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Fallout 4 (PlayStation 4) artwork

Fallout 4 (PlayStation 4) review


"Dear Diary"


October 23, 2287


Our family farm - the Abernathy Family Farm - has always been at risk on the outer fringes of the frontier of the former Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was a risk I was willing to take as my family had nothing but resolve and willingness to work this land. I never expected that we would have to pay so high a price to lead such a simple life.

My sweet daughter Mary was murdered by a vagabond band of Raiders. My sorrow, and that of my wife Connie, is almost too much to bare. I take some small measure of solace in knowing her death has been avenged by a mysterious stranger. He agreed to go to the raiders hideout and killed them. He brought back Maryís locket, an heirloom that has been in my family for generations. I will be forever indebted to this strangerís kindness. He calls himself the Sole Survivor.

October 24, 2287


The Sole Survivor is a quaint individual. Just as I will never forget the daughter I lost, I will never forget this man who I am forever indebted. He runs amok in a jump suit baring the numerals ď111Ē as if from a bygone era. He says that he awoke within the confines of a vault not too far north from here just in time to see a man murder his wife and steel his son. As unbelievable as that is, he claims to have been cryogenically frozen in a vault for 210 years. If this is true, how is he still alive? How will he find his son with no idea where to start searching?

I fear for the safety of anyone or anything that stands in his way. He fights with unparalleled ability. He has shown no muscular atrophy, no lack of alertness to his new surroundings. Itís like heís not quite human, though he showed me a fresh wound to prove he bleeds. He claims that heís helped dramatically by something called a Pip-Boy. It manages his attributes, allows him to allocate XP (why donít I have any?), and it even grants him temporary control of the environment through something called V.A.T.S, which he claims makes targeting any enemyís weak spot much easier. This is a lot for me to take in; Iím just a simple farmer. There must be someone in Diamond City or some other place that has heard of such technology; itís almost too amazing to believe.

In this gray world devoid of warmth, where Super Mutants, Raiders, and Deathclaws push honest human folk like my family to the brink, the Sole Survivor is always welcome at my farm.

November 15, 2287


The Sole Survivor has been visiting frequently. He comes and goes, usually offering news from across the land. Iíve told him heís always welcome to take any vegetables he may need or rest in my the house. Iíve offered him the use of my cooking station and work bench as a small token of my appreciation for what he did earlier.

Iíve also warned him about heading south. I may be a simple farmer, but itís common knowledge that the farther south you head in the Commonwealth, the tougher things get. I tell the Sole Survivor about a glowing sea far south from here, where the radioactivity is so high, nothing natural survives. The Sole Survivor just stares off into the distance.

He is an adaptable man. One not out of place in these end of times. As he eats his squirrel on a stick, he tells me of amazing developments. Thereís a war brewing between competing factions, and I donít just mean between standard wasteland Raiders and the innocent folks they target.

On one side are the Minutemen. This ragtag militia is based not far from my farm, but theyíve until recently been small and weak. The Sole Survivor claims to have saved their leader, Preston Garvey and together the two of them are working to rebuild the Minutemenís strength. Since their base is so close to my farm, this must benefit me. The Sole Survivor tells me theyíre planning to assault an abandoned fortress called the Castle in South Boston that used to be their headquarters but is now over-run with Mirelurks and other vermin.

He also tells me not too far from the Castle, back in the ruins of Bostonís Logan Airport, a band of heavily armed and even more heavily armored fighters called the Brotherhood of Steel have recently set up shop. They came south aboard a massive airship and ride into battle on smaller flying transports called Vertibirds. These fighters are highly organized and completely armored. They enhance their strength through power armor and heavy weaponry. Though they come from afar, they seem to have done significant reconnaissance of the area. They are here to bring order and destroy any who oppose them, including all synthetic beings.

Ah, synths. The thought of machines running amok as humans gives me the heebie jeebies. Apparently thereís a group who want to help them. The Railroad, the Sole Survivor tells me, are motivated to see not just the survival but rather societyís acceptance of synths. These men and women put their own lives at risk if it means protecting non-organic life at the expense of human life. I couldnít trust them, putting a synthís well-being ahead of a person. Itís no wonder the Brotherhood of Steel seem compelled to hunt down synths and members of the Railroad if it means restoring order to this lawless land.

