We have a lot of stuff. From gadgets to chili dogs to keychains our world is cram-jam with objects. Everything has a purpose of some sort, no matter how short-lived. That's because we live in a world that is one big marketplace, organized and tidy. But what happens if the world falls apart? What do we do with all this stuff if the world ends?
Fallout 4 answers this question better than any other game. Sure, on the surface it's an epic post-apocalyptic adventure filled with murder and mayhem. But at its heart, it's a game that loves stuff. Scavenging and scrounging form the foundation of a nearly flawless experience. It’s also part of the PS Plus Collection, a collection of the biggest PS4 hits for PS5 owners, which is shuttering in May.
So before it goes, or even if you're gaming on a different platform, you owe it to yourself to take a jaunt around this irradiated junk-filled world. Especially if you've never been there before. Fallout 4 is Bethesda's most innovative title (at least until Starfield) because of how it iterates on one of the defining features of the game studio’s massive open worlds: stuff.
Anyone who’s logged triple-digit playtimes in Skyrim can attest to the amount of inventory management foisted upon you by the game. You’ll have a house in every major city full of loot that does nothing. Fallout 4 resolves this with a crafting system that allows you to break down every single item into components used for crafting.
And you will be crafting aplenty as you defend your various settlements from hordes of Super Mutants and bloodthirsty raiders. You’ll always find yourself in need of some crucial element, like ceramic, that makes your high-level, nigh-invulnerable power-armor wearing wasteland badass squeal with delight at the sight of a coffee mug.
But Fallout 4 isn’t just a game about the glorious utility of junk. True to series form, it tells the tale of a survivor who avoided a nuclear holocaust by being cryogenically frozen in a bunker. You thaw out 200+ years later and things are, obviously, quite different. You’ve got an important role to play in the world (because video games) that is slowly unraveled over a few dozen hours of gameplay.
There’s tons of action too. The series’ fabled V.A.T.S. combat system is in full, bloody effect allowing you to revel in slo-mo replays of various dismemberments and incinerations. And like any good open-world game you can play in whatever style suits you. Want to be a sneaky, creepy sniper? Or a guns-blazing bulldozer? It’s totally up to you.
And instead of having houses that just sit there, you develop settlements instead. These tiny communities have little stories and characters all their own, but also require you to devote time and resources to their care. It’s a nice balance between being a lone wanderer out in the wastes, and a stand-up citizen looking out for others and feeling like you have made a meaningful impact on the world.
Fallout 4 has action and drama and comedy, thrilling combat and deep skill trees, and post-apocaylptic Boston is one of the most fully realized game worlds anywhere. It’s an awesome place to spend a few (or a few dozen) hours.
Fallout 4 will be leaving the free PS Plus library on PS5 in May. It will remain part of the paid PS Plus subscription service, and can also be found on Game Pass or for sale on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.