Fallout 4: A Co-Op Review

If you noticed we have not been around lately and besides straight up procrastination we have been up to something that is stealing our attention, in a good way.  FALLOUT 4 has arrived and we have been engulfed in it for a week now.

It is an indisputably known fact that “The couple that games together stays forever”, and in that vein we have decided to tag team this review of Fallout 4. Also, because we are both equally eager to discuss the game in depth.

There are some great things happening in fallout 4 and it is massive enough to warrant two points of view. So, we’re delivering the bonus of two perspectives  in one neat bloggy package. We know we know, just thank us by sharing liking and following.

QUICKLY, TO THE REVIEW !!!

H:        Now, because we knew we wanted to make this review special we decided to come at gameplay in two different methods. Tasha went the scenic route and I took the direct path following the main story–

L:         –Or the path to his workstation.

H:        Okay okay, Crafting is my s*** and the majority of the time not spent doing the story line is spent with hours of weapon and Armor Modding/favoriting/testing.

L:         So, we are not “finished” the game, but after a week we felt there were some huge takeaways that should be discussed:

The World

Its Huge... (That's what he said)

Image from Onlysp.com

–It feels big! (That’s what he said)

H:        Though, Luvusagi is not convinced of the size of the physical map.

L:         It does not feel as big as Skyrim.

H:        But for me the game is almost overwhelmingly huge. Not just the map, I mean that in addition to the major story there have been plenty of instances where I wanted to defect from my mission objective and either explore bonus events and places as they appeared on the HUD, or build up my settlement, or finding Bobbleheads

L:         –Or make some gear, right? I agree that there is plenty to do, in fact, there is so much to do that even when I am not playing the game I am thinking about what I will do when I get on.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L.  really is Special

L:       A big part of my Fallout mind palace is my SPECIAL and Perk plan. The SPECIAL and Perks system actually make choosing more meaningful.

H:        You almost want to power level just to have access to some of the, more epic, abilities along the way. In F4 (millenials and their abbrevs) choosing perks is really involved and it takes a bit of preparation before you should just drop points into what seems cool.  And you actually can’t just throw your points anywhere because you have to have the right amount of corresponding SPECIAL attribute points to unlock perks.  

L:       Even the ability to pick any locks or hack any terminals requires a certain number of attribute points and then must be unlocked in the perks.  Getting to the more badass abilities requires dedicating your focus to a specific Attributes perk list initially, because spreading them out too much will take many more points to be as effective.

Settlements

Image from Fallout.wikia

L:         I have been tweaking–

H:        Obsessing over–

L:         –My settlements and I find that it has been fun, well more than fun… I love it. Very early into the game you are put in charge of a small area that you can strip for resources and then build it up as you see fit.  To boost the settler’s happiness, you must provide their settlement with resources like food water, defenses, and shelter. For the most part, it is extremely customizable, but some elements need fine-tuning or just better descriptions for user friendliness. 

H:        As with many of you, we had been playing the Fallout: Shelter, but  I wanted to go straight through and did not want to have to keep stopping to deal with Deathclaws and  collecting resources.  Pleasantly enough, beyond those initial quests I have not been forced to micromanage anything.  So far, I literally just pop in –drop off junk and leave out –or craft then leave [I have a small addiction].

My Dog (Companion) is straight trippin’ B.

That’s cute, but where the hell were you during that firefight boy?

L:         Well, not just Dogmeat, companions, in general, have some issues. Despite being interesting and highly interactive.

H:        (Preston Garvey even liked one of the mods I made)

L:         They have buggy tendencies. Companions will often disappear temporarily.  I have had  issues were my companion would not attack or just not even be around. When sneaking, they inconsistently engage in combat.

H:        I was sneaking with Dogmeat and had engaged enemies. I would attack only to watch him stare back at me like there are no enemies there. And when commanded to fetch enemies he acted more like a cat and ignored me. 

L:        Companions will be “downed”  by enemies pretty quickly and stay down until healed or until the end of combat is probably one of the worst additions.  It greatly diminishes their effectiveness in combat situations.  Especially if you plan on designing a character that uses their companion as bait or a distraction.  

