Writing a review for Fallout 4 is going to be difficult without going off on a massive tangent about funny, scary and down right bizarre experiences I’ve had in the last 35 hours of gameplay. So here’s one for the sake of the inevitable review, detailing a few times I’ve had a bit of a fright and got my pip boy out to go to the bathroom…
1. Feral Ghouls
Naturally the first thing I did on leaving Vault 111 was to look for side quests. I mean, I really did feel for my character (not wanting to spoil things) but I also really fancied a swim into an irradiated reservoir for a few bottle caps! The conclusion of this was I began the game severely irradiated with no knowledge of where to find a doctor and no Radaways. Being irradiated on Fallout 4 basically means your base health is significantly reduced, such that a radroach could have killed me with a couple of well timed bites. Not to be deterred however I cleared out a bunch of raiders who were bothering some settlers (with my heart in my mouth/ quicksaving every 30 seconds), and wandered into the town beyond. Then suddenly from the corner of my eye I see something sprinting at me, like Left for Dead 2 flat out sprinting. The feral ghoul in question had half its face ripped open and was so intent on having healthy Vault dweller meat for dinner his momentum actually took him flying past me giving me only a glancing blow and allowing me to pop him in the belly a couple of times. So with my heart racing I enter sneak mode, not to alert any more creatures around, took a quick swig of nuka cola (which took my base health down more = 5 Rads) and continued around the building to find 5 feral ghouls just standing there like the I am Legend creatures, just waiting for any sudden movement. My heart went for a second time. I began to back away but a raider I must have missed in the building above chose this moment to notice me and started firing pot shots at me which alerted the stationary ghouls. I won’t finish the story because its probably quite obvious how that ended. But its worth saying it took me a few good hours to find the radaway’s to cure my radiation sickness enough to feel secure in the Commonwealth.
2. The Glowing One
I can’t remember what level I was by the time I met my first glowing one, but what I certainly wasn’t prepared! I was clearing out an institution, not even on a quest, just because I came across it and couldn’t keep my nose out. Feral ghouls are now old news, just shift into VATs and make the most of their lack of armour with a nice long ranged rifle. When in close quarters with the creepy music in the background it gets a bit more eerie. I entered the last building of this institution and immediately entered VATs to clear up the last couple of ghouls in the entry corridor, which I did. Or did I? No, definitely not. I walked around the corner into the main section of the building and promptly soiled myself (don’t worry I didn’t really) as 3 ghoul reavers and a glowing green ghoul swarmed me. I retreated into the previous building in order to apply a CoD zombies run and gun technique but the game put me into a loading screen and autosaved, and on continuing I was completely surrounded by ghouls and died in seconds. It took 3 tries to get free of them and I had to use all my explosives to take down the glowing one which spat radioactive saliva at me while I put my metaphorical tail between my legs to avoid getting green goo on it.
3. (Spoilers) The Castle
My first experience with Mirelirks was a traumatic one. I took on the Minutemen quests with enthusiasm meaning I had a low level when trying to take the old minutemen fortress. My dad is my witness, I spent the next half an hour running along the battlements injecting stimpacks and planting mines which did more damage to myself than my pursuers. Mirelirks turned out to be heavily armoured mutated crabs (doesn’t sound scary does it…) which do not need to move sideways. Stand still and aim for the face and you will most likely miss and get bulldozed. The large glowing legendary mirelirk was especially nasty, especially when it ‘mutated’ healing it back to full health. The little touch of the dozen or so hatchlings joining the chase made it EXTRA stressful. When the Mirelirk Queen turned up I was mostly out of ammo and I kept nicely out of range choosing to let the minutemen do the work for me, enough stress for one night I think.
4. The Museum of Witchcraft
Much more recently I had a spare half hour so I decided to have a wander on Fallout. I came almost straight away across a large Museum (looked a bit like a church to me). All the entrances were barred and it looked a bit of a wreck, it felt like a perfect place to find some loot. I found a set of doors to the basement, went into sneak mode and entered with my shiny new combat shotgun. I was greeted with a set of rooms with doorways ripped open, zero loot and some very horror inspiring music. As I got closer to the stairs a number of jump scares greeted me. First a body which was slammed against the floor above and then slowly dragged away from the gap in the floorboards failing to reveal the beast which lurked behind it. Continual growls and occasional crashes put me on edge enough that the sudden appearance of a mannequin made me jump out my skin. Sorry, not going to tell you what was up there, but bring a fat man is my advice.
One section of my review will focus on the enemies, many of which are genuinely terrifying and add an improved horror aspect to the game, and create an addictively chilling atmosphere to many of the encounters in the Commonwealth. I cannot predict when the full review will be published, I’m a bit preoccupied building a wooden fortress in Sanctuary at the mo!
(All pictures nicked off Google Images, gotta start screenshotting my own really)