I, like probably millions of other manchildren (and maybe actual children) are hyped as fuck for Fallout 4 which releases next Tuesday, by released I mean I get to wait half the day for it to install on my Xbox one -_-.
I just thought I’d have some fun rambling about it because I’m constantly in these facebook groups either bitching about New Vegas (I won’t shake that fucking tree here ha-ha) or laughing at people comparing it to modern shooter graphics.
I’m almost at a loss for the levels of fanboyism I’m holding in, sheer unadulterated pure uncut 100% Columbian hype.
But I can’t help feelings a little bit iffy, I don’t know if it’s just because Fallout has become so mainstream over the years. For a title so niche to gain such mainstream appeal is good but also troubling to me, I hasten to add I didn’t play the original Fallout games until I saw Fallout 4 was being released and I needed an outlet for my building hype.
So I’m by no means an OG Fallout gamer, but I’m not a dirty casual either, I’m a console peasant who played his first Fallout game on a ps2, yeah it was Fallout BOS. I liked it because it was like Baldur’s Gate with guns and powerfist and it’s actually the first and only Fallout game where you got to play a ghoul.
After that I saw Fallout 3 come out and being a massive Oblivion fan it completely had me and had me bad, for months. I truly loved that game, the music, the atmosphere, the guns. Although overall it ranked as something of a letdown but as the constant apologist I blame myself for building it up so much something I’m desperately trying to resist with Fallout 4.
It was mainly the story and the levelling system I took issue with, coming out of Oblivion I found just putting numbers into a stat sort of unsatisfying as opposed to actually practicing the skill to build it up in Oblivion. Which I found more realistic; the more you swing a sword the better you get at it, but in Fallout it didn’t matter you just levelled up for completing missions and could spend skill points however you wanted even in skills you didn’t use.
But I had issues even with that system in Oblivion to be fair because I couldn’t resist once I had trained with one skill to the max to train with another until I mastered them all, which took some of the punch out of the game. The new levelling system for Fallout 4 looks pretty interesting and I’m actually really happy that it’s been streamlined and something that always annoyed me about previous Fallout games has been addressed.
Pistols, they never get pistols right, because you find one at the start and use it until you find some super mega blaster or some huge shotgun and then you never see it again but finally Bethesda have made pistols their own skill as opposed to just reducing it to small guns and big guns. So in a way they’ve streamlined it but also made it more intricate since every type of weapon not just its class has its own skill so you have a small guns skill but then an individual pistol/shotgun/assault rifle skill that focuses on one particular type of weapon with its own special attributes. Which I think is such a great idea because now you can literally make and use any gun you feel suits you best and your play style. Whether you want to be a long range sniper or a hip shooter pistolero or a shotgun surgeon. I think it’s just a great idea that gives every weapon a use and a purpose as opposed to just being something that clutters your inventory and is never used.
All games have their problems and they all reach a state of terminal velocity where they can’t satisfy the way they could at the start.
Also I had problems with the story of Fallout 3, not necessarily with the quality, I have taken to taking videogame storylines with a pinch of salt as of late, because they will always be secondary to fun gameplay and I’ve come to accept that. Waiting for an emotional rollercoaster of a game that Spielberg would be proud of is just too much to ask and games that try are hit and miss coming somewhere between tear jerking if a little tacky Last of Us vs. Engaging if completely insane pretty much any game by David Cage (Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit Syndrome, Beyond Two Souls) but I digress, I’ll get into that in more depth in a later blog probably.
The problem I had with the story is that there wasn’t very much of it, and that’s not to say they weren’t lots of quests and characters, what I mean were there were certain main quest lines that had achievements attached to them. And the problem I have with that is it just makes the game seem less fluid, less pick up and play, I liked how in Oblivion you could literally walk into any tavern or come across a stranger and be swept up in a harrowing quest and then get a piece of special equipment.
There are elements of that in Fallout 3 but I just felt like it was more rigid and a little less forgiving. But regardless of that I still found myself just exploring for hours completely ignoring the story for the most part. I spend probably 80% of my time on Fallout 3 just exploring and making up or piecing together stories from the surroundings and things I find and I think that’s a great strength of all Bethesda games. A lot of the times they just sit back and let the surroundings tell the story, they give the gamer the pieces and they have to put it together themselves which makes them that more engaged in the story.
That was just one thing I worried about looking over the leaked achievements for Fallout 4, they’re doing the same thing with the main story quests, giving them achievements for completion. I dunno, I just think money and the xp and the fun alone should be reward enough, but it’s just a pet peeve.
Another thing that worried me is the changes to the dialogue, it’s changed from a box of text where you select lines, to a more Mass Effect style dialogue wheel, now I see a lot of ‘genius’s’ and gaming hipsters saying this is Fallout ‘Dumbing down’ and to an extent when games fall into the mainstream there is a level of streamlining they go through to maximise their appeal like with Skyrim. But to anyone with common sense, the reason dialogue wheel replaced the text box is because we have a voiced protagonist for the first time in Fallout history and he only has so many words he can say, so unfortunately dialogue will be more limited.
Whether this improves immersion into the game or makes it worse I can’t say until I play it on Tuesday (More likely Wednesday, fuck took like a week to install eso and now I never play it -_-). I can’t say listening to Captain’s Shepherd’s monotone voice for hours on end with its varying inflection from anger to *shudders* flirtation increased anything but my threshold for cringe.
But this is Fallout, this is Bethesda, Bioware is but flies compared to Vigo!.. I mean Todd Howard.