Wot *I* Think: Fallout 4

I’ve spent a lot of work time playing Fallout 4, what with its being the biggest release of the year. It gave me the chance to write a couple of superhelpful guides, and a three-part diary about trying to approach the game differently from that of most reviewers. So I’m left with a whole bunch of opinions about it, which it makes sense to collate into my own little WIT. It’s worth noting I’ve nowhere near completed the game, approached it strangely, and not put in nearly as much work and effort as Alec did for his official RPS review. These are just my thoughts based on what I’ve experienced so far, as spoiler free as I can get it.

This is my first Fallout. Sort of. I never played the original Fallouts because I was busy, and turn-based strategic games have never been a strength. And I bounced off Fallout 3 like a bouncy ball on a trampoline – three times I started that game, and three times I reached Megaton, felt overwhelmed with choices about which I didn’t care, and wandered off. New Vegas, which I know I should play, got swept away with its predecessor. So Fallout 4 is the first time I’ve sunk my teeth into a game in the series. NMA, come get me.

However, being far more familiar with the Elder Scrolls franchise, it’s not like the game was a surprising mystery to me. So I knew what to expect. And not all of it good.

That bothers me. It bothers me a great deal that we don’t expect games from Bethesda to be well presented, have workable UIs, to not have enormous game-breaking bugs, terrible options, and an inevitable reliance on modders to craft something halfway comfortable to play. But expectation sure takes the edge of experiencing these things, and I think this is likely part of the reason there are so many poor reviews of the game out there lavishing it with 9s and 10s – critics who have forgotten that despite being expected, such things are not acceptable. So that tarnishes my experience enormously. That, on top of the way things were hopelessly explained, major elements like crafting just thrown in without introduction, and vital controls never mentioned – some not even changeable in the options! It all leads toward an experience that feels shaky, flaky, never coherent.

I think that holds me farther away from the aspects of such games that normally draw me in the most. The narrative, especially. I honestly don’t care a jot about anything that’s going on. The opening tale is reasonably well put together, the circumstances of your finding yourself in the post-apocalypse close to moving. And then that all feels instantly flushed away, as you’re pulled into RPG Memes #47 and #329, nothing to do with your personal crisis, running about killing strangers and aiding others, while stomping about in a giant robot suit and stealing potted meat from farmers.

I also found the writing singularly dull. It’s not bad, but that would have at least been interesting. It’s nothingness, just cardboard characters barking “RHUBARB RHUBARB RHUBARB” at you until they’re done, when you then look at the quest details to find out what it is you’re actually supposed to be doing. Oh no, Cardboard X doesn’t like Cardboard Y, and Cardboard Z is getting frustrated! I’d better speak to Cardboard A and B, and get Cardboard C to help. Or more likely, shoot Targets D through W until it says I’ve achieved something.

So it makes it weird that I’ve enjoyed playing it so much.

I’m hard-pushed to entirely justify it. It’s unquestionably a time-sink, constantly dangling interesting-looking (if not actually interesting-being) things on the horizons, giving me a permanent incentive to keep moving on. I’ve stumbled upon little bases, hidden bunkers, networks of tunnels, and formerly abandoned buildings, and enjoyed killing whatever’s inside and foraging for loot. I’ve been drawn in to exploring the various businesses of a town, seeing what can be stolen, who can be annoyed, and gathering up quest markers (if not paying attention to the purpose of the quest). I like just mooching about in the wild, looking to see what an abandoned building might contain, hacking and lockpicking into people’s private business.

There’s absolutely nothing I could say I’ve “loved playing”. I haven’t loved any aspect of it. I’ve tolerated much, enjoyed parts, and more than anything, sunk time into the rest. No regrets, no resentment, no rage. It’s a big, pretty, interesting world, that’s never quite so interesting when you look more closely. So I’ve just not been looking too closely, and from that perspective, had a mostly decent time playing.

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217 Comments

  1. Marblecake says:

    Yup. It occurred to me that F4’s closest living relative might not, in fact, be Skyrim but rather Far Cry 3 and 4.
    I’m enjoying Fallout 4 a lot, the crafting system is immensely satisfying, exploring is fun, sneaking about and clearing bases is great…but it’s all very Far Cry. Bethesda cut out all the parts that are RPG and left in only the open world elements so expected of big franchises nowadays.
    So that’s the big disappointment. It’s not a roleplaying game and it’s no sandbox.

    But it’s good fun. Shallow, streamlined, focus-group tested fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      If you read through Bethesda’s marketing materials, you’ll see that they don’t call the game an RPG at all. It’s officially an “open world game”.

      And yeah, it’s basically an open world shooter with a lot of extra stuff laid on top of that. But I would argue that it’s the game that Fallout 3 wanted to be in the first place.

      • Marblecake says:

        Probably. It’s just that this makes me extremely sad. I knew it wouldn’t be a real Fallout game but I keep hoping. Beth is probably just going to keep on gutting the franchise.

        Gah.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        From the short time I spent with it, it’s not a very good shooter though. I would’ve been happy if it was an open world shooter, or an open world RPG, but it’s neither one thing or other. Played as a shooter, it’s extremely frustrating. The RPGness I made peace with losing back in FO3.

        • NYmasajista says:

          Its a Bethesda game these guys don’t make shooters they make Elder Scrolls. Try it again sometime as a 3rd person melee character and its quite fun combat. I didn’t play Skyrim but am loving the improvements to the fluidity of the 3rd person combat on this old game engine with more horsepoewer under the hood this time. Dashing is great

          I’m using an unarmed character with level ten agility and luck. Iron Fist + Blitz + Better Criticals + Gunfu + Ricochet + Action Girl perks are fun to use. Add the med-x/psychobuff/whiskey combo for the lulz. Blitz 2 made my character into a vanguard from Mass Effect with a powerfist full of rebar. :)

          • Enso says:

            Except after playing it for over 80 hours, 90% of which with a super sledge, I finally went to the wiki and discovered that’s it. There are no other melee weapons. a few uniques that are mainly useless, perhaps serviceable with all the right perks but not really. Like 4 weapons and completing the game with a modded pipe wrench is just tedious. On normal its possible because you have so much DMG resistance but its boring.

            Still, I did enjoy a lot of the game but haven’t completed it.

          • KoolAidtheRED says:

            @Enso there are many more melee weapons beyond the super sledge, not sure how you could have missed them.

    • onodera says:

      Except Far Cry 4, at least, has better NPC characters, better gunplay, better graphics and doesn’t pretend to have meaningful conversations.

      Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind getting more involved crafting and building in the inevitable Far Cry 5 set in a failed Russian-backed breakaway state.

    • DailyFrankPeter says:

      Technically, this is convergent evolution not family relation.

    • KastaRules says:

      Maybe you are right. I wish it played like Far Cry 3 though, and I wish it would support ultra wide resolutions properly and had a smoother frame rate. I could then bear all the other faults.

      From a technical standpoint Fallout 4 is a frigging disaster.

    • kalirion says:

      Ok, cool. So when will we get to see what Obsidian can do with this foundation?

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Well done on reciting the hivemind’s opinion of the month, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I suppose the game allows you to roleplay as a Far Cry protagonist, but that doesn’t magically make it anything other than an RPG. Survival may be very different to hardcore-mode, but this is still a (nu-)Fallout RPG at heart. It’ll be fun to see people change their minds between now and the GOTY-edition.

  2. Wowbagger says:

    I’m still playing it in my very rare personal time. Only about 5 hours all told so far. I’m enjoying it but I can see ennui setting in fairly early. I will do what I did with Skyrim and come back when there are some survival based mods* that make it more interesting.

    *Frostfall and better more realistic needs being the main ones.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    That the main plot doesn’t leave room for doing other things is a problem that often occurs in open world RPGs, and it’s always a bit jarring for me. There I am, in that world, on an urgent quest that is very important to my character and the world – only, not really.

    In reality I’m exploring a random cave at the other end of the map, I climb a mountain just because it’s there or I do some whole other quest that has nothing to do with the important thing. Then, after weeks or months have passed in the game, when I finally do what I was supposed to be doing, no one even comments on the fact that I’m absurdly late.

    If I remember correctly, Morrowind did it a little better. There the plot had specific points at which the player was supposed to go out into the world and explore. The usual “deviate from the main quest” part of every open-world RPG was an actual part of the main quest, so to speak. I don’t understand why this is not done more often.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I hate to be in the position of defending the writing in this game, because most of it is so pedestrian. But I actually think Bethesda handled that tension between main plot urgency and open world exploring fairly well, this time around.

      The urgent quest and the main character’s motivation is resolved as soon as you find and make contact with one of the main factions. It does take a while, but for most people I’ll bet that happens somewhere around the halfway point of the game. From that point on, it becomes a New Vegas type choice of which faction to support, and the pacing in that quest series has no particular urgency. You’re free to continue exploring and doing side quests in the meantime.

      In that respect (and that alone), I think the main storyline was handled better than the one in Witcher 3, where I always felt some background guilt that I wasn’t proceeding directly to finding Ciri while doing all those side quests and monster hunts. Everything else about Witcher 3 was written and handled far better than in Fallout 4.

      • K33L3R says:

        Just no
        Personal opinion, just think The Witcher 3 is by far a better game, writing certainly is

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          He actually said that himself about the writing per se, he was merely discussing how the open world freedom vs main story climax and pacing was handled, and any sandbox game that gives you a reason to actually do what you want without having to worry that you’re “doing it wrong” is surely doing the right thing.

      • LacSlyer says:

        The fact that you felt guilty in Witcher 3 when not completing the main story line is exactly how a story like Fallout 4 should have played out. I mean, finding your lost son should be the top priority over everything, yet the main story is so dull and generic it hardly makes you feel anything when you come upon side quests. There’s no feeling of urgency to complete them to move on to the main story, and that’s one of the game’s biggest faults.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          The sense of urgency was more or less the same, only that in FO4 you reach a certain point, very early on if you rush the main storyline, in which stuff settles and there’s a big priority shift, and after that all the faction stuff, building and expanding and so on actually becomes integral to the main narrative and you’re definitely supposed to have a bigger footprint in the world.

