The time has come. It has, in all honesty, been coming for a long time now, too. The Fallout 4 Game of the Year edition is coming. Of course this will hold no interest to those who already have the core game and all the DLC, whether by buying them one by one, or thanks to the inevitable Fallout 4 season pass. Those of us, however, who held out on buying any of that are in for a treat, as they’ll get everything in one handy package.
If you’ve spent the past two years under a rock, let’s see what the Fallout 4 GotY will include.
In F4 you play as a guy (or gal, the choice is up to you, because this is Fallout, after all) who remembers the times before the war which killed the world. That’s because the Sole Survivor has been put in cryosleep in a nearby Vault as the first bombs started falling.
Decades later they awake to see people kidnapping their child while the cryochamber prevents them from stopping this from happening. The game is about getting the child back.
It does sound simple, but much like in Witcher 3 the end goal is just an excuse, because it’s travelling the world and dealing with said world’s denizens that’s the most important. Indeed, you can get lost in the world so much that the main quest is nearly forgotten. Because, you know, Bethesda.
Fallout 4 changes substantially how the SPECIAL system works, relative to previous entries in the franchise. Once you were locked to the values you assigned to your primary stats at character creation, now you can freely bump them up a notch at level up, if you want to.
All point distribution happens on a fancy screen looking like a stylised map of a Vault, complete with a horde of Vault Boys depicting the various skills and perks. It’s not as neat as a list on a straightforward character sheet, but it’s visually pleasing, albeit slightly annoying to navigate.
Otherwise, the progression is kept simple. You get a level, you get a point, you spend a point. There is no level cap, so you can max out everything. It effectively turns you into an omniscient god of the wasteland if you let it happen.
Fallout 4 is heavy on the crafting bits, and several of the DLCs organically included in the GotY edition (and previously in the Season Pass) are focused on giving you even more options.
You can upgrade your weapons to different extents, modify and polish out Power Armors (now requiring frequent change of fusion cells to work), set up complex production lines, even create your own settlements.
Crafting is an integral part of the experience now, unlike previous instalments, and crafting materials will take up as lot of your inventory.
The gunplay has been slightly improved, with a complete reworking of critical hits. In Fallout 4 you get to trigger them yourself once a certain meter is filled. It removes the element of chance, but also allows you to plan your encounters better. Why waste criticals on a feral ghoul, after all? Power armor is now more than just a heavy armor, and instead turns you into a walking tank. Putting it on feel suitably epic, and comes complete with a canned animation. For a moment you actually feel like a certain armored superhero.
While buying the Game of the Year edition effectively removes the need to care about downloadable content, it’s worth knowing what content was added to the game post-release.
- Automatron – it get you the tools you need to create your own robots. It also allows you to customise Codsworth, and make the robot as hardcore as you want
- Wasteland Workshop – it’s your own private zoo crossed with the Thunderdome. Catch the wasteland denizens put them in cages, and make them fight for your amusement
- Far Harbor – help your companion Nick Valentine solve a mysterious case which uncovers some of the synth’s past in the process
- Contraptions Workshop – conveyor belts, logic gates and more wait for you in here, letting you form complex production lines
- Vault-Tec Workshop – it allows you to take control over your own Vault, complete with thematic gear. You can also conduct sick experiments on the dwellers, because this is a Vault after all
- Nuka-World – travel to an old amusement park overrun by wildlife, take control over a band of bandits, and show the Wasteland the true terror
If you don’t have Fallout 4 in your library at this points, it’s definitely worth waiting until the GotY edition launches on September 26 this year. It’ll have all the content you’d normally received from the Season Pass, but will integrate everything neatly.
Will we meet on the wasteland, Survivor?