Hello again, Antlion community!
It's been an eventful few weeks since our last post. We've been diving deep into the gaming world, adventuring and exploring in Fallout 4 and welcoming new teams and personalities to the Antlion family. Oh yea, big time holiday shopping is around the corner, and Antlion will definitely have deals on our website throughout.
Our main man Eli, long time Fallout addict and RPG all-star, wrote up his perspective on Bethesda's newest title, Fallout 4. Keep reading or scroll to the bottom of this post to take a closer look at our experience with the game and his take on all the amazing customization.
Antlion is very proud to announce our new partnership with League of Legends streamer Valkrin. Be sure to stop by his stream and give him a follow, he does a fantastic job educating his viewers on all things League and looks (and sounds) damn good with his ModMic, too.
We've also sponsored a new Polish CS:GO team, "CL4NLESS," a part of the Imperial Dragons eSports organization. Team members Michał 'molsi' Łącki, Jarek 'phyze' Kałwa, Patryk 'PACIO' Mówiński, Mateusz 'urbanbiffeN' Marko, and Konrad 'dud1' Dudek are looking to qualify for the ESEA Premier Division and Starladder PRO. Their first big event is this weekend, competing against some of the best teams in the world at a LAN event in Warsaw, Poland. Antlion is excited to be a part of the action and we hope you'll join us in supporting the team!
In other Antlion Pro Gaming news, our next convention event will be Dreamhack Winter 2015 in Sweden at a booth alongside AKRacing, Dreamhack's official supplier of gaming chairs. You'll be able to demo our products at their station with streamer RosieRiver, and have a chance to play games with her live on stream.
The holidays are approaching fast, and that means Cyber Monday 2015 is almost here. You can expect some quality deals from Antlion and our partners available on Monday, November 30, but also check back for some nice headphone deals early next week. We can't spill all the beans just yet, but if you're in the market for some sweet audio and gaming equipment you won't want to miss out on all the sales coming up.
That about covers the Antlion news. Now onto Eli's look at Fallout 4:
Fallout 4: A Polished, Customizable Wasteland
Before jumping into my first impressions and review of Fallout 4, readers should be warned that this write up will contain *spoilers* on the gameplay, map and general content. I’ve been playing on the “hard” difficulty, but beyond that is very hard and survival mode so the game can be cranked to 11 in terms of challenging the player. I have not finished the story line but we’ll be checking out what it is like to live and thrive in the Fallout 4 wasteland of 2277.
If you’ve played your fair share of Fallout before you’re familiar with the gritty and sometimes all too human tone that the game takes. This game like it’s predecessors drips with sarcasm and dark humor, a robust character customization model and most likely the best setting in the series to date, the Commonwealth wasteland set in post-apocalyptic Boston.
The Commonwealth Wasteland
Bethesda is no scrub when it comes to world and character crafting as surely many of you have experienced first hand in some of the Elder Scroll games or previous Fallout games. Their newest wasteland is one of the most vicious and unforgiving yet, and that is why it also provides the best satisfaction as a survivor from Vault 111. Here are some things that stood out to me after logging roughly 30 hours in the game.
- Radiation is no longer a largely ignored danger. Rad builds faster in this game, and more enemies do radiation damage to you. There are more bodies of water that you have to deal with, providing another source of potentially lethal radiation damage.
- The density of this map is almost staggering. Multiple urban centers with tons of vertical buildings, tons of secrets to explore that won’t even have a map marker.
- Fenway park is the main fortress metropolis in this game, what a genius defensible position for the apocalypse. The green monstah will keep ya wicked safe in heah
- Other iconic landmarks have been transformed but also are immediately recognizable to those familiar with places like Fanuel hall, downtown Boston and more: http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/3/8720667/fallout-4-will-transform-boston-landmarks
- Acid / radioactive rainfall and other weather effects will definitely impact how you travel and sometimes provide a great distraction to sneak into an enemy area.
- Tons of tongue in cheek references to Boston pop culture, previous fallout games and as usual a wealth of story & lore to explore via terminals and other tomes from the past.
- Random enemies on map are HARD. Whether it is just a pack of mutant creatures, the much faster and more threatening ghouls, or heavy weapon packing super mutants, gunners, or raiders you could die at pretty much any time thanks to the aggressive AI.
