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Fallout 4 is the latest Fallout installment, published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Frankie’s Triple X Entertainment, released in late 2012 for XBOX 360, Windows and PlayStation 3. It is the fifth major title of the series, this time set in post-nuclear Oklahoma, northern Texas and eastern New Mexico (region named in the game as Plains Wasteland) in 2285, two years after the end of Fallout: New Vegas. Bethesda announced that the game has roughly five times the size of New Vegas’s world (putting together the main areas – Oklahoma West and Centre, Eastern New Mexico and North Texas – plus the highways). Fallout 4 marks the addition of significant novelties in the series: the highway battles, drivable motorcycles (first time a Fallout game has usable vehicles since Fallout 2), the new and interactive Pip-Palm , natural storms, and the opportunity for the player to be a ghoul.
War. War never changes...
Three years have passed since the NCR consolidated their sovereignty over the Mojave, hoisting their Flag for all the Western eyes to see. Eight years have passed since the Lyons’ Brotherhood of Steel booted the then already troubled Enclave out of Capital lands. But in the central territory, flesh, blood and bones are still scattered about as many threats and the uncertainty of order haunt the population in the Plains Wasteland. Here, terror rides on two wheels. Forgotten heroes, ruthless raiders, and self-righteous vigilantes are all the people have in the once beautiful Great Plains. Oklahoma fear the unknown, the Hidden City, the place from where great deal of radiation still flows, no one knows why or how. Northern Texas fight off the Vandals and the Riding Troopers, bloodthirsty in their lack of ideals. And East New Mexico are threatened by an invisible enemy, cruel men that have the pain of defeat still fresh in their hearts, and who want to bring the flag of the bull to new lands.
You are the Murderous Biker, looking for a someone you were promised a good reward to kill. While you don’t seem to have anything to lose, you still expect a lot from the land of the bikers, as they say. Here, only the fittest survive the horrors of nature and hideous face of human kind, whose heroes are still trying to stop the maladies of civilization through a righteous war…
But war. War never changes.”
Up to 2077, Oklahoma had a powerful nuclear arsenal production and nuclear power generation. They had built the biggest and most powerful Nuclear Power Plant (called Hades) in the US, making them an easy and desired target for the enemies. During the Great War, a number of warheads were launched by China towards Oklahoma City (where the NPP was located), but a satellite defensive system created by the military forces in the city to repel the coming of bombs altered their course, but not as fully hoped for. Accidentally, some of them hit the neighbouring areas of the city, while a handful hit Tulsa, the second largest town in the state. Others hit random points across the Great Plains, killing many and poisoning the air and the soil for generations to come. As for Hades NPP, tales tell that ever since Oklahoma City was almost completely evacuated, nothing is known of its fate.
In 2285 (the starting point in the game), the player is presented with a conflictful and fragile situation in the area comprising a fair portion of the Great Plains (by then called Plains Wasteland by the locals): a number of bikers gangs have been fighting each other for power for many a decade, a group of pretentious vigilantes have been calling the shots in terms of law and order (making their own rules over the people’s interest), raiders oftentimes do their usual killing in the small cities, and the two largest cities in the region have become highly radioactive for any human life – or life in general, for that matter – to thrive. With the soil in the plains deeply affected by the past nuclear incidents – therefore, sterile –, there is not much hope for the people in the Plains Wasteland.
There are three main zones of conflict in Fallout 4: 1. the highways wars between the three biker gangs, 2. the anarchistic sect (Anti-Utopia) that comes from the east and who are trying to embed the local population with a little subversive set of ideals towards law and order (thus calling the Policers’ attention and generating a small war in western Oklahoma and Eastern New Mexico); and 3. The ongoing conflict between a group of independent explorers (called Moonfall) who are trying to get into the Hidden City (former Oklahoma City) to find a way to clear the place up for a new beginning of human development in the area, and a group of fascist bikers called Riding Troopers (who are also involved in the highway wars).