The Sole Survivor squints into my eyes. He tells me there are rumors of a fourth faction Ė the Institute. No oneís really sure if theyíre real or not, or what their stance is. I wonder what they think of synths?

What is this world coming to?

I asked the Sole Survivor what his stance is on all of this and he assures me that heís on his own side, willing to support whoever he must to find the man who murdered his wife and stole his son. I pray he meets his match as he seeks to fulfill his quest. His presence is comforting in these dangerous times.

December 20, 2287


Some time has passed. A colony of mole rats has made their presence felt to my crops. Since the Sole Survivor is not often around, Iíve half expected the Minutemen to show a greater presence as they vowed they would after they retook the Castle and drew many volunteers to their cause.

Well, even if I must be left to deal with nuisances like mole rats on my own, I can at least understand the Sole Survivorís recent lack of appearance on my farm. I listen to my old radio and occasionally pick up stations playing music or offering infrequent bits of news from across the land. Rumors of a ghoul siege lifted at a newly occupied police station. Whispers of a man clearing out Super Mutant strongholds. I shudder to think what it must be like to go it alone in the wasteland, where peril waits around every corner. A part of me wishes I could leave this farm and see the things that Iíve heard about with my own eyes. Then I come back to my senses and remind myself that I have everything that I need right here.

December 27, 2287


The Sole Survivor has been coming by more frequently. He says that he and the Minutemen have done a lot to strengthen their fortress in South Boston, and now they want to help nurture and defend other settlements.

He tells me he plans to store power armor suits just north of here in an abandoned service station. Heís simultaneously searching for these instruments of strength and the fusion cores that provide them power. Heís also revealed to me a significant collection of gadgets, weapons, and materials that heís accumulated from across the land. How does he carry it all, and why does he need so much mundane material such as cinder blocks and eight balls?

December 28, 2287


Itís becoming more apparent to me. In order to build new housing, defense works, infrastructure, and power grids, materials of all kinds must be obtained and scrapped for reuse as practical building blocks. I thought the Sole Survivor had an immense stock of inventory, but now I see him scouring the countryside looking for even the most commonplace material. I ask him how his search is going for his son, and he just dismisses it as unimportant in his current quest for finding aluminum. I offer him what little Iím not already using on my farm.

December 30, 2287


Giving the Sole Survivor my scrap might have been a mistake. His infrequent stops have nearly removed me of any sort of possessions, Heís taken nearly everything, I donít mind helping the man since he did such a great thing for me and my family back when we first met, but doesnít he realize heís making our farm untenable? He even broke down the trees in my yard to turn them into raw wood for what he claimed would be new construction here, only he hasnít done anything to improve my land! Is there no wood or sheet metal closer by the settlement heís currently supporting? Did he really need to take all our stuff without so much as a thank you?

January 1, 2288


At least we still have a roof over our heads. The sky turned green and violent as a horrifying, creeping boom of thunder slowly progressed across the horizon accompanied by intermittent flashes of lighting. Weather in the wasteland is always hard, but radioactive thunderstorms are truly terrifying. If the weather doesnít kill you, the rads just may. Thankfully the Sole Survivor left my family with a few RadAways to lower our exposure. Or maybe he just didnít find them when he last came by and took almost everything that wasnít nailed to the ground?

January 4, 2288


Today my farm was attacked. Again. The Minutemen and their useless leader, Preston Garvey donít help, even though they have a major settlement close by. This time the Sole Survivor once again proved to be my familyís salvation. After the fight, he looked at me and said he had heard about the attack on my farm from Minutemen communications made possible via a network of antenna beacons he is building. He attributes his timely arrival to hearing the call and fast travel. What the hell is fast travel and how do I perform it?

January 5, 2288


To make up for his recent appropriation of my farmís assets, the Sole Survivor has pledged to ratchet up my farmís output and defense. Iím actually really excited about this. Finally, I can defend what is mine without the need for outside intervention. The Sole Survivor also personally constructed a water pump, antenna beacon and power generator in addition to a number of turrets. This is great. Iím not sure why he built an antenna beacon here since he seems to already know when things are happening, but he assures me itís for my benefit.

