I’m not a gamer. I’ve played games, sure, but those days were back in high school when I was flush on free time and in love with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (and its soundtrack). Now, whenever I game, I quickly develop that familiar sense that I’m wasting time. I’ve grown to be an anxious player, always one hand off the controller; so Fallout 4 was something of an impulse buy. A friend recommended it, and I enjoy post-apocalyptic worlds (The Stand, The Road, The Leftovers…in many regards), and it has since become my best purchase of 2015.
To be clear, it’s by no means a perfect match. As a non-gamer, I don’t really care much for collecting trinkets in the Boston of 2287 (known simply as “The Commonwealth”), and the desire to spend time perfecting my settlements doesn’t hit home. But that’s also why I love the game. Even disregarding two major elements of the game, there’s still so much to do. Too much, actually. It can appeal to some part of everyone. And for me, nothing beats waking up on a lazy Sunday and killing an hour or two exploring downtown Boston, with no objectives or timers — just visiting familiar landmarks. For me, it’s just about seeing how detail-minded the creators were when they envisioned Boston, one of my favorite cities, after nuclear war. It’s relaxing and beautiful… and then a Super Mutant sets his mutant hound on you.