After a few main quests, the player is presented with five options to solve the disturbing situation the Plains Wasteland people are suffering from: one coming from the Wasteriders, one from the Anti-Utopians, another from the Policers, one from the Moonfall members, and a last one from the Caesar’s Legion spies in Santa Fe and surroundings.
The world area in Fallout 4 is the largest one in the series thus far. Three larger sections comprise the actual base game map (Oklahoma, Northern Texas and Eastern New Mexico), and have a total number of 8 considerable towns, 4 major cities, 4 vaults, and numerous dungeons, caverns, abandoned stations/villages and other wild locales. Besides, a separate section of areas is the five highways, where the motorcycle driving takes place, and where the biker gangs fight each other.
The Hidden City is actually the remains of Oklahoma City. The area comprised in a considerably vast radius around it is highly irradiated and constantly being attacked by sandstorms (common in the Plains Wasteland, and explained by Dr. Muñoz – a physician in Amarillo to come from the deserts of the west and easily get to the Plains as no geographic accident blocks them), thus the name attributed to the difficulty travellers and prospectors have to find it. Among the locals, it is said that “it was an old city where our communities could prosper and finally escape from this misery and starvation. It was big and advanced, and maybe someday the Messiah will help us find it”, according to Lawton’s elder, Marina. As the player finds it, it can prove to be a hard place to survive in. Skyscrapers hide terrible dangers in the form of the Serpentines (reptilised humanoids that crawl on the rooftops of buildings and inside ruins, and have a long and acid tongue that burns the player), feral ghouls, fire Giant Ants, besides the high level of radiation coming from a still unknown location in the city.
The Hidden City plays an essential role during the main quest-line in Fallout 4, but that will be better explained in the appropriate sections of the present article.
Tulsa has seen better days. While the Hidden City – when reached by the player – can prove to be dangerous by its lurking creatures and high radiation, the dangers in Tulsa are – besides also present roofing levels of radioactive particles in the air – the dangerous ground. Pieces of asphalt and even the pavements can collapse as the player walks through the city, making it one of the most treacherous urban areas in the game. In addition, Buildings fall apart across the city’s perimeter, and acid rain often falls in the areas inside the city and around it, forcing the player to look for shelter when it happens.
What makes Tulsa an interesting place – besides the beautifully grotesque sight and the loot – is the fact that it once was the Wasteriders’ hidden stash, and the Anti-Utopians require the valuable loot hidden in the city for their last part of the main questline.
Besides, Tulsa also housed one of the main branches of Poseidon Energy’s project on nuclear fission for automobile powering, and the quest “The Bikes Have Seen Better Days” involves getting access to their research.
After the end of Fallout New Vegas, the Caesar’s Legion, defeated by the Courier, went East, going back to Arizona. What happened after that is that the Legion, still hungry for power (both political and energy power), began the exploration of areas east of Arizona, more specifically the eastern edges of New Mexico. Reaching its rural areas, the Legion found good ground for enslavement, for the locals represented no considerable force against any fairly decent military unit. Having conquered a couple of small cities that had no contact with the big ones in NM, the Legion began looking at the large settlement of Santa Fe, former capital of the state and full of riches. Caesar ordered the placement of spies inside the city.
Santa Fe is now a prospering trading centre, and the surviving artistic style of the pre-war link title Pueblo Revival buildings and museums seems to have met a profitable solution for the dry plains around the city. Visitors from both east and west, most of them travellers and/or other merchants, stay in the city to contemplate the curious pre-war display of native art and architecture. And among the ruined buildings and rusted houses, the player will be able to notice a good amount of Pueblo architecture about.
The colossal city of Dallas is no more. After being devastated by various nukes, the Big D is now a skyscraper cemetery filled with feral ghouls and valuable military arsenal. However, it is in Dallas that the Policers keep their headquarters. Considered by them the “moust dangerous city in Poust-Apacalyptic Emerica” (in the words of Patroller Luke), Dallas can be a good hideout if well explored and studied. In the heart of the pre-war Elm Street, Downtown Dallas, traders under the rule of the Policers have set up shop, so an extremely rich amount of trading can be found there by the player; besides, the creatures are well kept off the Downtown limits by Policers’ barricades and patrols. Casinos and Night Clubs can also be found downtown. The Policers keep their headquarters in the old John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, in which they built a series of corridors and offices, functioning as an imitation of a pre-war Police Station. In addition, the player can find a very dangerous - but very profitable, in terms of looting - network of sewers under Dallas.
