Starting at about 10:45 on Nov. 9, I got lost in Massachusetts for hours, possibly days. I don't know how long it's been since I emerged from the vault protecting me from the nuclear fallout, but I gave several of my professors a fake doctor's note explaining that I had a pancreas issue that would prevent me from attending classes for an indefinite period of time. Surprise! I wasn't in Massachusetts ya dummies, I was playing "Fallout 4" which happens to take place in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts set 262 years in the future, which is referred to simply as "The Commonwealth" (because Massachusetts is technically called the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I guess people 262 years in the future only have time for so many syllables).
The previous "Fallout" games have always begun with the nuclear war already being over. This one starts in the year 2077 when things are beautiful and prosperous for all of five minutes. Spoiler alert, but hardly: the "Great War" starts so your character runs to one of the nearby vaults which are built underground to protect humanity from the nuclear attacks. Once you're inside some stuff happens that is super spoilery, so let's just say long story short you emerge 200 years later and everything has been totally F'd in the A.
So what sets this "Fallout 4" apart from "Fallout 3" or "Fallout: New Vegas" besides the location ("Fallout 3" takes place around Washington D.C. and "Fallout: New Vegas" is in Vegas, duh)? Well, the most obvious things are the graphics since it was made for the newest generations of consoles, but they also changed the entire "character sheet" process from the last two games. Fellow nerds know what I'm talking about, but your character sheet is what determines your attributes (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck, or S.P.E.C.I.A.L; yes, they did it that way on purpose). Rather than describe exactly how they changed it, which would take quite some time, why don't you go pick up the game yourself and see what it's all about?
But my favorite new thing and a lot of fans' favorite new thing is that they don't hold back on the awesome loot. I probably should have mentioned that this is a first person shooter (or third person if you like staring at your character's butt) full of mutants and robots and mutant bugs and mutated humans and bigger robots and super mutants and mutated mutants (yes, there are mutants that mutate even more sometimes). And you are generally the only person capable of doing anything about these menaces. Luckily, there are guns all over the damn place, and slightly more ammo than you could find in the previous games. You might still have to scrounge every now and then, but they've added so many new types of weapons you'll always have plenty of options.
They don't make you wait until you're 75 percent done with the game before they give you a weapon capable of annihilating a city block, or what is basically a laser sniper rifle. And fans of the previous game may remember a certain set of armor that made you incredibly powerful; well, guess what? You don't have to wait long for that either. Bethesda Studios listens to and loves their fans, and we love them back. Even if you've never played a single game in the franchise, I highly recommend you pick up "Fallout 4". The plots aren't linked so it's not like you'll be missing out on anything, but you will miss out if you don't buy this game.
("Fallout 4" is available for PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4)