Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

Last night, while wandering in Fallout 4, I heard something strange in the distance. A man on a megaphone was enthusiastically commentating a race. I’d never heard something like it before, so I had to take a closer look. To my surprise, I didn’t find a horse race, I found a robot race. A robot race! People were cheering them on from the sidelines, possibly even laying down bets.

It was one of the coolest things I’ve found while playing Fallout 4…and then Fallout 4 ruined it. Mere moments after I arrived at the scene, a band of raiders descended on me and started shooting. See, the raiders were the audience — they’d apparently rigged up their robots to run a race. Because the audience was hostile toward me, the robots turned on me, too. I did the only thing I could in that situation: I killed them all. Afterward, when I looted every robot’s corpse, I found out that each one actually had a special racing name. The names were clever: “Piece ‘O Junk,” and “The Boston Blaster,” for instance. I chuckled, but mostly, I felt sad that the way Bethesda let me appreciate this neat thing in my playthrough was after a mess of combat and death.

More than a hundred hours into Fallout 4, I keep coming across things like the robot race. The game itself will spoil its neatest surprises with a consistency that makes me wonder where the heart of Fallout 4 even lies. Comparing Fallout 4 to the older games is difficult: you’ve got the classic CRPGs, which were an entirely different genre made for a different audience, and you’ve even got a modern spin-off — New Vegas — that was made by a studio other than Bethesda.

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

Fallout fanatics might say that the franchise lost its way a long time ago, when Fallout was turned into a shooter with more “mainstream” appeal. But if you ask an average fan, they’d probably say that Fallout games are supposed to be rich, choice-driven games where you have the freedom to role-play as you wish. That description could more or less apply to Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. But that’s not what you’ll find in Fallout 4. The newest Fallout is more of an action game than even its immediate predecessors, and as such, Bethesda has streamlined many of the elements that used to define Fallout as a role-playing series.

Gone are the extra attributes known as skills, which players could use in novel ways while exploring the wasteland. In Fallout 3, for example, if you had a high enough explosives skill, you could defuse a bomb in the middle of a city, thus saving everyone. Or, you could choose to detonate it. The entire questline was only available to you if you built your character in a certain way, and while that’s a design that locks some players out from experiencing a rad thing, it did give a sense that how you built your character actually mattered. For a role-playing game, that’s pretty important. The combination of skills folding into perks, along with the lack of level cap in Fallout 4, means that your character build no longer matters in the way that it used to. You start out OK at most things, and eventually, you’ll be a god at everything. Especially combat-oriented things.

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

Another big change is that conversations are no longer small passages written out in full, and are instead denoted by one or two words. This is an issue I already talked about at length in my review — many of the dialogue options are actually false choices that railroad you into the same conclusion. It’s way harder to play a unique character with a novel point of view. There are only two types of wanderers in Fallout 4: the hero who saves everyone and does the right thing, or the cartoon villain who only looks out for themselves. And whichever you choose, however you build your character, you will mostly be doing one thing in Fallout 4: killing stuff.

This used to be a series where you could talk your way out of most situations. It used to be a series where you could put 10 points into your intelligence stat, and only then could you talk shop with scientists. It used to be a series where you could do frivolous things in the world, like take up boxing or become a porn star, for no other reason other than because it was fun to do. Now it seems that if your interactions with the world won’t result in kills, loot, or XP, the game doesn’t feel it’s worth doing.

I understand that I covered some of this in my review, but after another 50 hours, I’m more struck by the changes than ever. I can’t tell you how many times I found an intriguing character in the wasteland, only to be disappointed by how brief and vague our conversations were. Fallout 4 gives us one of the most interesting worlds in gaming and then does very little to make us feel like we have a stake in that world. Even the new, complex settlement-crafting system undercuts things for me a lot of the time. Why care about Diamond City when you can build your own badass town, where everyone does what you want? Most people within Fallout 4 are nothing more than cardboard cut-outs anyway, all of which primarily exist to give you missions that have you go out explore, and kill more things.

These kinds of changes are deeply-felt by the Fallout community. At the moment, most of the top-voted reviews on Steam for Fallout 4 are negative — which is surprising when you consider that Fallout 4 has also consistently been one of the top-selling games on Steam since it came out. Some samples:

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With
Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With
Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

The opening line of that first review encapsulates much of the game’s reception among longtime fans of the series: “Fallout 4 is a good game, it just isn’t a good Fallout game.”

Mind, the reviews above are some of the shorter ones available on Fallout 4’s front page on Steam. Many of the top-rated reviews are entire essays breaking down the player’s many grievances with Fallout 4, and you can read those here.

Over on Metacritic, user scores are similarly negative.

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With
Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

It’s hard to miss the disparity between publication review scores and user review scores. While Kotaku isn’t listed on Metacritic, you might also recall that, overall, I was positive about Fallout 4. Fallout 4 can be a blast, and it’s easy to lose many hours in the adventure, trying to get better gear or building a more awesome settlement.

The thing worth noting, though, is that I didn’t review Fallout 4 based on whether or not it continued the tradition of the series, or how it held up as a Fallout game. I reviewed it based on what it actually is, and based on how well I felt Bethesda achieved their goals with the game. While Fallout fans may be understandably confused about where Fallout 4’s heart is, Fallout 4 itself doesn’t seem to have any sort of identity crisis.

All of the changes Bethesda has made to their formula seem to have been done to deliver something specific: an open-world game with a focus on adventure, discovery, and combat. Everything has been changed or fine-tuned to facilitate that, and given the dozens of hours I’ve poured into the game doing those things, I’d say Fallout 4 is pretty successful at what it sets out to do. I’ve had a lot of fun playing Fallout 4, and I’ve detailed many of these experiences here on Kotaku. It’s just not the same type of fun I had playing other Fallout games.

Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With

I mean, this game is one of the most impressive, ambitious simulated worlds I’ve ever seen. There are so many moving pieces inside Fallout 4, and it’s a joy to see how they all interact. Maybe a Brotherhood of Steel Vertiberd will crash in the middle of your battle against Gunners. Maybe you’ll find a Deathclaw battling a giant Mirelurk. Maybe you’ll build a giant penis settlement. Maybe you’ll suddenly find yourself trapped inside an unsettling horror deathtrap, complete with jump scares. Maybe you’ll explore the secrets hidden within the desolate Glowing Sea. Or maybe you just want to build the best trading caravan in the Commonwealth. You can do so many things in Fallout that were never possible before, and many of these things are memorable in their own unique ways.

That said, holding the game to a standard set by prior games is understandable: Games are deliberately iterative more so than other media, and the older games give us a framework through which we can understand the latest version. On top of that, the older games are the reason many of us fell in love with Fallout in the first place.

Fallout itself has not remained static over the years; its spirit has been constantly evolving and changing. Even Fallout 2 was a big tonal change from Fallout 1. And there’s a big difference between what Fallout 2 wanted to be as an RPG, and what the more action-oriented Fallout 3 actually is. There’s also a big difference between what Fallout 3 accomplished and the more old-school RPG experience that Fallout: New Vegas provided. Fallout 4 continues that metamorphic trend, and actually accomplishes its apparent goals very well. Many are calling it a “dumbing down” of the franchise, but while in a sense that’s true and I empathise with the sentiment, it also requires judging Fallout 4 by a rubric that no longer applies.

Of course, just because I’ve accepted what Fallout has become doesn’t mean I can’t mourn what’s been lost along the way. It doesn’t mean I can’t picture a version of that robot race where I talked with the people running it, placed a few bets, or maybe even customised a robot racer of my own.

In the city of Goodneighbor, there’s a seedy place called the Memory Den. Head inside and you’ll find rows of pods, each one housing someone lodged deep in their own memories, oblivious to the world around them. With the Memory Den, Fallout 4 summarises the conflict felt by many longtime fans: it’s easy to lose yourself in the dream of how things used to be, while ignoring the way things actually are. Whenever I visit Memory Den, I don’t like lingering for too long. It’s not real, I know, but I don’t like the thought of getting trapped there, of never going out and having cool new adventures. Even as I may not linger, however, I do understand why others may not want to leave.