H:      This pretty much renders them ineffective until you are able to strengthen your companions later on (if you plan to build up Charisma).

The Sounds

H:        At times the music is gorgeous and calming and peaceful the ambient sounds feel immersive

L:         Along with the music, that is initiated in most of the combat, which intensifies the experience. (I have been in too deep on a number of encounters). But, there are some overlaying harmonies and a certain timbre that feels too Elder scrolls-y?

H:        Often sitting at my work bench–

L:         –Or plopping down my fences.

H:       I (we) become distracted by the sudden triumphant score that begins to play.

L:         as if I (we) killed a dragon–

H:        –or defeated Sauron. Something else unique about the audio is that there is some dialogue that leads to quest options and  I appreciate that organic integration but wish there was some indication of this kind of dialogue earlier in the conversations. Players should be alerted when banter leads to quests and exploration as it initiates.

L:         In player controlled conversations, after failing at persuasion a few times, I noticed that I could just avoid talking to NPCs until I wanted to engage them again.

H:        Another cool note about the NPC dialogue is how they to react to your actions. There was an instance where I engaged a scenario supporting some Diamond City guards and then re-attempted it and the guards commented differently based on each approach I used.

COMBAT

– It is great, if you make it to the fight…

H:         That previous Guard scenario starts with hearing gunfire in the distance like many others. After running, a lot, I was still not in the action, finally arriving some enemies were already killed. So, it was the tail end of a firefight and I felt like I missed out on the action and in the aftermath the Guard comment on my reluctance to fight Super Mutants, because I did not jump straight into combat. Only through re-loading the game and rushing into the fray was I able to really participate in the battle and hear that satisfying accolade from the Diamond City Guard.

L:        I missed the event completely. When I heard the shooting I started to approach but wanted to be stealthy and by the time I arrived at the same point there was nothing happening I missed the entire thing.

COMBAT: V.A.T.S.

H:         As a newbie to the franchise I have watched people play but rarely picked up the sticks, V.A.T.S. is cool.

L:         For me it was really more fun in 3 and new Vegas when it was newly introduced and I enjoyed playing with shooting the limbs crippling and experimenting with the feature but now in 4 I feel like I just want guys dead so I can pick up all their s***, but my shots are missing like crazy, seeming less accurate than previous iterations in the franchise.

H:         Yeah, The RNG for hits are not in our favor, But nothing beats Melee with VATS –you lunge much farther than humanly possible to hack raiders down with your mighty machete.

L:         –if you like to play up close and personal, but for the archer/sniper play style, relying on low hit percentage shots is probably going to force me to use less V.A.T.S. and more of my own shooting skill.

H:        Speaking of skill ::Trigger warning:: in Fallout 4, (to use a dated and sexist euphemism) you throw like a girl– If you have played some other Unreal engine based FPS, then you are used to a certain trajectory from thrown objects and it is just not the same in this game.

L:        I do not really have trouble with the adjusting to any game :/  

H:        Well… I have been compensating for my throwing arm by pitching the aim higher than what I am used to (Destiny you spoiled me)  but earlier some poorly adjusted heat of the moment baby tosses made me pretty much abandon grenades. 

L:        The combat is solid, but those companion kinks might influence Perk choices, putting a damper or halt on choices based on roleplaying desires. 

H:      Try as you might to role a ninja… hoards of ghouls will have you playing more like Arnold –Grab a Shotgun,  if you want to live! (see what I did there).

 

OVERALL

Fallout 4 has plenty to do and will definitely deliver hundreds of hours of satisfying gameplay for us.

It is not flawless, but it does deliver a huge variety of options and  makes your in-game choices matter.

We are headed back to the commonwealth, we have a *spoilers* to *spoilers* and a new *spoilers* that will *spoilers* *Spoilers*, but before we go tell us what you think of Fallout 4! What features do you love/hate?What crazy stuff do you want to see us try during Let’s Play on Luvusagi’s Twitch Channel?

Let us know, in the comments below

H00k & Luvusagi out

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