Fallout 4: The Lighthouse Family

Continuing a perma-death diary in Fallout 4, in which I begin with absolutely nothing other than a plan to to voyage around only the outermost periphery of the world.

You voted that I swim out into the poison sea, to find out what lies beyond the water. I’m afraid I can’t honour that.

It seems that this world has… boundaries. I do not understand their nature – are they to protect me from some greater horror than a radiation-ravaged land filled monsters, maniacs and malfunctioning robots? How could there be something worse than this? But I cannot pass. I can swim out a short distance, then I am blocked from going further.

For a time I swim around the coast like this, and even entertain the idea that I could complete my entire journey this way, unseen and unmolested, but it feels like a cheat. I’m never going to see anything but blue-grey murk, let alone overcome awesome challenges. So I return to land, emerging from the water right by a gleaming white lighthouse. I have a good feeling about it. Bad people don’t live in lighthouses, right?

Naturally, I’m attacked immediately.

The lighthouse is occupied a group calling themselves the Children of the Atom, a faction who appear to worship radiation. Not for the first time, I have no idea why I’m being attacked on sight, but I do know that these guys are pummeling me with some kind of nuclear weapon. Within seconds, I’m 80% dead from radiation sickness, and whatever weird gun the Children has also breaks my aim every time I’m hit with it. I run back to the sea and guzzle too many anti-rad drugs to count. I can’t win this fight: they’ll poison me to death before I can even get a shot off.

Just as I’m preparing to grimly swim away from that tantalising lighthouse, a brainwave hits me. They’re shooting me with radiation, not bullets. And I recently came into possession of a Hazmat suit. You can’t wear a Hazmat suit with any other armour, however. So I’ll basically be going back in there naked except for a thin layer of waterproof plastic.

This is just crazy enough to work, right?

It is. My God, I feel like Superman. Although Superman isn’t known for repeatedly and brutally slashing people across the face with a mutant dinosaur claw. The Children’s gamma guns do almost no damage to me now, but they still pack wallop enough to stop me from firing my gun.

Hence, my Deathclaw Gauntlet finally gets an outing – my gamma-blasting enemies can barely get a shot off when I’m right up in their faces with this thing. All these guys are super tough, making this a long and bloody fight, as I slowly gouge seven people to death. It’s horrific, it really is. But it’s also thrilling, because I’ve spent so long watching most of my health disappear from a single wound, and now I’m this dome-helmeted immortal. I’m amazed the Children don’t run: I must be terrifying.

My reign of terror very nearly comes to a messy end when a Glowing One – an irradiated ghoul – bursts out of the lighthouse and starts savaging me with its own claws, but fortunately one of the remaining Children decides to take a pop at it too, buying me enough time to hide under the stairs and change back into my armour.

I shotgun the thing to pieces while it gets stuck on the spiral staircase, and then, finally, all is quiet. This was my strangest, dirtiest, most memorable fight yet. I am shaking. I need a rest. But I also need to loot all these corpses.

I end up with a sackful of Gamma Guns, assorted radiation-resistant clothes and a lighthouse to call home. Apart from all the maimed bodies, this is the prettiest place I’ve been in so far, and the strongest temptation yet to settle down. I can’t, of course. The road calls me on. But, for the first time, I’m carrying the right components to build a radio mast and beckon less nomadic settlers over here.

I’m wasting time and wasting resources I might need for myself later, I realise, but I don’t like that my only mark on the world so far is to have repeatedly removed life from it. Now I get to do the opposite. I build a few beds, water pumps, vegetable farms and defence turrets, and before long my first citizen arrives.

I order her to tend the Tatos, then stand around and watch for a while as life goes on. I’m very sad to move on. I could have a built a life here, but instead I’ll never even know what becomes of this place.

Enjoy the lighthouse, unseen friends. An amazing battle was waged here once, by an unknown hero. He’ll be dead soon.

To be continued…

66 Comments

  1. daphne says:

    I gotta say, it’s fascinating to see you so greatly enjoy the same mindlessness that bewildered you back in 2012, with Far Cry 3. Hopefully you really do mean it and it’s not just motivated by clicks — I’m guessing Fallout 4 coverage has been good for the site, the same way I remember Kieron noting Minecraft was, in 2010.

    Fallout is dead. Hopefully, you’ll go on to enjoy more of this quality-assured, focus-grouped combat gallery fate in Fallout 5 and beyond. Never mind the role-playing and the choice of consequences.