  • Undeniably true on all accounts. I’m having fun playing the game, but it’s definitely not a true Fallout game. One of the best things about New Vegas I found, was Obsidian felt they needed to take the time to give you *options* such as the Mr House missions, where you had a multitude of ways to approach it. Like with the endings of 1 and 2, you could fight your way out, hack your way out, talk your way out, dependent on who you were.

    While New Vegas had its issues, and it had a quite a few, the writing and the style of game Obsidian put forward was far, far closer to a true Fallout game than Bethesda has put forward with either 3 or 4.

    With Fallout 4 it feels like it ALWAYS comes down to shoot, shoot, shoot, no matter what.

    I simply do not like the new perk system, it doesn’t work for me. It’s inconsistent and rubbish. Having max abilities having 2 stars here, 3 stars there, 5 stars there, it’s meaningless. But having previous skillsets etc work on a rate that you had from the beginning that you had to improve in a percentile way? Much better. Your character grew slowly, through effort. Now it’s BAM, suddenly you’re a master lockpicker. It just doesn’t work for me personally.

    I really hope Obsidian get a fair crack, without a rushed timeframe this time, at another Fallout, I’d love to see the West Coast come back and see what stories are happening there.

    • I was just saying to my wife last night that while I love Fallout 4 and it will continue to consume all of my free time for the near/foreseeable future, what it is is a sequel to Fallout 3. What people clearly wanted was a sequel to Fallout New Vegas.

      I do wish there was a way to not be hostile and have to kill every raider/gunner you meet. I found the robot race Patricia is referring to but I didn’t even know it was a race. I was sent there solely to kill raiders for one of my settlements as one of the randomly generated missions. Had no idea why the robots had special names.

      I love Fallout 4, but there are a number of things wrong with it that I can honestly only attribute to laziness.

      • Sidenote: the loading screen tips since Fallout 3 have indicated it’s possible to “if you start something you can’t finish, try lowering your weapon – the enemy may forgive you”. Is that a joke? If not, has this ever, ever worked? It certainly isn’t going to wark against perma-hostile raiders who will hunt you down from a distance even if you approach unarmed.

        • I think that particular tip is written with the kind of person in mind who goes to Diamond City at level 10, gets caught stealing, then tries to shoot their way out with their pipe gun.

        • It depends – the same mechanic is present in Elder Scrolls since Morrowind. If it’s like, a city guard, and you haven’t done anything super shitty like murderfuck some dude in front of them, they’ll usually leave you alone.

        • I think that’s worked…. half a dozen times across FO3 and NV for me (IF that.. possibly 4?)? Usually it was against pretty pissweak human enemies in settlements though like the Sherrif in Megaton.

      • It boggles my mind this game took 6 years to make. It’s running a modified Skyrim Creation engine as well. This was a modified version of the Gamebryo engine Oblivion ran on.

        Bethesda. Retire that shit. The cracks aren’t just showing, they’re bringing down the (mr)House

        • I honestly thought that is why they bought id software. They wanted an engine developed in house that does everything that gamebryo does. Then Carmack left and i lost all hope.

    • In a way, the perks for stuff like lockpicking/hacking are functionally the same as they were in the previous games. When you think about it you basically had 4 levels of lock/computer; Ones you needed a skill of 25 or more, ones where you needed a skill of 50 or more, ones where you needed a skill of 75 or more and ones where you needed a skill of 100.

      Having lockpicking at 63 gave you absolutely no tangible benefit over having lockpicking at 50, you only had access to the same grades of lock until you hit a skill of 75 and there were no speech checks that I remember that didn’t work on the same 4 point scale. From that perspective the new perk system is exactly the same, it just cuts out the intermediate points in favour of restricting it to certain character levels.

      Frankly it’s not the system I’d have made if I was redesigning it, I’d have made levels of granularity so there WAS a benefit to having a skill somewhere between the 2 brackets. A higher than required skill wouldn’t allow access to the next grade of lock but it would provide a benefit to the player to make it feel like there’s a point in incrementing the skill before you hit the next magic number rather what than the previous system did where the best you could do was think that you’ve made an investment that would pay off in another few levels. Perhaps it could be made so having a lockpick skill of 65 made picking locks that needed a skill of 50 slightly easier, for example increasing the sweet spot arc by a half a degree per point above the lock level (so a skill of 58 vs a lock level of 50 would add 4 degrees to the sweet spot, skill 100 vs lock 25 would add 37 degrees to show it’s barely a lock to you at that point) or strengthened bobby pins so they took longer to break. Hell, I’d have liked to have it work the other way too, if you have a lockpick skill of 40 and find a level 50 lock, you can have a go at it with a large penalty & pins could break more rapidly

    • I’ve heard that New Vegas actually turned out to be a pretty bad deal for obsidian in the end.
      Yeah they made a great game but apparently the way their contract worked almost bankrupted the studio itself.
      With that in mind while I’d love to see an obsidian game made in this engine… I’m not at all holding my breath for it.

      • That’s pretty much it, they got rushed, way rushed, to deliver. They weren’t given adequate support apparently. That, and realistically they may have bitten off more than they could chew at that point in time. I think if they worked hand in hand with Bethesda this time, rather than trying to work independently, it would turn out great. Bethesda definitely made a better action game, but couple Obsidians brilliance with RPG’s and story and yeah, it’d pay off in spades.

  • I snuck in and hacked the computer and turned the robots against the Raiders, then reset the race and added the reserve robots, the robots returned to racing around the track and I initiated self destruct as they crossed the finish line. RPG enough for you? (Although I do agree there have been many times I’ve approached people to talk only to step too close and get shot at)

    • Was going to point that out, regarding the terminal at the robot race. Many of the things that appear in Fallout 4 have multiples solutions, it’s just that the options aren’t always apparent. And frankly that’s how it should be. ‘Guns blazing’ is the default option that’s always present, but often it should take exploration, stealth or just deliberately holding off on killing everything right away to search out and find the other options.

      • But could you sneak in as one of the raiders, talk to them, bet on the robot race? Could you make money on it? Enter your own robot into the race? Set it to explode and take out other robots?

        This sort of lateral thinking was present in 1 and 2, and to some degree NV (not 3). It’s just not here.

        • Dressing up as a raider shouldn’t make Raiders less hostile, because it’s just equipment. It would have been cool if Bethesda decided to allow Raider vs. Raider skirmishes; because technically they’re just separate packs of scavengers, much like what you see in the Walking Dead.

          • That’s where your speech ability would come in. Dressing up would initially work to a degree, a speech check after that to remain incognito, once it fails, you’re exposed. It’s worked before. Raider vs Raider would’ve made absolute sense, like you said rather than just everyone vs you.

        • That’s the kind of thinking that has me constantly second guessing my actions. “Did I miss something? Did I need to come her in a quest line? Did I fuck up part of the story?”

          Be it this race track, the fighting pit and even the odd raider I come across who show as green in VATS until I get close and they revert to aggressive, I find myself wondering if there is more than than just a quick theatrical fluff before the shooting begins.
          Even the Vaults have me let down: You used to move through them and slowly reveal the reason the vault fell apart or what mysterious experiment they were doing, piecing together the shady back story. Now it’s as if the revelation can be found on the first or second terminal you find marked as [Classified Personal Only]
          (Don’t even get me started on the Dunwich Borers mission, it started so well …stay in the light, stay in the light….only to be nothing much about anything)

          Loot sometimes annoys me, there is nothing special about certain safes for example. I scurried back to unlock master rooms and safes and find the same junk as novice ones more often than not.

          On the first comment you made about the perks, SPECIAL system. I got over that pretty quickly to be honest, I hate being locked out of stuff and finding things later down the line that I would have enjoyed if I had spec’d differently.
          I like the freedom and frankly unique builds have been becoming less obvious and stand out less in ES/Fallout games since Morrowind.
          I felt a sense of relief when I found out there was no level cap and my lock picking, computer hacking soldier build could actually begin making settlements and delve in to more than just one direction.
          (That’s just me though, I’m not big on constant replays with different builds because of time. I can completely understand some people enjoy that because I loved the shit out of that in Morrowind.)

