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Christmas Gift Guide

Buildings in Beantown

My character

Puppy!

Commonwealth Minutemen leader Preston Garvey

Boston church

Synth detective Nick Valentine

Comic book store

Diamond City

Super tall building

The USS Constitution

Nuka Cola banner

Gas coolant station

Finest hot dog diner in Beantown

Beautiful nature scene

Red Rocket Gas Station at night

Getting ready to leave the Vault

I'm a hoarder

The open-world role-playing game Fallout 4 officially landed Tuesday on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PCs. Here, CNET's Anthony Domanico, a longtime Fallout fan, shares some early images and impressions from Bethesda's latest post-apocalyptic offering. The game takes players on a massive journey through New England after the US is devastated by nuclear war.

After playing the game for a few hours, I was struck by just how awe-inspiringly beautiful the desolate wasteland is. From the landscapes destroyed by radiation to the bleak, abandoned buildings of Boston and Concord, New Hampshire, the post-apocalyptic land of The Commonwealth looks stunning.

In this first image, we see an abandoned, broken cityscape in the heart of Boston.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

This is what my character looks like after playing Fallout 4 for about six hours. Yes, there is a face under there, and it kind of actually looks like me, but I like to wear a gas mask around to bring humor to the wasteland.

Also, there's a lot of radiation out there, and I need to keep myself protected at all times.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

This guy is easily the best, furriest and cutest companion in the wasteland. And yes, he totally does travel around with you and help you defeat the countless baddies out there.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

One of the first people you meet in The Commonwealth is Minutemen faction leader Preston Garvey, who has a pretty cool laser weapon. After you save him and his people, Preston recruits you to the Minutemen, then sends you off to help makeshift villages and recruit even more Minutemen.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

Under what's left of a Boston freeway, you'll see an abandoned church with some glass, bricks and part of a roof missing. Check out some of the details on the side of the church to see just how great it all looks.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

There are androids called Synths aplenty in The Commonwealth, though humanity seems to have a major beef with them. This Synth is friendly, I hope, as he's the guy who is going to help me track down my beloved son in the wasteland.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

It's a bit dark in this picture -- it is nighttime in The Commonwealth, after all -- but I couldn't resist showing you that comic book stores survive the nuclear apocalypse. In fact, you'll find comic books throughout The Commonwealth, and they're often pretty valuable. It's useful to trade them for things like weapons and armor.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

This is the inside of Diamond City, a city built into the remains of Boston's historical Fenway Park. After talking with a baseball bat merchant, I discovered that the people living in Diamond City have no clue what baseball is. The merchant tells me two teams used to just smash each other up with bats.

As a Red Sox fan, I wanted to hit the guy, but cooler heads prevailed.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

A massive building looks like it emerges from the wreckage of another building. These buildings are actually separate, for what it's worth. I was just struck by how cool this looked.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

This is the USS Constitution, which appears to be a converted flying ship that must have crashed down on top of the bank, perhaps in a hilarious but deadly heist.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

A banner for Nuka Cola looks oddly familiar. In the game, Nuka Cola is actually a substance that restores your health, especially the Nuka Cola Quantum that's basically a supercharged Coke. I've used a lot of Nuka Cola's so far, and even then it hasn't stopped me from dying way too often.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

Gas is actually surprisingly cheap in the post-apocalyptic future, only it's not gas. It's coolant, and you won't find any in these completely destroyed coolant stations spread across The Commonwealth.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

My character must have been hungry when he took this picture. Otherwise, why would there be an image of a cool-looking diner with a hot dog banner boldly displayed in this gallery? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sadly, the diner was closed. Probably forever. And my character had to look elsewhere for food. Don't worry, my dog and I found an unopened dog food can and pretended we were eating a real hot dog.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

Maybe it's just because it's fall, and it actually sort of looks like this in a town just outside Minneapolis, where I live, but the barren brown landscape against a cloudy blue sky is just gorgeous. Even when things are shooting at you (which is often the case), you can't help but be struck by how beautiful the environment in Fallout 4 is.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

The Red Rocket Gas Station near the main character's hometown of Sanctuary Hills looks pretty cool at dusk. Plus, it has a rocket shooting out of the gas pumps, which is pretty dang cool in and of itself.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

One of the first things you do in Fallout 4 is get the heck out of Vault 111 and venture into the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Here, I'm waiting for the dang vault to open already -- it's kind of an ordeal.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET

You'll do a lot of looting in the wasteland as you search for weapons, armor, health kits and other items that will help you on your mission. Unfortunately, you can only carry so much, and you'll probably get the "You're carrying too much and can't run" messages way more often than you want.

Fortunately, this isn't real life, and you can just throw your heavy, useless stuff on the ground. Or, I guess you could try to sell it for money.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Anthony Domanico/CNET
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