Fallout 4 Meta-Review: A Wasteland Well Worth Wandering

By Gerald Lynch on at

And lo, it was written, that Fallout 4 is good. Very good in fact. With the Fallout 4 review embargoes for the post-apocalyptic RPG now lifted, we're getting a feel for just how vast and excellent Bethesda's grand irradiated epic is. While the graphics may not be the greatest ever see, and inventory management system has some failings, overall the sheer scope of the adventure and depth of content make for an experience quite unmatched on current consoles.

Related: The Cheapest Place to Buy Fallout 4

We've pulled together some key quotes from the Fallout 4 review posts from the world's top gaming websites to give you an idea of what you'll be enjoying with your sick day this week.

Fallout 4 Reviews

It took me around 50 hours to feel like I finally belonged in the irradiated Commonwealth. It’s fun all the way, but that’s when it all clicked for me. The moment came as I tinkered with my power armour - fixing the left leg broken on my last mission, repainting the arms and tweaking some mods. It was basically some gentle Sunday afternoon downtime. A moment away from all the fighting and exploring. When you’re having an in-game day off, it’s time to admit you’re not playing Fallout 4 anymore, you’re living in it [...]

Even now, 70 hours in, every time I set out I’m not sure what I’m going to find. My Pip-Boy’s full of missions but sometimes I just pick a direction and walk until something happens. There’s a still a bit of the map I haven’t fully explored, mainly because I always get distracted enroute. There’s a whole world here to discover and even after all the time I’ve spent in it I barely feel like I’ve scratched the surface. Maybe I won't tick everything off the list but just trying to see what’s out there is the real draw - for all the missions, quests and other stuff Fallout 4 contains, by far the most important thing in it are the decisions I’ve made. Few games nail a feeling of total freedom and this is an experience made of nothing but that.

Leon Hurley, GamesRadar+

I’m 20 hours into Fallout 4, and I still don’t know whether I like it. That’s a testament to the game’s virtues as well as the game’s failings. I have no plans to stop playing. I’d rather be playing Fallout 4 than typing these words. Yet I still haven’t forgiven the game for taking so long to hook me [...]

I am starting to resent small nuisances, like having to remember to change my clothes to improve my charisma stats before bartering with a shopkeeper. Your companions—whether Dogmeat or others that you meet in the world, whom you can ask to travel with you—seem to frequently get in your way, especially during interior sequences.

Still, this is a game that seems to be getting better as it goes along. If you value largeness, Fallout 4 sure is big and there’s plenty more to do. I’m just getting my first perks and have settlements to build. Now excuse me, I’m going to go get lost in it.

Chris Sullentrop, Kotaku

Bethesda's open-world strengths have always differed from its contemporaries in that focus on world-building and a sense of place above all else. Fallout 4 has all the ambiance and history that made its predecessors such wonderful places to get lost for hours at a time, with a much more coherent set of stories within it. That Bethesda has integrated a major building and crafting tool while finally building a great-playing game almost feels like a bonus.

Arthur Gies, Polygon

It's a loving production. It's filled with care and attention to detail—like the expanded set of radio stations, or the way flash radiation storms bathe the world in a sickly, ominous green hue. It's a pleasure to pick through the world, to discover new sights, and to pick through the perks and customisation option to conceive the perfect character build, however bizarre. In short, many of Fallout 4's problems, like every Bethesda RPG before it, are a consequence of what makes them unforgettable. That might not be the neatest conclusion, but it explains why, 50 hours in, I'm still having fun. It also explains why, now that I've finished this review, I'm going to play it for many hours more.

Phil Savage, PC Gamer

Fallout 4 is an engrossing game that lures you in with mystery and the promise of adventure. Its wretched wasteland can be captivating, and you never know what odd person or settlement lies around the next bend. Fallout 4 uses its dark world as a canvas for exciting combat and gripping stories, and when you dig deeper into its post-nuclear-apocalypse version of Boston--defending yourself from violent scavengers and using your wits to climb social ladders--you become attached to the new you, and ultimately invested in the fate of your new world[...]

In the grand scheme of things, Fallout 4's minor issues pale in comparison to its successes. When you put the controller down, you think about the friend you betrayed to benefit another, the shifting tide of an incredible battle, or the moment you opened a drawer and found someone's discarded effects, making you wonder how they felt before the bombs fell. In moments like these, Fallout 4 can be an intoxicating experience. You're often forced to sacrifice something--a relationship, a lucrative opportunity, or your health--to make gains elsewhere. And the deeper down the rabbit hole you go, the more you wonder: what if I chose a different path? You second guess yourself, not just because you had other options, but because you aren't sure if you did the right thing. The fact that your decisions stick with you after walking away from the game is a testament to the great storytelling on hand. Fallout 4 is an argument for substance over style, and an excellent addition to the revered open-world series.

Peter Brown, Gamespot