The word massive doesn’t seem to adequately describe the size of Fallout 4. This isn’t so much about surface area — Fallout 4’s map is comparable in this respect to games like GTA 5. No, what makes Fallout 4 feel so enormous is its sheer density. Unlike the flat city blocks of GTA 5, or the sprawling open spaces of Red Dead Redemption, it’s actually quite difficult to walk for more than a few minutes in Fallout 4 without coming across a playable, searchable area. And in the densely constructed standing urban areas, there is an overwhelming choice of buildings, ruins, bases, and installations to explore.
A great many of these locations are marked on the map. If we just look at the marked locations, the Fallout 4 map very quickly becomes a near-meaningless jumble of icons. This might be why a significant number of locations are not so marked. Some of these locations are important, such as “35 Court,” where players of a sufficiently high level can find a complete suit of X01 Power Armor. Many of these locations, however, are not quite so significant, but their value lies in the care and effort that have been put into them as accompaniments to the story of the Commonwealth.
From poignant last messages found near corpses to settings that need to be re-constructed like the scene of a crime in order to tell a story, Fallout 4 is littered with locations that are atmospheric, sad, funny or just plain wacky. While many of these will be stumbled upon during the natural course of gameplay, the sheer size of the game, as well as the tempting ease of the fast travel mechanic means that many of these areas are likely to be missed.
But never fear. Prolific YouTuber, TheLAWD, is single-handedly documenting each and every one of these locations that he can find. Speaking to Kotaku, TheLAWD outlined some of his favorite places. These included a shack found near one of the relay towers from which, with a little effort, the player can launch gas canisters from a kind of half-pipe ramp, and an old caravan trailer containing a sentry bot and the game’s “best food item” — a Deathclaw steak.
Now many of these are just atmospheric. There is one area where we can find a dead couple and, with a little bit of CSI-style investigation, we can determine that this couple died in a suicide pact, probably unwilling to live in a world after the bomb. Very sad, very interesting, but not particularly useful. But then there are other locations like the Power Armor warehouse just South of Fort Hagen. While there is only one incomplete set of T45 Armor, which isn’t very spectacular, the place is chock full of that lovely, lovely adhesive. And in Fallout 4, it’s all about the adhesive.
So this guide isn’t just for completionists; there is a wealth of secondary locations in Fallout 4 that provide useful items, unique items, and, very occasionally, hidden quests.
TheLAWD’s hidden location guide is a work in progress. At the time of this writing, there were 106 videos up on the playlist, and it would seem that two videos are being uploaded on an average day. That’s 106 videos each detailing a unique location and, though TheLAWD has gotten a fair way south, he hasn’t even reached The Glowing Sea yet. The sheer wealth of locations is staggering enough, but when we consider that the teasers for the first DLC are dropping heavy hints about expansion of the map, we can see that Fallout 4 is likely to chew many more hours of gamer’s lives for a long time to come.
[Image via Bethesda Softworks]