Game Analysis: Fallout 4


The game I chose for this blog post is fallout 4. I chose this one in particular because it’s a game that have played for a while and it is one of my favorite games to play.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements
The BasicsNOTES
Name of the game:
Fallout 4
The platform:
Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox 1
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes):
about 13 hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?
If I could change this game, I would make it so that you could pick up the cardboard boxes and desk lamps from locations and scrap them, and insert a warning when you make a new game in the confirmation that you will lose all saved progress, but that would be it.
Players NOTES
Fallout four is a single-player game solely and doesn’t allow multi-player, but to compensate for this the game allows you to bring companions to help you on difficult stages of the game and to help add a bit of teamwork for the game, though it is optional to do so.
What are the players trying to do?

The players don’t actually have a specific goal, other than to try to find the character’s son.
There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:

Setup – at the beginning it shows a clip of nuclear war and the discovery of fusion energy, and then the resource wars, afterward it goes to you and your wife in the bathroom mirror where you get to customize your character and change your character’s gender. afterward, a vault-tec associate comes to you to get your special stats and the atomic bombs drop right as you enter the vault. then you get put into cryogenic storage for 200 years and during which your wife gets killed and mysterious people take your son. then you exit the vault into the post-apocalyptic wasteland and begin the game.
Progression of Play – now this is where it gets interesting. at this part, you explore the wasteland where you can loot, pickpocket, and complete quests. however, there is a mechanic to this that I dub ‘adaptive gameplay’ where the gameplay will adapt to how the player decides to play the game, such as if the player wishes to explore the wasteland and kill everything that moves, they can get a ton of superweapons and power armor, and if they wish to settle down and build, they can take up quests and loot for building materials to meet the needs of settlers. It is this key element that I find makes a great game absolutely amazing, and if you look closely for this element you can find that many amazing games have this essential mechanic.
What controls are used?
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller? they were fairly easy to understand, although with most games like this a had to get used to the feel and did end up spamming the controller once or twice.
This section is mainly relevant to videogames.
Resources & Resource ManagementNOTES
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW.
Other examples are:
Territory in RISK
The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions
Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)
Time (game time, real-time, or both)
Known information (like suspects in Clue)
What kinds of resources do players control?
How are they maintained during play?
What is their role?
in this case literal building materials and weapons and medical supplies, as well as caps, which is the common currency.

weapons don’t break, so you don’t have to replace them and you can find ammo and medical supplies and building materials across the wasteland and from traders.

to allow for the player to play the game,, as without them the player would die a lot and not be able to take shelter.
Game StateNOTES
in this case, the game state can be determined from the locations discovered and resources obtained.
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?
Some example information structures are:
Total Information 
in this case, you can view the game state in your pip-boy.
In what order do players take their actions?
How does play flow from one activity to another?
Real-time –
in this case, it’s a real-time structure as an action video game.
Player InteractionNOTES

Direct Conflict – I attack you.
Trading – I’ll give you this for that.
Theme & NarrativeNOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?
Is it based on an historical event (or similar)?
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?
Does it have emotional impacts?
Also look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?
The Elements in MotionNOTES
How do the different elements interact?
What is the gameplay like?
Is it effective?
Are there any points where the design choices break down?
as an adventure world.
fast-paced combat and decisive choices
Design CritiqueNOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?
Why this set of resources?
What if they made different decisions?
Does the design break down at any point?
to make it enjoyable to a wide genre of gamers.
it would not be nearly as enjoyable.
Graphics & SoundNOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?
Did you find any bugs or glitches?
What about sound?
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?
Various Stages of the GameNOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them? raiders and negotiations which I mostly went in with guns blazing and shock batons swinging.
Is the game fair? yes
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience? absolutely, as there are hundreds of different skill sets that make the game easier.
What is the intended audience? Teens to adults.
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun? looting combat and quests, which are amazing.

Adapted from:

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