Fallout 4 a Jack of All Trades, and Master of None.
So it’s been a little over a week since the launch of Fallout 4. And what a week it has been…
The experience has been pretty amazing in my opinion. I’m constantly visualizing how I will progress my S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls “talent tree”, thinking about the places I need to re-raid for salvage, layouts for my settlements, which companion I want to romance, and how long I will avoid the main story line… Since picking it up at 9pm PST last Monday night, it has almost solely occupied my mind… my best friend has occasionally sent me text reminding me to eat.
Also a couple of things happened with the launch of Fallout 4. Pornhub reported a 10% decrease in views the night before the launch, it was the most played game on steam, and according Eurogamer in the UK it sold 200% than New Vegas.
So important to note, I LOVE open world games. I love the freedom; I always feel like my character is truly a part of the world and that my actions and the places I go aren’t specifically dictated by a story that has me pretty much on me rails as I progress through the game. I’m able to experience the game as I see fit. Though I’m more of an Elder Scrolls fan (mostly because of the lack of radroaches…) I’m really drawn to the Fallout series because of the era that they’ve focused the game around. An alternate dystopian future frozen in the 1950’s, the music, the clothing, the overall design. Fallouts universe is one reason I’m a huge fan of the Bioshock games, seeing these time periods come alive with unique nuances, all “Earth 2” and what not.
Fallout 4 definitely gives me the freedom I desire, as expected. It also fuels feeling like I really contribute to the world by building settlements and rallying the people of the Commonwealth to fight against Raider Scum!!! I know I’ve sunk at least 65% of the 40+ hours I’ve put into the game so far at my settlements. I’m really happy with the customization of the buildings though I do wish I had a little more control over the houses left standing in Sanctuary. There’s also magazines that you can collect to unlock more things to build, like more variety in fencing, lighting, furniture, etc. Having these things to unlock drives me to explore even more. Though as I explore and take out raider strong holds I have a tough time being able to collect the things I want and pursue new locations to explore, as I’m never able to pick up everything with the inclusion of my companion in one go around. I have to make multiple trips back and forth to my settlements to unload all the loot I collect as my carrying is still not enough even with pocketed gear equipped. Though this is something that pushes me to progress the game or rather explore and kill more enemies so that I can level up and put more points in my S.P.E.C.I.A.L skills.
The story line is definitely something I want to complete. There is a driving element to know the truth of what really happened after you were awoken in the vault and the separation of you from your family. Though I have neglected it from fear of completing the game too soon it seems promising… and hopefully a rewarding experience…
The music of the game is entrancing, soothing and suspenseful. Combat is taken to the next level with the music, everything is more intense and desperate. While walking around you lured into the calm of a desolate world, the near silence of mankind humbled by war and the abuse of science.
Even with all the awesome that is Fallout 4, here’s definitely things Bethesda just didn’t seem to care to flesh out or expect the modding community to fix or expand upon. The game also has several bugs, which are expected of a Bethesda game but I shouldn’t be tolerate as consumers.
Issue number one for me is dialogue. It will something cut in and out and you just get shots and pans of your character and NPC staring awkwardly at each other for a couple of seconds. I can’t tell if it just lagged, transitioned poorly, or that I actually just missed a section of verbal dialogue. This is not just a one time or singular thing either, when H00k (the bf) has “his turn” with MY game, watching him do things or have conversations similar to my own that result in the same bugs and disjointed conversations makes me affirmed in the believe that Bethesda just shipped this game “As Is”.
Companions are buggy as HELL. I didn’t have any real problems with companions in Skyrim that I can say cause any lingering irritation or disdain sans my B Illia being sooooooooooo OP (which I loved, Ice Spikes All Day!!). But companions in Fallout 4 aren’t even around half of the time. I’ve often cleared places and then look to dump all my junk in my companion and discover they’re nowhere to be found. Sometimes they’ve just been sitting at the entrance to the place other times they got hurt and never recovered. Though that’s not always the case when a companion is downed, sure you can heal them but often they’ll get back up after a short period of time or when combat ends. Other times they just don’t do ANYTHING!!! Like seriously NOTHING AT ALL! I’m the sneaky type. I usually like my companions to sort of “tank” for me, keep the enemy distracted/agro’d while I “L” them from afar, If I don’t one shot them with the initial shot. In Skyrim if I didn’t kill the enemy with the first shot I would see my companion BOLT past me to either agro the enemy or land a killing blow. In Fallout 4 my companion will more often than not just sit there… especially if I’m in stealth mode. It’s almost as if your companion has an agro radius that enemies have to trigger. H00k tends to stick with Dogmeat and I feel like he is especially buggy. He randomly won’t execute commands. When you have him “look” for things it’ll say he didn’t discover anything or tell him to find/attack enemies that are actively engaged in combat with you only to get the ping back that he hasn’t found any enemies, he’ll just simply whimper at you… Then randomly you get notifications that he’s found something but he’s been by your side the who time and they’re not a container, tin can, or mutfruit in the vicinity. In Fallout 4 companions are nothing but glorified portable containers (sorry Dogmeat) rather than the useful BADASSES of Skyrim. I’m just glad they can’t be killed like in Skyrim because I DESTROYED my companion if they hopped in my line of fire… so many reloads and constantly saving…
Another thing I’ve seen other reviews mention is the lack of overall instruction. Sure like many gamers who’ve been playing games most of their existence, extensive and constant tutorials are extremely irksome. While I do love the freedom to discover things, there is just a general neglect of implementing information about how things work through the game, especially when it comes to new features like building and managing settlements.
Fallout 4 is comprised of a lot of awesome components and a ridiculous amount of minute bugs. I am aware there is one that is game breaking across all platforms and definitely hope to avoid it. While the story is compelling that it’s great to be back in the Fallout Universe the combat is great but it leaves more to be desired when I feel like i’m ready to just one shot this enemy so I can pick up that can in the corner… The added settlement feature is FANTASTIC but I feel like it wasn’t fully fleshed out. Maybe they planned to really expanded it with DLC but that also feels like you’re selling people a partial game… Companions are pretty much talking containers… At the moment sans the bugs, I’m having an amazing time with Fallout 4. It’s definitely going to be occupying a lot of my time but I do feel like it is a rather disjointed game overall. All of this really just leads me to feel like Fallout 4 is a Jack of All Trades, Master of None…
How do you feel about the game? Have you picked it up? Is it going to be returned after you beat it? I would love to know!