“Can I play ‘Fallout 4’ without having played other ‘Fallout’ games?” Yes, friend. Yes you can.
That’s the question I’ve heard many times in the last two weeks while I’ve been marathoning “Fallout 4.” It’s an understandable one for a game with a “4” in the title.
If you haven’t seen the previous three “Harry Potter” movies, “Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire” is nigh indecipherable. Heck, even the second “Godfather” film doesn’t make much sense without having seen the original. In the case of “Fallout 4,” though, you’re good to go. Promise!
The game starts with a thorough introduction. It’s 2077, and America is both enjoying a new golden age of atomic power (post-World War II) and on the brink of war (over resources).
But you’re just a guy (or lady) trying to make ends meet with a new baby boy. His name is Shaun. Shaun’s got a rad mobile:
Unfortunately for your nascent family, thermonuclear war is just about to destroy your house, that pretty blue crib, and much of the eastern seaboard. Shortly after this touching moment, a television news announcer explains that bombs just hit New York and Pennsylvania.
Given that you live in a suburb of Boston, your family’s best option is to head for your pre-paid fallout shelter. Yours is Vault 111, and it’s just a short jog from your home.
Unfortunately, your family is far from the first to arrive. United States Army soldiers are playing gate-keeper, and more than a few people are jockeying for their attention.
But your family’s on the list, luckily. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the gentleman of the family is a veteran — that’s actually what got your family on the list in the first place.
Just as you reach the platform to descend into your vault, the bombs hit Boston.
Thankfully, you make it below in time. Welcome to the vault!
We won’t spoil the whole game’s story here — there’s more to it than what we’ve said — but that’s the general gist. And all of that is front-loaded on “Fallout 4.”
Everything after this section involves you learning how the game plays, all of which is thoroughly explained during the first few hours. Some of the game’s stories reference previous “Fallout” games, but the vast majority do not (and even in the instances where those games are referenced, you’re not missing anything critical to this game).
Would it help if you’d spent a few hours previously with “Fallout 3?” Sure. Do you need to? Absolutely not.
“Fallout 4” launches on Tuesday — tomorrow! — for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
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