      • Abndn says:

        Probably because The Witcher 3’s story was great, while Fallout’s was a pile of shit. It’s easy to feel comfortable with delaying the main quest when it is terrible in every way.

      • hemmer says:

        Haven’t played TW3 yet, still reading through all the books (almost done! great read so far), but he’s been looking for Ciri for so, so, SO long, the pacing would get incredibly boring if he didn’t get sidetracked on a routine basis.

        Though in the books it always feeds into the main storyline somehow, cause they’re books. I suspect it won’t happen that way in the game, still, looking very much forward to replaying the witcher games with all the bookedy background, had some interesting revelations already

      • K_Sezegedin says:

        I agree about W3’s problems with urgency vs exploration.

        The thing that bothers me is that it seems like exploration, contract and side quest completion could’ve been incorporated better if there were times where Geralt had to wait a few weeks for something to happen.

        Like there’s one quest I won’t spoil where an important character needs to be released from jail.

        There’s a point where you’re relying on an NPC to make that happen, and that could’ve taken a week or two to get done.

        Or say he has to wait a week or two for a ship to arrive that’ll take him to Skellige. For the impatient player, well they can just meditate the time away. For those of us who feel vaguely uncomfortable ‘wasting’ main quest time, the game would be like,

        “Nothing you can do a t the moment, just go kill some time on that horse race or gwent tournament.”

        There could be more paywalls too, and a better economy which would make Geralt need to to side-quests to afford to progress the main quest, instead drowning in coins as he is almost from the start due to the games overload of legendary items…dude can’t swim across a pond without snagging himself on some ancient weapon worth hundreds.

  4. BathroomCitizen says:

    After having played The Witcher 3, I can’t justify spending my precious free time on hollow, boring Skyrim-like quests.

    The more I age, the more I get to see how important is finding good games, or at least games that really spark something inside you.
    And Bethesda’s games don’t seem to do that anymore to me.

    • Synesthesia says:

      amen, same here. After i could wrestle myself out of the skinner box, I felt robbed of my time.

    • aircool says:

      Agreed… and no matter how much I despise the controls in Witcher 3, I’ve clocked up 132 hours so far, and I’ve only just got to the bit where it tells you to create a manual save game.

      3rd person perspective is preferable for these open world games, particularly if they’re based around melee combat.

      Witcher 3 is pretty much the benchmark now (except the crappy controls!!!).

      • C0llic says:

        This is how I’ve felt about Bethesda games for a long time. Even Skyrim failed to grab my attention beyond a few hours of ‘ooh, shiny… oh wait, it really isn’t that much improved after all’, so I suspect unless they truly try to address the shortcomings their games have had since Morrowind (which I loved, the problem is not much has improved), I’m pretty much done with them sadly.

        The Witcher 3 remains the game I point to if anyone suggests the dated engine, MMO like quests, and dull writing are a consequence of this type of game. It can be done better, Bethesda just have no real interest in pursuing improvements to any of those things.

        I find this fact enormously frustrating.

        • hungrycookpot says:

          The most frustrating part is seeing the hype and fame of Bethesda’s Fallblivion series compared to The Witcher.

    • oogabooga says:

      I’m 40 and I enjoyed them both. Don’t get me wrong…I think Witcher 3 is almost perfect and Fallout 4 definitely has it’s issues, but I still spent over 100 hours in F4 and had a blast.

      Witcher 3 will (should?) move the bar way up for all open-world games going forward, and I’m really excited about that.

  5. drewski says:

    “So it makes it weird that I’ve enjoyed playing it so much.”

    Not gonna lie, I was waiting for that line.

    Bethesda games. The only thing more fun than complaining about how bad the game is is playing more of the game.

    • Ishy says:

      The true fun-endgame for Bethesda games is spending twice as much time tweaking and modding them than actually playing them.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Aye, that will never stop, only that after a year or two all of this will be forgotten. Actually, after two years a new super shiny game will be released you’ll hear people screaming that is “still not as good as modded FO4!”. Already happened with Skyrim, it will happen again.

      Only thing is that at least this time it’s factually more polished on release than Skyrim and FO3, let alone new Vegas, and for my personal taste it falls short only of the latter and only from a purely roleplaying and writing standpoint, and that’s fair and surely a big enough point.

      Ultimately it boils down in part to the new features: New Vegas is a masterpiece in many ways but i know it like the back of my hand, i won’t revisit it because it’s static for me now that i really tried everything. This one allows me to play with the wasteland on a more physical level aswell, i don’t look at tin cans in the same way as before and i will enjoy trying new settlements styles and so on, or choosing which side should get a piece of the cake or me alone. Handling all of this is an extra roleplaying platform that i didn’t have before and also a nice tool of personal expression.

      Either one finds the appeal in this or, failing that, New Vegas is the other options, but i surely will never understand those that somehow enjoyed FO3 while calling this a trainwreck.

  6. Purchata says:

    This is my first Fallout.
    It’s like saying something about football, but starting with “This is my first football match”.

    • ariston says:

      No, not really. And even if it was the same, so what? Football is 22 guys in little boy’s costumes running around on a field. Fallout 4 is s soulless, shoddily-put-together, but nevertheless at times entertaining game. You don’t need to have played any other Fallout to recognize that.

      • Ergonomic Cat says:

        This is also a WIT. So his experience is amazingly relevant.

    • Stupoider says:

      You’d have a point if not for the fact that FO3 and FO4 have been incredibly anti-Fallout in their worldbuilding and stories.

    • All is Well says:

      Well, it would be, if you ignore the bit about Skyrim and how similar they are. And even if we do ignore that, John’s not some weird alien who wandered in from another dimension and decided to give an opinion about Fallout, despite not knowing what video games are. He does this for a living, you know?

      • jrodman says:

        I thought the journalist was always supposed to be claimed to be incompetent. What is this being reasonable business?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Not really. Fallout 4 is a game like many other RPG-oriented open world games. Having played those before you can say as much as you like about Fallout 4. A better analogy is someone talking about English football knowing about the Spanish league. And that is perfectly fine.

      Or to put in other words, if your analogy was correct, how then could someone ever talk about an entirely new game? Sorry mate, you missed your target by a mile.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      It might surprise you, but there’s lots of people for whom Fallout 4 is their first Fallout named title.

      Hearing a franchise newbie’s perspective is always valuable.

  7. Paul says:

    It is fun, in the junkfood “I know this is shit but I am going to eat it anyway” kinda way. I spent 140 hours in it. But I am glad it is over and I am never starting it up again.

  8. Bobsagoth says:

    Fallout 4 was first Bethesda game that i played thru from get-go (after 150 hours). Ancient Daggerfall didn’t entice me with it’s procedural everything. Morrowind on other hand was the thing, but like with everything before Fallout 4, i just mucked ’bout doing evertyhing else but main quest that i got bored before i could finish it before taking long break. Fallout 3 i played thru 3 times and Skyrim twice, but latter has more hours on it as the world is more involving and might add more mod friendly.

    That said i’m eagerly waiting for more DLC or user created content and while doing so, taking break from Fallout 4. i might add that Fallout 4 was actually most bug free Bethesda game which i’ve played. Only had one ctd during that 150 hours and had to backtrack 10 hours as certain events were triggered after ending that seemed bit buggish. Skyrim on other hand was unplayable after 100 hours on ps3 and i sold it back since i correctly thought that it won’t be changing any time soon. Bought it again for pc after Dragonborne was released to give Bethesda all my monies.

    Only problem with Fallout 4 i have is that Bethesda apparently didn’t bother with much optimization as my truth to be told, old rig is having trouble with nVidia experince program thingy which states that my comp is under minimal requirements to run Fallout 4 (yeah i know it doesn’t matter whatsoever in any form, but still). Thus i’m finally starting to think it might be time to upgrade to have more luster in coming years of Fallout 4.

  9. FriendGaru says:

    Damnit, Walker, pick a side. Either this is greatest game ever, or a festering pile of shit. The internet has no room for “has big problems worth pointing out, but is still an enjoyable experience overall” opinions.

  10. Barberetti says:

    Eh? Haven’t played the game yet. Can someone explain this bit please?

    • Barberetti says:

      Oops. I’ll try again!

      .. and vital controls never mentioned – some not even changeable in the options!

      Eh? Haven’t played the game yet. Can someone explain this bit please?

      • Assirra says:

        Well there are certain actions you cannot change the keybind for. E for instance will be forever you “activate” button and there is no way to change it. This is for some people with special keyboards or people using their mouse lefthanded an absolute nightmare resorting to programs like auto hotkey to change their whole keyboard layout which might break other stuff.

        • Barberetti says:

          Ah, like the R key originally was in Skyrim then. Thanks!

        • Highstorm says:

          Wow seriously? I use ESDF bindings and that little bit of information completely decides against buying the game. Thanks for the heads-up.

          • Barberetti says:

            Yeah, I use RDFG which screwed me big-time with Skyrim. Luckily for me they patched it out, but I’ll not be buying another of their games as long as they continue with this horseshit.

  11. ZippyLemon says:

    Morrowind captured the little child heart in me, Oblivion enchanted it, Fallout 3 entertained the teenager, New Vegas made him fall in love and elope to where the grass is greener (where he met his old crush KotOR2 again, and realised in full the beauty of that old friend), Skyrim painfully broke the spell Oblivion cast, Dark Souls ground Skyrim into dust, and Fallout 4 will not be featuring in my games library. I am now 21.

    Thanks, RPS, for your delectable writing which has saved me the hundreds-of-hours-long process of coming to the decision that I don’t really like Fallout 4.

