10 Anxieties Experienced While Playing Fallout 4

Fallout 4 stresses me out, on an existential level.

1) Should I do the main quest or just dick around? Which is the ‘true’ Fallout 4? When I played Skyrim for the first time I pretty much ignored the campaign in favour of roaming far and wide, but that meant I didn’t see a dragon (beyond the one in the intro) for about 40 hours. So if I explore I might miss out on COOL STUFF. But then again the stories are historically the weakest aspect of Bethesda RPGs so…

2) Why does this campaign keep going on and on and on and on, it’s been like 40 hours and I just want to know how it ends now and oh god I have to finish but now it’s 2am and my kid will scream me awake at 7am and…

3) I just sat down and did the maths on how many of those 40 hours were in fact spent scavenging for specific junk in order to make incremental weapon and armour upgrades that I absolutely convinced myself were vital if in order to be ready for the campaign’s end game. Whoops.

4) The companion AI and pathfinding is so diabolical that I just can’t stand to have any of them with me, even Dogmeat and he’s only small. So I’ve spent most of the time playing alone, and this means I still don’t know exactly who’s available, who is ‘best’, or let alone if it’s possible to sleep with anyone. And I don’t think I want to sleep with anyone anyway. Imagine how terrible that would look in this engine, with those animations.

5) All these years and all these games, and my overriding purpose is still to steal everything that isn’t nailed down. What does this say about me? Do I have some sort of problem? And how can I call myself a hero when the vast majority of my time is spent filling my pockets with other people’s money, clothing and random rolls of duct tape?

6) Is it genuinely the case that almost every quest is resolved by shooting everyone in sight? It sure seems like it, which kind of sucks, but what if I’ve somehow missed something, some clever way of talking to people, and I wind up looking like a fool if I complain that ‘there’s too much shooting?’ if anyone asks me what I think of this game?

7) And is the shooting as bad – weightless, puppety, repetitive – as I think it is, or I am just getting old and tired of shooting things? No, can’t be. I enjoyed shooting things in Metal Gear Solid V, after all. BUT WHAT IF I’M WRONG?

8) I didn’t play much of New Vegas because I just couldn’t stand that profoundly rickety engine and the anaemic palette any more. I hated it in Fallout 3, so to willing go back to it would be outright masochism. I did try, and I could see that the writing and acting was far better than Fallout 3 or Oblivion’s lacklustre efforts in that regard, but I just couldn’t spend any more time there because its world looked and felt so uninspiring. How much is that going to matter? This is the sequel to Fallout 3, not New Vegas, after all. But is there something important I won’t know about? And, more overridingly, am I wasting my time playing this given that people are saying New Vegas is so much better despite its age and appearance?

9) I have now spent 52 hours playing this game. I haven’t so much as thought about any other game. This makes me uncomfortable – both intellectually and professionally. There’s so much more I could be doing with my mind. (And professionally, there are so many more, more intriguing games I could be telling people about instead). And it’s not like this is a game I can truly complete, that some grand revelation awaits once I’ve seen everything, spoken to everyone, collected everything. All it can do is continue. But that’s why I can’t stop. It keeps feeding me more. And the hunger doesn’t stop.

10) My two year old daughter just gave me a look of infinite sadness that a face that young should not be capable of because I said “not now Connie, I need to… work, go find Mummy” while my screen was full of gunfire and mutants.

99 Comments

  1. egattocs says:

    Wow… that last one :(

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      Lexx87 says:

      I’m struggling for something to say to top the first comment.

      Cutting :(

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      Skabooga says:

      The horror . . . the horror.

    • RutigerP says:

      I have the same issue with my 3 year old, and no “Daddy’s working” excuse either :(

      • RutigerP says:

        Also, wait until Connie is old enough to be interested in watching you play violent games. I made the mistake of letting my daughter watch me play MGS4 a few times (watch the cute dog!), and even though I tried my best to use non-lethal weapons while she was watching, a couple of times my shoddy stealthing resulted in some unnecessary killing. When Pearl tried to explain to Mommy that “its not a killing game, except when Daddy had to” we realized I should try to limit my gaming to after bedtime.

