Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic open-world action-adventure game that can be played in first and third person. There are also elements of layered armor, customizable weapons as well as base building. The story sees the player setting out in to a wasteland in order to solve the mystery of their missing son.
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Pro Huge world with a lot to discover
The Fallout world is massive and even outside of the main campaign there are so many things going on that the world feels real and alive. Lots of the buildings are actually enter-able and usually have something unique and interesting to discover.
Pro Solid gunplay
Fallout has typically used a slowed down time based gun mechanic called VATS, which works as an assisted shooting and aiming mechanic that allows one to pick the body parts of an enemy to target in slowed down time. This system is present in Fallout 4, but the first/third person gunplay has been improved so much over previous titles that it is not as necessary to use anymore (as it once was). Basically the gunplay works so well in this game that players can run and gun with ease, though the VATs system is still there for those that prefer it. Either way, the gunplay feels and plays well, no matter the system used, which makes for a varied design that feels solid and enjoyable.
Pro Unique loot
There is quite a lot of loot to be found in the game. Weapons and armor are scattered all over the wasteland map as well as contained in many dungeons. Unique and legendary loot can be found by defeating certain types of enemies as well. Overall this gives a good incentive to keep exploring and defeating bad guys, all in the search of getting that better piece of gear.
Pro Weapons and armor can be improved by adding mods
Add a scope, change the barrel or ammo clip, add a stock to turn it into a rifle or remove it to turn it into a pistol. A lot of awesome weapons are to be made. Same goes for armor. Leather lining or metal painting, padding or extra pockets. Then there's all sorts of menacing melee weapons too.
Pro Deep perk/skill system
The perk/skill system is presented as a large grid of perks the player can pick from. As the player levels up, they earn skill points which can then be used to gain perks in this large grid. The choices are pretty vast with seven different areas that perks can be picked from. This is called the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, standing for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. Each of these seven skills have their own row of perks, of which those perks cost a certain amount of skill points to use. A total of 70 perks give the player a lot of choice and customization to their character.
If you want to make a character centered around being a sharp shooter, there are perks for that, if you want to focus on creating a tank of a character that can plow through enemies with little damage, there are perks for that too. This way anyone can create a very original character on each playthrough.
Pro Companions can help make the game a little easier
There are a bunch of companions to find in the game, starting with a dog. Each companion has their own skills that can help the player in the game, such as the dog can find hidden items in the world and retrieve them. As the player progresses in the game, more companions can be found, though only one can be used at a time. They can be easily swapped out for those that would like to see what each offers easily. Even better is the player does not have to use one if they do not like, which may make the game a little more tough, but some may enjoy that challenge.
Pro Base building mechanic that makes for a solid distraction to the main story
Base building is a way that the player can collect components in the world to then use them to make their own base for equipment and supplies. There is also an interesting aspect where the player can attract NPCs in the game to their base in order to create a settlement (basically a small town of people). This can only be done in particular spaces in the game though. The rest of the base building mechanics can be used anywhere the player wants and in any style they like. If you want to build a floating base that only you can access, this can be done. Want to build a giant towering structure that goes as high as you like, you can do that too. Really there is very little limiting the player from creating anything they imagine for their base. This can make for a solid distraction from the main story of the game as the player can sink as much or as little time into it as they like.
Pro Challenging and diverse enemy types
There are quite a lot of different enemies found in the game, ranging from Super Mutants to Feral Zombies to Blood Bugs. Each has their own weakness and strength, which asks the player to constantly adjust their fighting style due to what is being thrown at them at the time.
Pro Heavily moddable
Pro Great storyline that is expanded by sidequests
The main storyline is well written featuring the main character looking for redemption and their lost son. Expanding on that is the many side quests available that flush out the world that is Boston in this post apocalyptic future.
Con Pipboy UI is hard to use
The default UI does not make it easy to manage your items and there are a lot of inconsistencies such as escape and tab both being used inconsistently to exit in-game features.
Con Buggy gameplay
Con The dialogue choices are limited and non-meaningful
In a lot of the cases the choices you make when talking to people don't actually impact what happens. There are some exceptions, but Fallout 4 is more about telling a story to the player than being able to do things your own way.