  12. Dominare says:

    ‘Overwhelmed with choices’ is such an idiotic phrase. For christ’s sake, just pick something and do it – you’re not a five year old.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Oh if only your rage had let you read to the end of the sentence, you’d not look quite such an arsehole.

    • All is Well says:

      Except it’s not just an “idiotic phrase”, is it? Look up “The Tyranny of Choice” and “The Paradox of Choice” and branch out from there. Also, don’t be rude.

      • blind_boy_grunt says:

        but don’t you see he is the exception, he is… the CHOSEN ONE. True, we had limited choices but that had nothing to do with our selection. Nothing!

    • Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

      Ohh.. That was the first of many things in this post I agreed with.. I’ve had three or four shots at 3 but stopped at megaton for exactly this reason. I could word it: “suddenly realised I couldn’t be arsed with this shite”

  13. Catskin says:

    “So it makes it weird that I’ve enjoyed playing it so much.”

    Because despite itself- despite precarious implementation across the board it is still, after all, a good game? With beautiful art design, vivid characterizations, and thematically-unified writing? Yes?

    • rabbit says:

      that last sentence of yours (excluding ‘Yes?’) is … i’m struggling to think of a better description for it than ‘ornate as fuck’. it’s like listening to one of those marks and spencers adverts off the TV whispering to me about Artisanal Slow Cooked Delicately Honey Baked Organic Free Range Wiltshire Farmed Fallout 4

  14. Elliot Lannigan says:

    Finally, a reviewer who agrees with me instead of putting it in the top 5 games of the year.

    • Disgruntled Goat says:

      Honestly, giving Fallout 4 a score of 9 or a 10 is downright unconscionable.

  15. Major Seventy Six says:

    Fallout 4 has drawn me in. I am unsure of the amount of progress I have done towards completion of the story and I do not really care right now. I do a lot of exploring and crafting.

    Finding out hidden caches, personal logs and diaries as well as long dead people with little cues to understand what happened to them is really what drives me forward. The amazing amount of details to make every part of the world unique in its own way makes the game worth playing by itself.

    There are so many stories of long dead folks hidden around that I would not even need a main quest line to be driven.
    The added “settlements” part will probably have added an extra 100 hours of play time in the end for me. But I have started deliberately to take things slowly as I am anxiously waiting for official mod support and the 1st DLC to hit.

    Despite the defects and issues that plague the game, it is still a very unique experience and I am certainly hoping for more even if I probably have another 100 hours to sink into that play-through.

  16. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I’ll tell you, for a game that no one really likes much, you guys have talked a whole lot about it. There’s perhaps more articles here on RPS about this game, then any other in the entire year. And Fallout 4 just got released recently.

    It’s hard for me to sympathize with your position John. You seem divided in your opinion, when mine was always very clear from the beginning. The game sucks. Tremendously. It’s almost infantile on how it approaches 2015 game technology and open world narratives. It’s a clear low production value cash grab sitting on the Fallout franchise, hoping (and succeeding) to capitalize on its name. Fallout 4 in every aspect is a testimony to our non critical pop culture that will grab just anything for that game entertainment fix. The reviews also demonstrate that. And as you say, we even allow ourselves to ignore the many bug and technical issues and rate high a game that is the equivalent of you buying a non working toaster.

    Seeing you both criticizing and bending backwards at the same time leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not because I cannot understand you could probably feel confused about how you feel about the game. But the fact that you more likely failed to understand what you called enjoyment is instead a much lower level of entertainment than what we should expect from such a title. No awe, no shock, no GOTY anywhere close. Just some enjoyment, like one enjoys an ok movie we don’t plan to see again anytime soon.

    And that means a crap game, when the title includes the world “Fallout”. As a developer/publisher you either want to see your franchise take new heights, your you will witness it slowly sink into crap. Fallout 4 is no Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s a bad game doing bad things to the franchise.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Good grief. I know it’s not worth trying to respond to someone who tells me I’m mistaken about whether I enjoyed myself, but low production values?! I’d love to know what you imagine this game cost to make.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        I didn’t mean that as an insult. Not even close, seriously. I’m instead questioning that your enjoyment of the game is in fact not what we should expect from a new Fallout 4. Read it again. I’m just saying that the game offer was subpar to what we should expect from a 5 year hiatus. I am however implicitely questioning you, if you ever considered this.

        As for “low production value”, perhaps I should have used other words. My knowledge of English may have betrayed me. It’s not the money aspect, but the quality value of the game. They may have spent a whole lot, but the end result is a game using old tech and very poor writing. It’s a low production value in that sense.

        • ZippyLemon says:

          I interpreted it to mean that it was produced cheaply in the sense that there was no apparent evolution of design philosophy: just “do Skyrim on the new consoles with Fallout assets and call it a day”. The production was cheap on soul.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Cost invested != production value

      • Oozo says:

        While I think that telling you that you willed yourself into enjoying the game is indeed a bit much, I do think he does have a point. It’s mostly about this here:

        It being the biggest release of the year.

        I understand that you could not not write about it, but still: I do agree that it is a bit baffling to see how much time and energy a lot of you here on RPS invested into this game and the writing about it — a game that you did not even consider worthy of a spot in the 24 best games of the year.

        I certainly don’t want to tell you how to run your site, but… I think most readers enjoy RPS for their idiosyncrasies as much or even more than they do for your thorough coverage of “the biggest releases of the year” — especially when this moniker seems to be attributed to those games by default and strong-armed marketing rather than by any merits of the game itself.

        In other words: I think you wrote somewhere that you would shift the balance in 2016 a bit towards writing that aligns more with your personal tastes and less with what you expect “the common reader” to expect from you. (Or maybe that was on “Shut Up and Sit Down”, I’m not sure.) Anyway, I’d like to see that, and you could make a somewhat different judgement of what makes “the biggest game of the year” — and the ones most worth your and our time — part of it.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Guilt, confusion and peer pressure. Only this.

          Many staffers got caught by the game, yet they still don’t understand if they’re supposed or even allowed to like it, let alone shout it out loud, so they have to craft extremely complicated scenarios like this review in order to say anything.

          The pitchforkers managed to win with fear and some just because they had to be contrarian by duty, i’m not going to take any stupid conspiracy theorist accusation from this because it doesn’t make the least amount of sense that they forgotten everything to talk incessantly about FO4, including november’s game of the month, only for it to not even feature in a top 24.

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            John Walker says:

            The two people who wrote the most about this game were not “staffers”, but “owners” of RPS, and we wrote lots about it because we wanted to, and because lots of people wanted to read it. Sorry to disappoint.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I don’t think it’s that hard to understand why the game generated so many articles on RPS. It’s just the type of game that allows many different angles of approach, so it’s a fertile field for writing.

          We had articles about seeing if the game would support playing as a total bastard, or as a survivalist/explorer, or as a settlement architect, along with all the other usual stuff like weapon mods.

          Compare that with a game that consists of a single linear story line. What can you say about that, other than “This is a great story” and then move on?

        • Premium User Badge

          John Walker says:

          “I don’t understand why your shop sells potatoes, when I like buying and eating only romanesco.”

    • rabbit says:

      he expressed a mixed opinion. people have those sometimes.

      fallout 4 has received a lot of coverage because it’s a huge release which inevitably will have a lot of people interested in finding out about it.

      the time you spent birthing this comment would have been better spent doing anything else at all.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        “the time you spent birthing this comment would have been better spent doing anything else at all.”

        It was better spent than playing Fallout 4, or reading your reply.

  17. TheAngriestHobo says:

    “It’s nothingness, just cardboard characters barking “RHUBARB RHUBARB RHUBARB” at you until they’re done”

    Dude! Spoilers!

  18. Stevostin says:

    So RPS miss entirely the point of Bethesda’s Fallout again. Alec Meer also missed the essential. The essential is that Fallout, like any other Bethesda game, offers something unique, different and to several people essential absolutely no other game offers. That is an immersive experience in an open world with a narrative. At its best, you have dialog choices that matter, a real impact on the world, and in a similar way various approaches to move forward.

    Fallout 4 is far from perfect. On several level it’s even a step back from 3 or FNV. The thing is, it’s the only offer on a certain segment on the market, and to some, that segment isn’t important, it’s actually the only one that matter. A very good gameplay isn’t in itself interesting to me. I am here to travel to new worlds, feel them, and live story that are my own. That requires immersion which requires first person view, single hero, freedom on many levels and landscape filled with opportunities. Bethesda is more or less the only publisher who gets that need and fulfill it. Even now when I am getting really tired of the formula, absolutely every other game on my steam list feels “meh” in comparison.

    I’d love to see more of that kind of game and I believe we’ll see more soon. But one thing is for sure: RPS writers are complete strangers to this. Here’s one who does:

    link to gamesradar.com

    It’s understandable a team can have some dead angle in its videogame coverage. RPS has been smart to hire ppl who get an excellent writer who gets esport (hi pip). It’s time to get someone who understand that drive in the audience as well.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      There’s so much wrong here I don’t even know where to start.

      1) Monopolies are bad, m’kay? They cause innovation to stagnate and result in overpriced, low-quality goods. I cite example A, Fallout 4.

      2) You’re right, no one has achieved that sense being able to go anywhere or be anyone like Bethesda… except, well, they didn’t. We inevitably require modders to give us alternate start mods, give us interesting races to choose from, remove pointless obstacles and countless bugs from the game, etc etc. All Bethesda does is give us a very dirty sandbox and some mod tools.

      3) The fact that RPS doesn’t agree with your assessment of the game doesn’t mean they need to hire new staff. Something can provide enjoyment and still be absolute shit. I cite exhibit B, Smirnoff vodka.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        He doesn’t want a monopoly, he totally would love more games to offer the same kind of experience ( as i would ), but it’s not happening yet.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        “All Bethesda does is give us a very dirty sandbox and some mod tools.”