    Oh, well. So long as you guys don’t pick this as your GotY or something…

    • cqdemal says:

      I understand the criticism that Fallout 4’s gameplay can be little more than mindless killing, but it is in no way comparable to Far Cry 3. That tropical paradise had nowhere near the charm on offer from Bethesda’s games, as deeply flawed as they are.

      As someone who greatly enjoys the so-called ‘walking simulators’, I’m treating Fallout 4 like an elaborate take on this genre in much the same way that I treated Skyrim et al. Beneath the surface, Bethesda games are mechanically hollow, hilariously unbalanced, generally badly written, and technologically wonky, but I swear I cannot bring myself to care while I’m standing on that surface because all of them exude a strange sense of place that calls to the bizarro tourist in me with sweet, sweet siren songs.

      • Dilapinated says:

        As a Fallout fan and not a Far Cry one, I ended up spending a lot more time with FC3 than FO4. They were both shallow kill-the-thing then kill-the-other-thing novelty sandboxes, but one spent time adding a real sense of fun and colour and variety to its killing the things, the other didn’t.

        • Bull0 says:

          I can’t get my head around that – I agree that FO4’s roleplaying is weak but there’s plenty of variety in people to kill, places to do it in and methods to achieve said killing, and FC3 definitely did not have any of those things. It had shooting people in red berets in army bases and a bit of one-note hunting.

          • Dilapinated says:

            Ah, there I disagree; The enemies may have (mostly) been part of a unified faction, but the deeper stealth system, better range of weapons (I think this is partly a VATS issue; Nomatter the cool gunskin, most FO3+ weapons just feel like I’m pinging enemies at various strengths/volumes. FC3 weapons felt like they had weight and impact), and fire/summonable local-wildlife, alarms/reinforcements, vehicles, scouting locations, caged critters, far better enemy AI.. Meant that the actual fighting had greater depth and breadth of tactics than FO4. I disagree with you about hunting too, though it’s not the best game to have implemented it, it was fun and there was more than one note to it.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Different strokes i guess, Far Cry has some awesome ways to achieve a proper massacre but it also lacks many other elements in my opinions.

          I concur with other posters here that an open world shines the brightest when every nook and cranny screams “discover me”, and i don’t feel the Far Cry games managed that.

          I also really can’t stop recommending people to spend some extra time as settlers. Some might hate it at first, thanks the Bethesda’s clunkyness, but if it clicks it’s extremely satisfying. I never did this sort of stuff in other games, i tend to do it there because it actually feels useful.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        Well said.

        When I clear a place of enemies in Far Cry, I’m done. The fight was the goal, the purpose of the place.

        In FO4 (and most Bethesda games), the fighting and clearing of enemies is just the chore I have to skip through (easily, even on the highest difficulty settings) so I can get to the real gameplay: learning about the place I have just emptied of inhabitants.

        Fallout 4 is terrible at giving interesting stories to living, breathing NPC’s. It’s soooo good at giving interesting stories to places. I’m almost convinced that Fallout 4 with no enemies would be a better, certainly more interesting, game.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        Pretty weird to read comments about how F4 lacks depth in mechanics directly under an article that describes the following situation: 1. the author runs into a new type of enemy that uses an unusual type of attack 2. he retreats and tries an alternate tactic (shielding with RadX) to no avail 3. he readjusts tactics once again but still finds it difficult to proceed 4. finally he figures out he can bash the enemies with melee while stile protecting himself with a hazmat suit 5. he does just that, but it turns out to be one of the longest and most unusual battles so far 6. barely survives a final boss enemy 7. is rewarded with a unique customisable settlement.

        The situation described above counts as an example of ‘shallow gameplay’. To me it seems to be pretty dynamic and encourages some flexible thinking, which is what people want from ‘immersive sim’ style games, right?

        BTW I really recommend the 2 videos Noah Gervais did on F4.

        • jomon jim says:

          +4 Yes to all of this. Of course it’s a different beast than the original game of isometric grenade-in-pockets. Though it can devolve to “go here, shoot this”, so could the originals. This retains the old grenade trick and manages to come up with its own surprises, which this diary is highlighting frequently.

          It would be nice if more enemies weren’t always shoot on sight. Even in #1 you could talk to the Khan raiders. I guess I count most of the encounters in F4 as random encounters were in F1, which were primarily combat oriented. The set pieces and quests can still be handled in a number of ways if you look for them.

        • All is Well says:

          But that description doesn’t really tell the whole story, does it? Sure, enemies with radiation weapons are a novel in that they require a change of approach and tactics, but they are only a very small subset of the enemies you encounter in the game. Their novelty actually serves as an example of shallowness – the vast majority of the shooting is the same, and only a few enemies require adaptation.

          Even so, radiation damage is pretty much just an inversion of the regular health system – whereas health decreases until death when shot by kinetic/energy weapons and is treated by health-raising items, radiation damage increases until death with exposure to radweapons, and is treated by reduction. The adaptation in tactics is simply to use a different outfit (if you have the hazmat suit, this is really all that’s required), Rad-X instead of Med-X, and Radaway instead of stimpaks. Other than that it’s business as usual, so all in all, the difference is more superficial than anything. Incidentally, that’s true about the lighthouse too. Functionally it’s exactly the same as all the other settlements.

          [disclaimer about there being good things about F4 too]

          • All is Well says:

            (“novel”, not “a novel”. edit button usw.)

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Thanks for that last disclaimer, i was starting to feel depressed.

            A nitpick is in order though: “healing” with rad-away only works if you’re only getting rad-bombed, because you’re still left with a gaping hole in your residual health.

          • All is Well says:

            Yeah, I realize I must come off as if I loathe F4 in the comments to this series, but I’m actually quite enjoying it, on the whole. There’s just a lot of things that bug me, too, and those seem to be way easier to put into words.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Far Cry 3 (and the other chase-the-icon Ubisoft games) may have superficial similarities to Bethesbryo games, but there’s one massive difference which pushes a game like Fallout 4 into “must play” territory for me while I find something like Far Cry 3 incredibly dull, and that’s having a dense hand-crafted world that was designed to be explored.

      If those icons on Far Cry 3’s map revealed factories and lighthouses and offices and new settlements and caves and whatever else instead of more and more nearly-identical army bases, I’d probably rate the game as highly as I do a Bethesda title. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that the memorable maps in Far Cry 2, maps that were memorable in part because the crappy checkpoints created a desire to explore other parts of them and led to stumbling on random unique areas, are one of the many things that push it closer to the quality of a Bethsoft game than the other Far Cry offerings.

    • Flatley says:

      Ya’ll are just getting tiresome now. If you’re so convinced that this FO4 coverage is just for the clicks, here’s a bright plan: Don’t click on it! If you’re not part of the solution, you’re just part of the problem, eh?

      • Dicehuge says:

        Here, here. I’m so utterly bored with the constant “umm dont forget they’re bad” comments that appears every. single. time an article about any bethesda game is published. Fallout 4 is not an utterly brilliant game, this is not news to anyone. Alec’s review addressed those flaws. Saying “I had some fun with this game” is not the same as “this is a flawless masterpiece” and it’s weird that people keep confusing these statements.

    • sdfv says:

      Have you played Wasteland 2? It came out fairly recently, and is essentially old-school isometric Fallout.

      • jomon jim says:

        Oddly enough I prefer Fallout Tactics to Wasteland 2. Combat felt a little weak. Some unbalanced weapon skills. Some of the skills were redundant because NPCs you found later would have them. Lockpicking and safecracking and toaster repair were different skills that essentially did the same thing. How would you know which to get when starting the game? It felt like the safes and piggy banks were put there because the skills demanded them more than anything else.
        Apparently the story and world got more interesting after a while, but it didn’t reel me in before I got off the line.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Good thing we have an high quality, “truer” and “righter” opinion since, you know, other’s guys have very crappy opinions. Objectively.

      I especially loved your last sentence. What if they actually do? Do you “demote” RPS as an intellectually flawed child’s nest?

      Both Bethesda’s and Obsidian’s take on Fallout after the original ones has had it’s ups and downs, to the point that a famous saying gained traction among the interwebz that the two studios should join forces and handle the parts that each of them does better. Thing is, they made great things for the vast majority of their customers, which is a fact that can be easily proven with simple data all around on Steam and elsewhere.

      I’m sorry you’re part of the grumpy group, it must be terrible.

      • daphne says:

        “I especially loved your last sentence. What if they actually do? Do you “demote” RPS as an intellectually flawed child’s nest?”

        No, I respect the individual authors too much to do that. But there are glaring issues with Fallout 4 — such that its identity as a Fallout game has been almost entirely diminished — and I haven’t seen any of them take the time to discuss any of it in any of their coverage so far.

        They are free to choose their GotY title as they wish. But make no mistake, such advocacy will forever detract from any and all their future complaints should they note, after the fact, that there is something ominously derivative about Fallout 4, or the inevitable 5 — or indeed, any other iteration of any other AAA franchise they may consider to be repetitive, now or in the future. At that point, it will be too late — it will be only be what they asked for. All I’m hoping for is that they won’t be so complicit in endorsing such a future for games, which is exactly what a GotY win for Fallout 4 would mean.

        Between your passive-aggressive “loving” of my last sentence and fixation with truer opinions, I somewhat doubt you considered any of this.

        • Nogo says:

          “Ominously derivative?” Really? It’s pretty overt, and one of the main talking points in the verdict and review.

          And I’ve been saying the same things about Fallout 2 for years now (and the devs agree dammit!), so head to the back, because this bus is already pretty full.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          I actually did consider it, i just didn’t address it properly.

          Let me do it now: compromises. There are many things that Fallout 1 and 2 did better, others not so much. Sure, some things weren’t possible at the times, but that’s not the full truth because even as technology progresses you have to devote even more man power and money to achieve certain results, and you have to trade something.

          You ONLY talk about the RPG elements, that’s the problem i actually considered, but what they’re doing nowadays is a lot more than just a nicely written RPG ( which, i agree, often is not). Oh, i too would prefer some more depth in that sense, but i also acknowledge all the other stuff and i actually appreciate it, especially the settling part.

          What’s there to consider other than the fact that you are condemning and entire series that constantly expands in scope with a single element? You could say it makes sense because it’s the most important one, but i’m starting to doubt that too nowadays.

          The series changed quite a bit, something has to give. Bethesda is still a growing studio, they wanted to do something bigger and more complex in other areas and as such they kept their usual writers. Shit happens. They gave me a lot of other things that i love about it though, and they don’t feel ominously derivative to me but actually made with some decent passion.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      My only complaint about the frequency of Fallout 4 coverage is the frequency of comments like this. How about we stop accusing Alec of being a shill, being insincere, or just having plain bad taste. Your opinion about a videogame isn’t important enough to get nasty about, neither is mine or anyone else’s.

  2. Bull0 says:

    I wonder if these are the same children of the atom that used to inhabit a scrapyard I had to clear out of irradiated molerats. I’m going to assume they are.

    • cqdemal says:

      Same folks. They can be found everywhere, and they do have a home somewhere in the Commonwealth…

  3. seroto9 says:

    Having played 120 hours+ I’m amazed that you keep going to places I’ve never been. Cheers – and here’s to your final installment…

    • Tuhalu says:

      I’ve put in 131 hours so far and still have seen less than half the game. There is definitely a lot of map to explore, some of it quite vertical.

  4. Zenicetus says:

    I wondered if you were going to run into those guys. I barely made it out of there, first time I found it. Came back later with power armor for the rad protection and cleared ’em out.

    Best views and prettiest location for a settlement in the game (IMO), but not much room for building additional housing unless you go vertical, and that kinda spoils the vibe.

    At this point, if you can clear this area and you’ve already killed a Deathclaw or two, *and* you have a hazmat suit, I don’t think anything can stop you from a full circumnavigation. Unless you just screw up badly somewhere.

  5. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Great series – keep it up. I have little interest myself in playing FO4 (reasons) but articles like this with an interesting take on a game are a big part of why I keep coming back to RPS.

  6. Krazen says:

    Your settler is completely unfazed it seems.

    Rad Suit – check
    Death Claw – check
    Dead Body in Field – check

    just another day at the farm …

    • Zenicetus says:

      The dead bodies littering settlement locations does mess with the Fung Shui, unless you just go with that theme. Obviously the Raiders and Supermutants have fully embraced it with their camps.

      • All is Well says:

        I resorted to console commands in order to remove the bodies of my settlements’ original inhabitants, that for some reason stick around. I didn’t even consider that they could be part of the decor. Now I see that I’ve been missing out on a whole avenue of interior decoration!

  7. Hitchslapped says:

    You’ve mentioned something here that is probably my biggest issue with this game: Everybody starts shooting at you no matter what.
    Except for a handfull of traders here and there the whole wasteland is stuffed with gun crazy idiots. Once I came near the Gunners plaza and got greeted by Fat Mans and turret fire. How are those guys recruiting people if they start a nuclear war on a single wanderer?
    Charisma feels so useless in this game since nobody wants to talk anyway.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think it makes sense, except for the part about where all those Raider and Supermutant camps are getting their food. Just not enough farmers or caravans to raid.

      First, there are some existing settlements that don’t shoot on sight. Diamond City, and at least three other smaller communities I won’t mention to avoid spoilers (maybe more).

      Second, the lack of more non-hostile settlements is supposed to encourage you to “civilize the Wasteland” yourself, by clearing areas of hostiles and setting up peaceful settlements. If the ratio of shoot-on-sight to peaceful camps was different, you’d have no motivation to do the whole settlement building thing.

      Personally, I’m a terrible civilizer of the Wasteland. I’m just not that interested in it. I’ve set up just enough settlements to advance the plot and provide crafting mats, but they’re mostly small and in poor shape. A bunch of constant whiners. If Preston cares about making settlements so much, why doesn’t he get off his lazy ass and take care of it? I’m busy shooting things.

      • All is Well says:

        The part about there not being enough people to raid is very much an understatement. There seem to be only around 10 farms, and most of them only have a 2-4 of people working them before you set up radio beacons. And there are only like four active caravans (which is really a misnomer).
        On the other hand, in my current, 50-odd hour playthrough, I’ve killed ~600 humans, mostly raiders/gunners. Without even trying or anything. Those numbers don’t really add up to a workable economy.

        • All is Well says:

          (Come to think of it, if I keep killing people at this rate I’ll probably render the Commonwealth’s human population entirely unable to sustain itself pretty soon. Biologically speaking, I mean. Also, that’s supposed to be a squiggly line before the 600-figure. I haven’t killed negative 600 people. That wouldn’t make sense.)

    • Zenicetus says:

      “Charisma feels so useless in this game since nobody wants to talk anyway”

      Charisma is useful, but only in very specific situations, and tied to quest lines. I just defused a tense situation that would otherwise be a shoot-out with a Charisma check. That felt good.

      I have base CHA of 6 (for the settlement stuff), boosted to 7 with a bobblehead. I carry a leather suit that has CHA+3 and put that on with the Militia hat for +1 when I’m reaching a dialog opportunity. That gives CHA of 11. That works in a lot of dialogs that include a check for it.

      Also, the colors for charisma checks — yellow, orange, etc. seem to be tied to your base stat, not any CHA boosting items you’re carrying. I’ve been choosing the orange and darker options that shouldn’t work, but they often do when I’m wearing the boosting gear.

      Just don’t expect CHA dialog checks to come up that often. It’s only in a few quests here and there, but they tend to be at important points where it makes sense.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        That.

        Mostly, what misses is just the typical “Stop right there!” situation with a bribe/smooch option that might make things more interesting, or a couple more various occasions really, but i feel that you nailed it when you mentioned that it’s usually there when it makes the most sense.

        Sure, the issue is there, but i still feel that it’s magnitude is being vastly overplayed by some.

        Besides, if we really want to discuss the worth of Charisma as a simple stat, well, better prices means even more room for ammo and junk and a higher settler limit, with both things playing in tandem if you set them to scavenge.

        I played various characters with 1 endurance, only later putting another point plus a bobblehead, i feel Charisma and Intelligence to be far more important for my style. Huge settlements, infinite materials, and enough increased experience gain to be overpowered and able to constantly level up.

        Random tip: no matter how high your intelligence is, “idiot savant” is ALWAYS worth it, especially if you save-scum when returning a quest.

        • AyeBraine says:

          I’d like to add that with the new character system, each SPECIAL stat defines which perks are available, so there is a concrete motivation to have high marks in such a nebulous thing as Charisma or Perception. For example, I kind of leaned toward Charisma because I like talking and outsmarting people and all that, but such opportunities in this game are nothing really special.

          But eventually 9 and 10 charisma gave me access to Wasteland Whisperer and Intimidation, which makes for much more interesting and enjoyable mechanic: finally, after all these years, I can hold up enemies at gunpoint and make them realize my obvious combat superiority! This didn’t help me practically (too unreliable and rarely works on actually dangerous foes), but it made fights with various bandits much more varied and atmospheric.

          Not to mention silent infiltration, where I emerge from the shadows and catch these brigands with their pants down, then loot their stuff and vanish back into the darkness, leaving them reaching for the sky and quietly asking me to be reasonable and not shoot them after all. But, alas, some actions reset their surrender (e.g. accessing terminals), so in these cases I’m forced to execute my POWs before proceeding. Just like actual scouts in enemy territory.