          • The Vaults in particular are extremely underwhelming. I found there was more story in the Mayoral Fallout Shelter than two of the three vaults (not counting 111 since it was barely a “vault” at all). 81 had an interesting quest attached to it but it was so easy to miss that many people probably did. I hope the DLC adds more vaults, creepy weird ones like the Gary vault and the FEV vault from New Vegas.

          • Thats fair enough about the builds with the perks system, it is of course choice to go open slather and take every skill or stick to a particular set to maintain a style of character.

          • im not sold on the perk system yet, theres way to many useless perks and having nearly all of luck only matter for vats is annoys me as well because vats was and still is terrible imho. Bethesda are just really boring when they come to their perk/talent design.

        • If an enemy is hostile to you, you can’t converse with them. No different in any previous game. There’s only a handful of scripted events in Fallout 1 and 2 where an otherwise hostile NPC would engage in dialogue with you first.

          It’s not possible to script every possibility. You’re always going to think of things you’d like to do that you can’t, and that applies to every Fallout game to date. The point I was making is that there are more possibilities than Patricia believes, she just didn’t seek them out.

          • I’m talking about enemies and conversations in-game, such as your idea of talking to one of the raiders. I have no idea at all how you got from there to real life stuff.

          • My bad completely lol, it continued off losturtles comment from below, apologies. I was reading and chromes flicked up.

        • I’ve found it is really hit or miss in Fallout 4 with being able to deal with missions in alternate ways.

          I was over 100 hours played before I found a mission that let me completely bypass finding/buying parts to repair something simply because my intelligence was high enough. It was the first time I’d really seen anything of the sort come into play.

          I agree with the sentiment that this is a sequel to Fallout 3 and not New Vegas, but I’m also completely alright with that.

    • Hmm, interesting. I’ve noticed the conjecture about “FO4 is dumbed down” or the comment that the game is RPG with guardrails on. But I think your comment properly highlights that the guardrails are in fact OFF and too many people are used to having them on.

      In New Vegas, if something had a nuanced, scripted moment; you could safely walk into and let the scripting take over. All you had to do was walk up to the raider, legionnaire or Great Khan and the dialogue function would kick in. If they were hostile, they would normally abuse you, then the battle would begin.

      Where Patricia ran straight into the race and started a firefight, you assessed the situation before approaching; observed they were raiders and would kill on sight; chose to sneak in and stay hidden; got to watch the scripted event unfold in cover; noticed the option to mess with the race and then did in fact that.

      To me, what looks like FO4 is SMARTER than the previous games and relied on you being more perceptive than you’ve had to be in the previous games.

      Of course, most gamers aren’t going to agree to this thought, because it means they have to admit they do in fact blindly run into scenarios and assume the game will handheld them with built-in situational awareness safeguards =/

      GR33NM4N, I commend you on your in-game wits. haha

      • Of course, most gamers aren’t going to agree to this thought, because it means they have to admit they do in fact blindly run into scenarios and assume the game will handheld them with built-in situational awareness safeguards

        Absolute rubbish.

        I’ve been playing Fallout since I picked up part 1 as an unknown game in 1997, I fell in love with the openness of it. It’s become customary in my playthroughs to go through and find different ways to approach things.

        This game is not smarter, it’s got the illusion of being smarter. Instead of half a dozen to ten different ways of approaching things, you’ve got one or two. But 90% of the time it all ends the same way. Let’s look at the robot race!

        I snuck in and hacked the computer and turned the robots against the Raiders, then reset the race and added the reserve robots, the robots returned to racing around the track and I initiated self destruct as they crossed the finish line.

        Awesome, it still ends in destroying everyone.

        Where’s the ability to utilise a speech skill?

        Where’s the ability to utilise a repair skill on a singular robot?

        What about a barter skill in purchasing a robot to race for yourself or how about laying down a bet?

        What about alternatively, persuading a rival faction to attack them while they’re having their race?

        What about joining their group? You were able to align yourself with others in previous Fallout games, now you’re good good good and that’s it.

        I know you think you have choice there, but what you’ve actually got is the *illusion* of choice. Nothing more.

        • Yes, you’ve highlighted a number of alternative options, based on events from the original games, that are missing from Fallout 4. But most of the those alternatives conflict with the background of the FO4 protagonist; this character is not a clean slate.

          This illusion of choice you see is based on the previous games and doesn’t consider anything about the current one.

          In 1 & 2 you played protagonists with mostly clean-slates because we really knew nothing about them. In FO3 ,we played a child abandoned by their father; the idea that they could be morally corrupted by the abandonment is plausible. In FNV, you play a regular person who is shot in the head just for doing their job, but we know nothing of this person prior to that event.

          Fallout 4’s protagonist is entirely different to all previous ones. We know their background, we see their family and the strong connection there, we know they are not from an apocalyptic time where morals get you killed. This person is from a civil age; they’re dropped into an alien world within an hour of leaving their own world. You are no longer playing with a clean slate; this is why I believe all those options to play nice with raiders and so forth is missing.

          It’s obvious you got offended by the exact point I expected older gamers to get offended by. I played the originals as well; we’re probably the same age FYI.

          • That’s fair enough and it’s a great point about the morality of the character, it’s definitely something I hadn’t considered in that regard. I do like the idea of the modern person transplanted into the future setting. I just wish they had of played on it a little more. The conflicting nature it could’ve brought could’ve paid off a little more.

          • It would have been nice to at least have them comment on the completely insane mutations everywhere. One “Giant roaches??” and they’re suddenly able to encounter super mutants & feral ghouls without batting an eyelid. Hell, they can tell the difference between feral & sane ghouls without thinking about it.

            Its like its too much player & not enough character if that makes sense.

            Actually, for that matter where the hell was the “I just killed a man! Am I a murderer?” debate that most sane people would have after opening up someone’s skull with a 10mm pistol.

          • Um, there are lots of specific dialogue choices to be shocked at the ghouls, and it’s quite clear which ghouls are feral ghouls because the latter are trying to kill you, and if IIRC if you follow the story, you can ask about the super mutants as well.

          • A little more self-awareness would be nice. You do occasionally get glimpses of it when talking about The Olden Days, but yeah, I’d really like the option to remark, “I’m still trying to avoid processing how I feel about how many people I’ve killed since I woke up.”

          • So by assigning morality to the protagonist, a design decision is again made to limit your play options.

            I’m only a few hours into the game, but it seems most of the restrictions placed upon your play seem to be to railroad you into finding Shawn/Sean/Shaun. However, it is also very easy to forget about going to Diamond City, and faff around the wasteland doing whatever takes your fancy.

            If you take the protagonist’s morality as a given, then there is another design hypocrisy in that you can shoot whoever you want. Wouldn’t bet on an illegal robot race? Then probably wouldn’t murder everyone in a settlement either. The mechanics allow one but not the other.

        • Doesn’t seem like you can reason with someone who assumes only one perspective when many are valid. This is your loss.

          • Tone aside, he does have a point about your options for resolving situations in FO2. I think they both have good arguments, especially when considering the meta morality aspect brought up later in their discussion.

        • I know you think you have choice there, but what you’ve actually got is the *illusion* of choice. Nothing more.

          I know that’s true of all games on some level but it really matters to Fallout. The game has D20 roots where you could reason with the game and the rules. Since it uses a computer a lot of compromises had to be made on that front but I feel like the goal has always been to get as much of that into the games as possible. From day one it’s been a constant struggle to create the best illusion of choice possible but with Fallout 4 it feels like they lost sight of that.
          In the original games they sacrificed visuals and relied more on text. In the FPS games they sacrificed the scope of your options. Now they’re on new hardware with the ability to regain some of that ground, but instead they added more restrictions to what you can do. They did add to the engine but even if it was an either or decision I’d take more freedom of choice (or even equal to NV) over the new additions.
          What makes it weird is that the versatility of the scripting engine is still there. There are more options there than ever. They could have made ten truly unique options but they simply didn’t.

          • If it came to a choice between releasing the improved engine, let modders go nuts with it, and then release another game with the same engine like New Vegas later OR release New Vegas 2.0 with all the ugliness of the old engine, I’d pick option 1 every time.

