Combat and Enemies
Fallout 4's new fluid FPS mechanics are among the first new things you'll notice when you start playing. The gunplay has received a tremendous upgrade in every regard, arming players with a huge array of new weapons to choose from. Being able to aim down iron sights really does revolutionize Fallout's FPS dynamics, making every firefight feel authentically frenetic.
Every weapon from missile launchers to assault rifles and shotguns can be aimed via iron sights. That being said, some weapons don't have the greatest sights, and you can actually craft light-assist iron sights to improve accuracy. Or just slap a reflex sight, medium scope, or long-range sniper scope to your rifle.
Hip-fire is still preferable for enemies up close, and sometimes I find myself going into the third person for the pin-dot targeting reticle. Crouching also improves accuracy across all firearms, adding a nice bonus for those devastating sneaky headshots.
With iron sights and scope aiming, players now have a nice combination of methods to use outside of VATS-assisted targeting. If you have low Agility or AP like me, then you'll have to make up for it in other ways. I personally use my companion, Strong the Super Mutant, to smash enemies up close with Grognak's Axe while I blast baddies from a distance with a combat rifle.
While iron sight aiming is a great addition, it can be pretty terrible for a lot of the fast-movie enemies like Feral Ghouls, Mirelurks or even those pesky Bloatflies. It's sometimes hard to hit these enemies even when scoping. Bethesda doesn't have any aim-assist on so you'll need to perfect your aiming, and it's definitely easier to do on PC with a keyboard and mouse.
VATS also has a nice bonus with its new critical hit function. Every time you strike a blow on an enemy in VATS you fill up a critical meter, and when its full, you can unleash a devastating strike. This works on both melee and projectile weapons, of course. Some weapons--like the Righteous Authority laser rifle that Paladin Danse gives you as a quest reward--can actually improve the critical charge rate.
To offset the advantages gained from enhanced aiming, Fallout 4's enemies are now much more deadly. Any given encounter can smash you to smithereens if you aren't careful. I absolutely love how tough some battles can be...gone are the days being able to jump right into a group of Super Mutants and just smash them to bits without even losing half HP.
Take Feral Ghouls, for example. These undead crazies are straight out of 28 Days Later, tearing at your character while inflicting horrible radiation burns. The first few encounters are pretty scary to say the least, and actually invoke a true sense of gritty horror. Super Mutants are just as deadly, especially when they have rapid-fire weapons that ping and pepper away your HP. Sometimes they'll even have missile launchers that can quickly wreck your Power Armor.
Fallout 4 has "legendary" enemies that can drop randomized high-grade loot. There's a chance for one of these more powerful upgraded baddies to spawn in any given location, and they have a star in their name. I tested the drops for a legendary Ghoul and found that the base item type will remain the same, but the mods on the item can fluctuate.
Enemies also have a varying set of weaknesses and strengths against certain weapon types. Super Mutants, for example, are immune to radiation. The four main affinities are ballistic, fire, cold, poison, energy and radiation. Synths are strong against energy weapons but are weak against fire. The game has a perk for identifying weaknesses and immunities, and I highly suggest you pick it up.
Let's talk about Deathclaws for a bit. These monsters are going to give you a hard time, and rightly so: Deathclaws are basically the bosses of the wasteland. You'll encounter them sparingly in the irradiated wilderness, but when you do, you'll need to load up on chems and bust out your Fat Man to dish out some serious hurt. These ferocious monstrosities will slash you up and chomp on your guts in no time flat, and I honestly love every minute of it. Even no Normal difficulty these baddies are a serious challenge.
Assaultrons, a new cross between synthetic android and a Mr. Gutsy, are also pretty deadly. These baddies can actually kill you in a single hit with their terrible face-laser attack. As you level up and get stronger, so do enemies, and they will start to drop higher level loot as well. This means every encounter proves to be stimulating and difficult, making sure players keep their wits and skills about them at all times.
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