Fallout Shelter has now been released for console and playing it on this platform is a very different experience to the 2015 release, which was exclusively for mobile players. When creating your Vault you can choose a custom three digit numbers to label it, although it has to be based in the Fallout 4 area of Massachusetts. The novelty for Fallout fans is obvious but it wore off quickly on the mobile platform where fiddly controls and navigation seemed ill-suited for touch-screen devices. In comparison, having a controller and a large screen makes shuffling dwellers and clearing inventory simple and considerably less annoying.
Bethesda Game Studios have kept the game free-to-play and this means that most processes take between 30 minutes to 24 hours to complete. You can use relatively rare Nuka Colas to complete these tasks instantly and the strategy is to get the player to buy more with IRL currency. It’s ideal for picking up and dropping the game when you’re looking to play for under an hour before doing something else. Players who want to progress further and quicker will have to fork out for Nuka Cola Quantum bottles and lunch boxes that drop caps, random items, pets and high-level dwellers.
Building new rooms for your bunker means that you can get dwellers to sustain themselves with food and water as well as power for more rooms. Workshops produce the weapons and outfits you can’t find in the Wasteland, with laboratories manufacturing the Stimpaks and Radaways you need to explore it. Other rooms can level up dweller SPECIAL attributes that meet the requirements for quests. Sending groups of dwellers out to complete missions means time spent travelling and when they arrive, the player controls their movements and has limited options with targeting enemies.
Sending dwellers out to explore the wasteland or complete quests results in payoffs of caps and items. Exploring occasionally flags a location that your dweller and enter, often involving enemies to neutralise and junk to be collected. Quests have set rewards but there are also random sets of junk, weapons and outfits to secure in the process of securing the objective. The format of moving through a multi-story building or bunker from a cross-section view is interesting to begin with, but eventually loses its shine. Minor gratification can be found from using the VATS-like critical hit system to single-shot kill raiders.
Fallout Shelter is a game that you can sink 10 or 20 active hours into, with a couple hours on the weekend and 20 minutes each evening before you cook dinner. Between plays a strong dweller can be exploring the wasteland, picking up rarer items and time goes on.
Fallout Shelter Console
It is nothing mind-blowing but for Fallout fans, it staves off the withdrawal effects once you have completed the big guns of the universe. Eventually the fix wears off and you find yourself yearning the next instalment of radioactive goodness.
- Fallout lore
- S.P.E.C.I.A.L graphics
- Low time investment
- Repetitive gameplay
- Linear progression