How do you review a game such as Fallout 4 in a reasonable time frame? Here at Player2 we couldn’t come up with an answer to that tricky question so we decided to do something different. For five days five different writers will be jotting down some personal experiences with Fallout 4. These aren’t reviews or recommendations but stories from their journey through the Wasteland. So grab a bottle of Nuka Cola and some crispy squirrel bits, sit back in a comfy chair and enjoy our 5 days of Fallout 4.
Five days of Fallout 4 – A Moment in Time
There is an element of beauty to the wastelands that is often overlooked. And no, I don’t mean any of its mainstay inhabitants. Sure, they can be pretty amazing to look at, but it’s hard to admire the beauty of something while it’s trying to eat your face. And I’m not talking about the impressive ruins of downtown Boston, either. What I’m referring to are things that you’ve likely seen in your travels, but probably haven’t given a second thought to. Maybe you caught it out of the corner of your eye, or maybe you stood right there in the centre of one and didn’t even realise.
I’m referring to the skeletons. The remains of those who lived in and around Boston some 200-odd years ago.
“What? Skeletons? How can we be standing in skeletons, you idiot?”
Ok, yes, you’re right, but you didn’t let me finish. More specifically, I’m talking about the skeleton that you find huddled behind a store counter. Or the one slumped in a chair with a fishing pole and a few empty beers beside them. Or how about the few sitting in a pew in a local church?
How did they get there? Is this how they died when the bombs dropped? I find it fascinating to wonder about what might’ve gone through these people’s heads as the early warning sirens began to wail through the air.
It might be a stretch, but I have to assume that these people died during the bombing. With saying that, I also have to think that they knew of their fate, and that how I found them is how they wished to go. It’s a great form of environmental storytelling that Bethesda put to very good use. Almost to the point that I find them just as intriguing and wonderful and sad as many of the stories told by those still living. The following is a selection of these untold stories from the wasteland.
This is a scene from early in the game, in a Church next door to the Museum of Freedom in Concord. This is one of the more sombre scenes I’ve come across in the wasteland. Of all the places people would choose to go during a nuclear apocalypse, the church is one near the top of a few people’s lists I would imagine. Here you can see someone slumped over the pedestal, seemingly giving a sermon to anyone who would listen. A handful of bodies are in the Church, but the couple sitting in the pews, arm in arm seemed the most touching part of this.
Man fishing alone with a few beers
Here is a man I found sitting on a pier, and it looks like he decided to go while enjoying a few quiet ones with a fishing rod in his hand. A stubborn way to go I reckon. Unless there is a different explanation. Perhaps this guy was older and hard of hearing? Maybe he didn’t even notice the bombs coming down. Either way, he looks like he died peacefully. it’s hard to imagine anyone could die peacefully during a nuclear blast, but this guy looks just that. Peaceful.
The emergency ward
These people were still doing their jobs when the nukes came, and from the looks of things, they knew they were in trouble. The way the bodies are laid out makes it seem like they were rushing hard to get inside the building. Obviously they were a little late. You can see the tipped stretcher, either blown over by the force of the blast or simply dropped by the paramedics in their rush to get to safety. Either way, the scene appears frenetic – this was a busy place when things went to hell.
The lady in the wheelchair
This was an amazing find. Here, a woman in a wheelchair sits on the edge of a water reservoir, with another body lying just to her left. What on earth happened here? Did the lady in the wheelchair make the choice to be here at the end? Is the person next to her her minder? Was this an older lady who wanted to be at the water’s edge when the end came? The latter is what I like to think; she came here to be at peace, much like the Fisherman did. Perhaps the person with her was reluctant, or perhaps they didn’t even know her and was racing over to pull her away from the water at the exact moment of detonation. Who knows. She looks at peace with her fate though, and that’s what I like most about this.
Scenes like this litter Boston. They contain very little context within themselves, but that’s what makes them so alluring. They make the world feel old and lived in – like there was a civilisation that thrived before all of this. Along with the buildings and other pre-war items you can find, they offer an insight into the history of wasteland Boston. It’s one of the many reasons I think Bethesda’s particular brand of open world is such a perfect match for the lore of Fallout, and why, weird technical bugs aside, I think Fallout 4 is simply incredible.
James Swinbanks is a Games Critic currently writing for GameSpot, although you’ll still occasionally see him popping up on Player 2, because frankly, he loves the smell of the place.