Fallout 4 was one of the most anticipated releases of this generation. Ever since its surprise reveal by Bethesda at E3, fans and newcomers to the series have been eager to see how Bethesda would be able to redefine the open world genre as games, like its predecessor Fallout 3, and the likes of Oblivion and Skyrim had done in the past.
However, just a few weeks in to release and in the wake of many an open world game, I cannot help but feel that it hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Granted, the expectations for a game as long awaited as this (it’s been almost five years since the last installment in the Fallout series) can never dream of living up to the hype created around it. I personally love the game and enjoy its vast world full of a sights to see and places to explore, but reading through various comments and reviews on the internet has made me see that not everyone shares the same views as me. I’ve seen many comments rightfully criticising the game for such things as its still buggy game engine or its lack of innovation from its predecessors.
I would agree with most of these comments and I am in no way saying that the game is perfect. It definitely does have its flaws.
This latest console generation seems to be dominated by open world games; a lot of these have managed to do things better than Fallout. One example is The Witcher 3. Aside from a few issues, this game is both visually and technically superb, while also being able to provide the player with hardly any in-game loading screens. Similarly, titles like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Dying Light have managed to create a vast open world with seamless, fun and innovative ways of traversing the environment. Fallout 4 seems to be lacking in the polish that these games have received and, in my opinion, has struggled to keep up with the fast moving industry.
However, I think there are a few reasons as to why Fallout 4 may not seem as ambitious as its other open world counterparts. The game is a perfect example of something that has been made in a bubble.
What I mean by this is that it began production long before any of these games did. It is pretty reasonable to assume that production would have begun on the game pretty soon after, if not before, Skyrim was released. This means that it was in creation for just over four years. At the time of starting, there were no other western open world RPG’s that came close to matching what the Fallout and Elder scrolls series’ had achieved. Yes those games had bugs and like Fallout 4 weren’t perfect, but they were the best experiences out there for anyone who enjoyed those style of games.
For anyone to truly appreciate the leap that Fallout 4 has made, you must compare it to the previous games in the series rather than the more recent releases that it has gone up against. Even despite it not being the most technically impressive, I still believe that it is one of the deepest and most expansive RPG’s of this generation and I believe it, and Bethesda, should be applauded for its sense of scale.
Although Fallout 4 may have not been able to redefine a genre as past installments have, it has certainly managed to build on its own systems in order to create a unique experience that I believe any gamer can enjoy.