State of the Game: Did Fallout 4 live up to its expectations?
With one of the largest (and most successful) marketing campaigns in recent memory, and with enormous success of its predecessors, Fallout 4 had many factors working in its favor when it first launched. Inevitably, this led to some slightly skewed opinions of the game -- especially considering how much in-game content there is to go through. It was hard for anyone to fairly judge the game at its release, because there was just so much to do beforehand.
But now that all the buzz surrounding it has died down, where does Fallout 4 stand?
On release: 9/10
Barring a few dissenters, the vast majority of critics from established gaming sites and reviewers on Metacritic gave Fallout 4 very positive ratings. For the most part, Fallout 4 was praised for basically following the age-old adage of "if it's not broken, don't fix it". There were some mechanics that were established in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas that were tweaked of course, but Fallout 4 more or less felt like a very natural progression of the series.
Is it an FPS with RPG elements or an RPG with FPS elements?
While Fallout 4's overall gameplay is very satisfying, and the Commonwealth is an incredible place full of secrets, players can't help but feel like the main story (and by extension, some of the faction stories) are a bit lacking.
Sure, you are given the title of General of the Minutemen, but the best companion ever, Preston Garvey, is really the one who calls the shots. Sure, you can lead the Institute, but in reality you are just a glorified mercenary for the Institute, and that's partially because you evacuated Kellogg's brains from his skull. Your character doesn't even have much of a reaction after meeting Shaun for the first time, other than a couple of sentences of shock.
Speaking of which...your range of choices in Fallout 4 are somewhat narrow, as well (for a Fallout game anyways). Short of backing out of a conversation entirely, you are more or less forced to pick up quests regardless of how you respond to the questgiver, and most of the quests are fairly rigid in structure anyways.
That being said, most of the problems with Fallout 4 lie with how certain parts of it are written, which in turn may be a result of technical limitations, but the actual gameplay is easily one of the best and most diverse experiences a gamer can have. Almost any character build is viable, and the changes to how Power Armor works leads to a very unique experience that simply cannot be replicated in any other game. Plus, very few other games can pull off the "post apocalyptic radioactive wasteland" feeling as well as Fallout 4 does.
In other words, Fallout 4 is still an incredible game, but it does lack some of the narrative splendor of previous Fallout games. From a realistic standpoint though, you would have to have multiple playthroughs to truly notice the flaws in the storytelling anyways.
What do you think? Does Fallout 4 still live up to the expectations that you had before the game launched?