Confession time: I am not a Bethesda fan. In fact the only Bethesda game I ever had any time for was the non-RPG, critically panned, geek fest that was Star Trek Legacy (slate me all you want, but getting to drive the Enterprise is cool).
Being brutally honest, I’ve struggled to see what the fuss is about. I’ve tried Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim but none of them got me hooked. This may well be a lack of patience on my part, but I’m all for the slow burn and gradual build up, however if I’m not invested after putting 5+ hours in then you’ve lost me. Maybe I’m missing out, maybe if I had just given them one more hour I would have been hooked and away. These three games are considered classics and have huge fan bases, Christ, I even saw Skyrim referred to as “the divorce maker” due to the amount of time you would be spending on it rather than your loved one. But for me when turning my Xbox on they were never in the “must play” pile of games. They were always started yet found themselves put in the “can’t be arsed” pile until they got traded.
It’s not that I don’t like RPG’s, I love them (don’t get me wrong most of this love is towards those created by Bioware). I love losing myself in an all absorbing tale with different scenarios and pathways depending on the choices you make. But with Fallout 3, Oblivion and Skyrim, for one reason or another never got me invested. I never cared.
So based on the above you may be surprised to know that I purchased Fallout 4 the other week, pretty much the day after it was released. Why? Well because I love the premise of Fallout. I love the 50’s vision of the future, the idea of exploring the wasteland and visiting new settlements. It all appeals to me. You are probably at this point wondering way I didn’t like Fallout 3. Quite simply, I found it to be graphically dull and ultimately not a lot of fun. My interest in it waned very quickly, which is a shame because I really, really wanted to like it.
With Fallout 4, the graphics looked more colourful, the reviews had stated that it was more fun and that the combat had improved (could do with a quick aim but I’ll let it off), I therefore decided to give Bethesda’s vision of the future another bash.
I’m pleased to say that after 14 hours of play I’m delighted that I did. It’s brilliant. Addictively brilliant. I’m not going to review the game as if you want a review there are plenty around the web who can do that better than I, but what I will say is that the pacing of the missions is excellent, the opportunity to build your own settlement(s) becomes addictive and the combat is vastly improved. The wasteland itself looks amazing, not just because it’s running on new gen hardware, but because of that addition of colour, everywhere now just looks more interesting, tempting you to explore. Your character now having a voice when selecting a dialogue option (ala Mass Effect) is also a welcome addition.
But most importantly, Fallout 4 has that mystical ingredient that has got me hooked. Proper hooked. I just need to make sure I don’t spend more time with it than with my wife.