            I mean, they finally stopped rain falling through overhangs!

      • You may be right, but I still find that the game pushes itself as the dumbed down version people are complaining about. Sometimes there’s a smart way hidden behind the dumb way, but there is always the dumb way and the game seems to be designed in a way that drags you towards it. I’ve been playing stealthily and it seems to generate a lot more dead ends than playing this way in previous games.

        • Hmm, I get what you mean. This is actually the first Bethesda game where I’ve forced myself NOT to stealth (cos it adds 50 hours to my play time haha).

    • Are there any other examples of this? I am 170 hours into the game and this is the only time I have seen a terminal that does more than let me slightly change my method of murder and even so I still have to murder everyone, I can just enable some robots to survive and run a race.

      Im sure many of us expected when we reached the combat zone to have a fighting arena like we had in the thorn NV.

  • You just put in writing everything I find frustrating with F4.
    Love the game, but it’s not a true Fallout game.
    Completely agree @weresmurf, the new perk system left a sour taste in my mouth.
    I actually found myself going back into Skyrim last night and only realised about half an hour into the session that I had meant to sit through a round of F4. I find myself *forcing* myself to play a F4 session, and that can’t be a good thing, surely?
    I love the Fallout universe, but F4 is, at this stage, the weakest of the worlds imo – and thats such a shame.

  • Agree 100%. I’ve found it really lacks in the RPG element and is more of a shooter. I still really enjoy the game but it’s not fallout. There’s also too many enemies around, they aren’t hard to kill but it just seems odd to me that some areas will have a big group of super mutants just hanging out next to some raiders who will fight if they see each other but have bases set up and don’t mind being neighbours? For a game set in the wasteland of an apocalypse it’s awfully crowded. I’d rather the enemies be tougher but more spread out so you have the suspense of will this building be full of bad guys and not the current system where you know it’s full of bad guys but that’s fine because they all die in one hit.

    It doesn’t have the same feel as the earlier games either but that changed in fallout 3.

  • It’s definitely an interesting perspective. I’ve lost track of the number of interesting, tense political situations that have played out only through reading notes on the corpses of rich characters who I was forced to murder.

    I’d have called them ‘unresolved’ situations, except that I – the vault-dwelling Methuselah, roaming the wastes as the avatar of murder – resolved them. With a gun. Everyone is dead.

    Probably the only raider I regret killing was Red Tourette, after I read her story. And one that I saw kneeling by a grave of what I assume was their friend or lover.

    …Then you grow numb to the literally thousands of lives you’ve ended as an immortal angel of death, and hide behind the rationalization that you do this for something noble, like ‘justice’, or protecting those who cower in indentured servitude under your bloodstained banner.

    • I encountered Red Tourette only yesterday. I was also fascinated by her story and wanted to know more, but completely forgot until you mentioned it. Now I’m off to the brewery to find out what happened to Lily (I thinks that’s the sisters name).
      It’s so easy for someone to completely overlook the small details like a few scraps of paper on a table in a dark area, and thus miss out on the personal stories that are scattered throughout this game.

      • Yup. If you really want to see a lot more content, I highly recommend clearing out all the other raider-held outposts and leaving the Brewery for last. Fun fact is that every area I had already cleared out had its own ‘crew’, which the guy at the Brewery left notes about how they’d been hit. And each one had him growing increasingly concerned.

      • I read about her at the Brewery, but I haven’t read all the other journals…. oh man I feel like I’ve cheated.

    • When I get this I’m totally playing as an evil character. At least then my actions will be in context.

      • I like imagining a Heart of Darkness kind of arc.

        Which is actually kind of plausible… I think my interactions in-game started to shift the more I followed the main plot and in how I responded to Kellog.

  • It’s tough to decide, but I think I have to say that so far, Fallout 4 is more fun to play than Fallout 3/NV.

    Fallout 4’s plot isn’t as gripping for me as Fallout 3’s, but about on par with FNV (although FNV was well written, the plot itself wasn’t that interesting to me).

    But in terms of just playing the game.. I have 150 very enjoyable hours in F4 already and I’ve barely done anything =D.

    In regards to the skills being removed, I’m on the fence about it. While I originally felt it was part of what made the SPECIAL system, on reflection I think the new perk system covers most of it anyway. It’s not like you’d come across a safe that required 71 lockpicking skill, it was always 25/50/75 etc, which neatly maps to the new lockpicking perk ranks. (At least, if my memory serves.. )

    I’ll agree that some more skill checks could be added to the game, the only ones I’ve found so far really are the charisma ones in speech, but I have read that there are a couple around based on other stats.

    I consider myself a Fallout fan, but not a fanatic. I played Fallout when it was originally released, and I’ve played every Fallout game since then multiple times (including tactics, except for that brotherhood of steel shooter game or whatever it was).

    This negative backlash just feels like a repeat of the backlash that accompanied Fallout 3 when it was announced that it wouldn’t be a turn based isometric game. Some people just refuse to like any change at all.

    • I think part of the problem is that the skill system would often tie into dialogue in the older games, there is nothing in this game where you get different dialogue for being a rank 4 medic or something.

      Rank 4 science should give you at least one or two interesting dialogue choices you wouldn’t normally get throughout the game.

      I think the reason they didn’t add in these skill check dialogues is because of the fact they can only have 4 dialogue options and they would have to override one of the default 4 options to show you the skill check.

      • I really love how the fully-voiced dialogue has fleshed out the vault dweller and turned them from a literally faceless Fallout 2 style player avatar into their own character in their own right, with a more recognizable personality, more akin to Commander Shepard.

        Catering to infinite possibilities of self-insertionism is the first step in the death of a cohesive narrative. Witcher 3 showed that pretty damn starkly, coming on the heels of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

        However… that voiced dialogue, for all that it enhances, still comes with other, different limitations. And the dialogue sacrifices are definitely one of the more uncomfortable limitations.

        • I think it would help a little if they made the character you were talking to at least respond in a slightly different way.

          When you meet the mayor no matter what option you choose he says the same response about “Not involving our new friend here”

        • Hmm, mention of the voiced protagonist brings up a thought, was your character name ever used by anyone other than Codsworth those 2-3 times? They made a comparatively big deal about it and then it seems to have vanished after the intro.

  • Also agree 100%. The game is good, but its nothing more than an open world FPS where you pick up stuff. After the Witcher 3’s rich world, Fallout’s feels pretty shit.

    However, I’m a sucker for the post apocalyptic setting so I’ll keep playing 😛

    • But the witcher sort of felt like this to me too, all you did anywhere was kill. Sure you had quests like when you were in the play but they were not that common? There was no lock picking and your houses were not customisable etc. I think witcher killed it for story for sure but the gameplay became a little stale for me by the end

      • Its more that people expected to craft their own story and character in a ‘next gen’ Fallout game. People expected to be able to make choices. Instead you’re thrust into the world as ‘concerned parent from Vault 111 with military background’. This would be OK if the characters and story were actually decent, unfortunately it is a lifeless world filled with 2D cardboard cutout characters.

        I was playing the other night and came across a bunch of people in some sort of standoff in the middle of the road. I was excited to possibly find my first random little event out in the world where just maybe I could interact with these people to find out what was going on and influence the outcome.

        Nope. 3 of them said something like ‘you need to pay up to pass’ before just opening fire. I killed them all and the two remaining NPC farmers janked off into the distance.

        • I was a concerned parent from Vault 111 with a background in law.

          When I was asked if I would fit in with the brotherhood of steel I said something like “Its ok, my husband was in the military” and I burst out laughing.

          • Depends if they lived on-base for a while. You’d be surprised what an Army wife (and Army brats) can pick up via osmosis. It’d certainly explain her deft handling of small arms.

          • Also the character was American in 2077, by that stage they’re probably all carrying at least 3 guns just to have a hope of stopping all those mass shootings…

          • Well. The Red Menace was practically on their doorstep. Chinese in Alaska! Every American’s responsibility is to protect their home with powerful automatic weapons.

          • They never implied anything like that did they? I just assumed she had been living in their house while being a lawyer?

            Lawyers need to know their way around a fat man.