The Customizable Adventure
Did I mention Fallout 4 is hard yet? One of the ways that players can navigate the challenge of the game itself is to create a character suited to their prefered ways of playing, and one of the biggest new additions to Fallout 4 the crafting / modding system. While making a tailored adventurer is not a some new big idea, FO4’s system is streamlined from the past ones. No longer do you need to distribute points across the various talents that your wasteland wanderer needs to focus on. Every level you get a point to spend in your perk chart, improve traits of your character like being able to pick better locks, doing more damage with a certain weapon type, adding a point to the raw trait stats (SPECIAL) or focusing on any other gameplay type that is best for you.
- Smash, shoot, sneak, charm or explode your way through the game. Most quests will give you many options for the method of completion. Tied with the robust character system you can really play this game as many different types of warriors.
- Being able to put points easily into the SPECIAL categories (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility & Luck) give you the most character flexibility in a fallout game yet. With supposedly no level cap, you potentially can become the uber wastelander and have an embarrassment of riches in ways to play.
- Weapon customization! Not only can you find very great custom drops from the named “Legendary” mobs, you can unlock options to make your weapons fit your play style. Pretty much every weapon has 5 categories you can adjust, and armor is also flexible.
- If RTS games are a bit more of your flavor, FO4 also introduces the whole settlement building experience. You can create fortresses with materials you get from breaking down buildings and the junk in the world. There are lots of farms and areas to build up and protect if that is your style. Personally I only worked on the initial Sanctuary and let the other places fend for themselves =P
- To give you an idea of what people are able to do, this is what one user from Reddit did (although with some help from the console and PC master race enabled god mode for unlimited resources)
- Did you think that was good? How about this one: http://imgur.com/a/aO3lL Workshop settlement building is becoming a new minecraft for the nuclear apocalypse…
Subtle Gameplay Improvements
While there is a world jam packed full of content and a robust character & weapon system, it only matters if the game is worth playing with the core mechanics. Thankfully Bethesda continued to refine the VATS system, helped with inventory management and constantly rewarding you for pushing yourself.
- The VATS system is a bit controversial because many people will claim it dumbs down the FPS aspect of Fallout 4. To be sure, being able to slow down time and target / fire at your enemies is crutch-like, but the system helps players tackle the most difficult parts of the game.
- The newest generation of VATS doesn’t stop time all together like previous versions but just slow down time which does make a significant difference. You can also store critical hits to use in the crucial time against that charging Deathclaw or legendary enemy.
- Junk in the wasteland now has a practical use! Fallout games are typically littered with stuff everywhere, but now that those things can be broken down into building parts like screws, steel, oil, etc. All of it has a use for building mods or towns, and there is even a “transfer all of my junk” button for your base and companion.
- The downside of that is even more crap to stuff into your proverbial backpack. Inventory management still will eat a lot of your time if you want to use more than a few weapons at once, but being able to break down lower quality gear at crafting stations make that process more goal oriented and easier to keep the inventory weight down.
- Customize your life from the skills you use, weapons, armor and power armor available, and the settlements that you may end up calling home.
- It’s easier to save and load up your game, you can even do this in dialogue if you are trying to do have a specific quest that requires you to charm the person or convince them of something.
- It is possible to find basically every type of weapon and even the very powerful Power Armor out in the wasteland via exploring. You don’t need to do the story line to get these encounters, but some will be waiting for you in the quest sequence.
- That said, Bethesda did a good job of giving the players access to full range of weapons within the first few hours of gameplay. While it may be tough to reach that point without dying (a lot) you’ll find energy weapons, assault weapons, pistols, power armor and even your first companion very early on if you go the story route vs exploration.
Fallout 4 is undoubtedly going to win awards for the density of content and customizable experience, but it is still a challenging game that won’t be for everyone. As someone who enjoys RPGs and character building, you may find yourself waking up and wanting to go back to the apocalypse of 2277 instead of living in the more mundane 2015. What are your impressions of Fallout 4? Is it a big enough improvement over previous games? Is it too difficult or not rewarding enough for you? Let us know in the comments below or get in the conversation on our social media channels.
Now it’s time for me to get back into my trusty suit of power armor and keep wandering the Commonwealth.
Vault Survivor Eli