I wanted to try being a melee fighter in Fallout 4 but remember being such a character in Fallout 3 was nearly impossible unless I was on the lowest difficulty.
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mmm. .. well it depends, with medium weapons it's easy, and with power armour you can steam roll
in fallout 4 the stagger can be a real issue but you do have throwing/tripping moves which makes it easy to take someone on up close. I took on a high level merc wearing heavy combat armour with melee. 1 on 1 just keep throwing them on the ground an it'll be a cakewalk
FO3 melee relies more on stealth, I usually take on ghouls in melee, just back peddle and keep swinging
Overall FO4 melee is easier. . . at least against humans it is