          • Dunno, gonna have to play it again… I got the vibe they’d just moved in, new community, he just got discharged after a few tours and this was their new life with all the mod cons, that kinda deal.

  • Yes, it’s changed but I don’t think it’s more, or less of a fallout game. We don’t get to decide what constitutes a fallout game, that’s the developers job.
    And I think they’ve done a great job.

  • The sales numbers make it seem to me as though Bethesda had a very clear plan and it worked: to create a much more mainstream kind of game (read, more sales), even if that meant sacrificing the comparatively much smaller loyal audience of the series.

  • I was disappointed with the depth of interactions in fallout 4 as well. I mean, in NV there was that arena fight with Red (something I was hoping the Combat Zone was going to be), playing cards at the casinos (and getting thrown out when you won too much), creating all sorts of havoc in the centurion and army bases, and generally pissing off the casino guards with hilarious results. It felt like anarchy, and it was fun. Fallout 4 is all about quickdrawing on everyone because they’re almost invariably hostile, and then feeling frustrated that the Super Mutants keep respawning with better weapons and exceeding your max spec plasma rifle’s capability to kill them.

  • Having never played any of the previous Fallout games, I can certainly say that I am having a blast (no pun intended) with Fallout 4. I haven’t binged on a game this much ever.
    I wasn’t on the hype train and wasn’t really looking forward to it. Got it out of curiosity. Im glad that its accessible. Im glad I’m able to follow the journey and make it a little bit my own. I would put money on Fallout 5 being much much more RPG like the previous renditions now they have a solid shooting and adventure game to build apon… Fallout Online perhaps, Im excited for the future of this franchise. Thanks Bethesda you did well son, you can’t please everybody but you sure found a new vault dweller with me.

  • I pumped about 50 hours into it and haven’t picked it up since. Zzzzzzzzz. I enjoy it, I think, I’m not entirely sure. It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot to do in FO4 compared to any of the earlier entries.

    • It didn’t really hit me with any moment like Mew Vegas’ exposing the cannibal casino, and then descending upon the cannibals like the grim reaper himself. Only had to shoot 2 people in the entire mission up to that point.

  • I like the new perk system. I don’t have to sit there repeating the same task a million times to raise a skill. I also like the fact that if I play long enough I can get all the abilities I want in one go. Time is short for me these days so it suits me perfectly.

    On the flip side, I can totally see how this would annoy people who want to do multiple play throughs and enjoy seeing their character gradually progress. I guess Bethesda like most developers these days are catering for the I want it now audience, who don’t have the patience and time to play something more complex. It is tough to satisfy everyone and money talks.

    My biggest gripe with F4 is the amount of junk I seem to be hoarding and therefore the constant need to fast travel back and forth to store it in the workshop. I seem to be in a continuous cycle of find a new location, kill all the enemies, loot everything, fast travel to Sanctuary, repeat.

    • “I don’t have to sit there repeating the same task a million times to raise a skill.”
      That’s never ever been a Fallout thing. Doing something to raise a skill was an Elder Scrolls thing.

    • Choose your junk better, dude. All you really need to hoard is screws, adhesive and crystals. Everything else comes naturally.

    • Yah that’s the game basically. I’m finding it a bit more engaging on hard mode and you’ll see more legendary monsters that way but still I’m finding a lot of the story and character interactions a little perfunctory.
      I am the type of player who usually likes to wring out every last drop of dialogue in games but I skip thru a fair bit here, although to be fair that’s also a product of just being so overwhelmed with quests that I’m immediately focused on the next one.
      But if I’m honest, I play these games for the exploration factor foremost. Picking a faraway mission on the map and making my way there through whatever unexplored territory lies between is always the most fun for me.

  • I’ve heard so many whinges that FO4 ruins this, or does that wrong, or something. So last night, after the usual 2-3 hours on FO4, I did something a little different. I went back to FO:NV for a bit.

    Go back and play the first 30 minutes of FONV, and the first 30 minutes of FO4 and tell me which does a better job of getting you into the story.

    I’ll give you a tip, its not FONV. That initial setup of the character was terrible, and originally nearly stopped me from getting out of Goodsprings and on to where the game started to shine. And I still felt that last night, even after 5 years.

    The character creation was terrible, the hook was terrible (really? someone tried to shoot you in a post apocalyptic world? What a surprise), and the NPC’s were flat. In FO4 you have a dead wife/husband, a stolen baby, 200 years of ice cubeing, a pet dog, and power armor pretty much in the first hour.

    You’re right in the middle of the story right away, in a logical way. And details are what upset people? Give me a break.

    *edit* as an addition, I went to FONV after watching an IGN vid ranking the pre FO4 games from worst to best. They rated FONV at 1.

    • lol i felt the complete opposite. In fallout 4 they make use a family connection but there is absolutely no sense of urgency – which seems moronic considering your son was kidnapped. For me the biggest let down was that your first main clue of what to do is via “the sight” and its literally the whole map away. Gimme a break why couldn’t you find your own clues from the vault or something and go on a trail tracking them through to diamond city. tbh i’d be happy with just about anything other than some fortune telling shite.

      In fallout NV you were shot in the head – imo thats about as personal as it gets – you want your revenge but also find out who the hell you are and why you were shot in the head. There is no urgency needed you can wait for things to unfold as you learn more about who you were and why you were shot – its about 10000x better than some mystic telling you where to go.

      • Yeah I get that, but go back and do that first 30 minutes again. Dont sit through anything, most people just click through to the game proper without immersing themselves, so get to the point you’re out on your own as fast as you can.

        The character creation in FONV felt 15 years old, not 5, and while it picked up in the game itself, theres still little guidance to getting on with things. You just know some guys shot you, and probably headed south. Or east. Or something. And theres a robot involved. Or not.

        FO4 rushes you to the vault, and while its just cinematic (try running in a different direction to the vault…) it does a better job visually than FONV did, at least to me. If they had done it totally through cut scenes, I’d agree, but the direct involvement of signing on for the vault, getting there, watching things unfold did a far better job on me in making me want to get out in the world.

        After that, totally different, not arguing, but that first 30 minutes was just so different from one to the other. Once I get out of Goodsprings, I want to follow the story, and FO4 has done the opposite to me – I quite enjoy tinkering with the settlements – but its that first 30 minutes to an hour that decides whether I get invested or not, and FO4 did a far better job than FONV.

        Thing for me is that I wanted to rush through FONV just to get it finished. I didnt get that urge to rush in FO3 or FO4, and for me, thats what made them better. You felt you could take your time before needing to finish, and explore more of the game. FONV just pushes you insistently to Vegas before opening up, which sucked.

        • The character creation in FONV felt 15 years old, not 5, and while it picked up in the game itself, theres still little guidance to getting on with things. You just know some guys shot you, and probably headed south. Or east. Or something. And theres a robot involved. Or not.

          Horses for courses. That is ideal for an rpg imo. It’s like dark souls or bloodbourne there is a hint at what is going on but you really have to dig deeper rather than just having everything dished up to you. Leaves your own imagination to fill in the gaps a little bit but there is still strong underlying connection. I think that is when fallout is at it’s best as well – the random little stories you find on your travels.

          It’s subjective and there is no right or wrong with it but imo fallout4 introduction had no nuance rather it shoved everything in your face in a manner that made no sense to me. My wife was just murdered in front of me and my son was kidnapped yet i had felt no sense of urgency to find the person responsible instead im saving some random people from raiders because my 200 year old butler told me to. Then out of no where a fucking fortune teller sends me 3/4 of the way across the map with nothing more than “the sight” as it’s reasoning. Felt ridiculous.

          • I dont mind just having a hint either, I think its one of the strengths of the FO games in general. Seriously, you’re coming out of a vault where you’ve been isolated for god knows how long, and people expect you to hit the ground running?

            I’m not trying to talk FONV down, seriously. I’m just saying it didnt do as good a job introducing you to the world as FO3 and 4 did. Dont need to hold your hand, but a slap on the bum and being sent on your way doesnt help either.

            In a 50+ hour game, it should be irrelevant, but that first hour or two is usually where you judge a game the harshest, and mentally decide whether you’re going to invest the needed time or not.