Smaller settlements scattered across the three states include:
Lawton, a pre-war city that now serves as a tribal settlement for the primitive descendants of the escaped Vault 33 members, who mixed with the previous dwellers Native-Americans that were descendants from the pre-war Apaches.
Gee, the remains of the pre-war city of Muskogee. It is a slaver town now, ruled by the violent Lombards, who can use the player to fight against other raider tribes during the course of the game (the Lombards are the only friendly raider group).
Sayre, the “Main City on Historic Route”, is the ghost town that stays in the way of the famous – now infamous – Route 66. It is full of dangerous Plains Geckos and Radscorpions, but it is a city with a large stock of fuel in its gas stations. The ruined Route 66 extends from it to the Oklahoma Biker Point, and it is also full of Geckos, plus common packs of Deathclaws.
Pauls Valley is a pre-war city known for its Native-American background. In 2285, Pauls Valleys is commonly referred to as the Nearest Point by travellers and bikers. That is so because they believe that the constant occurrence of sandstorms in the areas surrounding the little city is an indicative of proximity to the Hidden City. Indeed, Pauls Valley is the closest settlement to the former capital, but only to be found out later. Other than that, Pauls Valley is a peaceful human community that survives from selling domesticated Bison meat. Also, a bar and some smaller traders can be found here.
In New Mexico
Santa Rosa is a small religious town near Santa Fe. Upon arriving there, the inhabitants found many bibles and handouts that contained preaching techniques and old Christian prayers in the Guadalupe Church. Since then, they have been calling Santa Rosa the “The House of Christ’s Second Coming”. The player has to try and convince Pastor Williamson as an orator for the Legion in their final main quest.
Clayton is the caravan centre in Fallout 4. Here, caravans stop before they come from or go to Oklahoma or Texas through the many routes. The player can sign for guard duty for one of the three main companies: the “Plain” Goods Caravan, the Oklahoma Union Caravan, or the newcomers of the Happy Trails Caravan.
Amarillo, a trading centre for the travellers, and a resting point for bikers that come from South Texas. Amarillo is the second largest town in post-war Texas (second to Dallas), and the player can get many sidequests from random bikers looking for fuel or just revenge on certain biker gang members (be careful with some of the quests, for they will lower reputation with some of the gangs).
Redemption is a city built by ghouls coming from Los, which was devastated by cyclones. The ghouls are fairly friendly towards the human player, but a ghoul player will receive special benefits among the community in Redemption. Traders will give him/her special discounts in guns and meds, and Ulman (their leader) will assign him/her with a repeatable sidequest of bringing Policers’ ears to him for a nice reward. That is so because the Policers seem to have tried to charge exaggerated taxes for setting up their little city in North Texas territory.
The highways are where the player can ride his/her motorcycles. They were created as separate areas from the common world map, and serve as connecting spawning points for players to go from one of the 3 major territories to another. The highways were designed to give the player the “ultimate post-apocalyptic motorcycle riding experience”, and for that the developers built realistic roads that have considerable length, varying from the equivalent of real-life 8km (in the case of the shortest one), to 12km (in the case of the main one). They are three: Interstates 40, 35, and 27. I40 connects Oklahoma to New Mexico and is the main and longest one. It is extremely dangerous (full of outlaws – as the biker gangs call the bikers who have no gang and are there just to rob bypassers and other bikers), but there is no risk of natural accidents here. I35 connects Oklahoma to Texas, and it is the medium-sized one. Here, the Policers keep their motorcycle patrols, and depending on the player’s reputation with them, they will attack him/her on sight or help him/her in case of a highway war. Lastly, I27 connects New Mexico and Texas, and it is the shortest one, but the most dangerous one in terms of cyclones. The player can really get in trouble here and even be forced to go off-road in case a cyclone comes his/her way. If sucked towards a cyclone (in any circumstance), the chance of dying is of about 90%.
