To my mind Fallout 4 is the best RPG that has ever graced games consoles. I struggle to think of any upcoming game that might knock it off the top spot.
The next installment of the Elder Scrolls franchise could give it a run for it’s money, after all, Bethesda have perfected the formula.
What makes their games so special is Bethesda’s artistic signature, the craftsmanship brings their worlds to life
“I walk the line, in discord and rhyme”
This lyric from ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ by Duran Duran perfectly encapsulates what is so immersive about Fallout 4’s world. The dialogue and characters feel true to life, true to their persona, they make sense and each is unique. They are living, breathing people.
However there is also plenty of discord, chaos and anarchy in post apocalyptic Boston. I recently discovered a beautiful little town that had been flooded.
Although deserted, there were signs that settlers had been there post-war as bridges had been built between rooftops to avoid wading through the radiated water below.
It turned out that the town is overrun by feral ghouls who pop up from beneath the surface of the murky water. In an eerie display of predatory understanding, they duck under the water mid fight to avoid gunfire while more ghouls jump you. That is AI at it’s best.
The depiction of post-apocalyptic Boston creates a diverse sandbox for players to flow in, creating their own stories using the prompts that are left for them.
There is a story, a location and set piece for any kind of genre or atmosphere, despite the overarching genre being science fiction.
When following private detective Nick Valentine on his adventures you turn into a sleuth in a 1950s noir film.
A moment later you are on a quest to find your son who has been kidnapped as part of a nefarious futuristic project.
These stories all take place in a beautiful and varied massive open world. The triumph of it’s visuals is in its ruined beauty.
Although the story implications of why the landscape looks like that are grave, it is beautiful to look at. The ever changing weather creates moments where you look around on a bright, crisp morning as shafts of light hit a striking scene.
No matter how big you make an open world, it fails without being populated and vibrant. Fortunately Fallout 4 has detail in abundance.
Every object, even down to a collectible bobble head trinket found in a basement, is lovingly crafted.
The Pip Boy is another aspect that is rich with nuance. The display even changes when you enter power armour. When you discover a new vault, an animation triggers where the protagonist plugs in a cord, it feels tactile.
Combat is better than ever, the developers have refined the V.A.T.S system, feel of the weapons and flow of action.
I have only just scratched the surface of this deep well of adventure. I cannot wait to go back to it, that world feels like it is still running when you aren’t looking.