            It was easier making that decision in FO4 than FONV for me, and revisiting FONV only reaffirmed that. More than I realised.

        • Your last paragraph: isn’t that a good thing you wanted to play the main story? You make it sound like that’s a bad thing.

          • In every other FO game I’ve wanted to explore. I like exploring, in pretty much every sandbox game its what I do most of the time. In FONV that desire to see what that strange thing off in the distance was just wasnt there. So I wanted to get the game finished, and move on to the next game. FONV felt the most on rails of any FO game I played.

            As Joeyjojo says, its each to their own. I’m not talking down FONV, I did enjoy it, but the openness just wasnt there like it is in FO4, and when you go back and look at that first part of the game, its aged badly. At least to me after seeing it last night.

            For ME, thats a sign the game was dull or predictable, and ultimately not as entertaining as it might have been. I have no doubt there were things to do, I just didnt feel encouraged to do them. This little run through at the moment I’m going to console the hell out of the toon and do that stuff, but even now Goodsprings is dragging the mood down.

            Go back and see that first 30 minutes for yourself and compare it to FO4. Thats all.

          • I haven’t played Fallout 4 yet (saving it for Christmas break), but I have been playing New Vegas recently. The problem is I’ve played it so much that the reaction I have to the main story at the beginning is completely different to what I would have had were it my first time playing the game. I would still rate it above Temple of Trials (HAH) though.

          • Just bear in mind that it does a lot of things better, but some things worse – conversations arent as good for example, and getting started with settlements along with mods in general is confusing. The whiners are focusing on the few things that are worse, and a few things that they just disagree with.

            Get past those though, and its a wonderful game. Even the tradeskills, once you get past the newbie hurdle, is robust enough and versatile enough to be entertaining. You might find yourself more than once going back just to work on a building you’ve made in Santuary, or Red Rocket garage, or something like that.

    • My one issue with the story of Fallout 4 is how stupid the player character appears at times in some conversations… Certain glaringly obvious things simply not occurring to them, especially regarding the time displacement of their time in cryo, etc.

    • Exactly, what do people expect to play the same game again?
      Obviously you remember the good bits and forget about the bad, seen so much whinging for FO4 seemingly from the same fanbase that loves the game haha.

  • As the first one says, “It’s a good game, just not a good Fallout game”. Perfect way to put it. Not sure I agree with the sentiment of it being Borderlands 3.. it does still live in the Fallout universe and so on.. but it certainly doesn’t feel like FO titles of the past under the hood.

  • Look at this, what a wealth, a treasure trove of content knowledge. Are you people seriously so regressive you can only speak in extreme hyperbole?

  • yeah the biggest problem I have is the lack of role playing in both character creation and how the world is set out. The vast majority of times I see something interesting only to be shot at and have no other choice but to shoot back is disappointing. The other thing is the story is so rushed at the start that the player doesn’t care that we just saw his wife killed and son taken.

  • “Fallout 4 Is Not The Fallout Fans Fell In Love With”

    If you’re talking about Fallout 3 and Vegas…

    – Difficulty
    I’m glad that I can pick the highest difficulty and not spend 10-20 bullets on a radroach’s face like the previous Bethesda Fallout titles.

    – Settlements
    Best source of income. Farming and purified water gives me a solid business in the wasteland. Also, I love surrounding my entire settlement with a cement wall, just so I can funnel invading enemies into a choke point and blast them with a circle of turrets.
    (Advice: Don’t join the Minutemen, or settlement management becomes a respawning JOB)

    – The Downtown City Area
    I can’t walk down a single road without a raider, super mutant, ghoul, gunner, or some bloody enemy coming out to try and kick my arse… And I love it.

    – Power Armour
    Changing it from standard wearable armour to a customizable fusion-powered exoframe was an awesome choice. Also, the hud changes when you’re inside one.

    • I feel like it undermines the awesomeness of Power Armour by giving it to you in the first 30-60 minutes. You did nothing to earn it, the game just goes, “Power Armour is a Fallout thing, right? Here you go, you don’t need to know about the organisations that utilise the armour or how it works!”.

      • I disagree. I think they purposely gave the player the power armour early because of the new gameplay.

        Consider this, you get this piece of crap power armour at the start with no upgrades and very little battery life, so you obviously can’t just tank the rest of the game cause this version of power armour is like a car. It needs fuel and constant maintenance, which you can’t provide early game.

        You also get a crappy looking settlement, which needs food/water and junk for upgrades.

        You’re in a new Fallout game where EVERYTHING is a valuable resource. Not only is there the fun running off and doing quests, but grabbing junk along the way so you can take it home and upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.

        Think about the consequences of not having power armour at the start. If you had to go out and find your own power armour, that may take you ages, meaning that you would find a crap load of junk and scrap in the mean time. So eventually when you DO find your own power armour, you can already upgrade the thing completely in one go. You would miss the build up of reaching to the top.

        • I tried this the other night and I am pretty sure you can use power armor the entire game if you don’t sprint in it or do things that chew the battery quickly, when you go to vendor all your crap at the end of a dungeon just buy two fusion cores and then you can do another 4 dungeons.

          If you setup 3-4 industrial purifiers you just make a trip back to sanctuary again to pick up your water and trade it for another 3 fusion cores.

          In my game where I made 15 industrial purifiers each time i went back to sanctuary I had about 450 purified waters which I could trade for well over 30 cores.

          • I maxed lockpicking and hacking early, ignored science so I never had any purifiers, but by level 45 without ever having used any power armour (apart from that quest), I had around 200 cores sitting in a locker in Sanctuary, just from opening loot boxes and exploring.

          • I had a similar thing on my first game, when I finally decided to go through and finish off all the story quests I thought, thats it i’m getting in my power armor and staying in it and i’m using the gatling laser to see how many cores I can burn through.

            I only used about 10 cores and I was even using the jetpack! (Which is a ton of fun)

        • As the other commenters here mentioned, it is like that at the beginning, but the dissonance of having everything crappy at the beginning and the speed where you have an overabundance of everything you need is quite jarring. I mean, what you achieve in hours with locations that have been occupied/stripped clean by other people for decades if not centuries significantly undermines the whole “Everything is crappy, all resources are valuable” setting that Fallout 4 tries to set, especially with the timeline the Bethesda Fallouts try to go by

          Usually reaching the power armour itself has a pretty big buildup if not sometimes convoluted way of getting it (hello Navarro!)

          • I put that down to the regular respawning. Still, the amount of material that you collect which everyone else could’ve if they’d been fucking bothered is in-line with everything else about Fallout 4’s aesthetic.

            Take a closer look at all the shacks and settlements. There’s fucking garbage and ruined shit everywhere, and not one person in the entire Commonwealth seems to know what those ancient relics known as ‘brooms’ are for. Certainly no-one has ever swept with one, if the state of the floors are anything to go by.

            The Commonwealth is in such a shit-sack state of detritus-laden crap that it looks like the bombs fell two weeks ago, not two-hundred years. It’s as if not one settler anywhere decided that having a pile of rubble for molerats or radroaches to use as a nest was a bad idea and maybe – just maybe – they should spend a couple days moving rubble and flattening some earth. Maybe clearing some leaves or scrub. Or some half-buried cola cans that keep popping through the earth.

            I have determined that the reason you achieve so much in Fallout 4 is because the descendants of the survivors of the apocalypse are allergic to housework, whereas you – as a good, old-fashioned, hard-working 50s-era person, you know the value of fixing what’s broken instead of buying new, and a little bit of pride in keeping the fucking yard clean.

          • “not one person in the entire Commonwealth seems to know what those ancient relics known as ‘brooms’ are for”

            I imagine humanity lost the ability to cook, clean, and do gardening as soon as Mr. Handy was invented.

          • He always struck me as a luxury item, only a couple on every block, given the way the pre-war family was still moving to do things and him interrupting, and only our model popping out when the sirens went off. Still… maybe. Maybe. Codsworth did say he got pretty bored and was having trouble keeping even just our own shit-bombed house in a decent state.

          • The fact that Codsworth got bored and had a little mental cry made me wonder about the competance of the Institute.