    • vahnn says:

      Trade her in for a better daughter! My two year old niece will come over and sit next to me and watch me play CoDBlOps3, Insurgency, Mexhwarrior Online, and Dirt Rally for hours at a time, cheering and oohing and ahhing the whole time.

      • RutigerP says:

        Somehow it seems ok to let a toddler watch auntie or uncle manshoot, not ok if it is mommy or daddy

        • vahnn says:

          Welllll she gets it from daddy. She’ll watch him play MWO, Insurgency, and Mass Effect, all the way from when she was a few months old. Insurgency has lots and jarring gun shots relative to the rest of the audio, and she used to squeeze mommy and bury get head in her, but when mommy would take her out of the room, she’d always wrestle herself away and run back in smiling to watch more.

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      teije says:

      I spent many quality hours with my infant son playing BGII while I wore him in a sling. I am a wonderful parent.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      Kids don’t react like tv and movies have led us to believe, don’t flatter yourself. A 2-year-old responds with a face of infinite sadness if you say she has to take a bath, or can’t have candy before bedtime, or has to put on clothes. Two seconds later they’re singing and laughing because they found a crayon. As long as you’re not excluding her for video games 24 hours a day, months on end, they’re not going to be traumatized or even slightly affected by this.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      But one day, one day in the future when she’s grown with children of her own he can tell her how important it was to steal everything in the Boston wasteland and they’ll have a moment of farther daughter bonding.

  2. DrollRemark says:

    Oh, is Fallout 4 out?

    • int says:

      YES! It’s free! It’s a friend of Dorothy! It’s an uphill gardener! It’s the only gayme in the village.

  3. DevilishEggs says:

    I’m not Fallout 4ing, but to enjoy Fallout 3, I turned off all the voice-acting and pretended it wasn’t a real game but a really good mod or something like that I would only dabble in, maybe, 45 mins. a day. Still got bored after about 30 hours.

    Some games play like the developer started out with an empty canvas to fill. And then struggled to fill it.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      I think most of the games nowadays are being made as they were an empty canvas to fill, mostly the open world titles.

  4. Paul says:

    New Vegas is indeed much better. I do enjoy FO4 for exploration and atmosphere, but I have no illusions about it. It is Bethesda game.

    • Lord Byte says:

      If only Bethesda made the map and locations and they’d let Obsidian make the quests, characters and storylines…

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    Wisq says:

    My anxiety would be being jumped by one of these: link to youtube.com

    But oh how I can’t stop watching that.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      And now, because of you, I’ve spent already 5 minutes of my life watching this 10 sec video, laughing my a** off.

  6. gabrielonuris says:

    I had those problems with EVERY. BETHESDA. TITLE.

    My first one was with Oblivion; so, I have to take this jewelry thing to a guy who is the throne heir… Ok, not my problem, screw this kingdom, I was its prisoner anyway, what more can I do? Visit a ton of copy pasted caves with repetitive mobs, and struggle myself to play the worst melee combat ever.

    Fallout 3 was good, but god, those subway stations… Were they modded caves from Oblivion or something?!

    New Vegas: so, I wasn’t born in a vault, I’m just some kind of a boring mail carrier who got shot in the head and survived, and now I’m stuck between a faction war. In an unecessarly BIG and empty desert. Ok, I think I’m gonna play something else.

    • epeternally says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who just bounced off of New Vegas because of how painfully boring the setup was. Fallout 3 may have had an unending stream of issues, but at least the opening was gripping.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        The opening of a game is everything in my opinion; it’s what makes me care for the world. People didn’t like playing as a baby in F3, but for me it was a way of telling me that I actually lived in a vault my whole life.

        Other games managed to setup great openings, like MGS5 with the hospital, The Witcher 3 with Geralt dreaming of Kaer Morhen, The Witcher 2 with that interrogatory, etc. I’ve played MMOs with a better opening scene than New Vegas; it was like creating an avatar out of nowhere and simply being spawned on the map. I couldn’t care less for Goodspring, or the fact that the Powder Gangers wanted to kill a guy in there for whatever the reason. Hell, I had to search this names on the wiki page because I didn’t even remember those NPCs.

    • drewski says:

      Why do you keep playing them then? Genuinely curious. Sounds like you’ve given their style of gameplay a fair crack and it’s not for you – what keeps bringing you back?

      • gabrielonuris says:

        Well, I’m not actually comming back; never played Skyrim after Oblivion, I’ve bought F3 because I’m a Fallout fan, and New Vegas was myself kind of giving Bethesda a second chance; I won’t buy F4, that’s for sure.

        • -Spooky- says:

          but .. but .. the mods ..

          • gabrielonuris says:

            I recently tried to replay F3 with a ton of mods and, TBH, I’ve had more fun messing around with the mods load order and making them work, than actually playing the game; just made a couple of quests, something around 10 or 15 hours of gameplay and then uninstalled it.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      New Vegas’s world just wasn’t as much fun to explore as FO3. I also got tired of those subway stations, luckily you didn’t have to use them much. From the 50 hours I have put into F04 I can say that the interiors are much better than the previous two.

    • -Spooky- says:

      Can´t agree more here @ NV.

  7. Zenicetus says:

    The only thing in that list I can actually relate to, is the part in #4 about not wanting to sleep with anyone in this game. And maybe the floaty feel of combat, but it’s not bad enough to make me want to quit.

    The part I REALLY don’t get is the aversion to New Vegas based on the color palette, or the scenery, or whatever that’s about. Maybe you just don’t like arid geography? That’s basically what the Mojave looks like, and that’s where the game is set. It’s like saying Breaking Bad is a terrible TV series because it has all that dry and brown scenery that the action takes place in.

    • silentdan says:

      The palette complaints confuse me, too. I have trouble figuring out what the remedy is. It’s a desert; you can’t exactly dress it up like a peacock in a tie-died shirt. It’s in a lower latitude, so you can’t put up a bunch of northern lights at night. Neon signs don’t appear to do the trick, as FNV has those in spades. Brightly-painted houses might help, but would seem out of place in a world where everyone’s scavenging for survival supplies at a subsistence level. I mean, sure, earth tones are dreary, but better dreary than bizarrely incongruous, IMO.

      • Toadsmash says:

        It’s treated as an excuse to have an unrelenting aversion to color and sepia toned glasses as an artistic style is already the most horrificly overused palette in the world. One of the many reasons Witcher 3 was such a breath of fresh air. If you absolutely, positively must do a desert, find ways to make it visually interesting. It certainly is possible — I think WoW’s Uldum or post-Cataclysm Barrens remain some of the best examples in recent memory — but too many developers, Bethesda among them, just can’t be bothered.

        If you have to do a desert, you should be coming up with every excuse in the world to give it splashes of color. We get that it’s supposed to be a bleak wasteland, but we still have the other 2/3 of the game world to get that point across.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Metal Gear V’s Afghanistan is for sure the best game desert I have come across. I especially liked the bright flash to simulate your eye adjusting to the bright sun that you would get when exiting a building.

        • Toadsmash says:

          I’d totally forgotten about MGS5 in that context. Afghanistan was… well, I hesite to say “beautiful” is the right word, but very well done artisticly.

      • Toasty_Tam_Lin says:

        It is possible to make the desert look good. A great example to my mind is the recent Mad Max film, which took a concious decision to have a bold and exciting palette. And of course, Borderlands managed it pretty well, though I don’t think that style would exactly fit fallout!

