Fallout 4 has ruined me for Destiny, and in record time. I dropped hundreds of hours on Bungie's space-magic-fest, and yet one solid week of picking up every damn thing in the Commonwealth wasteland – so I can play an RPG like it's an interactive episode of 'The Block: Post Apocalypse Renovation' – has broken me. I'm a noob now. I play like a Kinderguardian.
I'm telling you this because it's what awaits you, ex-Guardian, as you sow your wild, irradiated oats in Bethesda's serious GOTY contender. I'm essentially Future-Man – completely out of synch with the rest of you, because early reviewer access meant my torrid love affair with Fallout 4 began seven days before its release. That was indeed a tough week. I had to completely miss out on Trials of Osiris. My once cutting-edge Titan, Warlock and Hunter stable made no appearances in Oryx's hard mode. The regular-ish dudes I raid with began a kickstarter for a private investigator to see if I was dead, un-revivable for reals.
I wasn't dead. I was cheating on them. Vault dwelling had me hooked like heroin pancakes, but the main quest fell by the wayside a while a go, and I'm more or less out now. Reformed. Rad levels: zero.
This morning I hopped into my Aspect of Glass ship, touched down in the Tower, and marvelled at how barren this once bustling centre of commerce and spontaneous teabagging has become. I checked the roster page – 40 friends online. 39 of them in Fallout, one guy watching Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead on Netflix. I de-friended him on pure principle. Then I grabbed some shitty gunsmith guns to test, made like Quaid, and got my sorry ass to Mars.
As I hit planet-side my shit's backwards to the point where I notice a Level 10 random gawking at my antics, like I'm a level 40, Light 316 drunkard with my feet on the DualShock. In not much time at all, Fallout 4 has retaught me that Triangle means jump; and so I faceplant down a few Martian chasms, switching to my secondary gun before I die. Likewise, whenever a Taken Corruption fills the landscape with dangerous foes, I die a horrible death as I gingerly open my very real-time gun menu for a better boomstick. This, of course, only happens after I hit Options, instead of mashing Circle to access my non-existent Pip-boy, an act that makes me look like I'm belligerently teabagging a blameless Martian rock.
And another thing: in the first ten minutes of my return, the sheer locomotion in Destiny frightens me like I'm a sloth strapped into roller-skates pushed down a mountain. Not too long ago I was doing the water-logged two-step that is thwomping around in a T-60 Power Armour suit. My enemies made only token efforts to avoid my aiming reticule, and any baddie within a general... well, “on the horizon and in my field of view... nnnow” sort of range could be reduced to pizza toppings with my pocket-nuke Fatman.
And so here I huddle – alone, shivering in the momentary safety of some nameless spawn cave on Mars. I peek out at four unknown players as they zip about in a Taken public event like Jedi Masters on methamphetamines, completely unaided by any sort of V.A.T.S. Hell, they don't even have perks that tell them they're S.P.E.C.I.A.L..
Basically, it would seem I've been institutionalised by Fallout 4, and I suspect the same is happening to you right now, Guardian. Today, it seems I have a choice: Get busy living, or get busy dying, and self-reviving, and dying again, until my regular fireteam rejoins me in a week / a month / a year from now. Sigh...