My First Couple Hours With Fallout 4

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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My First Couple Hours With Fallout 4

It's been a long wait. Man, has it ever. We've been waiting for several months--or really years for those who have been waiting since the end of "Lonesome Road" back on Fallout:New Vegas like yours truly--and now, the game has finally gone live as of 12:01 AM today. Thus I spent a couple hours tonight--only so much; needed to be up and running today, after all--but the relatively sleepless night proved to be well worth it.

It's hard not to be enamored with Fallout 4, especially if you've been playing for any length of time. Though there were worries aplenty about the graphics, I don't see a problem here. I just got out of Metal Gear Solid The Phantom Pain not long ago, and these graphics certainly aren't worse than those. While gameplay is fundamentally different from earlier versions; there's a lot that's changed here, starting with the massive nerfing of some of the perks--what they did to Grim Reaper's Sprint I wouldn't do to a dead dog with leprosy--as well as some very exciting new ones like Engineer.

Admittedly, it's hard to say much about a game after spending just a couple hours with it, but everything I've seen says that this was well worth the wait. It felt like it lasted forever, even if it was only a few months to a few years depending on perspective. Through all the leaks, all the early video, and everything else, it would be easy to think that the whole thing was ruined by now. That's not the case. Reasonably, we were talking about an hour or two of gameplay video tops, in a game that had over four hundred hours of gameplay involved. The idea that anything short of a full day's gameplay could really spoil anything was crazy from go.

There were some problems here. I missed Ron Perlman's opening commentary, though what sounded like him showing up in the opening newscast was quite welcome. There was a bit of preamble that wasn't exactly welcome--waiting for a game for six months makes it tough to even wait another few minutes--but it was worth the wait nonetheless. They really set this up beautifully, and it carried on well. Frame rate issues were on hand, though the effects weren't often noticeable on the Xbox One. Sometimes more so than others, yes, but that's generally the case in most anything. I miss waiting, I miss the simpler repair mechanic--though no longer having to repair weapons is welcome--and I can't understand why I can't convert an item to scrap from my inventory as opposed to to having to drop it near a workbench.

The differences between the Sanctuary pre-nuke and post-nuke were appropriately stark, and actually seeing it run on a television--not on a YouTube channel or a leaked video--was almost impossible to believe. And yet, there it was. The Vault 111 social experiment of cryosleep was only somewhat shocking, but beautiful at the same time. I didn't get to fire a gun for almost the first 20 minutes in, but frankly, I didn't much mind.

Still, I'm glad the wait is over. It's on my Xbox One, I'm playing it, and it's magnificent. Getting through the lot of it is going to take at least the rest of the year, and by then, the mods and the DLC should start showing up. It's hard to overstate just how good this game is, and for those who are already playing it, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. It is as beautiful as we'd hoped for, and though not without some flaw, it's a welcome addition. Welcome home.

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