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        Grizzly says:

        Thing is, this is what Goodsprings, Nevada looks like:
        link to upload.wikimedia.org

        It’s arid, yes, but there is still quite a bit more green then there was in New Vegas – And New Vegas was canonically spared the horrors of the holocaust.

    • Turkey says:

      I think deserts can be interesting, but the endless repeating textures and the terrible flat lighting definitely makes it kinda boring to look at. It’s got that Bethesda look from before they discovered art direction.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The Mojave wasteland just wasn’t as much fun to explore as FO3’s DC wasteland. There weren’t as many little nooks and crannies to find secret locations. You basically went from settlement to settlement without much to find in between. The fact that the map was broken up by large impassible barriers (see: mountains) didn’t help matters either.

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      alison says:

      I am truly astounded by how many people apparently did not like the landscape of New Vegas. I am not a fan of tedious RPG mechanics like looting and crafting and leveling, but i bought and sunk 60+ hours into New Vegas anyway based solely on how compelling i found the setting. The Mojave is beautiful and vast. I could have walked around there for much longer, if it weren’t for all the stupid random encounters ruining my buzz. FO3 and FO4? Precisely zero interest in playing them, because a post-apocalyptic north-east setting seems so drab and uninteresting to me. No accounting for taste, eh?

  8. gmillar says:

    I have to say I really don’t get the complaints about the shooting. I think it’s excellent – the mod system lets you fine tune your gun exactly how you want it. I almost never use VATS, and I don’t have a single automatic weapon. Admittedly, shooters aren’t my main genre, but I’ve spent countless hours in various Half Lifes, Calls of Duty, Dooms and Battlefields throughout my life and I have zero complaints here.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t think it’s the shooting itself that’s a problem. Many of the guns are satisfying to use. For me anyway, it’s more about how the targets behave when you’re shooting.

      The enemy movement often looks disconnected from the environment when they’re moving around and shooting at you, like marionettes. They float around on top of small obstacles on the floor, or do that sliding left-right strafing move if they’re not programmed to rush. Sometimes it looks good, but other times they just doesn’t seem grounded. They seldom use cover too, which only emphasizes how odd the movement is at times.

      If the enemies didn’t have that disconnected look, and if more of the enemies ducked in and out of actual cover (and you could use cover better yourself), then I think the feel of the shooting would be better. Meanwhile, I guess it works well enough for most people because the guns themselves are fun to use.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        It’s just not a cover shooter though. It’s still an RPG at it’s core so the gunplay comes down to stats and positioning which I enjoy.

        Really loving the time slowing effect that Jet now has. That stuff creates some really crazy last ditch moments when the shit hits the fan.

    • Dale Winton says:

      I think the shooting is great too , just so satisfying when you get head shots with the sniper rifle.

    • unangbangkay says:

      I’m in the same camp as you on this one. “The feel of the shooting” is probably the most nebulous possible debate to have in modern games, as it’s about as vague and holistic an aspect as could possibly exist short of “the quality of the game”. Pretty much the entire aesthetic of your average game-with-much-shooting boils down to nailing how it “feels”.

      In short, it’s why I put up with Destiny despite it not being anywhere near its potential, and why I put up with Battlefield 4 despite being broken for most of its lifespan.

      Back to Fallout 4, having just come off of a run through New Vegas, I’m already happy with how much better the shooting is in 4 than previously. That’s not saying a huge amount considering that the shooting was AWFUL in those games (even the heaviest mods can only do so much with that old creaky engine), but having a good foundation helps, especially when a good chunk of Fallout 4’s appeal is in anticipating what modders will do.

      Lastly, perhaps I’m liking it because I’m playing with a gamepad and not on the mouse-and-keyboard? Most of the folks I’ve heard complaining about the shooting not feeling at least alright have been M+KB diehards. I could certainly believe it if the feedback were somehow tuned to feel ideal for console/gamepad users but not M+KB players. Plus, Bethesda did claim that Destiny, a console-exclusive shooter from Bungie, best known for making shooting on consoles feel good for practically the first time, was an inspiration for them tuning FO4’s combat.