        Which is more than pretty much anyone else is doing? I mean correct me if I’m wrong, but what games are you playing that give you a Bethesda-level sandbox along with the choice and polish you’re hung up on?

      • Stevostin says:

        1) see above.

        2)stating a lie doesn’t make it true and I am very tired of that one. First yes, no one offer modding support like beth did on Skyrim. Second we don’t *need* those mods but yes, some do improve the game significantly. But that would be true for any game offering that incentive to modding, assuming they have the rich system Bethesda offers to start with (most don’t)

        3) now you’re just trolling.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          1) It’s fine to buy from a monopoly, because you often don’t have a choice. However, supporting a company that refuses to innovate because they have a monopoly (ie. “no one else is doing what they are doing”) is ridiculous. What reason does Bethesda have to improve their standards if people like you will happily lap up whatever they spill on the floor?

          2) This speaks to a real lack of knowledge on your part. No one offers modding support like Beth did on Skyrim? Well, I was a Skyrim modder from 2012-2013, and during that time it took months for Beth to get the mod tools out, which ended up being extremely gimped versions of the tools used to build the game. The Creation Kit was buggy, prone to crashing without warning, and the only support offered was in the form of an extremely limited wiki that Bethesda expected the users to fill out. Furthermore, Beth regularly incorporates modders ideas into future games and expansions without providing credit for the inspiration (the orphanage mod and Real Time Settler being two obvious examples). They’ve also made numerous attempts to unilaterally monetize the mod scene without any sort of consultation with the community. They are not its friends – they are using it to increase their bottom line, and their interest ends there. After all, who would buy Bethesda games for $80 if you couldn’t mod them?

          3) I’m not the one who responded to a reporter disagreeing with me by calling them ignorant (“RPS writers are complete strangers to this”) and advising them to hire better staff (“It’s time to get someone who understand that drive in the audience as well”).

          • Stevostin says:

            1) I never said Bethesday shouldn’t be criticised. Actually I did mention some criticism in my post. I said RPS miss the point. Which is: F4 is the only offer this year in a kind of experience that is the reason to play video games for some. F4 is not as good as F3 or FNV to me but if I had to choose between F4 and all the other games released the last two years, it’s *of course* F4 because that’s the only game that fits *my* motivation to play games. Which is mine and some others in significant numbers. Hence my point about trying to cover that sensibility within RPS readership because ATM it’s not.

            2) Please point us out another AAA publisher that allows for a mod support comparable to what Skyrim did. How many TW3 mods around ? How accessible ? What about Mass Effect ? Can I install and manage GTA V mods like Skyrim ? etc.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      “The essential is that Fallout, like any other Bethesda game, offers something unique, different and to several people essential absolutely no other game offers”

      Ha! Spot the mistake. Explains why I gave up a mere 2 hours in and thought fuck it, I’m going back to Skyrim.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Maybe you absolutely love snow, fantasy or are in dire need of mods.

        The latter can be fixed later and if that’s your problem, a more fair comparison would be a launch day Skyrim vs FO4. Added fun would be provided if also comparing the overall polish.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Also, he said Bethesda games, and Skyrim happens to be one.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            That was my point. He said that Fallout 4 offers something unique and that it’s like any other Bethesda game in the same sentence. Why would I play Fallout 4 if I think Skyrim is better at being a ‘Bethesda game’?

      • Stevostin says:

        To me F4 is best defined as “a very good Skyrim” so I guess to each one his preferences :)
        What I said is that only Bethesda does that kind of gaming experience that can be defined by “be there. live your own stuff. Make your story” (emphasis on every word of that definition. e.g: not FPV = you’re no there. no possibility to invent yourself a character both in term of skill and roleplay = not your own stuff. No option that changes the world/story or too little = fail too. By those standards I can’t see any other game in that field. And oh boy would I love to have one!

    • Old Rusty Dusty says:

      Sorry, but you’re wrong. While I do have Fallout 4, and do enjoy playing it to a certain extent, it’s a far cry from what an open-world game should be in the year 2015. Have you even played The Witcher 3? Because if you haven’t, your opinion is null and void, as that’s what a 2015 game should look, feel, and play like.

      Comparing Fallout 4 to The Witcher 3 is like trying to compare Xena: Warrior Princess to Game of Thrones. They’re not even on the same level in terms of writing, narrative, gameplay, and stability.

      Fallout 4 is still using the same Gamebryo engine that Morrowind ran on, complete with it’s shoddy animation, general glitchiness, and poor performance. And that’s not even getting into the half-assed writing and rinse and repeat boring quests. That said, I will say that if there’s one thing Bethesda still can actually do with some level of competency is creating a compelling, physical worldspace to explore, as that’s really the only reason I’ve come back to FO4. But there’s just so much filler, and the game barely even tries to make you care about the characters or the plotline…if everyone died in FO4 would you really even care? They’re placeholders, not people, even though the voice acting and writing is miles ahead of FO3, it’s still light years behind the Witcher.

      • aircool says:

        Yup. Witcher 3 pretty much pisses all over everything else from a great height.

      • drinniol says:

        But with W3, you play Geralt (and to a much much lesser extent, Ciri). You’re locked in to 3rd person so you can’t even enjoy a scenic moment without the grizzly old Geralt in the way. There’s no items in the game world, they’re all in containers. No object physics besides debris. All the dialogue is Geralt’s dialogue. You can’t play your own story, you have to play Geralt’s story.

        Now, this in no way detracts from the quality that W3 oozes (after they fixed most of the quest bugs), but it is not the same genre as FO4. Witcher is Legend of Zelda for adults.

        Maybe with Cyberpunk 2077 we will see some more freedom with character creation. I hope so, anyway.

        • Mikefoo says:

          I’d argue that TW3 and FO4 are very much the same genre, and that they do invite comparison.

          There’s no real reason why, for example, you couldn’t have compelling quests like Witcher 3’s in a Bethesda game. They’re not even that complicated from a scripting perspective – they’re still mostly “go here, talk to this person, go there and kill that thing”.

          It’s all in the writing. And you can have that quality of writing regardless of whether your main character is a known quantity, or someone you have created yourself. You can have a compelling world with believable people in it, even if it’s not based on an established series of books.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Yet all you’re talking about is quest design and writing, something that is 90% the point of TW3 and only 20% in the case of FO4, and you still think they command comparison.

            The post you’re actually replying at is also about how the world at large is interacted with, and besides all of this it seems that the simple ability to be who you want is a selling point for some people that is valued above many other things.

            I too loved TW3 for it’s strenght, i actually have hundreds of hours on both TW3 and FO4, i loved them, and i would never even try to compare them as their focus lies in very different camps.

            But as much as i loved TW3 and as much as i trust CDPR to deliver something great, i need something more “personal” and as such i will probably need to wait for Cyberpunk. Ultimately i don’t think you can compare a game you only play to try the various story bits and branches and another that gives you more reason to just, you know, play and do stuff.

          • Mikefoo says:

            But you can compare some parts of them, right? Both games have quests, both games have factions, and both games have decisions that significantly affect the course of the game.

            Want more? Ok. Voice acting. Character animations. Dialogue. Believable characterisation in general. Every single one of these things (and much more) is something that both those games can (and should) aspire to, things that they would benefit from in an “immersion” sense. And every one of those things is done immeasurably better in TW3. It’s not even a contest.

            Maybe you could say that exploration is a lot better in Bethesda games. I’d disagree, but you could argue it. I just don’t think that needs to come at the expense of all those other things. Not anymore.

            If anything, I think TW3 has shown that you can have the whole package, if you put the effort in.

            Anyway… rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            What about instead focusing on what each game has that the other doesn’t? Or what about weighting how each thing you mentioned are central or peripheral in each game?

            There are elements that, depending on how much you care about them, provide enough of a difference as to put the two games in very different spectrums, and they have been discussed at lenght.

            The elements you mentioned however are most central to TW3, which also is a game that does everything it can to ensure everything works without being broken, with the landscape provided as mostly just that and everything safely hidden in loot crates, mostly unmovable objects and so on. Beth games risk a lot in various design decision that are incredibly prone to go wrong, the question is if you consider them important enough as to warrant the added risk, and i personally do.

            FO4 does many things CDPR would never even consider, and they’re costly and time consuming to develop, and it’s obvious that the focus on other things is going to shift. You don’t seem to care about them, and so your game of choice is TW3, in my case both are extremely valid, TW3 for it’s exceptional craft and storytelling and FO4 for the manipulative and “personal” freedom and the very different way you interact with the world.

            Besides, all those pitchforks are stupid, end of story, sorry. It’s Elite vs SC all over again, and it’s tiresome. Ultimately i’ll never understand who the hell should really care about setting up a deadly pit fight when there’s absolutely no reason to.

      • Stevostin says:

        “Have you even played The Witcher 3?”

        You missed that “First Person View/immersion” part (and some others) apparently. I can’t grab a thing I see with my own eye in TW3 and that’s not a small difference. That’s a whole different league in term of experience to me.
        Now true, there are plenty of open world game going on now but that’s a new thing and that what makes me optimistic to see some competition for TES like game but it’s not there quite yet.

    • LacSlyer says:

      I’m sorry, but you’re foolish if you honestly think that in 2015 an open world game is something so unique and entertaining, even if it is a Bethesda game. While they may have one of the best overall recipes for open world games, the gaming market is far too flooded for this generic release that does nothing different than any other open world game of 2015. As well, the suggestion as though this game is so immersive compared to other games is laughable.

      I mean no offense by that, but it’s just ridiculous to suggest that this game is so much more immersive than other games when one of the biggest problems with it are things that remove the immersion (dumbed downed dialogue, for instance, among numerous other things).

      • Stevostin says:

        … or I was more specific. An open world is a thing. A First Person View Open World with a real effort to let you live your life and experiment it exclude GTA V, FC4, STALKER, TW3 and many more. Either they don’t let you choose or their world isn’t something you can grab or both.