Highways can be entered through Biker Points, found in the border regions of each of the three states. Each one of the three Biker Points have stations on both sides of the border (they are called OK-NM Biker Station, OK-TX Biker Station, and NM-TX Biker Station). In the stations, the player can be informed about the current situation in the highways wars (who has got which territory, who has got more power and men, and which war is going on at the moment), as well as getting side quests and refuelling his/her motorcycle.
The geography in Fallout 4 may vary, but for most of the world map it sticks to the Great Plains sort of landscape. Trees (ravaged or not) can be found in small groups here and there, as well as rocks and some mesas; especially when going to the East and approaching the forests. Feral Bisons (affected by radiation; common when the player is close to the Hidden City or Tulsa) or just regular Bisons are common, especially in the Oklahoma territory. Wildlife also includes Plains Geckos, Golden Geckos, Mantises, Radscorpions (especially in the New Mexico plains), and Deathclaws.
In the southern area, the soil gets drier and drier, and the American desert begins to sprout in the horizon. Yellow rocky peaks begin to rise, and low vegetation can be seen, scarce but still. Creatures include Deathclaws, coyotes, nightstalkers, cazadores, some Serpentines in the rocks, and Radscorpions, among other minor wild threats.
In the eastern part of the Oklahoma territory grows a new kind of biome. Heavy forests pin the landscape, together with caves, grottoes, rivers and modest peaks. It is home to small villages (with some hunters or just bandits), raider camps, and wild foxes and Green Geckos. This is where Gee is located. Important to point out that a new feature of the game comes with the geographic design: the natural storms. More about it shall be seen later in this article.
Important to point out that a new feature of the game comes together with the geographic design: the natural storms. More about it shall be seen later in this article.
The Murderous Biker
The Murderous Biker is how the player-character is called in the game. He/she apparently comes from the west, under a mercenary contract to kill Leben, the man who led the expedition to Hades. It is never known who contracted the Murderous Biker, but a terminal entry in Pauls Valley indicates that, in a certain point, the Moonfall main man (that would be Nate) was looking for someone good with a gun and a motorcycle. Whether or not he is the actual contractor, it will never be made known. The Murderous Biker is the first player-character in the Fallout series who can be a ghoul. The player that chooses ghoul in the race section will have to deal with charisma consequences though: his/her charisma level is permanently set at 4, but fellow ghouls have very positive disposition towards him/her, and may even offer some privileges.
“They say we disappeared. We just couldn’t come back; we couldn’t take the judgment of the same people we used to love. Now there’s all this thing of hating bikers... People easily forget who their heroes are when not in times of desperation.”
The Wasteriders are one of the three biker gangs in the game. They were considered dead for a long time by the Plains Wastelanders, and even by the other gangs. But Jerome (their leader) tells the player that they had only gone to look for greener pastures to the east, not succeeding and coming back to the Plains Wasteland. The Wasteriders were once considered heroes of the people in Oklahoma, since they protected them from the dangers of the wasteland. But ever since their sudden disappearance, a lot of disbelief and disrespect has grown in those lands. Some Lurking Death members even mention that they have a dirty past, but that they – Lurking Death – do not want to mention, for they want to use it against the Wasteriders in a later, more appropriate occasion. They are one of the five factions the player can join during the final moments of the game.
“We want no business with that wicked place. What happened there was horrible, and we just want to protect our people and keep them away from the damnation that sleeps there” - Uriah.
They are the biggest biker gang in the wastes. Having their origins going back to Junktown, in the Core Region, they say that their founder was a man named Killian, who got kick out of town for not ruling it right, and who found on the road the pleasure of life again. Lurking Death members say they are called like that because their motorcycles are the most silent ones in the Wastes, and because their guns are the most efficient and ruthless, so their enemies never see them coming. But they have a good relationship with the Plains Wastelanders, for the fact that they took over as the protectors of the people when the Wasteriders disappeared. The Lurking Death HQ is located in Pauls Valley, in an old three-story building on the north-eastern corner of the town.