  9. BlueDragon says:

    The one thing that truly anger me is fact that settlers after using power armor dont leave helmet in place and i need to take it out of their invertory also if it happens after attack of baddies they thank me for help which doeasnt allow me to go into their inv. It is really annoying.

    • Luciferous says:

      Just take the fusion core out of the suit when you get out of it, stops the settlers taking it for a joyride.

      • BlueDragon says:

        That i know. However i dont want to take time for puting and taking out fusion core either. I want simply them to not take off helmet.

  10. simply says:

    yeah… me too. my 4gb@ 800MHz make half the map non-existing :x

  11. Stevostin says:

    Fallout New Vegas is quite possibly the best RPG ever, but I don’t share your hate of “that engine” or “that palette”. Actually pretty much the opposite.

    Shooting in F4 so far: pretty good against everything that doesn’t shoot. They still have shooting NPC strafing so fast it’s unpleasant. On the bright side: superb saw off shotgun. So satisfying.

    Non shooting alternative: haven’t seen any either and following F3 rather than FNV is no excuse as F3 had plenty of dialog and options. It seems F4 is on Skyrim sad track. My bet is that’s it’s the result of more metrics and most people playing way dumber than most of us here use to.

    • dungeoncrawl says:

      FONV really didn’t do it for me at all. I preferred FO3 and, so far, FO4.

    • -Spooky- says:

      “They still have shooting NPC strafing so fast it’s unpleasant.” What? We are playing the same game here, right? Did you ever played Quake Arena / Unreal Tournament? Yes? THIS are fast strafing, walljump / strafjumping sons of beaches.

  12. Eight Rooks says:

    And I don’t think I want to sleep with anyone anyway. Imagine how terrible that would look in this engine, with those animations

    Oh, don’t worry. Modders will fix that. Whether or not you want them to. Boy, will they ever. o.o

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      teije says:

      Oh yeah. Half the Nexus mods for Skyrim are bodacious tit variations.

      • Erayos says:

        And even those Nexus Mods are only the tip of the iceberg.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I looked at some Dark Souls mods recently… nipple mods for the giant spider witch because sure why the fuck not!

  13. Von Uber says:

    Pretty much what I ended up doing in Skyrim, around 180 playing hours without completing the main quest. Mind you, it’s not really Skyrim anymore it’s been modded so much. It’s almost like Bethseda know they can release a world with a half arsed plot as they know modders will do the rest – maybe they should just concentrate on releasing open worlds for people to mod stuff in to.

    Although I have to say, I am still disappointed by the lack of LIS coverage considering it is ‘Game of the Month’ – not a single article about it. Fallout 4 is likely to be next month’s ‘Game of the Month’ – although it already seems like this month’s – so we can expect even more articles on it.
    it’s a shame, as I was interested in what RPS had to say about LIS (of course, I could be wrong and we get a deluge of articles in the next week and a half) – especially as that quite original game is getting drowned by the latest iteration from Bethseda.

    Anyhow, this reminds me, need to become a supporter.

    • drewski says:

      I suspect the overwhelmingly vast majority of Fallout and Elder Scrolls players never even touch a mod (given the numbers it sells on consoles, where there has never been modding), so your assumption that Bethesda release half arsed game worlds because mods will fill out the rest is almost certainly completely false.

      Bethesda choose to make the game worlds they do because most of the people who buy their games seem to like them. Don’t project your dissatisfaction onto everyone else.

      • draglikepull says:

        Almost certainly true given the huge quantity of players who buy these games on console, where mods aren’t available.

        If some people like these games better after they make big changes to them with mods, that’s cool; that’s what modding is for! But those players are likely only a fraction of the overall player base.

      • Von Uber says:

        True, you are correct – for me at any rate the games are vastly improved by mods – except FNV, which I only had a few textures tweaked.

        I suspect I may pick this up when it is £5 on steam, just to see what has been done to it.

    • Poison_Berrie says:

      Agreed on the second point. When they picked LiS as Game of the Month I had just finished it and was eager to see what kind of articles we’d get.
      All we’ve had so far, though, is a deluge of Fallout 4 articles. A game which I’ve decided to hold of from buying until at least the mod tools have been out and from what I’ve heard of it has me already somewhat disappointed.

      • Von Uber says:

        It is rather disappointing to be honest, especially as instead we seem to be getting the ‘usual’ Bethesda articles – which could have been written about any iteration of the series – as opposed to a commentary on something which broached a whole host of interesting ideas which haven’t really been done that well before.

      • Sin Vega says:

        The trouble there is partly that Life is Strange is very much a narrative game, and one that it’s hard to talk a great deal about without undermining some of the experience. Meanwhile, games like Fallout allow a lot of approaches and faffing about, and a variety of experiences that people can enjoy reading about whether they’ve played the game or not, and can do so without having the experience spoiled if they come to play it themselves.

  14. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Much the same with me.
    50% of the game is great shooting, 50% is inventory/weight management and wondering if gun A or revolver B might be useful or should I sell it or dismantle it.
    (found out the old Bethesda trick still worked where you can command the companion to lift an equipment from the ground when overweighted)
    50% of the perks are good for playing the rest unlock crafting which could be useful level 40+. In the meantime I’m gimping my character. I should rather spend it on sneaking.
    Piper’s attitude is bothering me. She might be nice to have for a friend but in the wasteland I keep wishing for the suicidal and ever faithful dog and that’s saying something.

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    #8 so much.

    I held off playing Skyrim until a month ago because I was just bored/frustrated with Bethesda games and needed a long break after playing Oblivion, Fallout 3 and then New Vegas to (relative) completion (the main quest plus as much other stuff as I could be bothered to do).

    I lump in New Vegas here because that engine is a massive part of my problem with it, and Skyrim is not any better. Skyrim really feels like Oblivion+, and I’ve no doubt Fallout 4 will be Fallout 3+, for better or worse.

    Still, I’ve decided to give Fallout 4 a chance after getting a little bored with Skyrim (38 hours in, according to Steam, but it feels a like I haven’t accomplished anything of substance).

  16. welverin says:

    You saw dragons only forty hours into Skyrim? I was around a hundred in before I saw any.

    • neotribe says:

      What? You see a dragon during the intro sequence in Helgen, and another pretty quickly to the south of Whiterun.

  17. Suits says:

    You should, in fact play NV over this

  18. dungeoncrawl says:

    I don’t the point is that maybe the desert wasn’t the most visually interesting region of the country to set you game in. I can fully relate to that and found it hard not to be board with New Vegas. Part of what I loved about FO3 and continue to love in FO4 is wandering around and exploring things. With the desert there just isn’t enough difference to feel like you’re discovering things. Although FO3 and FO4 is a pretty dull color palette, areas are different enough to keep me interested. I also really don’t know why people go on and on about FONV being so much better than FO3 or even FO4…the story really isn’t that compelling. Also, the different factions weren’t that interesting to me really so whether I sided with Caesar, the Bombers, the Brotherhood, etc. it just felt like I’d “choose 1 and piss off the others”. Pretty cut and dried.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      See point 6 in Alex’s article. I like FO3 and FO4, but it’s also true that basically every quest boils down to “shoot a bunch of shit, and if that’s not the actual objective then grab the thing at the end of the gauntlet of enemies that you need to give to the questgiver.” In New Vegas there’s still a ton of combat (there’s a ton of combat in Fallout 1 and 2 as well) but most of the quests have multiple solutions including some that don’t require firing a bullet at anything. You can even convince the final boss not to fight you with a high enough barter skill, of all things.

      • unangbangkay says:

        Given that FO4’s combat tuning is the most radically different aspect of the game above everything else – which, even with the major changes to dialog/presentation and progression, amounts to “Bethesda developing a Bethesda open-world game” – I wouldn’t be surprised if they tuned as many major missions as possible to include engaging in combat.

        I half-suspected that they’d do something like this once Todd Howard mentioned that they didn’t really plan on supporting pacifist runs and how much time the marketing and previews spent assuring people that the shooting would be better in this one (and it is).

  19. Unseenteeth says:

    My anxiety comes mostly care of power armor, and the feeling that I’m missing out on a massive portion of the game by abstaining from using it.

    See, I’m playing a light-weight sneaky shooty build with a focus on taking targets out before they see me, rather than tanking them. And yet I keep running into …. power armor stations, power armor paint job upgrades, power armor torso pieces, fusion cores for power armor, it goes on and on. It’s as if the game is rubbing my face in the fact that I’ chosen a less than armored approach, and it’s kinda bugging me.

  20. OmNomNom says:

    Sell your daughter, play more games.

  21. OmNomNom says:

    And tbh Fallout 4 is great and all, but it won’t really compare until it is well modded around a year from now. Let’s face it, Skyrim / Fallout 3/NV are 10x the game with decent mods.

  22. Gordon Shock says:

    Companion AI…

    Never understood the appeal of companions in games. If I want to play with others I will go play online otherwise I will stick to myself. I mean I was proud to be the “lone” wanderer and kicked the Enclave’s ass by myself.

    Although I have to say that after meeting Fawkes I almost broke my lonesome habit because I was very curious about him but in the end I just talked to him and left him there.

    • Zenicetus says:

      They make good mules for carrying stuff. Sometimes they make location-specific comments that are interesting or funny. That’s the main two reasons I usually go with companions in a game like this.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I should add that Fallout 4 seems to have more companion dialog for both randomized barks as well location-specific comments, compared to New Vegas or Fallout 3. They’ll also comment on actions you’re performing that are part of their individual loyalty/morality system.

        In New Vegas and Fallout 3 the companions were mainly just mute pack mules and bullet sponges by comparison, mostly quiet unless you keyed their talk menus. So this is a nice addition. It’s still far from being a fully fleshed-out (I almost said “Bioware”) companion dialog feel, but it’s a step forward.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          I mostly agree about the FO3 and NV companions, but weren’t the companion-specific sidequests in the latter triggered via companion-initiated conversations based on things you were doing in the game?

          • Zenicetus says:

            I don’t remember how it worked in Fallout 3, but in New Vegas I remember it was based on accumulating various hidden triggers, like hearing the right conversation lines from certain NPC’s, or killing certain NPC’s. After reaching the right point, you got the Companion quest the next time you talked to them. They didn’t initiate it.

            Almost all the interesting info about Companions worked like that, where you had to start a dialog by keying their talk menu. The Companions in Fallout 4 are more verbose in commenting on my actions, making side comments about locations or quests, and initiating a conversation once in a while. Or at least Nick is… I haven’t spent any significant time with the others.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Yeah as far as I can tell companions are only useful for blocking doorways you want to walk through

  23. f0rmality says:

    New Vegas IS without a doubt the best modern fallout, this picture link to i.imgur.com is all you need to know why it is.

  24. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    #1 is bothering me too, especially the thing about being well into the game with the main quest still faffing about. Without wanting to spoil anything, finishing the quest where you go far to the south-west and STILL having more quests to do just pissed me off.

    Normally with these games when I go back to try another faction I make a new character to do it, but in this it takes so bloody long to find all the factions that I probably won’t bother.

  25. PancakeWizard says:

    Because of the sheer volume of Fallout 4 articles on RPS I think you should go full parody and do a “Have you played…Fallout 4?”

  26. drewski says:

    Ahh, Bethwsda. Making games nobody admits to liking while playing compulsively since, erm, Oblivion?

  27. derbefrier says:

    fun fact although i have plaed pretty much every bethesda game and enjoyed them for 100s of hours. I have never completed the main quest in any one of them. I complete just enough of it to “unlock” the important stuff and then have fun with mods and making ym own adventures. nothing against Bethesda but they cant seem to create a story thats holds my interest by by god give 100 differnt mods to install and I cant get enough.

  28. speedracerxtreme says:

    Umm, maybe the idea that you don’t have to complete the game in one sitting? I got it on steam the minute it was released (already preloaded and all too). As of now I have 35 hours in and I’m still only in the NW quadrant. It’s still interesting to me as I’m once again running around searching and exploring whatever, for me the journey is the experience. Maybe I’m not so jaded but I loved FO3 and NV too.

  29. Jakkar says:

    I am glad you have a way to let this kind of discomfort out. It sounds like Bethesda have begun tuning for addictive gameplay through the looting/levelling/building/upgrading aspects despite removing much of the limited depth in the levelling from previous games.

    I’m glad I didn’t buy into this. One day. With many, many mods. Maybe.

  30. rexx.sabotage says:

    shoulda went with an odd numbered list; 9, 11, 13,–or the coveted 15.

  31. JFS says:

    Why does anybody even play that game, let alone praise it, when it seems to be so deeply flawed?

  32. Greg Wild says:

    I think on the whole FO4 feels better than FO3, in the sense (BOS aside) Bethesda have been more adventurous/original with their factions and story-telling.

    But, every quest feels essentially “[find some clues where baddies live,] go to where baddies live, kill baddies, [occasionally spare head baddy]. The factions aren’t nearly as rich as those in FNV.

    I’m getting pretty sucked into it, and expect to play at least another 50 hours maybe. But it just feels far less rich than FNV in most ways.

    Roll on FO4: Obsidian Edition.

  33. RegisteredUser says:

    I feel bad for the daughter.

  34. MajorManiac says:

    This article is quite funny when read in Woody Allen’s voice.

  35. Crusoe says:

    Alec, I’ve always enjoyed your articles on RPS, but over the last couple of months you’ve been something else entirely. Some particularly excellent pieces recently, please do not ever stop!

  36. teamcharlie says:

    Fallout 4 is interesting in part because there’s no particular section that screams out “This is what Fallout 4 is all about!” Sometimes you’re shooting. Sometimes you’re exploring. Sometimes you try to make your settlement livable or pretty or profitable. Sometimes you’re just trying to figure out how to make your companion like you more. Your build might be garbage, but you have the choice to roll with it or start over because the game doesn’t gimp you for making a mistake like that except possibly by things taking longer to get through.

    It seems like this open-endedness would make writing about the game and giving it an overall rating hell on reviewers, so it’s not that surprising to me that the RPS crew are tearing their hair out over it. For me, though, as a player? All those equally acceptable choices make for one damned fascinating game. I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with Fallout 4, moreso than with Fallout 3 and FAR more than I had with New Vegas.

    • Sandepande says:

      It is a very pleasant game, lots of little goals and diversions – and some of them quite time-consuming, like trying to find enough ceramics, copper and aluminium to upgrade all of X-01 power armour bits to Mk VI, and to keep it repaired requires more of the same.

      As far as the heavy emphasis on killing is concerned, I’m sort of thinking that FO4 isn’t as much a traditional RPG as it is a slightly more violent Mass Effect 2/3 (gameplay-wise).

  37. Vortex_ says:

    Fallout 4 for me, lacks the karma system and the meaningfull choices you had to make to see differences between your multiple playthrough in previous titles. It’s fallout without any soul. This fallout is designed for clueless people who never enjoyed FO3 and FONV as much as real fans did and for the good reasons. No karma, no fallout. Refunded.