Gear is our job. It streams into and out of our offices in an endless tide of boxes and couriers; it gets photographed and catalogued and crammed underneath desks until we have time to test it. We quantify it as best we can, to share its essence: good and bad, peccadilloes and superlatives. We even pick the 100 best pieces of gear every year. But to close things out this year, we asked each staff member to single out their favorite piece of gear that was new to 2015. We hope you enjoy our little love notes to the gear that made the biggest impact on our lives this year.
I’m not a gamer. I’ve played games, sure, but those days were back in high school when I was flush on free time and in love with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (and its soundtrack). Now, whenever I game, I quickly develop that familiar sense that I’m wasting time. I’ve grown to be an anxious player, always one hand off the controller; so Fallout 4 was something of an impulse buy. A friend recommended it, and I enjoy post-apocalyptic worlds (The Stand, The Road, The Leftovers…in many regards), and it has since become my best purchase of 2015.
To be clear, it’s by no means a perfect match. As a non-gamer, I don’t really care much for collecting trinkets in the Boston of 2287 (known simply as “The Commonwealth”), and the desire to spend time perfecting my settlements doesn’t hit home. But that’s also why I love the game. Even disregarding two major elements of the game, there’s still so much to do. Too much, actually. It can appeal to some part of everyone. And for me, nothing beats waking up on a lazy Sunday and killing an hour or two exploring downtown Boston, with no objectives or timers — just visiting familiar landmarks. For me, it’s just about seeing how detail-minded the creators were when they envisioned Boston, one of my favorite cities, after nuclear war. It’s relaxing and beautiful… and then a Super Mutant sets his mutant hound on you.
Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios
Who Brought You: Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Action RPG