Sometimes, Fallout 4 feels less like an RPG than it does a straight-up horror game.
I’ve gone on missions that took me well beyond the main map, to a hellish inferno where nobody treads. I’ve gotten caught in storms that turn the entire wasteland into a dangerous, irradiated netherworld. More than once, I’ve gotten ambushed by a pack of wild, relentless ghouls. At its best, Fallout 4 is a tense affair—the kind of game that raises my heart rate and makes me grip my controller in fear.
It doesn’t help that Fallout 4 is swarming with powerful enemies. Some are classified as legendaries, and these monsters are so strong, they can “mutate” mid-battle. If you’re lucky enough to kill these baddies, though, the game rewards you with a unique weapon. Like so:
Every so often, though, you’ll come across a full-fledged boss. And no other boss is seared into my memory as strongly as the one I encountered while cautiously wandering the Boston Common on an eerie foggy night:
Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting that enormous super mutant to pop up from the middle of the lake. I was just minding my own business, looking through the nearby ruins, hoping to find something good. Surely, I thought, all this radiation is actually hiding some nice goodies? And they were. Goodies of the murder variety, that is.
I should have known it was way too creepy and quiet around there; it was a telltale sign. I think Bethesda expected players to explore in the nearby shack, which acted as a set-up for the perfect opportunity to have Swan burst forth, catching the player unaware. What bastards!
The first time I encountered Swan, it wasn’t even close. The super mutant rushed me down, closing in far enough to stun me repeatedly with attacks so vicious, they pretty much one-shot me at the start of the game. It wasn’t until I returned much later, at level 17 and equipped with Power Armor/a very modified laser weapon, that I could actually stand my ground.
Sure, Swan might have scared the hell out of me at first, when I wasn’t expecting him to be there. But now? The brute is dead. I earned my trophy: