November 10th sees the release of Fallout 4. It would be an understatement to say that everyone is excited about it. In fact, there is no disputing that Fallout mania has taking hold over the gaming community, perpetuating the frenzied popularity of this established video game franchise.
Fallout 4 is based in the New England area, focusing on the city of Boston, and unusually kicks off as the bombs start falling in 2077. The rest of the game will see your character emerging from Vault 111 as its sole survivor. Game studio Bethesda is said to have made some changes to the gameplay since Fallout 3, including more crafting options, and introducing the smart phone compatible Pip-Boy (which is available to those who pre-ordered the special edition), which promises a more dynamic interaction between the gamer and the universe’s infamous wasteland.
If you can’t wait until November to get your Fallout fix, however, try out the free Mobile mini game, Fallout Shelter, which gives you the chance to build and manage your own Vault-Tec survival vault.The Vault has capacity for a maximum 200 dwellers, although I have only managed to get a dweller tally of 64 so far! As you would expect, each dweller has certain defined attributes, based on the familiar Fallout SPECIAL stat-ometer (strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck). These qualities can be improved and developed throughout the game by installing bars, libraries, game rooms and training centres where you can send your dwellers to effectively “train”, resulting in the relevant statistic being “leveled-up”.The main aim of the game is to protect your dwellers and keep them happy. To do this you have to expertly manage your Vault’s key resources namely water, food and electricity, by ensuring that the right dwellers are assigned to the vault’s different rooms (e.g. dwellers with higher agility ratings will maximise food yields in the cafeterias). You will also need to encourage dwellers to reproduce, and those with higher charisma levels will generally procreate most efficiently. Dwellers can also be sent out into the wasteland in search of much-needed weapons and other loot (bottle caps, outfits etc.).The tranquility of the Vault will be regularly disturbed by raider attacks, Deathclaw attacks (since a recent App upgrade), radroach infestations and fires. These incidents can lead to deaths, and so it is important to strategically distribute powerful weapons amongst your inhabitants.The game was released as a clever marketing promotion by Bethesda, but it is surprisingly good for a free game and is worth spending at least a weekend watching your Vault empire grow! I for one am looking forward to the real thing coming out in a couple of month’s time, and I am excited to have an excuse to host a Fallout Thanksgiving party at the end of November!!