Entering The Wasteland In Fallout 4

I finished work at 7:30am this morning, and I was awoken by a knock on the door at 01:30pm. I angrily trudged to the door half-naked, half-awake to greet my visitor with an annoyed grunt that roughly translated to “Fuck do you want?”

It was the delivery man, and he wanted to give me Fallout 4 a day early. It seems my initial impressions of my visitor were unfounded. This man is a hero.

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about my initial foray into the Wasteland. Join me.

02:01pm

One may not enter the Wasteland until it has installed onto your console.

02:10pm

Still installing. Currently at 47%. It’s not too bad, though. It’s going through all the promotional S.P.E.C.I.A.L videos that were released in the lead up to the game’s launch. They’re very well done, and have that classic sinister Fallout humour to them. I made a conscious effort to avoid these videos on the lead up to release, and I’m glad I did. If I’d seen these before today, this would grate.

02:15pm

Okay, I’m on Endurance for the third time now. This is starting to grate.

02:20pm

Lift off. Start menu. New game. Let’s do this.

02:23pm

The opening cutscene is stunning. “War. War never changes.” just gave me some heavy chills. I am so ready.

02:39pm

Spent 15 minutes creating my character. This always instills me with such fear, after getting stuck with the most ridiculous looking dude in Mass Effect and Skyrim for 100+ hours. I think I’ve nailed it this time, though. Just ask me again in 20 hours.

03:10pm

I have exited Vault 111, and entered the Wasteland. It’s every bit as overwhelming and beautiful as it was in Fallout 3. The Vault section was interesting as well, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

03:12pm

I have found an ashtray and a desk fan, but no cigarettes or power outlets. The Wasteland is an unforgiving place.

03:17pm

I just spent a good minute trying to get through a door. That next-gen Bethesda jank.

03:33pm

I have made friends with a dog. I didn’t see that coming. This is nice.

03:40pm

I really should shower. As I said earlier, I was woken up by the delivery man, and when I saw I had Fallout 4 there was no time to shower. I think I might avoid showering today to heighten the “immersion.”

04:00pm

No, I really need a shower. I’m taking a break.

04:06pm

Okay, I’m back.

04:16pm

I found a town! Crawling with raiders, though. After a pretty intense firefight, I’ve found my first NPCs. They want me to clear their town of enemies. Should be easy enough.

04:21pm

I just got absolutely splattered by a Deathclaw. That was terrifying.

04:24pm

I just absolutely splattered a Deathclaw. That was exhilarating.

04:35pm

Okay, I now have multiple quests. I’m going to stick to the main quests for now, I have a habit of getting sucked into sidequests for hours and hours and never seeing the end of the main story.

04:44pm

Hey, I found some cigarettes. Maybe the Wasteland isn’t that bad of a place after all.

04:45pm

They’re labelled under “Junk” and I can’t smoke them. I am living in Hell.

05:05pm

I’ve made friends and they’ve sent me on a mission to help out a settlement a few miles from theirs. On my journey I fed on some sort of mutated dog. Speaking of dogs, mine seems to have disappeared and my Pip-Boy is not helping me locate him. I hope you’re okay, dog, wherever you are.

05:15pm

I made it to the settlement. Their leader wants me to go clear a car manufacturing plant of raiders. I’m starting to feel a little bossed around and unappreciated.

05:23pm

I was just attacked by a group of feral ghouls. I had heard about these, but never have I encountered them in my two long hours in the Wasteland. They almost killed me, but I was somehow able to stop time mid-fight and eat some food to restore my energy. I bounced back and took them all out. I have experienced no such horror before.

05:27pm

I have radiation poisoning and I miss my dog.

06:30pm

I have completed my assault on the car manufacturing plant. I went right through the front door and came under heavy fire. After dispatching the first few waves and then running into another pack of ghouls, I discovered a back entrance that could have made my initial attack a lot easier. The Wasteland does not hold your hand. As I went deeper into the factory, things got heated. I came across a number of auto-turrets that had some serious firepower compared to my level 5 self, but I was resilient and after using every item of aid at my disposal and all of my ammo, I completed my objective. I broke my leg at one point, but that seems to have healed, somehow. The future is weird.

06:33pm

Upon leaving the factory, my dog greeted me. Where the fuck have you been, man? I have so much to tell you.

06:40pm

I made it back to the settlement’s leader and she gave me 99 bottlecaps for my efforts. I slept in her bed, because walking around with 3HP is fucking terrifying. I think that’s enough for now. I will rest here. Also, I should probably have some breakfast.

Impressions:

Initial impressions are good. It’s just Fallout 3, with some added frills, and that’s not a bad thing. The visuals are a definite improvement on Fallout 3 and New Vegas but aren’t really up to par with other games that are coming out these days. I haven’t really experienced any severe framerate issues, and apart from the aforementioned trouble getting through a door earlier on, traversing is pretty smooth. I’m finding the menus a little difficult to navigate, but I’m sure that will become second nature in time. Gun mechanics have definitely improved, but V.A.T.S is still king. Throwing grenades and Molotov cocktails is a recipe for suicide. I’ll write back with some final thoughts once I’ve experienced a bigger chunk of the game.

Fallout. Fallout never changes.

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