He has butchered the farmís brahmin, Clarabell, so he could have her meat. He assures me that I wonít need her for any heavy work. Iím now retired, as he puts it. The Sole Survivor tells me heís close to finding the man who murdered his wife and took his son and must leave for a while. I wish him good luck . . . but personally hope this is the last time I see him.

January 10, 2288


I now understand what that miserable antenna beacon the Sole Survivor erected on my lawn is for. It acts as a device for drawing vagrants and homeless with its inviting radio waves, People have started to move onto my farm in droves. This is a problem. While I donít mind helping decent folks, I do mind when they decide to park themselves on my property without my approval and without offering any service or goods in return. Thereís no place for these people to sleep, so they often just stand around, as if waiting for something to happen. Theyíre also eating what little food my crops have been able to bear since the Sole Survivor was last here. I suppose Iím supposed to put them to work, but none of these new workers listen to me. Morale is really low, and I worry that my family must rely on bot fly carcass if weíre to survive.

January 27, 2288


Things have gotten unbearable. As my farm has attracted more and more refugees, itís also garnered additional attention from raiders and even super mutants. They are drawn to its perceived wealth since I have so many turrets defending the stockade and walls on the perimeter of my farm. You would think that such a heavily defended area would make any would-be attacker think twice but here in the wasteland, survival can be desperate. The Sole Survivor doesnít come by until the fighting is over and he can loot off the dead, and then he claims itís the Minutemenís responsibility to provide boots on the ground. He realizes that these refugees, who die like flies, are really his responsibility, right?

February 3, 2288


Things have gone from worse to worst. A very large Super Mutant holding a massive tree trunk and wearing a shopping cart filled with boulders chained to its back set its focus on my farm. The carnage is too much. It demolished my farm and crushed me and my wife, Connie, with a rock. Somehow weíre not dead.

What significance do I have to play when my sole purpose seems to be a footnote in the grand adventures that the Sole Survivor is experiencing? When will this all end? How many more people must make their way to my farm, draw attention to it, and lose their lives in a never-ending cycle of attacks with nary and bit of support from anyone? Damn you, Sole Survivor. Everything was fine until you showed up.

February 5, 2288


Off into the horizon was a flash of bright light followed by a vibrant orange haze. This must be the end of times as my fore-bearers witnessed it. The end must be near.

March 14, 2288


Itís been a while since the farm has had any visitors. Since my last entry, Iíve persevered and set about repairing the farm. Iíve broken down the ruined improvements that the Sole Survivor put into place and set about restoring the farm to what it was back in more innocent times, back when my Mary was still alive.

Iíve heard inklings of news. That massive explosion I saw was the aftermath of an immense battle underground. The Brotherhood of Steel have been annihilated and the Minutemen resolve alone to bring order to the land. None that I come in contact with have heard of the Railroad. Did they really exist?

March 30, 2288


The Sole Survivor showed up today with a young boy. He said heís sorry for all the neglect and had spent a lot of time and effort playing rival factions against each other while trying to find his son. Only this kid, who eagerly calls him Dad, seems different. The Sole Survivor somberly looks at me and tells me the boy is not his.

How can he be so heartless to deny this boyís affection after all the effort he went through to find his son? What turns a man to make him want to abandon a child he had so eagerly sought to find? He wants to know if I can watch him while he heads for some place called Far Harbor, just as I notice him stealing provisions from my home. Whatís in Far Habor? DLC? That doesnít compute.

I want to say no, I will not be the caretaker for this boy that the Sole Survivor wants to abandon, but my programming doesnít allow it. Apparently Iím just a lowly video game NPC trying to make my way on a small patch of grass tucked in the upper left-hand corner of the Commonwealth. My role is eternal. My tasks are already predetermined. One day when - if - I die, I hope someone finds my journal and knows that Blake Abnerathy was an honest man who valued above all things his family . . .

And the Sole Survivor is a dick.

4/5

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Community review by Fiddlesticks (January 28, 2018)

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