          I should do this more. Especially since I can now order them to fight against their former allies, and can even add specific commands soon. Also, haven’t yet tried to get a Deathclaw minion (also possible).

    • monsieurZb says:

      Ah. My biggest disappointment thus far was when I came across a robot racing track and instead of a nice set of related quests, I was greeted by an unavoidable hail of gunfire

      • Hitchslapped says:

        Yes, they could’ve introduced a race-robot owner and have you help him search for parts to make his robot faster or another guy who wants you to manipulate the track and stuff like that. There are quite a lot of posssible questlines they could’ve introduced there but they went once again for just killing everything you see.

  8. ShinySpoons says:

    I fully expect a mod at some point to make people not auto aggro. Wear gunner or raider armour and walk up unmolested kind of thing. Raider’s clearly have hangouts and interact with each other. So unless literally every single one of them knows each other its a bit silly for them to immediately just start shooting. There’s some scripted sequences where they hold up farmers and such for money.

    So yes, I’m looking forward to creative modders going about their business

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      gritz says:

      I want a mod that just removes people from the game entirely, so I can do my exploring without all the tiresome pausing to VATS something’s head off.

  9. shrieki says:

    the exaggerated violence as the unique way of solving situations in games is getting really boring … or wait is it really getting boring ? lol cant decide

    but there is hope that the kind of immersion this big games provide is one day used for something even more engaging than just blowing brains out…

  10. celticdr says:

    Loving this diary Alec, I personally have become too fixated on building a kick-ass settlement in Sanctuary to bother with these things called “quests” now… I think there was something about a family member I had to save somewhere, was it a cousin? No, no, it was someone younger… perhaps a niece or nephew? That must be it… Dammit! I ran out of wood again!

    Here’s to Michael Radiatin’s wasteland adventures continuing forever – godspeed you Monty Python actor lookalike you!

  11. PancakeWizard says:

    So I’m about 3 hours into this game and I’ve got instant buyer’s remorse.

    When I bought it, I made peace with the fact it’s no longer the Fallout of old (I enjoyed Fallout 3 at the time anyway), and was ready to just dive into the shootiness of it all but..it’s not even that is it? It’s barely one thing or the other. It’s just a beige sub-par shooter where the rpg elements now feel like a hindrance instead of the awesome mainstay of the series. I looked at the settlement building stuff and just sighed with the nature of it all wishing I just had some prefab buildings to plonk down and forget about and I just couldn’t be bothered to dick about with the interface.

    I mean..what happened to me? Why am I bouncing right off this? It sucks man, I want to be along for the hype-train but I got so bored, so fast. I feel cheated.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      Word. “Bouncing off something I wish I loved” is the exact feeling I had with Fallout 4. If I had to identify exactly why, I’d say it doesn’t want love. The story doesn’t want me to love it, the bugs don’t want me to love it, the shoot-on-sight and lack of any roleplaying don’t want me to fall in love, building settlements are pointless, saving people is pointless, being a good guy or a bad guy is pointless. The only thing that exists is the extraordinary world building, and everything else is trying hard to invalidate that, too.

      It’s not me bouncing off the game, it’s the game bouncing off me.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      But is it really more shooty than Fallout 3, which you say you liked?

      Do you really have less role playing options considering now you have more ways to make a mark with the exclusion of setting of a nuke in Megaton?

      You have control over the shape of the wasteland and over the conflict of various different factions with different agendas, rather than just following your dad and deciding if you or someone else should push a button.

      I still stand by the idea that what really happened there is that people saw better shooting mechanics, and the game automagically became “just a shooter”.

      It’s simply a logical fallacy, but it’s incredibly powerful, mostly because one feels smart when it makes the logical connection that if Bethesda made that part better, it must have made everything else terrible.

      Thing is, it can also be true that iteration and a new console generation can provide easy benefits without the need for the surreal supposition that they shifted all their resources for that element. It doesn’t even make sense to point at the explodiness of trailers, because let’s face it, that stuff simply makes for good trailers and helps sell more.

      I really don’t believe it’s more shooty, i just think it’s better shooty.

