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Fallout 4 review: Won't set the world on fire, but might start a (tiny) flame in your heart

Hayden Dingman | Nov. 10, 2015
For nigh-on fifteen years, Bethesda’s games have stood as my benchmark for the open-world genre—from Morrowind’s opening “Wake up, we’re here” all the way through the last minute I played of Skyrim. Even Oblivion’s obvious missteps mattered little to me at the time, given the scale of the game.

But now...It’s not that Fallout 4 is a bad game, or even a bad Bethesda game. It’s that other studios started doing Bethesda’s whole open-world thing. Sometimes doing it better.

I enjoyed the hell out of my time with Fallout 4, despite my complaints. I expect a lot of people will. The setting is Fallout’s strongest asset, and if Boston is less iconic than Washington D.C. or Las Vegas it at least makes up for that fact by being an extremely important locale in Fallout lore.

This isn’t the step forward I expected, though. Here we are, the first Bethesda game on a new hardware generation, and I can’t help feeling like we’ve regressed—like Fallout 4 really is Oblivion-with-guns. A decade later, it certainly makes many of the same mistakes.

 

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