I have been playing Fallout 4 the last few days and my opinion so far is: it's playable, but not really much to call home about. If you liked the previous games then Fallout 4 is worth playing through, but it's starting to feel more like an expansion to Fallout 3 than a title with enough improvements to afford it being called a whole new game.
For one, it's a very typical console-port, with environments designed for console-users, hardcoded keybindings, all the ways of interacting with NPCs and the likes have been simplified down as much as possible for being quick and easy to do with a gamepad -- you only ever get 4 different dialog-options, for example, all of which you choose from by pressing arrow-keys in the desired direction. You'd think Bethesda who have been in this business for decades now would have learned not to hardcode keybindings, /but apparently some things are just too difficult for them./
Mechanically the game is also a letdown, what with more-or-less nonexistent AI, enemies respawning out of thin air in areas you haven't visited for a few minutes, lots and lots of stupid trigger-events where enemies magically spawn out of thin air behind you when you do a specific action or walk past a specific point, things getting stuck in floor or ceiling or falling through and so on. The enemies, for example, never try to come up with any special tactics to take you out, they don't try to regroup, they don't try circle around you, they don't go find more of their buddies to bring in on the fight. Enemies are also awful bullet-sponges, which makes pretty much all of your guns feel like pea-shooters -- not much fun.
Dogmeat, the fancy companion Bethesda was trumping up, is more of a major nuisance than anything fun. It falls through walls, ceilings and floors all the time, injuring itself in the process and often pulling enemies with it, it constantly makes this awful whining sound for absolutely no good reason and this whining will definitely start to wear on you, the dog is always in the way, preventing you from looting stuff or blocking your path when you're trying to walk through doors or in small areas. Then there's the fact that it's immortal: there's little reason to care about the dog's well-being or heal it up when it just can't die and gets magically healed back to full health a few seconds after combat is over. It also breaks immersion in a really, really bad way. It's hard to make any sort of emotional connection with a thing that's immortal, stupid as a rock and keeps breaking all imaginable laws of physics.
Visuals and atmosphere, then? Well, we already had games that looked better than this 10 years ago. Textures are kind average at best, 3D-models are rather crude, all animations are even cruder, faces look just downright bad, there is no dark anywhere -- even in a cellar with no light-source whatsoever you can still see just fine, it's just slightly less bright there than elsewhere -- and contrast, both in terms of colour and in terms of light and shadow, is missing pretty much everywhere. The music is bland, and I do not quite feel the musical score Bethesda chose to be blaring every single god damn time you enter combat even for a second fits either the atmosphere or the non-combat music. In either case, the musical score certainly doesn't make much of a positive impression as I can't recall it even 60 seconds after I've quit the game.#Fallout #Fallout4 #Bethesda #Games