        • LacSlyer says:

          Unless I’m misunderstanding you, in my opinion there’s no way you can compare Fallout 4 to other open world games that actually try to immerse you. Especially a game like Stalker, for instance, that’s such an immersive experience.

          As I said, Fallout 4 is a good game, but removing immersive features from previous iterations is a big fault it has, and because of that you really can’t say it’s one of the better open world games released in the last few years, let alone 2015.

          • Stevostin says:

            I love STALKER. It (1 & 3) shares the top of my list with FNV and probably F3 too. So don’t get me wrong on this.

            Stalker does a great job on that “road to immersive gaming”. What it does, it does sometimes better than most (core game play, atmosphere, randomization and liveliness). But it simply doesn’t handle as many bits of the experience as F3 or F4. No character definition. No room for role play. Little dialog. A world that has very few items to grab other than weapon or buff related, where you can’t move a damn chair. Still I think it’s the closest anyone else has tried to offer that “live your life in that brand new world” experience (save a few lesser known items).

            That bein said you misunderstood me. F4 is the best of its kind since Skyrim because it’s the only one of its kind since Skyrim. To me it’s on par with Skyrim, lesser than FNV and F3. We can have a whole discussion about some of the discutable “improvement” they made (player character voice acting anyone ?), sure. But it’s chit chat because that being said, it’s the only box of chocolate available in the grocery. As long as Bethesda is the only one making chocolate, we can say some are better at making candy cane than chocolate. But bad chocolate is better chocolate than good candy cane. So you buy the chocolate whether it’s good or bad.

          • LacSlyer says:

            @Stevostin

            Here’s my problem with the sentiment that a game should be purchased simply because it offers something that others might not but is not a good game in general. It confirms to the developers and publishers that it’s what they should be doing with their games. Meaning more crap like this will be made rather than it being improved upon. And when this game is right on the edge of being good, and has so much potential just wasted, sending this message is only going to make things worse than they already are.

            So in my opinion, especially when it comes to big budget triple-A games, we should not support mediocrity because it only manifests the same crap we get every year that people are sick to death of. But then if that’s what people continue to buy, who am I to question what people really want?

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      I agree that RPS and its readership is largely missing the points of these games. For all the talk about loving “immersive sims” a few years ago, they sure don’t seem to give a shit about how Bethesda has basically kept that style of gameplay alive in recent years.

      It’s also disappointing to see all the comments here rejecting FO4 because TW3 is better, as if it’s more important that Team CD Projekt beats Team Bethesda instead of actually enjoying two great games.

      • Geebs says:

        Pretty much this. I do wish, though, that Bethesda had stuck with the much more immersive-sim-like Morrowind template rather than making the core gameplay even simpler. Morrowind was already “broad but shallow”, and at the time we thought that we were going to get deeper simulation in later releases, not shallower. I blame voice acting.

        Still, I totally agree with you that about 50% of the criticism The Bethesda Game gets is tiresome I-must-criticise-this-because-it’s-popular contrarianism, and the frequent comparisons with the totally different but certainly excellent Witcher 3 are pointless, in illuminating and tedious.

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head here. Each iteration of the Bethesda game formula becomes progressively less immersive. In Daggerfall different regions had different holidays, some of which lined up with Daedric feast days, when the princes could be summoned. Mind you, this could only be discovered by poring over in-game books and reading between the lines, nothing was stated outright. You could enchant any item with any spell (“Loincloth of Levitation” was a favourite in my household). You could own a ship or a carriage in addition to a horse. Cities locked their gates at night, but their walls could be scaled by a skilled adventurer/wereboar.

          Bethesda gradually stripped all of these brilliant ideas away and replaced them with shinier graphics. The Gamebryo engine was promising when Morrowind was built on it back in 2002, and it did allow the AI and physics aspects of the immersion to improve dramatically, but that was the last significant advancement Bethesda made to the technology driving the simulation – everything since then has been empty window dressing.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            Stop, you’re making me very sad that we’ve never had a proper sequel to Daggerfall.

            It really was amazing in all the little details and the million different things you could do. There are so few CRPGs like that in the entire history of videogames. Having thousands of scripted side quests is not remotely the same thing.

          • AdmiralFrosty says:

            You’re totally correct to say that Bethesda has lost so much of the richness that made their games so unique, but to say that “everything since then has been empty window dressing” is incredible hyperbole. That’s the gaming equivalent of saying that no real music has been made since Steely Dan.

          • Premium User Badge

            gritz says:

            So holidays that are expressed only by reading about them in books and small textual dialogue changes are major features of simulation.

            But holidays that are expressed by voiced NPC comments and changes to the actual decoration of major cities, a la Fallout 4 is just “window dressing”.

            Got it.

          • Distec says:

            Way to completely overlook the majority (and therefore the thrust) of his post.

            Maybe just get over it, gritz. It’s great that you like FO4. I’ve recently purchased it myself and I’m having a good time. But yeah, earlier Bethesda games had a fuckton more going on inside of them than their current offerings.

      • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

        Fallout 4 (3, NV) is not an immersive sim, not even close.
        There are no wacky movement options, your modes of interaction with the world basically amount to “talk/shoot/transfer object”, NPCs almost never interact with the world or each other.
        You don’t have any magic or other ways to alter the universe’s rules or physics, and physics themselves are barely present. This game is a continuation of a pen-and-paper RPG where everything is based on, let’s say, “dicerolls”, not simulation of any kind of real space.

        • Sandepande says:

          I don’t think that inability to alter laws of the physics or a lack of magic is terribly immersion-breaking…

        • Stevostin says:

          You must not have played those games, or not payed attention.

          Very few open world games offer the ability to:
          – move each and every item light enough..
          – because to start with, every object has a name, a weight, a value. No “props” here.
          – NPC grab them, including weapons,actually have them in their inventory (if you see something, it’s *there*), go to sleep, go to eat, meat random encounters, fight or flee and call for help.

          Also I don’t know how you come to the idea that “magic = immersion” but nope. Two different things.

          • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

            Yea, but they don’t feel like they have weight – even the heaviest items bounce around the room when you step on them… And they don’t interact with anything in any way that I can recall. NPCs can do all these things you mentioned, but I can count the number of times that led to some interesting emergent situations on one hand… Mostly it’s just someone going aggro on someone else they’re supposed to be allies with, and that’s it.

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          What are you even talking about? “wacky movement”?

          • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

            No levitation, no ridiculously high jumps (although I’ll give you the Jetpack, maybe? I haven’t seen one yet, and I’m level 60) no wall-climbing, no rope-attaching, no transforming into a small animal… Basically there doesn’t seem to be any way to get somewhere where you can’t just walk. There’s no way to make an unexpected appearance. Have there been any immersive sims where you just walk everywhere?

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            Deus Ex, unless I’m forgetting something. Though you could at least stack crates to reach interesting places.

          • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

            LAM climbing, too)) And weren’t there super jumps in it? I don’t recall..

        • KenTWOu says:

          Your definition of ‘immersive sim’ is too strict.

      • LacSlyer says:

        I’d argue that a big reason a game like Fallout 4 is so easily frowned upon is because there are so many open world games available now. And when the next iteration of a game actually takes away from the previous version it’s easy to understand why people disprove of it.

        If this game had released 3-4 years ago it would have been widely accepted as a great game, I think. But in 2015 with numerous open world games coming out on a near monthly basis, they need to do more than just offer a crap load of things to do and explore to be a good game.

        I honestly think that open world games are the new bubble for the gaming industry much like MMO’s were 7-8 years ago. To me, I think Fallout 4 will hopefully be a changing point in that bubble, where developers either realize that they need to do more than provide a shit load of content or continue to do the same old thing that every other open world game does.

        • Stevostin says:

          I don’t think Action RPG ala Deus Ex became a bubble. They were a niche, they became a genre, and we’ll keep on seeing them on a regular basis, with even Wolfenstein come back including some stealth, some exploration/story, some skills and options. In the same way, Bethesda already impacted the open world trends and it’s here to last. Corridor shooters were a trend but they were a station on a long road and now they’re going away. Open World era is upon us, not as a trend but as where we’re going. It does look like it, at least.

          • LacSlyer says:

            I disagree. I most definitely think it’s a bubble because practically every major title being released is now an open world type game. They’ve become almost what MMO’s were attempting to be years ago, in providing a theme park with hours upon hours of time consuming content, except that the majority of that content is mundane, repetitive drivel that’s the same in basically every game.

            To me, Fallout 4 seriously suffers from this, but because it’s a franchise that doesn’t have a yearly release it’s not quite as obvious to people, as it is in something like Assassin’s Creed or FarCry. The question is though, will people continue to support games that are built like this? I honestly don’t know, because while I’m extremely turned off by the majority of open world games that follow the same mind-numbing formula, people continue to buy them.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Fallout: New Vegas is a strong reminder that Fallout 4 lacks actual role-playing.

      • Stevostin says:

        It does, but so does F3 or even Oblivion IMO. Morrowind & Daggerfall was not offering as much options OTOH (I mention this because it’s not “the older the better” to me).

    • pH101 says:

      You are so right on this point I just had to log in and let you know. Almost nothing has the first person view and real world fidelity of objects as Bethesda games offer. That every item is real, can be moved or stolen etc is a big deal. There is real freedom to the world, especially skyrim, but also fallout 4. Witcher 3 does not come close to matching the immersion as a result. It makes me pretty sad it is a point missed by RPS and many gamers. Witcher 3 is great but it is so very different. That RPS didn’t put skyrim in the top 50 rpgs was when I realised something was seriously wrong. Basically it is apparently not cool to like these games, despite them being the height of world building immersion stuffed with possibility. Big shame.

      • RobF says:

        Skyrim was number 33.

        • pH101 says:

          I stand corrected (may have been thinking of Oblivion which I think was great for similar reasons). I feel my point still stands – 33 is ridiculously low for the game and I can only think was done in an effort to be “edgy”, especially when you consider what came top and compare the systems.