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        DuncUK says:

        I personally think they whether they liked the game or not, the proper decision paths of New Vegas are what we really remember and what seems so lacking in FO4. After completely finishing New Vegas (and I do mean completely) I went back to FO3 having originally lost interest in it in a way I hadn’t at all with NV. The lack of branching narratives compared to NV were painfully obvious, and while I still enjoyed the Bethesda world building it seemed like a much less engaging game.

    • MagisterMundi says:

      I think part of it is that it’s super opaque. There are several things that actually are there that people have no idea about, because they’re never explained. For example: you wishing there were pre-fabbed buildings. There are. They’re just buried in the crafting menu. Same thing goes for gathering resources, scrapping items, etc, etc. It’s all a lot easier than people think, but you’d have no reason to know that.

      Also, I’d say it’s not more shooty than Fallout 3… it’s the same amount of shooty, but with better shooty-ness, I’d argue. Fallout 3 was also very much a, “If you see them, they shoot at you” style of game, outside of a few frankly underwhelming settlements. That’s just how Bethesda rolls, though – they’re great at adventure games with RPG elements, and they’re fantastic at worldbuilding, but so great at immersion or deeper role-playing.

    • celticdr says:

      3 hours in?!

      Give it time, it started to suck less for me about 20 hrs into the story/side quests… yes Bethesda are too fixated on dumbed down shooty rpgs, hell they’ve practically pioneered this new genre (DDSRPGs) but occasionally you find something humourous or slightly intriguing in your wanders around the Commonwealth.

      The overarching problem, as I see it, is that the gaming media keeps singing Bethesda such high praises since the Oblivion days when they decided “f**k it, we don’t need to have put the ‘RP’ into our RPGs anymore”, the fact that in Skyrim you could be a Mage/Thief/Assassin/Good Guy/Warrior with Monk abilities all rolled into one was the big turning point – now with FO4 it’s charisma that has no impact on conflict resolution and AI instantly attacking you the second you’re within a 2 mile radius… gaming media stop giving these guys a free pass!*

      *I’ll at least acknowledge that RPS’s review noted these faults in their review and don’t give scores anyway.

    • Imbecile says:

      Stick with it. Ignore the minuteman quests and get to concorde and then Boston as fast as your little legs can carry you. The start is pretty bad, but theres some good stuff from there on

    • Shiloh says:

      I felt much the same way when I got involved at the beginning with Preston and all his Minuteman story line cobblers, running around doing settlement busy work which my growing band of utterly useless settlers were completely unable to carry out… I was honestly going to jack it in until someone on this very site advised me to head to Diamond City and get stuck into the main quest – which I’m now doing and which has improved the game for me immeasurably.

    • monsieurZb says:

      It felt even worse for me after 10-15h and Diamond City because everything felt incredibly repetitive, tedious and disconnected, so there’s that. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

  12. tonicer says:

    Yeah those children of the atom are totally nuts.

    Man FO4 is by far the best of the first person fallout’s i have ever player. (and i played FO3/NV to death with a crazy amount of mods)

    My only complain about FO4 is the lack of an SDK right now and that it still has essential characters … i want to be a psycho and be able to kill anyone i want to … but there will be a mod for that pretty soon.

    FO4 is my GOTY or even GOTD … D for Decade.

    PS: I have ~75 hours gametime and i just now entered diamond city. :D (i only explored the northern half of the map … and i thought the map would be to small for my taste)

  13. OscarWilde1854 says:

    I’d like to quote myself from the previous entry in this diary: “Here’s my prediction for the next one: Swimming. Swimming. Swimming. Bored (or hit invisible wall). Turns around. Goes by land anyway.” … Why did people vote for swimming. Did they expect a different result?

    I’ll also reiterate my prediction from the first one: This ends at the glowing sea… no way he makes it passed that corner of the map.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      I don’t know, he already have a hazmat suit and have successfully survived hard fights, those children of the atoms without hazmat is quite hurtful. I personally don’t find the glowing sea that dangerous as long as I sneak around and pick baddies off from a distance (if you’re unsure you can kill the enemy with a sneak shot to the head and a quick followup, aim for the leg and go for crippling).

  14. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Alec, remember that your fancy new radiation guns only works on humans or you might be in for a world of trouble.

    What I wonder is, if you do manage to circumvent the map, is that it? Will you be “allowed” to stop the run or do you have to look for more adventure until you die?

  15. jack-dowland says:

    Hi Alec,

    Really enjoying the series. It might be worth posting a map of your current location at the end of an entry; I don’t have the game, and that would make it easier to following along with where you are in the world.

    Thanks!