I've played thousands of hours of survival pvp games like Rust and Tarkov, I've spent countless nights playing COD and CS:GO and Fortnite with the boys, I've put hundreds of hours vibing in Minecraft, I've played Red Dead and Bioshock and Uncharted and all those other beautiful story games, I've played all the other Fallout games, and I grew up playing Nintendo games, but I've never come close to finding something that gives the full experience like Fallout 4 survival does.
I'm not claiming it's the best game ever made. Its not. But the immersion and terror you feel in survival is more hardcore than in any other (offline) survival game, hands down. The feelings of pure unadulterated pride you feel when you fail taking an area 10 times in a row, then come back and somehow destroy them all without barely taking any damage.
The feeling when you make it to a safe bed or finally make it to a river to fill up your bottles. Or when you find antibiotics you desperately need in a medkit or in the inventory of a vendor. The feeling when you get the perfect sneak shot or when VATS works magically in your favor and you're pretty sure you would have died if you didn't hit that one shot.
The feeling when you have to take awhile reeeally balancing the pros and cons between two guns because you only really have room left for one of them. The feeling of winning a huge fight with a bunch of raiders, and then before you can heal fully you get taken by a bloatfly. The feeling of sleeping, and then by the time you get your food and water up, get all organized and ready to head to your next destination, you're already tired again.
The game comes so much slower in survival. You'll find yourself sweeping a whole town looking for that one thing (usually water or empty bottles let's be honest) just so you can make it to the next area. In the first 25 or so levels, literally everything is a massive danger to you. And you have to think about every single step before you make it.
I will always come back to this game. I fucking love New Vegas, but the hardcore mode doesn't really feel like it's 'there' without mods to enhance it. 4 doesn't really need that to shine, although obviously mods make it even way better. Its a completely different experience than playing it not in survival, literally a whole new game. I'd usually have a fun ol time looting and shooting my way to Diamond City in under an hour, singing along to the radio the whole way and not dying or even needing to take cover once.
I'm several hours into this playthrough and just passed through Drumlin Diner, and I've played at least 5 survival playthroughs and still take my time like that. All of my survival runs are glitchless and exploitless, so I don't do things that feel cheaty to me like I'm cheapening the survival experience at all (lightly modded though, mostly to add enemy types). The immersion is genuinely out of this world, and I truly think is a beautifully crafted experience, almost perfect.
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