  19. Jekadu says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about New Vegas lately, and how it approaches the seemingly contradictory demands of there being both side activities and a main quest in an open world game. The solution: assume that the player will want to do most of the side quests anyway and integrating them into the main quest by telling the player that all the side hubs are factions that need to be pacified before the main conflict can be resolved. Add some subtle ways to encourage the player to travel counter-clockwise around the map during the early game and suddenly you’ve got a coherent setting.

    Obviously, there are pros and cons to doing these things. Players who enjoy experimenting might resent being herded in a particular direction. By making all the major quest hubs mandatory, the player is given less opportunity to differentiate each playthrough since they will need to visit them every time. It’s also possible for the story to lose some steam. At the same time, by tying everything to the central conflict, the setting will feel more coherent.

    Conversely, a self-contained main quest, where the player goes from one scripted, out-of-the-way set piece to another, is probably easier to make more dramatic and engaging as long as the player remembers to do it. It also allows a more modular approach to side content, as the critical path will only be one activity among many, and one that probably shouldn’t affect the rest of the world too much since other content might not work otherwise. The downside is that if the player loses interest, odds are plot threads will be left hanging for no good reason, which harms immersion. It also creates a situation where it is easy to create a lot of content that might be intended to show that many different things are happening in the open world but which end up making the whole thing seem disjointed.

    I forgot where I was going with this.

  20. golem09 says:

    “what with its being the biggest release of the year”

    Really? To me that clearly is Witcher 3. Teased for 2 years, with massive coverage everywhere, huge in size and scope. I don’t know how “oh btw, have Fallout 4 in November” could compete. Especially with it basically being “more open world, bethesda style”, similar to “more open world, Ubi style”.

    • mavrik says:

      Eh, the marketing (and sales) numbers clearly outdid Witcher 3. It IS the superior game by a long shot, but the media coverage, marketing hype and sales figures pretty much favored F4.

      • aircool says:

        Yeah, there were adverts all over TV for F4.

        On the subject of adverts, anyone seen the one for Elite: Dangerous at the cinema (it was on before Star Wars)? It actually makes the game look exciting, even though it isn’t.

        • Jediben says:

          Yep, had to turn to my mates and mention explicitly that the game is nothing like the advert.

    • LacSlyer says:

      The only reason Fallout 4 didn’t seem as hyped was simply due to the announcement date being only 6 months before the release date. However, in that 6 months there was far more marketing for the game than the majority of games released this year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the marketing costs surpassed the Madden series this year.

      So while I can commend Bethesda for not doing the typical slow marketing of going to expos to show off their game when they’re not even remotely close to releasing it, their entire marketing campaign negates that for me.

  21. caff says:

    I had an unusual experience with Fallout 4 that felt quite personal to me, and ultimately drew me into the world making it more engaging. Near the start of the game, I was exploring the first Red Rocket garage with my speakers cranked up quite high and the daylight fading. All was quiet, but a solitary WOOF! from behind me scared the crap out of me, and I span round and shot my pistol centimetres above the dog’s head. That dog became my companion, and despite how stupid and unstealthy he was, I treated that canine AI like my friend through mission after mission. He lent a farcical air to everything, getting stuck in elevator doors and walls, providing a constant source of amusement/irritation as he regularly disappeared then emerged standing vertically inside other NPCs. Without that stupid dog, the game would have been a far duller place.

  22. Replikant says:

    I haven’t played it and probably will not after bouncing off Oblivion and Skyrim the hard way (even though Morrowind had been my favourite game for a long time). But most reviews just make FO4 seem like an OCDs wet dream. Where fun is measured in hours spent and amount of loot, craft recipes, and generic quests. Which is one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy Oblivion but merely kept myself busy with it.

    • mumur says:

      “Where fun is measured in hours spent(…)”
      Hits the nail on the head for me on what’s wrong with a lot of people’s idea of what makes a good game these days. Who cares if those hours feel well spent as long as there were a lot of them. Will be using this quote all the time from now on :P

      • Replikant says:

        Unfortunately, it’s really easy to confuse “playing a game” and “meticuously completing a game”. I spent way too much time in X3, e.g., and occasionally still fall prey to the sirens song of Steams achievement system.

    • Stevostin says:

      Writing is pretty good in that one IMO. For once it’s a Bethesda game where I can name most character on the top of my head and quite “know” them. The general story lays some very interesting ideas too. The lore is nice as long as you don’t get mad at everything that is more comic book than convincing (TBH that’s the fallout legacy once you remove the nostalgia and take an honest look at the first two one. I remember being annoyed by the silliness of the first one on so many level which probably shielded me from that nostalgia factor when f3 came out.)

  23. metric day says:

    Man, all of these pieces on Fallout, all of the comments, all of the forum posts… and has anyone managed to say anything interesting about it yet?

    • Abndn says:

      It is interesting that so many like it. Absolutely fascinating, in fact, since it is so obvious to me that it is a steaming pile of shit. To even see people compare it to Witcher 3 (which is easily one of the best games of all time across all platforms and genres) is hilarious and frightening at the same time.

      If I handed out scores I would probably give it a 5/10 (possibly upgradeable to a 6 after patching, dlc and more available mods) and feel that I’d been very generous.

      • Stevostin says:

        I really, really, really wanted to like TW1.
        Bought it. Dropped of me hands after 5 hours.

        I really, really, really wanted to like TW2.
        Bought it. Dropped of me hands after 12 hours.

        I really, really, really want to like TW3.
        If I buy it, that will be dead cheap.

        • SkiddyDave says:

          I have 88 minutes of Witcher 1, 23 hours of Witcher 2 and 24 hours of Witcher 3 before giving up on all of them. I’m as confused by people’s love of W3 as other people are perplexed by people liking F4. So yes, waiting for a sale for W3 sounds good. I could see it was a good game, but I was disappointed that I just didn’t like it very much.

    • Imbecile says:

      Yes

  24. vecordae says:

    Fallout 4 was a hoot. I don’t pretend that my personal enjoyment of a game is in any way an objective measure of its overall quality. For all of its faults, I enjoyed my time with it. I found myself more personally invested in the world and my character’s place in it than I ever did in FO3 or NV.

    And that’s what killed it for me.

    My particular version of the Sole Survivor found himself atop a blasted building one night, after a big multi-faction scrum at a trading hub. A man stood in front of him, overlooking Boston. Because I was invested in the game world, I had my dude shoot that man. Because it was a Fallout game, I looted his corpse for his gear and punted his corpse over the edge. I was a savior. I was a monster.

    I haven’t been able to play since.

  25. Kobrakei says:

    Mr. Walker just totally summed this game up for me. I understand the thought, time and effort put into making it. I know it’ll be the best game ever for a lot of people. I’ve played it for twenty hours, and it’s not gripped me at all. To me it feels like the game is obtuse on purpose, and a prime example of how less can sometimes be more. The failure of the game to spend time explaining how even basic things work (I watched a random video on Youtube which is the only reason I know there’s a cover system) and the awful, awful, AWFUL inventory system is what did it in for me. I imagine that twenty hours would be more like 16 if I hadn’t had to drop stuff so I could move normally.

  26. Mkohanek says:

    The writing was on the wall with Fallout 3.
    This is what has become of a once deep and rewarding series

  27. Jason Moyer says:

    I’ve tried to figure out why I like it so much, despite the fact that I hate how they removed all of the roleplaying aspects and any semblance of interactivity to the narrative. The conclusion I came to is that it’s basically RAGE, if RAGE had been designed by people who knew how to make that sort of game. It’s a fun world to explore and the shooting feels good. There’s also just enough going on with the humor and the character development (yeah, your skills are way too unspecialized, but I still find myself not being able to get what I want when I want it) to keep it interesting for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      Thank god FO4 didn’t have RAGE’s ridiculous racing and vehicle segments.

    • gbrading says:

      And thankfully less of RAGE’s terrible texture pop-in. ;)

  28. Risingson says:

    Last time I explained why I preferred Fallout 3 i only got the “but it’s not a Fallout!” crap, so let’s jump into something that I find interesting: why are ALL crpgs so full of bugs? Say Piranha, Bethesda, Bioware, Obsidian or whatever, why do we eat these games with so obvious glitches, exits to desktop and so on?

    • Abndn says:

      Bioware games don’t tend to be that buggy, do they? The Witcher 3 was also remarkably low on bugs considering the scope and complexity. Dark Souls barely had any noticeable bugs at all for the average player.

      • Abndn says:

        Hell, even Obsidian managed to produce a pretty clean game for once with Pillars of Eternity. Not saying any of these games were bug-free of course, but they were kept insignificant enough not to seriously harm my experience playing them.

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          PoE had a huge gamebreaking bug on release that caused companion stats to go haywire, causing a whole lot of people to put the game down until the first patch a couple weeks later.

    • Nereus says:

      Obsidian and Piranha Bytes are smaller studios that often don’t have in-house publishing funds to get if something goes wrong. I suspect the lack of bug fixing or bug testing is partly due to the fact they have to make games of a fairly large scope on a fairly small budget (for example Obsidian got a one time payment for FO:NV) so if they run out of money bad things happen.

  29. mariandavid says:

    I must be one of the others: Played about 50 hours, enjoyed myself enormously, barely followed the main plot and then just to make sure that I met all four factions and could play their little plots. Not a single major issue – of course now and then transparent guns or whatever other trivial failure – but so what? They are trivial because all you have to do is save and reload the save – part and normal parcel of the PC world.

    And like the vast majority of gamers care little as to whether a game is an RPG or open word, as if any of these labels much devoted to some, really mean anything.

    Exceedingly pleasant diversion – just what ordinary PC games, as opposed to simulations are meant to be.

    • drinniol says:

      You don’t even need to reload with the transparent guns, just switch to 3rd person and back.