            Gen-1 synth = No personality, electronic voice.

            Gen-2 synth = No personality, electronic voice.

            Codsworth = +200 years old, can cry me a river, doesn’t sound like a god damn robot

          • “I mean, what you achieve in hours with locations that have been occupied/stripped clean by other people for decades if not centuries significantly undermines the whole “Everything is crappy, all resources are valuable” setting that Fallout 4 tries to set, especially with the timeline the Bethesda Fallouts try to go by”

            That’s because it’s an RPG. People don’t do things themselves in RPGs.

            “Father, why don’t we build a settlement? There’s a bunch of trees for wood, and a few broken cars we can use for metal. There’s scrap everywhere!”

            “Haha, ah son, you have a lot to learn… You see, if you want a nice house, you need to wait for a protagonist to come by. He makes us a home, and we move in rent-free. Hell, we don’t even have to find food. We just passive-aggressively mention ‘food would be nice’ and the protagonist plants farms for us”

  • I don’t know people keep complaining about the perk system saying if you play long enough you can learn everything. To be honest I’m 60 hours in and I’m currently level 64 while abusing idiot savant whenever I can in early game to pump levels. I’m nowhere close to half of perks. You need massive amount of levels to max everything out and probably need over 200 hours for that.

    Most people are saying it is too easy by using console commands making all special maxed and give them unlimited skill point. All the perks I have so far is only what a stealth explorer would have, hacking lock picking sneak damage carry weight lone wanderer. That itself already need a lot of skill points to learn and most people actually did not get as far and just finish the game and be done with it. The percentage of people hitting level 50 is so little that people don’t know how hard to assign SPECIALS and perks if you want to create a character that is not only gun blazing into every scene.

    It’s more about the effort to make your own play style rather than following what people do out there.

  • FO4 is actually the first Fallout game I’ve ever played. So maybe I’m a rare person who can look at it with completely fresh eyes.

    On it’s own, without any biases based on experience with prior games, it really is a fantastic game. If anything, though, that just further validates the points made in this article.

    • Have you played Mass Effect?

      So, this was the first Fallout game for me as well. I haven’t played many open-world games, but I find it difficult to draw any comparison’s between Fallout and any other open-world game (not having played Skyrim either).

      Fallout 4 felt a lot like Mass Effect to me. Companions, companion loyalty missions, building up to an epic battle, etc. The open world took a step back. I wouldn’t even call this an open-world game had I not known it’s technically possible to traverse the whole world.

      As an RPG, Fallout 4 is very entertaining and exceeds most western RPGs but fails to beat the likes of Mass Effect.

      IMHO, I think that Bethesda could have made a Masterpiece, but weren’t committed to a cause.

      • Yeah I’ve played all through mass effect 1-3. The first one was the most RPG, but anything after it became just a story driven corridor shooter.

        Fallout is still very much an open world game.

        • Agreed. The first Mass Effect was the best in terms of (getting you in the game/ immersion?). Mass effect didn’t need an open world engine to create a galaxy (it’s mostly empty compared to Fallout).

          From what I’ve seen so far of Fallout 4, it didn’t really need a traverse-able open world. I always used fast travel.

          I just think Bethesda could have achieved a better result with a collection of Sandboxes and use a bit of trickery to hide the load screens.

          True, the mass Effect corridor’s are a bit small, but with Dragon Age, they made them bigger and made them into large areas with better detail and simulations.

  • I keep wondering why nobody has mentioned just how cheeky Bethesda has been by making red rocket truck stop dog meats home! Red rocket anybody eeewwwww

  • Agree 100%.

    Great Game, but not a fallout game. I got to be a porn star in Fallout 2 for crying out loud. 😛

    • Has anyone else noticed that if you leave subtitles on, there’s F-bombs everywhere, but the audio dialogue replaces every single one of them with something that isn’t swearing?

      The game’s been sanitized. Sex and swearing: still more offensive than exploding skulls.

      • The game’s been sanitized. Sex and swearing: still more offensive than exploding skulls.

        I will never, ever understand this. It boggles the mind.

        • There is one line of thought behind the argument that I can almost understand, if not necessarily agree with:

          Sex is a vital thing, it’s how we get more humans, you will never ever stop it, and it’s pretty damn important to emotional, physical, and mental health… if done right. Because there are actually ways to do it right or wrong, and the line is not necessarily always clear-cut. Consent is a no-brainer, but even then you have the lines between ‘consent’, ‘implied consent’, and ‘informed consent’, and if you’re into roleplay then the bad can look just the same as the good. And no-one knows these things without being taught them.

          Children don’t pop out knowing How To Adult, this shit has to be learned, and because there are so many conflicting opinions on when, how, where, and with whom sex should be done (many of them utterly hypocritical, as parents don’t want to think of their children becoming sexual adults), there’s a strong belief that depiction of what is ‘healthy’ leaves more room for interpretation to children than the adults responsible are comfortable with. It’s harder to tell a child which sex is good sex and which sex is bad sex and how they should know that the sex they’re seeing is good or bad.

          Violence? Violence is clear-cut. It’s bad. Always. Especially lethal violence. This is taught easily, it’s easily understood. There is never a reason to kill someone in real life. Whatever happens on the screen can be taught to be simply cartoonish hypotheticals. There are no shades of grey to say, “Well actually, in this scenario it could be OK, but you’d have to ask about, etc, etc and make sure both parties had gained consent, etc.” There is no ‘reading the mood’ or whatever. It’s easy to understand, simple and clear. It covers just about all cultures, laws, faiths. Do. Not. Kill. What you see on the screen is always going to be what you might see in the world – someone trying to justify why they’ve done something which is bad.

          • Disagree, violence can be warranted. Defending yourself others from physical harm warrants violence against the perpetrator – no ifs or buts. The degree of violence would be something that needs to be taught (funnily enough it is in police but they will shoot to kill when they feel the need arises).

          • This is the kind of thing we can debate as adults, but as far as a kid’s concerned? Newp. All bad. Don’t do it. Ever. That’s for the police and soldiers to do, not you.

            (And yeah, even police whose lives are at risk still get asked hard questions about why they didn’t try to take a less-than-lethal option when in fear for their lives, and face endless hand-wringing about how there has to be a better way to approach life-threatening situations.)

          • Again disagree heh. My mate and his wife taught their kids that if someone trys to take them somewhere they don’t want to go to kick, scream, punch, bite. These are 5 year olds (well ones 6 or 7 i think). Can’t blame him and his wife doing so after a kid was abducted and killed near where they lived in rockhampton (this goes back a few years early 2000 i think) . Teaching your child self defense from abduction is actually recommended. Again its warranted violence.

          • …Yeah, I can’t keep it up. The argument starts to fall down a bit if you look at it too hard.

            But it’s the instinctive thing that folks seem to go for when arguing that violence is more obviously and easily able to be distinguished as wrong from the many, many (occasionally–religiously-interpreted) opinions on the right/wrong messages to be delivered about sex.

            And like I said… even though I don’t particularly agree with it, I can sort of see where they come from on that.

          • @transientmind With regards to sex I just think its just a cultural thing something thats ingrained from very early on. I dont think any form of sex is wrong, aside from it being forced or with a child (you could draw a parallel between violence and pain and sex and orgasm – a child would understand pain would have nfi what an orgasm is as thier body is just not capable of it). On that note whats considered forced sex and whats not seems to be a rather grey area – it should just be pretty straight forward but i’ve read that some ladies are now claiming that they were raped when they get drunk, caught up in the moment and agreed to have sex?? I am most definitely not well enough informed of the intricacies of “consent” lol

            Sex doesn’t get spoken about much as it’s seen as embarrassing, it shouldn’t be but it is. It just boggles my mind that some people can be fine with an insane amount of violence but if there was an erect penis shown (which just about every male, female would have seen conversely just about no one would have seen a decapitation) shit would hit the fan… humans are silly.

    • God damn I love Fallout 2.

      When I found that combat arena place in Fallout 4 (The one that looks like a cage fighting arena) I was like, “YES I CAN BE A CHAMPION BOXER LIKE IN FALLOUT 2”.

