So it’s not Day One. However these are still my first impressions of the game. The reason it’s not day one is because I needed to take an extra day to fully get my thoughts in line. My Fallout 4 experience began months ago where, as soon as I could, I pre-ordered a copy from Gamestop. Paid in full as I always do. Monday, November 9th rolled around and I was very excited to go to the midnight launch and pick up my copy so I could jump right in. I had to work the next day so I wanted to get some time in prior to that so I could start working on this piece.
I show up to my local Gamestop around 11:30pm, park and start walking to the door. I see a large crowd inside and outside which is expected but no one in an actual line. I walk to the counter and stand there, first in line I thought! Wrong. I was told we are not allowed to line up yet. I ask them what the plan is then. They said that there is no line, it will form when they tell us at midnight and that people will line up based on how long they have been there. I inquire as to how they plan to enforce that, and would it not have been a better idea to allow a line so that the people that arrived first would already be in the front of the line? I was told that this is how it’s done so I just left.
The next day I go to work and won’t be able to get the game until after 6pm. I ask if my wife can pick the game up for me and she agrees. I told her that all she needs is my phone number. So she arrives to the store and they say they need a receipt or my Powerup Rewards card. Needless to say she leaves empty handed. I tell her that’s weird because they have always only needed my phone number. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that they tried to prevent someone from walking off with my copy however when I showed up that night the lady just asked for my phone number, nothing else, and then handed me a copy and wished me a good night.
After all that I get home, grab my copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider from my mailbox and head inside. I fire up Fallout 4 and then walk to the kitchen to grab a snack, a frosty glass and a bottle of Yuengling to fill said frosty glass. I come back right as the update finishes installing and sit down for the loading screen. “Great” I say to myself sarcastically, not wanting to sit through a loading countdown. I’m about to go occupy myself when all of a sudden a video starts playing describing the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system in the game using hilarious little video clips. The cartoon style paired with a 50’s era narrator was gold. I loved it. I was able to watch five of them before the game finished loading and the time flew by as I was thoroughly entertained.
Now came the hardest part of the game, the character creation screen. Though I want to mention the start screen of the game was awesome. Just some slow panning, but it was paired with some awesome music. I loved it. Anyway the character creation experience was cute. The husband and wife looking into the mirror and commenting on all the changes. I went back and forth on which sex to be. So I hopped online and found videos of both and settled for the female because I preferred her voice actor. Both seemed good enough, but I enjoyed her more so female it is.
The game wasted no time tossing me into action. After a few minutes wandering around the house, the bomb is dropped. Literally. You have to run to the vault that, as luck would have it, you JUST got accepted into. As you ride the elevator down into it the nuclear blast erupts and that is that. You are lowered into the vault where you step into a chamber and “stuff happens” that I will not spoil and shorty after you find yourself stepping back out of the vault into the wasteland.
The wasteland reveal is probably the weakest of the series. Fallout 3 nailed it and New Vegas also did a great job of it. Fallout 4 just does not have the same impact. Additionally the games throws you into an action heavy scenario fairly early on. You lose that sense of exploring your new environment, at least at first. My first hour of the game was truly underwhelming and I was torn between pushing forward or popping Tomb Raider in the Xbox to play that instead. But at that point my wife just had came home and brought me Wendy’s so I decided dinner and catching up on the new Supergirl and Flash was also a good idea so I was done for the night.
Cut to today where I have to be at my day job by 11am. I wake up at 7, shower, and head downstairs to fire up some Fallout 4. The PS4 beeps to life and I sit back. I’m at a point in the game where I have three quests to choose from. I leave it on the one already selected and head out. I started at a small settlement camp where I’m trying to recruit them for the Minutemen group I stumbled upon and am now helping. This is where the game got it’s legs for me. Now that the introduction to the game and some of it’s new mechanics are out of the way Fallout 4 can finally be Fallout. The exploration and gameplay is all 100% fallout. I make my way to through the woods and come up to what looks like a ruined train station where an army of ghouls ambush me. I frantically fight them off with a combination of V.A.T.S. and normal FPS style shooting. The shooting controls are good enough to use by themselves the entire game but I do love that V.A.T.S. system.
I should mention that the game looks amazing. The game is not known for it’s graphics and this is certainly not the best looking current-gen game but it is very sharp and the lighting effects are excellent. It’s looks like a re-mastered Fallout 3 in a very, very good way. The art style makes the game, running on new hardware, look very good.
I’m about 3 hours in at this point and it took a lot not to call in today and keep going. After the first hour of the game it finally sunk it’s hooks in me. I’m loving this game. Every second of it. I have the next two days off and plan to spend them in a post-nuclear Boston. Hopefully I can marathon the main story, start Tomb Raider so I can give that the Day One treatment and then just fire up Fallout 4 and side quest the hell out of it.