      Just for a change, I would love a series where a game writer sits down and critizes all various game journalist’s writing.

  30. celticdr says:

    I agree with most of wot you think John, with one added bit from me – this whole Bethesda concept of “streamlining” RPGs (to suit console players of course) has to some extent ruined a brilliant franchise – yes the way the skills/perks have been streamlined is better than some arbitrary set of numbers, but instead of having more singular “master” pathways it ends up with a “jack of all trades” approach… then if you want to you can become a “master of all” without the level cap.

    What ever happened to the good old days of Morrowind where you could only be in one guild or another?

    And not having a pacifist/high charisma path in FO4 is a real bugbear for me – I usually do my first playthrough as a complete prick and then I do my second playthrough as a pacifist/good guy… and what happened to karma while we’re at it?

    Oh yeah, and the whole being forced into being a good guy sucks – remember FO3 with the Megaton good/evil choice? What ever happened to my complete prick character Bethesda?

    And another thing! Purplemonkeydishwasher… But yeah I have played over 100 hours so I must have enjoyed some of it right? The setting and exploration of the world draws me back in because of my love of the post apocalyptic/sci-fi genre – that’s pretty much it for me.

    TL;DR Stupid consoles ruining our PC games rant.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      “What ever happened to the good old days of Morrowind where you could only be in one guild or another?”

      Morrowind only did exclusive faction membership with its great houses, and you didn’t get to “try” a house out before getting locked out of the other two.

      Bethesda has let the mechanic evolve, to the point that the four main factions in FO4 each have their own exclusivity points based on plot development.

      • celticdr says:

        Oh yeah, houses, that’s what I meant… I’m not really fussed about any of the factions in FO4 – after 100 hours that’s a pretty damning indictment of how crappy the writing is… oh yeah, Preston is just plain annoying now thanks to the non-stop radiant quest giving, shut up Preston!

    • drinniol says:

      You could always populate your own settlement and then unleash some mini-nukes, if you like.

      • celticdr says:

        Huh, hadn’t thought of that *buys MIRV launcher* thanks drinniol!

  31. Duke Flipside says:

    What really gets me is the wasted potential; they had such a great setup for emotional storytelling in the pre-war survivor scenario, and they used *none* of it – instead its entire purpose is a(n unnecessary) plot device for the initial main quest.

    We could have explored the wasteland with sudden flashbacks to “What it was like, before…” Maybe the Wanderer and their spouse had their very first date at the Starlight Drive-In; seeing it in-game for the first time would be a sudden and heart-wrenching moment driving home the sense of loss. The Wanderer hasn’t just lost their son, they’ve lost their entire family, their friends…their entire life, in an instant. Now they wander amongst the ruins, a constant reminder of what they can never get back.

    Does this foster a steely resolve to rebuild the Commonwealth, to support the establishment of settlements and the Minutemen? Does the character become completely unhinged, rejecting the reality they’ve found themselves in and conducting wanton slaughter and helping themselves to whatever passing items catch their fancy..?

    Fallout 4 could have been an *amazing* RPG; with the right writing – and better care taken with the immersion-breaking elements – it could have been a work of art. Instead we get a mediocre open world game; enjoyable, sure, and a technical step-up from Fallout 3 and NV – but I’d still contend Fallout NV is a better game than what we got.

  32. drinniol says:

    Well, here’s the Metacritic scores for PC versions of the various games, with the user scores in brackets;
    FO4: 84 (5.4)
    Skyrim: 94 (8.1)
    New Vegas: 84 (8.5)
    FO3: 91 (7.9)
    Oblivion: 94 (8.0)
    Morrowind: 89 (8.9)

    Fallout 4 was not the critical darling that everyone seems to think that it is. The user reviews are pretty damning of the game, too, but I put that down to the zeitgeist more than an accurate reflection on the quality. 81% of the Steam reviews are positive, which is a more accurate reflection, as it’s less prone to review-bombing.

    • drinniol says:

      It’s also telling that the minimum playtime I could find on a ‘Not Recommended” on Steam was 24 hours. The average is close to 120-150 hours. Make of that what you will.

      • Myrdinn says:

        People who enjoy the game keep playing?

        • drinniol says:

          In this case, people who do not recommend the game keep playing. For days.

          • aircool says:

            I was one of those who didn’t recommend the game (132 hours so far) because people need to know about the shitty controls. That’s really due to Steam not having a middle option.

          • Abndn says:

            More like people who care enough to recommend against getting it on Steam are often the sort of people who really looked forward to the game and tried really hard to like it because they pre-ordered it. Personally I bounced off after about 5 hours because the game was irredeemably bad on every level.

      • mumur says:

        The Skinner Box/filler treadmill is strong in this one

      • monsieurZb says:

        I am one of those who absolutely don’t recommend the game and played for 80 hours.
        One reason was that I couldn’t believe every quest and side story was dull as beige paint and I dug really deep in the hope I would strike gold, narratively speaking. Another reason was the atrocious slowness of everything in the game: resource collection, base cleaning (especially when your character is not combat-oriented), location scouting, etc. Every trip anywhere and back took me between 30 minutes and one hour. The last and maybe worst reason was that I really don’t like to leave containers unopened in any game and that one was filled to the brim with desks, shelves and stuff I couldn’t resist ransacking.
        All in all, it’s time not really well spent. That doesn’t explain all the “not recommended – 100 hours played” cases but that’s my experience.

  33. Nereus says:

    I have been struggling to finish the main questline for probably about 2 weeks now. I wanted to finish it so I could say without regret I finished it and uninstall it forever. I finally got to final quest of the branch I chose, and what do you know. It’s bugged. It’s bugged in a way that makes the quest impossible to complete even when using the command console. The only solution is to load an earlier save – which, thanks to Bethesda’s autosave feature is now 3 days earlier. Not 3 days of in game time, or 3 days of progress at an hour a day, 3 days of playtime. 72 hours worth.

    I wish I hadn’t bought this game. The fun I had for the first 15-20 hours has vanished completely and it is now a complete chore to play. The game is buggy as hell and Bethesda hasn’t even bothered issuing patches for most of the problems. I put all of that effort in to actually finish it and I get a smack in the face as my reward.

    • skyturnedred says:

      If you don’t manually save in a Bethesda game you really only have yourself to blame.

  34. Mikefoo says:

    Hello. First time poster here, so please be kind!

    I remember hearing someone on US Gamer describe a particular Bethesda RPG (possibly Oblivion) as “the worst game I ever played for 40 hours”. That’s pretty much where I’ve been at with them – even the ones I really didn’t like (Oblivion, FO3) I still played quite a lot of. There’s just something about them that keeps you coming back.

    But I think I’m done with that now. I played FO4 for a good 30 hours (if anyone’s interested, I thought it was better than FO3, but still far worse than New Vegas or the original Fallouts). But then I picked up The Witcher 3 in a sale, and have been playing that ever since.

    So now I honestly don’t know that I can ever play a Bethesda RPG/open-world/whatever game again. It was amateurish before (in hindsight), but looks even worse now that the goalposts have been moved so far ahead.

    • Mikefoo says:

      And now, reading up, I see many of a similar opinion! Great minds and all that.

      • Myrdinn says:

        I think the opinion that TW3 set a new bar for (open world) action RPG’s is universal, as it should be. To be fair though, Bethesda didn’t have enough time to ‘reflect’ on TW3 and learn from it’s strengths. My concern is that they might never do so, seeing how well F4 is selling..

        • Mikefoo says:

          True, and I guess I can’t really blame them too much. Their games sell spectacularly well, so clearly they’re scratching the itches of a lot of people. Why mess with a winning formula?

          But for me personally, I’m not going to be on board with the next one unless there are more than incremental improvements. Hopefully Bethesda will be less complacent now, even with the financial success of FO4.

  35. damoqles says:

    “So I’ve just not been looking too closely, and from that perspective, had a mostly decent time playing.”
    Thus passes the glory of the world.

  36. Arglebargle says:

    The last Bethesda game I got tricked into paying big bucks for was Oblivion. Learned my lesson. Now I get the goaty version at $10, when it’s been patched, DLC’d, and good mods can be found in abundance. FO4 will not be any different.

    Odd though; John Walker is usually a good bellweather reviewer for me. If he likes it, I don’t, and often vice versa. Don’t really care for his approach (not that that should matter much), but a consistent reviewer is worth their weight in valuable materials. The Wot comments seem absolutely dead on for Bethesda’s continuing threadbare approach. Guess I will have to parse those reviews a little closer in the future.

  37. nottorp says:

    I never played the original Fallouts because I was busy, and turn-based strategic games have never been a strength.
    That’s interesting. Where can I find those strategic fallouts? I only know of Fallout Tactics, were there any more?

    • Assirra says:

      He means Fallout 1 and 2 which were action point, turned based games and by all means more strategic then what came after.

      • Sandepande says:

        Strategic, but how? Slightly tactical perhaps (“Do I kick him three times or try to hit his head twice?”), but that kind of stuff is available in Bethesda’s efforts too.

        Fallout 1 & 2 are more moody, but that’s mostly due to the soundtrack.

  38. dietrichrieper says:

    Not a popular opinion but I LOVE this game.
    Like I loved FO3 before it, and like I loved FO1 &2.

    Haven’t finished the main quest line yet, but I hardly ever finish FO games, for me its all about the journey not the destination.

    I really don’t get why a lot of people all of a sudden decided that it’s cool to hate on bethesda.
    I’m just a little sad that most of the opinions I read are so far removed from my own, and that not more players can enjoy the game like I do.

    (one thing that has become clear from reading user reviews, must buy witcher 3)

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      I think you’ll find that the people posting comments on RPS are generally dismissive of big budget games and anything perceived as “consolized”, whatever that is. (And there’s a very strong cadre of rather excitable Witcher enthusiasts, too.) This really isn’t a representative sample of the gaming population in general. The group of people who really enjoy F4, warts and all, is far bigger than this thread would imply.

