Fallout 4: Nuka-World: A Review

Fallout 4’s Nuka-World expansion is a mixed bag, with some odd choices in terms of story direction. The premise is that the ‘Sole Survivor’ must go to the Nuka-World abandoned theme park, now run by raiders, to act as the leader of said raiders. There are three factions you can control.

Gameplay

Nuka-World provides fun gameplay with underwhelming story decisions. Firstly the good, characters, environment and fighting. The combat was great with a variety of monsters and creatures to kill. New weapons added variety in unique ways. Also Fallout finally received an AK variant rather than a PVC pipe with a scope attached to it for an assault rifle. The three gangs, and their respective leaders, add variety and are interesting. The way they operate is sadly not reflected in there attack methods. Other characters are genuinely well written and pleasant to hear. I found myself skipping dialogue a lot less which is always great. I won’t spoil too much, but a character from Fallout 3 makes a cameo, but only has a few idle lines and one fetch quest. Now for the bad; Choices in the story and interaction with the environment. While the ambiance of the world space is certainly there I can’t help, but feel that the rides and attractions which still work are boring. A lot of the rides will move and have places to sit in, but don’t let a player sit on the actual car, rocket or whatever other ride it is. You can only really ride one ride, which you have to clear out before hand, so you have seen everything already. Lastly the choices in the story. Bethesda makes it so that you either have to go fully through with the raider plan or kill all raiders to turn power on and ‘fix’ Nuka-World. The fact that to be good you have to kill everyone is just bad writing on Bethesda’s part. It seems strange that Bethesda wouldn’t have the foresight to allow you to talk or come to a truce over the use of Nuka-World and set boundaries for Raiders in an RPG. All in all gameplay is a little above average.

Sound

The sound of Nuka-World sets a tone for the DLC. While usually I would discuss the new radio stations they are not very important. Instead the soundtrack itself provides ambiance and is better than any other soundtrack from Fallout 4 and its extra content. Inon Zur has done well at supporting the setting of Nuka-World through his music.

Narrative

Nuka-World begins with a radio signal and brings you to a monorail taking you to the park itself, now run by raiders. The raiders give you a test, but rather than join them they make you their boss. The story revolves around you, just like Fallout 4’s base game which is undesirable in an RPG to say the least. Additionally while Fallout 4’s base game made it difficult to be a bad guy Nuka-World makes it too hard to be a good guy. In both the base game and Nuka-World you are forced to kill everybody and essentially skip all the quests and the fun if you don’t want your preferred companion to dislike you. The only problem is that Nuka-World has no companions that fit into its story except for the one added with the DLC. Overall the story, in terms of choice, is weak.

Graphics

Graphics are the same as the base game of Fallout 4, but special effects such as mist are used. New textures were added but at the same low quality, even on Ultra settings. Also like Fallout 4 in general assets and junk are littered about, with very little care given. Graphics are average to weak.

Verdict

Nuka-World provides a fun experience, in terms of its environment and stages of gameplay. The story lacks a good choice and makes it hard to play as a good character, which is bad writing on Bethesda’s part. However this expansion is very fun to play, and doesn’t force settlements into the gameplay.

score: 6.5/10, Better than Average

Cordially

N1sFoop

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Hotline Miami: Blood, Bullets and Violent Reverie

(So we begin our normal stream of once a week content, Rejoice!)

You stand in front of a door. Inside there are bad people; Drug dealers and murderers. You slip on a mask to hide your face from your actions, enter and attack. As soon as you pass over the threshold of the building pounding techno music starts up, spurring you into a fast and violent frenzy. You break bones, bash heads, fire bullets and then its over. One final smack and the music dies down to a dull drone as you walk back to your car and take off your mask. It’s this contrast which makes hotline Miami so great. One moment you’re zipping between rooms taking out russian mobsters and the next your either bleeding out on a kitchen floor or walking back to your DeLorean covered in that days work. Both offer reflection into your next blood spattered try.

Gameplay is lightning fast. You die and kill in a single hit and you move incredibly fast  which makes combat frantic. Although your body count is high, you never feel like a god, in fact you feel more like a survivor. You scramble around avoiding bullets and backpedaling away from melee enemies, jockeying for firing positions. You kill and retry and kill and retry and kill and retry and win. Every victory feels hard-won and gratifying, like you have mastered every move at your disposal. The pace is also helped along by the music, OH THE MUSIC. It’s loud, techno, gets your heart beating and pushes you to take more risks with its pounding beat.

The pixel art is brutally efficient and distinctly detailed. It depicts stains on rugs and dying men with shockingly vivid abstractions. Occasionally between spurts of action you will see “Jacket”, the protagonist (if you can call him that) do something that makes you flinch and even feel guilt. See, under the phone calls and mass mobster murders hotline Miami is questioning you and  it’s asking “Do you enjoy hurting other people?” as well as “Who are you?” and my favorite “Who is calling your home phone and giving you gangsters address?”. The game’s story is cryptic and engaging. It tell’s a tale of psychotic murder, broken men and anti russian organizations fighting against a america which has been occupied by the USSR in 1985. Hotline miami is one of the first games that I would safely call insane. Go play Hotline Miami and it’s sequel then but in the meantime leave your thoughts in the comments.

Cheers,

Earlegrey

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