There be spoilers here.
Bethesda’s sequel to Fallout 3 (not New Vegas) is here, warts and all. I’m loving the game, I’ve put in about 10 hours so far, and it’s got the same post-apocalyptic survival feel of the previous adventure. Beyond recycling music from Fallout 3, there is very little I am disappointed with–except for the it’s introductory sequence.
Revealed at E3, Fallout 4 begins with your family’s idyllic ignorance that the world will soon be engulfed in nuclear fire. The nuclear bombardment of 2077, the culmination of everything bad that happened in this divergent world, was an event of mythic proportions for those that survived and struggle to live in a nuclear wasteland. To experience that moment through the eyes of those who witnessed the awesome display of Armageddon was a thrilling prospect. The game opens with your player character and spouse comforting a restless child. Pre-devastated Boston is presented with the mid-century modern style that defined the world of the future. The house is bright and colorful, pop music plays through a wooden stereo system, and a small black and white TV delivers the news of the day. Everything changes when a news anchor (voiced by Ron Pearlman) reports on the atomic blasts in cities around the country. Right on cue, the evacuations drill goes off sending the people of Sanctuary bolting to the fallout shelter housed in their backyard. As unregistered families clamor for shelter, they are waylaid by soldiers in Power Armor that threaten violence against those not approved for Vault salvation. Once through the security checkpoint, a small group of families sits atop an elevated platform that slowly sinks into the ground moments after a massive nuclear explosion hits Boston, sending out a shockwave that turns the proud, historical city into rubble.
Fallout 4 opens with a literal bang. Unfortunately, it’s over before it begins. The Great War of 2077 is so important to the Fallout universe because it sets each game into motion and its a damn shame it gets pushed through so quickly. I wanted to see and do more because, personally, I think it’s more fascinating to see an apocalypse unfold and see how people deal with it rather than play/read/watch stories of survival set after the fact. Bethesda had a chance to do something really cool and instead just “cut to the chase.” I know it’ll never happen, but I’d love to see a piece of DLC go back in time to Fallout history before the bombs fell. Fallout 3 did it with Operation Anchorage but it’d be cool to be put somewhere within the United States and experience a major, perhaps non-military event that helped push the world closer to the brink.
So far, this has been my only issue with Fallout 4. The game proper is fun, interesting, and holds my attention well. The base building stuff is cool but it would really benefit from a bird’s eye view option. I’ll have more to say about it after I get more time under my belt.