Fallout Shelter Review
Reviewed on PS4
Bethesda’s mobile turned console hit Fallout Shelter is an incredibly fun entry for the acclaimed series and defies some of the “money-grabbing” mechanics of mobile games to put players first. It has a crazy amount of variety and randomness that lets its players come back and experience something new every time they log in.
Fallout Shelter doesn’t really have much plot attached and focuses more on base-building mechanics and survival. As the player, you are the overseer of a vault meant to house surviving people after nuclear fallout. While controlling the resources and having your people go out on quests to gather new dwellers, you must also arm your residents to defend your vault against the toughest surviving creatures of the wasteland.
Fallout Shelter is really unlike most games on console as it’s not necessarily a game that you play for long stretches of time. Rather game mechanics, like waiting for dwellers to come back from quests or exploring the wasteland and the time it takes for new weapons to be crafted, will only have players come back for short spurts of time like most mobile games. However, I found that Bethesda has found the winning formula with Fallout Shelter’s design as I felt that I accomplished some new and unique every time I logged back in.
Often times with popular base-building mobile games, many players can feel like some log ins are wastes of time as they don’t feel a sense of accomplishment when they check back in. With Fallout Shelter, however, I found the pacing to be absolutely perfect and that there was an abundance of new experiences to be had.
These types of games can also sometimes have a lack of a personality and feel like a clone of different games. But Fallout Shelter never feels that way as it comes with the excellent writing that the series is known for and the 1950’s inspired dialogue and imagery. It’s perfect for those who love the series for this quality and it gives players experiencing the Fallout world for the first time something to enjoy.
Players can also give its dwellers a unique look that make each one stand out from the crowd. There are plenty of customizable outfits and personas that players can give to each dweller that will make players feel like they are creating their own community.
These outfits also play perfectly into the stats and SPECIALs of each dweller and adds some great strategy elements into the game without it feeling too overwhelming. There’s no crazy spreadsheets or headache-inducing confusion with each SPECIAL stat as the game also does a great job explaining where vault dwellers with specific skills belong.
This mechanic, taken right from the series’ main formula, implores for players to strategize a bit and figure out where everyone belongs. Even with over 50 dwellers, players won’t feel like the amount is too much to juggle. This especially came to fruition when vaults are attacked by many famous Fallout foes. Raiders, Feral Ghouls, Radroaches, and even the dread Deathclaws will come knocking at your vault doors to offer a challenging and satisfying bout.
Fallout Shelter also offers a wide array of weapons to give your dwellers a solid defense on quests and on surprise raids. The gameplay is also more geared towards “turn-based” battle, so don’t expect to do much shooting.
The game’s only real weakness is that some mechanics from the mobile game weren’t translated well and cause a little bit more confusion than necessary. These issues are so minor, though, that it didn’t affect my overall experience of the game whatsoever.
Honestly, I found Fallout Shelter to be the most relaxing and satisfying game that I’ve played in a while. It rewards it players based on skill, strategy, and patience. It’s not a game that require a hefty amount of time and when I did log in I found my time to be more enjoyable because of how relaxing it was. All of these aspects combined create a winning formula for Bethesda that will leave players feeling extremely satisfied.
Bethesda goes a step further by making micro-transactions an almost non-existent part of the experience. The option is there to get lunchboxes that offer random loot or nuka-cola bottles that help speed up the processes of the game, but it never feels necessary for progression. Rather Bethesda has offered many ways to get more of these advantages through completing quests and tasks that are free for all players to play. It’s a decision that shows that Bethesda is there for the players and not just to make money.
Fallout Shelter is just another example of how Bethesda is putting its players first by creating a ton of free content that brings the Fallout style to a new genre. It’s rewarding, relaxing, and best of all, a great experience for all kinds of gamers.