Approaching Fallout 4 like a tourist isn’t easy. There aren’t as many Bostonians around as there are in present-day Massachusetts, and there are more Super Mutants and feral dogs. (I’m not saying it’s worse in the 23rd century.) Still, there is a sightseeing tour.
A version of Boston’s red-brick Freedom Trail is in the game, and in one quest you’re asked to follow it, for reasons that I won’t spoil. Here are some of the sights along the way. If you want to really role-play as a tourist, read the plaques at each stop. Here’s the first one, for Boston Common, where you can ask a robot tour guide to tell you about the history of the area:
The next stop is the Massachusetts state house. (Piper, who came along with me, kept insisting on posing in my pictures.) The memorial across the street to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, celebrated in the movie Glory, seems to have been damaged beyond repair in the intervening 260 years.
The next stop is the Granary Burying Ground, where John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and other 18th-century patriots lie. Then comes the Old State House, near the site of the Boston Massacre in 1770. I was pleased to see that the preservationists of the future removed the British lion and unicorn, indicators of its onetime status as a seat of royal government. They were refurbished and placed atop the Old State House last year by lingering members of America’s fifth column of monarchists/Loyalists.
Next you’ll pass the Old Corner Bookstore, once the home of the great Rhode Islander Anne Hutchinson, who was banished by intolerant Bay Staters. Then comes Faneuil Hall, which has seen a fair amount of construction around it:
Once you clear out the Super Mutants inside, you can visit the Great Hall. This was basically my viewpoint of John Kerry from inside Faneuil Hall in 2004 when he conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush. The Fallout 4 version is probably closer to how he felt on the inside:
The last stop is the Old North Church, where the lanterns of “Paul Revere’s Ride” shone:
Off the Freedom Trail, there are plenty of Boston sights to take in, including Fenway Park:
Inside the stadium, the left-field fence we know today as the Green Monster is called “the Wall.” Above it, you can see that at some point between today and 2077, when the nuclear bombs fell, the Citgo sign was replaced by one for Mass Fusion:
For my final stop, I decided to see if I could find the house where I used to live in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood with lots of old houses and a lovely pond to the southwest of Fenway. I’m pretty sure the pond has turned into this sewage pit, and that one ruin of an American Craftsman home is all that’s left of the neighborhood. Oh well. Maybe the bombs fell on the guy next door to us, the one who introduced himself by calling my wife a bitch and giving her the finger.
Chris Suellentrop is the critic at large for Kotaku and a host of the podcast Shall We Play a Game? Contact him by writing email@example.com or find him on Twitter at @suellentrop.