Saturday, September 24, 2022

Top Five Games Like Fallout 4 in 2018 – Updated Alternatives

Bethesda has made something special with Fallout 4. From the unsettling glimpse into the past to the nail biting final showdown Fallout 4  built on the solid foundations laid by Fallout 3 and gave us much more than expected. More action, more options, more guns, more enemies and fundamentally more choices. If you haven’t had a chance to play it yet I can heartily recommend you pick it up. I’ve put a little under two hundred hours into the game and still haven’t seen everything.

It opens with a brief look into the world that was. That delightfully retro-futurist 2077. A world where the future of the fifties came to pass. All rounded edges and finned rockets. You select your gender, either the husband or the wife, and mold the character in the bathroom mirror. Bethesda’s flair for intuitive design really shines here. You move your mouse or analog stick to literally shape the features of the protagonist. It really must be played to really get how easy it is to make a rough facsimile of literally anyone. What follows is a mad rush to the vault after the bombs start falling. You, your wife and your son are frozen. Waking up in that post-apocalyptic play ground we all know and love, this time in Boston.

The world of Fallout 4 is wonderfully realized. A vast unknown wasteland lies before you when you exit the vault. The main quest can run at a brisk pace, but this is a Fallout game. You are almost required to stop and smell the spore plants here. There is plenty to see and do, though most of the time the thing to do is shoot something til it stops moving. You can be whoever you want to be, an evil bastard or a loving messiah of the wasteland, the choice is yours.

But what if you’re like me? What if you’re done with the game for now and are looking for something to scratch the itch? Well good news pilgrim, I have just the list of games for you. So read on for the top five games like Fallout 4.

Top Five Games Like Fallout 4 – 2018 List

#5 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

falloutGotta start with a classic. Skyrim was released in 2011 and it is still the benchmark for open world fantasy games. It too was developed by Bethesda, and their trademark attention to detail is present here. Opening in time honored Elder Scrolls fashion, you play a man condemned to die. Traveling by cart, giving an excellent look at the aesthetic of this beautifully realized world, towards the chopping block. After creating your character you are led to the executioners axe only to have him interrupted by a bloody great dragon. You make your escape, which serves as a tutorial, and are soon let loose on the world. After that, you can do whatever you like.

Sure there’s some guidance, addressing an issue some players had with Morrowind, but the game ceases to hold your hand from there on out. It’s not just the agency awarded to the player when exploring, but that classic usage based level up system The Elder Scrolls is famed for has been sharpened to a Mehrunes’ Razor edge. You level up your skills by using them, rather than gaining experience points for completing quests. It is extremely intuitive, but a little easy to break.

The game shares an awful lot of its core gameplay with Fallout 4, just take away the guns and transplant post apocalyptic to western High Fantasy and your done. If the setting intrigues you, and it really should, then give it a try. Much like the rest of Bethesda’s games, it has extensive modding support, so the fun is nearly endless.

#4 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

falloutHideo Kojima’s swan song for the franchise may not be his best in terms of story, but the game proves his skill in game design. The game opens right where Ground Zeroes left off. Big Boss is in a coma after barely surviving a helicopter crash. The intro cut-scene is masterfully done. The use of a cover of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World was a stroke of genius in and of itself, but the way that first level build tension, frustration and fear was wonderful. The rest of the game never goes back to this heavily scripted, constructed kind of level, which is a shame, but what we do get is some of the best open world game play ever made.

Taking on the role of Big Boss the player is tasked with rebuilding his private military force in order to save the world from a mad man with no face. You recruit a soviet cowboy, a one legged drill sergeant, a mute scantily-clad sniper, a quadriplegic in some robot trousers and a centenarian Navajo parasitologist to aid you in your quest. So far so humdrum, I’m sure. The core game play is sublime. You sneak through Soviet occupied Afghanistan in the early eighties, watching patrol routes, outpost layouts and lines of site. All the while collecting resources and soldiers to fill up your Mother Base.

The game has a myriad of side quests to complete and a ridiculous number of fully customizable firearms, and a customizable robot arm. The great thing about the game is its playful look at Metal Gear Solid failure states. In the old games when you got spotted it was pretty much over. A skilled player could salvage the run, but you still get that check mark at the end of the game, and you concede the coveted Big Boss rank to boot. In Phantom Pain the options available to you at any one time is simply staggering. Do you call in an airstrike? Radio for an attack chopper? Pull out your rocket launcher? Or just call in a supply drop with you own personal mech? The choices are nearly limitless. If you’re looking for some challenging gun play, and excellent stealth action, then pick this game up.

#3 – Far Cry 4

falloutTakes a step away from the RPG elements of a game like Fallout 4, but can match it for its open world freedom. Far Cry 4 is a wonderfully fun place to play. The plot may not match up to Far Cry 2 or 3’s but it more than makes up for it in game play options. This time you play as Ajay Ghale, a Kyrati-American, returning to the land of his birth to lay his mother ashes to rest. You open on a bus in Kyrat, a fictional Himalayan country. The bus is soon pulled over by loyalist soldiers and shots are fired. It is here we meet the main villain, a delightful little psychopath called Pagan Min. Troy Baker really knocked it out of the park with this one. Ubisoft seemed to have learned the lesson from Far Cry 3. Don’t kill off the most interesting character two thirds of the way through.

The game play is the usual blend of hunting, stealth, gun play and collecting. It looks like Ubisoft needs to come up with a new formula though, a lot of their open world games are getting a little cookie cutter at this point. But with Far Cry 4 it still holds up. The map is massive, the creatures inhabiting the world are both fun to hunt and terrifying to be hunted by. You must hunt the animals for parts to upgrade your inventory, a nice feature carried over from the previous game. The game world is populated with mostly interesting characters, but not as interesting as the previous game.

Overall the gameplay is an improvement over Far Cry 3’s. Whether it’s enough to make up for the comparatively lackluster story is up to you. If you enjoyed running around the wasteland gunning down your enemies then you should love Far Cry 4. I mean, who doesn’t want to ride and elephant into the enemy stronghold whilst firing wildly from a grenade launcher?

#2 – Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines

FalloutAn extremely interesting story set in a wonderfully realized world. Vampire the Masquerade is one of the best RPGs on PC ever made. Its world may be smaller than Fallout 4’s by a few square miles, but it more than makes up for it with the depth of its characters, and some excellently designed quests. The game was made by Troika, now sadly defunct, a company made up of Fallout 1 alumni, and it shows. There is something about games made by former Black Isle Studios employees. They very rarely go wrong. But they are always buggy as hell.

Vampire the Masquerade opens with you being sired. You create a character and become a vampire. You’d think that would be all fine and dandy, but no sooner than you have done the deed that another creature of the night bursts into the room, in what is easily some of the worst animation I have ever seen, and stakes you through the heart. Now from my vampire lore I know that I should be dead. Turns out in this universe staking only paralyzes a vampire. You are brought before a tribunal to determine your fate. A short man in a fine suit leans around the stage pontificating before killing your sire. He would have had you executed too if some tracksuit wearing good lilithian didn’t stand up for you. The short vampire changes his mind and instead sends you on a suicide mission in Santa Monica. And you choose where to go from there.

The core gameplay combines exploration, melee combat and gunplay, with a little vampire magic thrown into the mix. It is functional. Meaning that it works but isn’t anything to write home about. Where the game really shines is in its story telling. The quests in this game are all wonderfully written, and the actors did a great job portraying the characters. The games was the first game ever made foe Valve’s Source engine, thus it has some excellent facial animations to really lend life to the NPCs.

If you loved the freedom of choice and well written quests of Fallout 4 then Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines will knock your socks off, and then some. Remember to do a run through as a Malkavian at least once.

#1 – Fallout: New Vegas

FalloutHere we come to the grand daddy of all things Fallout. In my opinion at least. Published by Bethesda but developed by those crazy kids over at Obsidian, Fallout: New Vegas is one of my favorite games of all time. From the world building to the unsurpassed DLC, this game set the bar pretty high when it comes to player choice. It shares the core game play and fundamental design with Fallout 4, so fans of that should be right at home here.

It opens on a murder with a view. You’re looking down at New Vegas itself, a shining beacon of brilliant light in a dark desert. A man in a checked suit makes cryptic statements before shooting you in the head. You survive of course, and after a quick bit of reconstructive surgery you are thrown into the world. From then on its up to you what you do. Do you seek revenge from the men who tried to kill you? Do you help the little town you find yourself in? It is so easy to get sidetracked on your way to New Vegas, unless you turn left at the sky diving hut. Then it’s really easy to get dead on the way to Vegas, though considering what awaits you once you get there death may be preferable. Each settlement is filled with NPCs to talk to, all of which have their own story to tell, or errand to ask of you. By the end of the game you really feel like you’ve made a contribution to this little world.

That doesn’t even take into account the four excellent DLCs for the game. Each one ties into the other, with recurring characters and motifs. The first was Dead Money. Taking place around an abandoned casino, the Sierra Madre, you are tasked with opening the gates to the place to get the treasure within, get the reference? The second, called Honest Hearts, an open world section set around Zion National Park. You must help a group of tribals defend their home form a war like band. The third was Old World Blues, another open world bit, set in the technologically advance research institute called Big MT. Look out for the excellent performance from James Urbaniak, of Venture Bros fame. The last is Lonesome Road, a single long quest, walking a destroyed path. Haunting.

So there we are. My top five games like Fallout 4. there are plenty of other open world games out there for you to enjoy, but I like to think these few will scratch your Fallout itch like no others. Of course if you really wanted to you could go back and play the first three Fallout games. The first one is great, the second one is better and the third one is an excellent game in its own right. So what do you think? Did I miss out your personal favorite? If so let me know in the comments.

 

Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. All a bit retro. New Vegas won’t run on xbox one or PS4.
    Enjoyed Farcry but nowhere near as good as Fallout 4. I may just have to buy the Nukaworld DLC…..

  2. Ridiculous article.

    5 games like fallout 4 in 2017 and you name a bunch of games made before 2017 most of which are not like fallout at all.

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