      • Unsheep says:

        The vast majority of gamers don’t actually write on forums, youtube and blogs, those of us who do are actually a minority. So you never get a representative view of all gamer’s opinions by simply reading posts.

        Each gaming forum also follows a certain ideology unique to that forum, where you need to have a specific viewpoint on games and gaming politics in order to be tolerated.

        PC elitists love complaining over “consolized” games yet these supposedly bad games are still top sellers on PC: Fallout, Skyrim, Borderlands, Left 4 Dead, Metro, Modern Warfare, GTA, Saint’s Row, Just Cause, Far Cry, Batman, BioShock, Dead Space, MGS 5, Dying Light and so on.

        So there’s a huge disparity between what PC elitists are complaining about and what the majority of PC gamers are actually doing with their time and money.

        In fact, the average PC gamer is a League of Legends player.

    • damoqles says:

      It’s really not that hard to get why gamers with a more hardcore taste in RPGs don’t like how Bethesda seems to rip out more and more and more RPG elements and systems from their new games for the sake of the more casual crowd. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a Fallout shooter (in the main, numbered series), I want a Fallout roleplaying game. You could argue that one does not necessarily exclude the other, but unfortunately Bethesda doesn’t seem to know this.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        I don’t think it’s the “systems” where Bethesda have gone wrong with the TES series, I actually think Skyrim has lots of sensible streamlining. As fun as Daggerfall and Morrowind were, there was an awful lot of junk in their RPG systems that was illogical, poorly executed, or just never used. The problems with Skyrim were the repetitive and banal dungeon design, the fact that you couldn’t really affect the world, the inability to fail at anything, and the fact that it was impossible to play some quests without quest helper arrows (or, to put it another way, the recuction of the quest/journal system) but not the RPG mechanics themselves. e.g. The streamlined action oriented combat in Skyrim is a much better fit for the engine than the combat in Morrowind was they just really have to do something about the amount of backwards running ranged combat specialists end up doing :)

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          I’d like to the next full TES game have a lot less forced combat, completely redesigned dungeons, rewritten quest journals, and a combat system a bit closer to (but not as crazy as) that in “Chivalry”

      • Unsheep says:

        The “hardcore” vs “simplified” argument is an arbitrary one.
        Few people complained over Mass Effect 2 being an incredibly simplistic and dumbed-down version of the first Mass Effect game.
        That’s *my* arbitrary opinion mind you.
        Yet so may people have complained about Fallout 4 being a simplified version of the previous Fallout games.
        It looks hypocritical because it happens to be arbitrary whether a game is “dumbed-down” or “streamlined”.

        When a franchise-game changes the gameplay of a previous title there’s a 50% chance that critics and media will celebrate it as a more “streamlined” version of the previous title, and a 50% chance that they will deem it a “dumbed-down” version.

        How it goes depends on the fickle mood of our media and critics, and on what gaming culture happens to be like at that particular moment in time. There’s no rule or consistency to this judgement.

        • Distec says:

          It’s worth considering that Mass Effect was a franchise still gestating when it came to the release of the first game. Few people complained about the streamlining because the first entry was a somewhat awkward mix of TPS/RPG (the latter bits just sort of wobbling on top of the former), and it made sense to shuck it for the sequels. No loving attachment to the RPG/fiddly side of things was ever developed, so it was hard to miss. Ditto for vehicles; maybe there would have been more complaints regarding their removal if ME1 had awesome Mako gameplay.

          Fallout has had established conventions through most of the main series, but I guess you have some wiggle room there since the entire series was rebooted and retooled with FO3.

        • mavrik says:

          It looks hypocritical because it happens to be arbitrary whether a game is “dumbed-down” or “streamlined”.

          You **ARE** aware that internet is full off different people and the people calling ME streamlined probably aren’t the same people calling F4 streamlined?

          It’s not a hard thing to grasp :/

    • mavrik says:

      Even the author himself admits that he enjoyed the game so I’m not really sure what he’s talking about. Enjoying a game does not exclude noticing it faults (people who can’t talk about faults of their favorite games are aptly named “fanboys”). I can enjoy F4 and still think “uh, this would be an EVEN better game if the writing wouldn’t be so shit” or “I’m enjoying this but this conversation UX is just terrible in comparison to F3”. And Fallout 4 does have a lot of faults we should talk about and make sure Bethseda fixes them in future installment or other games making them even better.

      Just because we’re talking about bad sides of games it doesn’t mean we’re “hating” on them, the world isn’t binary like fairytales.

  39. tonicer says:

    FO4 is so much like Skyrim that if you play it without mods/initweaks to fix the problems you are missing out on a really good game.

    Also do yourself a favor and play it with mouse and keyboard it is so much better.

  40. Lord Byte says:

    To be honest, while the main storyline is your bog-standard RPG fare, I think the personal missions of your companions where usually well written and interesting.
    I loved Curie’s mission, the entire setup of the hidden vault, I loved Rick Valentine’s missions, even the Police stations hunts (because it helped draw out the time which meant that finally finding the guy made you feel like you accomplished something), I liked our intrepid reporter, I really liked the Silver Shadow arc… But they were all little side-quests. But that’s what I expected, the main quest is just a way to get to the “ending” when I got bored of the wasteland or found all the cool little quests (and I HATE and ignore those ridiculous “replayable” quests, they’re awful).
    There were a lot more cool little interesting quests than any bethesda game since Morrowind.
    But then I really didn’t think much of Skyrim at all… most overrated game ever, and this one is marginally better. (I loved NV though)

  41. derbefrier says:

    I tried this out over the holiday and thought it kinda sucked. I dunno I got bored with it in a couple hours and quit. Bethesda games just are not for me anymore I guess. IF they wanted to make an open world FPS so bad they should of just embraced it instead of trying to shoehorn in the rpg aspects. the game would have been better off for it.

  42. DThor says:

    I know it’s not the same thing, but Witcher 3 spoiled me. I find FO4 incredibly shallow, it leaves me feeling empty. The “stories” are bland and presented predictably. It’s the gaming version of empty calories.

  43. KingFunk says:

    The first Bethesda game I played was Morrowind and it blew me away. I have loved all the others since then too. So despite this general negativity, I shall no doubt purchase FO4 on returning from my extended peregrinations. Except not on PC for the first time as I won’t have any money to spend on my rig…

  44. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Hm first thirty minutes gave me the invisible weapon bug. There’s also the “can’t use tab/menu”-bug and the “can’t use door”-bug.

    In a game about replicants almost any character could be one like the vault-tec-guy in the first scene or your wife.
    Especially when compared with Witcher or EA-RPGs the character acting seems generic but I can likewise take Borderlands and Saint’s row and have more interesting and deeper characters by a mile.
    No wonder the best Fallout 4 character is a robot. With Nick you don’t have that “uncanny valley”-phenomenon you get with the suppossedly human PCs.
    It’s still an addictive slaughterfest and I hope the next Elder Scrolls will have limb severing and optional slomo/VATS.

  45. Quite So says:

    I didn’t realize I was having an existentially inauthentic experience while playing Fallout 4. I thought I was enjoying myself, but after reading these comments I now know that I was engaging in self-deception about my inner state of being. I was allowing an external force to provide a narrative that shapes meaning that is contrary to my experience.

    Now that I am conscious of this deception, I will exercise my freedom by playing Fallout 4 with the understanding that my enjoyment of it is ontologically oppressive.

    Thanks everyone!

  46. gbrading says:

    I feel Fallout 4 opens really badly; I was pretty seriously disappointed for the first couple of hours. However, when I reached Diamond City I feel the game really opened up, and now over 100 hours in I can say I really love the game. It’s very similar to Skyrim in many ways, and it doesn’t really alter the Bethesda formula, and I think this is the last time they’ll get away with it.

    In terms of bugs and UI problems, I personally haven’t had any serious bugs while playing, and I know everyone seems to hate the Pip-Boy but I really don’t mind it (apart from sorting through a long list of items, which can be time-consuming). I can see what people mean regarding writing, but it’s honestly not worse than F3 or Skyrim, and some characters are pretty good (Valentine, Curie, MacCready). I also didn’t see the main plot’s twist coming, which was refreshing.

    Like I said, this is the last time I feel the standard Bethesda formula is going to work before the rule of diminishing returns falls foul, but I’ve really enjoyed Fallout 4, warts and all.

  47. KastaRules says:

    Why do they even bother placing a plot in these kind of sand box games?? You are supposed to enjoy the exploration so why do you even need an excuse to do so?

  48. dmastri says:

    Game is fun despite the garbage story, garbage writing, and garbage graphics. That in itself is a feat.

    But yeah, C+ at best. For a company with the funds of bethesda it’s inexcusably bad. FIRE WHATEVER IDIOT KEEPS WRITING THIS GARBAGE, geez. Also, the UI guy gotta go. And maybe put some money into a new engine.

    • Fry says:

      12 million sales tells Bethesda they don’t need to improve a damn thing, so they won’t. Sad what the gaming public has become.

  49. GrapeJam says:

    The only thing that I want about Fallou 4 is New Vegas mod(or Fallout 2) remade in Fallout 4 engine.

  50. Peppergomez says:

    Agree with the author that it’s high time Bethesda stopped getting a pass on releasing half-baked, janky, unoptimized games. I find it extremely cynical of them to not even attempt to evolve things like UI and polish. They know full well that the mod community will fix that stuff for them. As a result, it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year (or more) before their games become refined and IMO playable.

    No way am I buying F4 until GOTY edition since by that time official and unofficial patches and various mods will have sorted out all the janky crap that plagues the initial release.

    I’m sure this game is way overrated, as it currently stands.

    • Peppergomez says:

      PS the fact they are using the same antiquated engine says it all. They know they can cut corners and make a ton of money releasing a work of lazy mediocrity, and 98% of their consumers will be none the wiser. Fuck ’em.