“They kill ghouls and say that’s for the betterment of humanity. What kind of betterment can come out of killing, now you tell me?” - Craig.
The Riding Troopers are a military-style, quasi-fascistic biker gang. It is the gang that is most shunned by the Plains Wasteland community, and they only get along with the Vandals, their raider buddies. The Troopers have terrorised the small towns in Oklahoma and New Mexico for decades, and their war against the Lurking Death began because of that. Joining the Riding Troopers will automatically render the player “shunned” reputation with both the Lurking Death and the Wasteriders, and vice-versa. Wearing Riding Troppers Jackets or Riding Troopers Helmets will cause any other character in the game to turn hostile towards the player. Their HQ is located in the infamous Road Reich, a fortification built out of an old factory in the middle of the plains in north Texas, near Vault 45.
"No rulers, baby. Especially no Policers. If the Plains Wastelanders need no rulers, let alone retarded dummies with heavy firepower." - Oswald.
These are an anarchistic group that comes from the East Coast. They settled in Oklahoma in 2279, and have been trying to help the locals transgress the political status quo. They are completely against the warlike rule of the Policers, and have infiltrated the small cities of Pauls Valley and Lawton to try and teach the people that they can survive on their own and rule their own land. After the Duncan Riot and the killing of its inhabitants, the presence of the Anti-Utopians has decreased (in order not to raise too much suspicion of other upcoming riots), but the Policers still keep their eyes out for any subversive acts in the cities.
The Anti-Utopians HQ location is unknown, but they have secret agents scattered all over Oklahoma and North Texas settlements (including Dallas).
“We have to stop that place. It’s a hell raiser, and it’s ever growing. Soon, the radiation clouds will get to Pauls, then Lawton, then... God knows where.” - Nate.
The Moonfall is an independent group of skillful researchers (who are also good survivors and gunfighters) who come from New Mexico and have settled around the irradiated area of Oklahoma, and there they are looking for the Hidden City. They say that there are wonders of science inside the city, and that there is also something strange that happened there for all that radiation to come. Towards the ultimate moments of the main quest-line, the Moonfall members ask the player to help them find the Hidden City and solve the radiation problem in the area.
"What, ya doubt our 'intregrity'? Ya doubt our 'capabilies'? Ya'll see when the day when them bikers start shooting innocents up n' down in Oklahoma, ranchers going crazy without them lands no more; who're they gonna look up to?" - Patroler Luke.
The Policers (yes, that is the actual spelling) are a vigilante group that comes from Tennessee and have settled in Dallas. They are heavily armed, and especially so because while they were migrating west, they found a Police Station filled with decent weaponry and armour. Story goes that there was a very rusty sign that said “Police”, but with a graffitied addition of “-rs”. Illiterate as they were, they saw no problem in the spelling, and having never heard of such a word (or words, considering the two versions), they adopted the name. The Policers arrived in Texas in 2268, and seeing no presence of actual belligerent groups, claimed the lands their own, and its people, their “citizens”. One decade later, they did the same with the settlements in Oklahoma. However, there has been a substantial feeling of discontent in the latter, which the Anti-Utopians are trying to use against the vigilantes and their authoritative laws. In 2285, the Policers are trying to consolidate their power in Oklahoma by looking into finding out the location of the Hidden City and what valuable items so many travellers and storytellers tell there are in the place. They are led by Patroller Luke.
Caesar's Legion scouts and spies
"Our expansion means humanity's redemption. No age in human history has seen this much vice and depravity. That cult over that dead city is just another evidence that human foolishness knows no boundaries." - Centurion Adrian.
The Legion has kept a low profile in the Plains Wasteland. But that is not saying that they do not plan on conquering the lands. They set patrols and lookout points around the Santa Fe area, and are observing the order of the town. Seeing that the New Mexico cities have their own rule and guarding forces, they decide that their steps in the Plains Wasteland must be taken carefully. Caesar himself is not there with them, but Centurion Adrian commands the soldiers (he does not mentions whether Caesar is dead or alive, he only says that “Our duty here is to expand Caesar’s legacy, peacefully or by force”).
