Much has been made of the long-awaited Fallout 4, from Game Of The Year nominations, to cries of “worst game ever”, to more reasoned approaches pointing out that it’s good, but unfortunately not quite as good as the previous entries in the series.
The many bugs are a problem (although some of them are quite hilarious), and I’m frequently finding new ones the longer I play. For some reason, my HUD’s opacity changes itself to 0% now whenever I load a new game, and I have to manually go into the settings and fix it each time I boot up in order to see anything. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, with some bugs forcing people to start the game over in order to advance further.
Overpowered Fallout 4 Weapons – Major Problem, Or Minor Annoyance?
One issue that doesn’t get as much coverage as the now-typical Bethesda launch bugs is a balance issue: a handful of the weapons available end all difficulty or challenge in the game.
The updated crafting system has led to some interesting (and perhaps unintended) consequences, but overall is still a satisfying way to tinker with weapons now that we no longer have to repair them constantly, as in games past.
For instance, by focusing on the Gun Nut perk and seeking out new upgrades, I was able to consistently use the very first 10mm pistol I found from the beginning of the game all the way to the end. Over the course of the game it changed drastically along with my character, and was just one of many different routes I could have gone utilizing different perk and weapon combinations.
Not All Fallout 4 Weapons Are Created Equal
Some weapons are clearly superior to others, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Finding guns (whether through random drops or completing a difficult area) with higher damage or better armor penetration is part of the appeal of the game.
The Gamma Gun, for instance, outclasses most of the regular bullet projectile weapons – even against armored opponents – but isn’t exactly overpowered, both due to the scarcity of ammo and the small base clip size. If more terrestrial rifles are your thing, then Overseer’s Guardian can provide absolutely massive stopping power between the higher end mods and picking perks that increase rifle damage. The special ability to fire two bullets at once makes it outpace anything of a similar build.
While those particular guns are incredibly strong but not game-breaking, others get truly absurd, mainly in the random effects that can be found on legendary weapon drops (for those who haven’t found many yet, check out our guide on farming legendary equipment).
If you happen to pick up a minigun featuring the Explosive ability after taking down a legendary enemy, immediately stop whatever level progress you were going for and start putting all your points into Heavy Gunner and Demolition Expert.
The Explosive ability causes a weapon to do an extra 15 points of splash damage per hit. In something like a sniper rifle or pistol this is negligible — but in a weapon with a extremely high rate of fire, it adds up very quickly.
If you take perks that increase both explosive and heavy gun damage, you can conceivably take out the strongest enemies in the game in just a few rounds. There’s also the added benefit of the splash damage, which means you are always going to damage what are you are shooting at in VATS, even if you miss. The only downside is that you can end up seriously hurting yourself or your companion if they are too close to your target.
The Big Boy
Even outstripping the explosive minigun is the carpet-bombing Big Boy, which fires two shots for the price of one (for something very similar, there’s the Fat Man with the Two Shot legendary ability). Add the Mirv Launcher mod, and what you end up with is an elegant dealer of mass-scale death that comfortably fits on your shoulder.
This monstrosity fires SIXTEEN mini-nukes at once, while only deducting one mini nuke from your ammo pool. Nothing is going to survive that barrage (and nothing anywhere near where you fire is going to survive either), but the downside here is that you are just as likely to kill yourself as everything in front of you.
Unless you happen to be on higher ground, aiming down at something a distance away, this is more a murder-suicide weapon than something you’re going to be using in vaults or ruined city streets. But for gigantic enemies you can get a distance away from – like the Queen Mirelurk or Alpha Deathclaw – this is a simple way to one-shot kill a tough boss.
Most Overpowered – Wounding Minigun
Although the previous two weapons deal insane damage, I wouldn’t consider them the most overpowered, just due to their drawbacks or the fact that you need specific perks to truly maximize their potential. One weapon in particular, though, has no such issues, and truly exemplifies the “pull the trigger, roll credits” adage.
Anytime you find a weapon with a very high rate of fire – such as minigun or laser gatling gun – that also has the the Wounding legendary ability, you have discovered a way to stroll through the game without a care in the world.
A gun with Wounding causes every single hit to bleed the enemy for 25 points of damage per second.
Each bleed hit also stacks, and there is no resistance against bleed. There’s simply no reason to ever use another gun again. Go into VATS, hit an enemy once or twice, and then just stand there blinking as the enemy’s health bar drops to nothing on its own while it runs towards you.
Although you are potentially doing less damage per second, a Wounding minigun has the significant bonus that you aren’t going to accidentally kill yourself like with the Big Boy or Explosive minigun. There’s no question that this is overpowered to an absurd degree, and makes combat from that moment on pointless — no matter what difficulty setting you are using.
It almost seems like Wounding should just be pulled out completely in a patch, or at the very least modified to make it more balanced. Having some enemies with resistance to bleeding would be a start, but even better would either be to never allow a high rate of fire gun to have the ability, or to drop the damage per second from 25 to the 1-2 range.
The only thing preventing it from being completely game-breaking is that its a random legendary drop, so you may never get one (of course, you can always just pull up the console and give yourself one for free, if you are of the cheating persuasion and want to roll through the game’s story without any challenge.)
Ammo can also be an issue. While its not the most rare type, 5mm ammo still isn’t always plentiful. Then again, even having 100 rounds pretty much makes you good to go for a significant portion of game time if you are careful.
What’s the most devastatingly powerful weapon you’ve found or crafted so far, and what gun do you think is too powerful for the enemies found in the Fallout 4 Wasteland? Let me know in the comments!