim Legendary Edition. It definitely sounds like a good idea. You've got all the content that was promised so you can play the game at your leisure without having to wait for some content only to find out you're overleveled for it, possibly ruining your experience. This review is going to cover all the aspects of the game so this will basically be an entirely new review unto itself as if the game was just released.

The Good:
Alright so the game looks nice and there's definitely a lot of variety in terms of locations. The worst parts of the previous Fallout games was the fact they all took place in a lot of grimey areas and you never really got to see much of any colors that weren't a shade of rust brown. The DLC still keeps in theme with the world having gone to hell with the color pallet but adds and extra touch with a splash of color just about everywhere.
The combat is pretty decent overall. Definitely better than the previous titles. The DLC adds some new features, most notably Automatron, in the idea you can craft your own robotic companion to your desire. The idea that robots drop new parts for you to make your robot better was also a really nice touch as well.
While most people might find it a tad bit annoying, I actually do like the crafting aspects of the game. All of them in fact. Of course the weapon and armor modifications are great but the settlement building is definitely a favorite of mine. The idea you can take a place and make it your own and no two settlements are the same because you can craft yours how you like is an awesome idea. I do have some gripes with this but I'll get to that later.
The writing definitely took a turn up. Personally I loved Fallout 3's story but the whole of it fell short when you had to do anything other than the main quest. A lot of NPCs were just sort of window dressing and felt flat. On the flipside I loved the gameplay of New Vegas but the main story felt lack luster. So while I was having fun with the game itself I just kept spamming any button to get out of the dialogue and back to the game. Fallout 4 really seems like the perfect marriage. There's a lot of interesting stuff to do and combat is fun and engaging. It really felt like Skyrim in the sense I really had no desire to finish the main quest though I never felt any desire not to either. The main quest is really tragic and never cut and dry. There's no pure evil or pure good just people being people. The connection you have to the world was also something I found lacking in the previous games but really shines here. You can be as important as you want and some people fawn over you while others may just simply pass you by. It feels like the perfect union of the best aspects of 'Chosen One' stories while making the mundane also equally compelling.

The Bad:
Alright so the mods on consoles aren't really handled that well. PS4 hasn't even gotten them yet and the Xbone's kind of suck in certain aspects. Sure there's a plenty amount but the problem comes with the functionality. Some mods just stop working. Why? Who knows. I personally think it was because the modder who made it in the first place deleted it outright. This causes some problems, including annoying prompts when you are about to reenter the game or just simply are trying to load a new save if its sufficiently far back. If you're not connected to the internet sometimes the mods just won't load. Forcing you to either mess around to get the internet back on just to play with some mods or go forward and possibly just be missing content. Speaking of missing content, my game straight up crashed a few times. I suspect it was because a mod was missing and the game just couldn't handle it. And it was always the mods I actually wanted like making lockpicking and hacking easier instead of having to spend minutes on something when I wanted to go back to the actual game. I'm not entirely sure I'm sold on the whole 'mods on consoles' idea though I'm glad to see Bethesda actually tried and did something new. I'd welcome it in a new game if they fixed the functionality.
Many people give a lot of mess to Skyrim's leveling up tree but this game makes me miss it. Sure, I don't need the same exact style. Elder Scrolls is all about mysticism and looking up to the stars was definitely a nice touch. However the tree here just looks bland like it was just good enough. Though that's not my main gripe with it. The ultimate problem is when you go to level up and see all of these garbage skills you'd never want to use and you have to wait to get to a certain level to use the actually useful skills. I always try to level up my gun crafting because then I can get all the best mods, but I have to wait until like level 39 to get the final level where most of the good stuff is. The Science skill is great because you can build some awesome stuff but again has the same problem of having to be around level 40 just to get the final level for the skill. I'm also sort of disappointed with the Speech skill... again. Fallout has always been crap when it came to this. I could be at the highest level possible and have the highest level of Charisma and still fail. Then I could put on the best Charisma boosting armor... and still fail. The worst for this is the end of the Silver Shroud quest where to save a guy not only do you have to be at the highest level but you also have to take some chems to boost your Charisma up even more for only the chance to save him. And if you tried going guns blazing the VATS system would always fail you and let one of these idiots kill him with one hit so the Charisma route is the only option. I've downloaded a mod which takes care of that but its just kind of weird that you have to jump through all these hoops just to get to a thing that should be easy to do.
I personally wish all the DLC packs had the functionality of all the packs. While the first two may, Nuka World doesn't allow you to build anything in the new landscape, or so I've seen so far. You can't really fortify your main stronghold at all from what I've played so I'm kind of curious as to why. Crafting settlements is a really cool feature that could have added greatly to the pack. Instead you just have the place. I know it seems like a minor point but I was really hoping to make some awesome Automatron or maybe even do some more unique raider type stuff.

The Meh:
I found most of the companions to be kind of... meh. I do have my favorites like Curie and of course Dogmeat but just about everyone felt flat to me. I was always just sticking around with a certain companion doing stuff I knew they liked because I just wanted their perk and nothing else. While a lot of them are funny like Strong most of them fell flat for me at best and at worst they annoyed me when they disapproved of something. I did my best to get them all to like me but I forgot a lot of times that I left them in a settlement and they disapproved of one of my actions like during the main quest to get to The Institute. While it was interesting to know they were judging me even out of my party it really just became a chore later like I had to put each of them in a good settlement to where I could get their happiness up and then skip back to another one to do their's. However, apart from remembering you have really no idea where they are. No little icon to show you where your companion is so if you screw up and send them to a place you forgot about have fun checking every single settlement you've acquired for them.
As a side note there seemed to be far too many settlements that had simply no use. I know I said I liked them but if there was some more functionality to them like creating a decent hub city that would have been cool. Instead there's a limit to how much you can place in one settlement limiting your creativity. I was trying to build a massive tower at a drive in theater only to be greeted with a prompt telling me I couldn't build anymore so I had to settle for a measly three story thing. Most of the settlements I gained were just for the stupid Minutemen stuff and eventually that became such a chore I completely ignored it all in favor of not doing it whatsoever.

All in all its a fantastic game and I'd definitely buy it again. I'll probably buy it on Steam years from now when my PC isn't absolute garbage. I do have a lot of places where I felt it failed a bit but ultimately the game is fun and I had fun and that's really all that matters.

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