Many raider groups can be found in all three territories. They are usually disorganised and walk in groups of 4-5 individuals. However, two groups stand out: the Lombards and the Vandals. The Vandals come from the west, and have settled in New Mexico and North Texas. The Lombards, on the other hand, come from the Midwest, and settled in the city of Gee, where they keep their slaver activities. In addition, random raiders will often be found as the player explores the Plains Wasteland. And lastly, there are also the Outlaws, a raiding group of bikers who are every gang’s enemies, and who often attack the player, more specifically while driving on the I40.
The gameplay in Fallout 4 keeps the first/third person 3D action tradition initiated by Fallout 3. With improved graphics and mechanics, Fallout 4 brings back the VATS system, along with a series of innovations.
Riding motorcycles is clearly the first of Fallout 4 innovations, and probably its most notable one. The player begins the game with a motorcycle of his own, which he uses in the quest “Wasteriders in the Sky”. But as soon as the player begins his/her first highway battle, his/her motorcycle will eventually get shot badly and lose a great deal of condition. Upon arriving at OK-NM Biker Point East, in Texas, Sheila - a local mechanic - tells him/her that they need a new one, and offers them a “menu” for them to choose between 10 different models. The styles vary from big Sport motorcycles, to Dragsters, to Traditional Harley-Davidson-like ones, to Choppers; all of them with rusty/worn-out design and customisable appearance (colour, post-apocalyptic-themed decals and plates, seats, bags and tires (with items such as spikes, which help knock off enemies). Riding motorcycles in Fallout 4 can prove to be a hard task, since there is always a battle taking place on the road. Suffice it to say, players can only use one-handed weapons while fighting and riding motorcycles (knives, clubs, grenades, pistols, SMGs and shotguns are included), and guns like the Biker’s Shotgun were made especially for highway battles.
Another point is maintaining motorcycles. The player has to constantly refuel the vehicle, either by paying for gas in Biker Points or by finding gallons around the wasteland and using the vehicle feature in the Pip-Palm to fill the tank (in the Vehicle Equipment section). Also, the motorcycle has a condition bar that can be analysed by using the same Vehicle Equipment feature in the Pip-Palm. They can be repaired in Biker Points too (remember that only neutral bikers – never members of any gang – are stationed in the Points) with local mechanics.
Finally, it is important to remember that the motorcycles were created to be ridden on the highways. As soon as the player arrives at a Biker Point (therefore, reaching a normal base game area), the vehicle is kept in the collective garage. It can be transported from one Point to another, so there should be no problem with dropping them at one Point and getting them back in another one. The reason why the player cannot ride them in normal game areas is because it would compromise the regular exploration experience which is so familiar to Fallout fans. In the game, however, it is said that motorcycles are not allowed by the authorities (both the Policers and the New Mexico guard) in their territories, so they can fight all they want, as long as they stick to the highways in between states.
The Pip-Palm is a brand new device for the Fallout series. It is used by the player since the quest Pip-Venture to keep track of equipment, information, quests, locations, contacts, vehicle status, among other utilities. Its functions are divided into almost all the same sections as the previous 2 titles of the Fallout series:
- Portable Vig-o-Matic: Here, the player gets a full diagnosis of his health condition: H2O, hunger, Slp. deprivation, dehydration level, radiation and - in case of Realistic Hardcore mode - a list of diseases currently affecting them.
- Inventory: The regular inventory section, but this time around with more specified subsections. They include weapons, apparel, now meds (stims, doctor's bags, healing powders, etc.) separated from aid (food, drink, chems, stealth boys, books, magazines, etc.); also ammo, miscellaneous, and vehicle equipment (which includes mods, parts, and fuel gallons.
- Data: Where all the information is stored. The World Map, as well as Local Maps, quests (now divided into main and side ones, which the player can switch between using a given key/button), notes, a log on the current highway battles, and a notepad (personal data that can generate new notes for the player to write down ideas, information, or random insights during the gameplay).
