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Fallout 4: the good, the bad and the ugly of the Boston Wastelands

Our companion doesn't join in on a massive firefight that leads to our death? Annoying, but it's understandable. Can we deal with some enemies acting like all-seeing, all-knowing demigods? Sometimes. But when these things happen regularly it can become annoying. Really annoying. We asked Bethesda about the disappearing dialogue wheel, and the company told us that it was the first it had heard of the problem - but was looking into it for us. We're yet to hear back.

Fallout

We disliked: Less ammo, more high-level enemies and Deathclaws

It could've been any number of reasons, but Fallout 4 is a markedly more difficult game than either Fallout 3 or New Vegas ever were. We noticed that throughout the game there is less ammo initially and a plethora of high-level creatures. Characters that don't go Macho Man Randy Savage strength and endurance in the beginning of the game are at risk of getting their freshly defrosted butts handed to them.

It doesn't help that VATS now slows time, rather than completely pausing it. Enemies will still hit you while you're weighing the pros and cons of going for a headshot, making a "glass cannon" type character less feasible and more frustrating than in previous games. It's a decision that makes the game a bit more realistic, but some players will find it frustrating. Another new feature to VATS is that you can now choose to unleash a critical hit when you so wish, instead of it being randomised. You'll only be able to do this when the Critical Hit bar is fully charged.

Fallout

We liked: Fallout 4

All things considered, this is the best Fallout game Bethesda has made. It ticks all the boxes: a massive, detail-oriented open-world; still-fantastic tenets of looting and shooting; a story filled with intriguing side quests and subplots that feel like they matter; and of course a classic soundtrack that brings it all to life. All these things help Fallout 4 stand out among an increasingly popular genre, but for better or worse it doesn't do anything to radically change the formula.

The parts that suck, suck. Patches can probably help alleviate the framerate issues and correct the wonky voice over/animation problems, and will do so once the dust settles after launch. If you can't stand an out-of-place AI or a dropped frame now and again, don't buy it on Day 1. But holding it that close to the flame of perfection will only burn your hand. It's a great game and one that will hold your attention for the next 70 hours. All we can say now is welcome home, stranger.