- Stats: SPECIAL stats, as well as skills and perks, reputation with each of the factions together with overall Karma and Karma statuses - biker killer, road terror, slaver, anarchic friend, and various other karmic statuses earned throughout the course of the game -, general statistics, and the challenges/achievements.
- Comm: A brand new section for the Pip-Palm, which betters the gameplay experience as the player has closer contact with his friends and fellow bikers out in the wasteland. The communication section features the already known radio stations, plus a list of contacts that the player may call for supplies or a quick help (depending on the contact's availability), a log of calls for help received from other contacts for side quests, and a Pip-Palm Recharge section for the player to keep track of the number of days the Pip-Palm battery will last.
When playing the new Realistic Hardcore mode, the player actually has to find upgrades for their Pip-Palm to enhance it with some features that would normally be taken for granted in a Pip-Boy. They are 8 upgrades scattered around factories or found for sale with some traders:
1. 3 upgrades for the Portable Vig-o-Matic (Geiger Counter, limb doctor - only way the player can cure a crippled limb without actually going to a doctor, and the automatic food ingestion, which enables the Pip-Palm to "remind" the player when their body needs food or water and do that for them depending on items availability).
2. 2 upgrades for the Communication section (Vehicle Communication, which enables the player to refuel the motorcycle with gallons, and the Calls feature).
3. 2 upgrades for Inventory (Ammo recycling, and Weapon parts recycling, which is very useful for repairing other weapons).
4. 1 upgrade for Data (the Notepad).
Needless to say that without these, the player will not be able to use such functions on the Pip-Palm.
Not only has the player got to deal with hostile creatures and mad bandits, but in Fallout 4, the cyclones, radiation clouds, and sandstorms. Referring back to the 1930s Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, Fallout 4 brings heavy sandstorms – that take place all around Oklahoma and the eastern part of New Mexico – that slowly kill the player if he/she does not get to a shelter quickly (besides the fact that they are completely slowed down by the strong wind and lose 3 Perception points while the storm is taking place. Cyclones are a bit trickier, but a lot shorter. While a cyclone is brewing, the player has no option but to run. No shelter will protect them, unless it is underground. However, it is only required to keep running away from it for less than 1 min, so the suffering here is quicker. As for radiation clouds, they are thick packs of Cesium-137 particles scattered in the air around the Hidden City. They completely block the player’s sight with a greenish curtain, and slowly kill them if not fought against with the aid of Anti-rads and suits/masks.
Brand new Hardcore system
- In addition to the regular Fallout: New Vegas hardcore system, Fallout 4 brings a new option for a Realistic Hardcore mode. This mode includes:
- The regular H2O, food and sleep deprivation;
- The Pip-Palm needs recharging from time to time. This can be done when finding power sockets in buildings and houses. However, it takes a considerable amount of time for the Pip-Palm battery to get low (about 3-4 game days), and it warns the player as it happens. If the Pip-Palm is out of battery, it will be impossible for the player to browse inventory, read notes and quests objectives, fast-travel, call contacts, or refuel the motorcycle with gallons (along with all other Pip-Palm regular functions);
- Bandages are introduced to avoid bleeding. When hit hard by a strike or shot badly during a gunfight, the player usually begins bleeding, and loses 1 endurance point, besides increasingly losing health;
- Gasmasks are compulsory in highly radioactive areas, or else the player dies in seconds. Good gasmasks can be bought from merchants in various towns, and filters are also an item to be attached to the masks (only in Realistic Hardcore mode);
- Rad-X no longer exists as a preventive method against radiation;
- The player can get diseases (like food intoxication, or acute dehydration, or acute radiation poisoning), in which case he/she needs to see a doctor or else they die in a couple of days as their health bar and SPECIAL stats are slowly drained;
- Guns may jam when below 30% condition level;
- Quests no longer have objectives markers (neither in the compass nor on the Pip-Palm);
- In VATS, enemies have much more effective turns than the player;