      But alas, raiders attacked, people thanked me and moved… I didn’t get to fight in the arena… Christmas was forever ruined that day…

  • I’m having a lot of fun with Fallout 4. It has some new mechanics, crafting is actually useful and the story so far is ok. I’m enjoying the discovery and seeing what new things they trot out around each corner.

    That said, the character is indeed limited in that it feels like I’m following their story rather than living my own. This doesn’t matter much for my first playthrough, but it definitely hurts replay ability. The story is going to be the same each time, regardless of my actions. So I’ll try other builds, like the other Fallout games, right? Wrong…the builds all end up the same. Some skills are a must have so you end up taking them no matter what. The choice is gone.

    In terms of what I mainly look for from Fallout though it’s the exploration and little side stories they tell through computer logs, prop placement etc. All of that is there and im enjoying it thoroughly, I just don’t think there’s enough room for variety in play style or the main story to allow multiple playthroughs.

    • So I’ll try other builds, like the other Fallout games, right? Wrong…the builds all end up the same. Some skills are a must have so you end up taking them no matter what. The choice is gone.

      Maybe they all end up the same after sixty levels and a hojillion hours, but for your first literally three days of real-time play, you can definitely choose a dramatically different build from your previous playthrough and notice different impacts on how you approach the same basic problem of… how to murder people.

      Partial credit.

      • I laughed.

        But seriously, without scrounger, in that first 24 hours of play, you’re going to use guns that use whatever ammo you happen to have a supply for… to murder people.

        • Like I said “some skills are a must have so you end up taking them no matter what”. I wasn’t saying that eventually you have everything so all builds are literally the same, I meant what I said. some of the skills are a bit more powerful than others so you either take them or lose out. That’s the definition of overpowered. Skip lockpicking? Well guess what you just missed out on a hell of a lot of loot. Skip gun nut/science? Guess what you can’t improve your weapons and will be struggling.

          To an extent there’s just no room for different builds and play styles as you progress. I can see doing a melee build as different and will likely do one in my second playthrough but other than that you shoot guns and there’s a number of essential skills to do that. Whether its pistols, rifles, auto etc doesn’t matter much.

          • It does clump a little after the first few literal days of play, but there’s still plenty of variety early on.

            Stealth vs loud.
            Melee vs guns.
            Companions vs no-companions.
            VATS vs hip-fire.

            You can spend points on learning how to mod your own guns, or you can spend points on being able to buy the pre-modded guns from traders without having to throw a kidney into the bargain.

            Unless you min-maxed from the start, choosing which SPECIAL to get 10 points into and then invest in that final-tier perk is an interesting affair as well, with each of them offering some unique play.

            Going heavy into endurance really frees you from much of the caution you might otherwise need to develop, and from reliance on chems.

            Alternately, you can double-down on chems and go chem-crazy by making yourself immune to addiction and improving their effects.

            My next one I’m thinking of going heavily into a crit build, which looks like a VERY interesting use of points that will have to be sacrificed from other gun-specific builds. Crit-banking to do the more-than-double-damage, and all the knock-on effects. Check out the luck perks sometime, they’re fascinating.

          • All that build variety only changes the way you kill things though. None of it really changes what you can or can’t do. That’s the issue with it differing from the previous Fallout games and why it feels like there’s less choice.

            The only incentive to raise Charisma is for settlement building. If you’re not interested in that then just carry around a few pieces of gear to increase charisma for higher chance at the checks when talking….or just quicksave and reload endlessly until you pass it.

            The game is great and I love it but the UI fails pretty hard and being forced into more linear choices really detract from the game. Like what was stated in the article, it’s a good game, just not a good Fallout game.

      • Maybe i’m playing it wrong but the only thing that changes between my ranged builds is whether I am going with the pistols, rifles or automatic weapons perk.

        I tried a Melee build on Survival but it ranged between crazy overpowered and unbelievably frustrating.

        There are certain quests that I think you just CANNOT complete in a satisfactory way as melee.

        The Vault 81 quest where if you are bitten by a molerat you get a permanent 10HP debuff causing you to choose between saving yourself or saving the kid. I just cant see how to not get bitten without using a ranged weapon.

        Outside of quests like the above you just do gamebreaking amounts of damage. I killed a mirelurk queen in a single hit.

        • Even without any perks in melee (although admittedly, max STR), the ‘Ninja’ skill for 10x melee sneak damage is somewhat awe-inspiring. Exploding supermutants with a sword.

          (And I’m wearing my -10HP as a badge of honour. I made the right choice.)

  • I think I’m maybe 40% of the way along to being able to make a decent judgement on F4. I’m probably 55 hours in, after clocking 100-120 in F3 and 200-250 in FNV. So far, I’m feeling like it’s a good game, with a Fallout theme; but it doesn’t feel like a Fallout game yet. I need to do some adventuring with the companions to get exposed to some more of the writing, but I feel like we’re going through a checklist:
    Vault, check;
    Radroaches, check;
    Power Armour, check;
    Deathclaw, check;
    Super Mutants, check.

    I loved, at least initially, that the first time you probably encountered a deathclaw in both F3 and FNV, you probably died. I loved that was a well explained reason for the existence of super mutants in both F3 and FNV. I loved being rewarded for having certain skills, I feel rewarded when that [SkillName] descriptor appears next to a dialog option – I assume that’s happening in F4, but I’d like to see what perk/SPECIAL is enabling it sometimes.

    That being said though, it’s probably my GOTY.

  • I didn’t play Fallout 1 or 2. Played every one since then and must say I’m really enjoying this game too, it is soaking a fair chunk of my time.

    Congrats to the hard working development team furthering my first world desires!

  • Why didnt she crouch when she heard noises she wasn’t used to? Thats what I did when I heard the robot race music. I then snuck around for a better vantage to see what was going on and sat looking at the scene of gangsters (triggermen) and robots racing for 10 mins before I busted it up with a few missiles and nades.

    All without 1 point in sneaking (except for random magazine bonuses picked up along the way.

  • myself and most of my fallout playing friends have come to the agreement that while FO4 is a great game, it is in essence a First Person Shooter with RPG elements.
    Not as good as New Vegas, just prettier.

    I am fairly sure, however, that there will be eventually a plethora of mods to fix all the things that each person does and does not like, so this will be a moot point 3 years from now.

    *NOTE* I too was dissapointed when stumbling onto this “event” and then everyone just wants to kill me, leaving me very little interaction possibilities and destroying an event that would have been SOOO much more fun to leave as a gambling possilbility with more people etc. This would be like having all the casinos in New Vegas automatically hostile and you have to blow them all up and you never get to go inside them again after the first time you encounter them….. (massive waste of a GREAT opportunity – now that i think about it, this situation summs up how i feel about a lot of FO4s writing)

    I can imagine :- Treat it like a Sports Betting Arena, where you can buy and enter your own robot that you need to upgrade. Dirty tactics, subroutines, sabotaging opponents…. jesus if i could mod i really should do this…..

  • I find it a little bit annoying as soon as you walk into a city it’s as if you’re public enemy number one and immediately get shot at (except diamond city I’ve found). It seems FO4 is more of a FPS than RPG – is it too much to ask to say hi before people pull their weapons out and start blasting?

  • I feel as though people need to stop having a cry because a game isnt the same or has the same mechanics as the game they fell in love with 5 or more years ago. Fallout 4 is a new game not an expansion, not a sequel so my opinion is that we should all just shut the fuck up and play the game for what it is and not compare it to others in the series. In this same argument, I played World of Warcraft the other day and I am pissed off because I played a game called Warcraft 3 back in the day and the new one doesnt play or have the same mechanics like the old one did. I guess its just people looking to have a cry about something.

  • I agree, strangely I found that the more I played it, the less I liked it.
    I watched an old video of fallout 3 and realised just how much the game had improved on the surface over its predecessors, there are so many things I love about it.
    But at the same time, the late game story missions were dry as they come, too much action and not enough substance. Every mission seems like I’m on repeat. The occasional few missions were great (notably the silver shroud quest) but I think this game would be so much better off with more creative missions and storytelling.
    But as is the common trend, I’ve sunk a lot of hours in and loved it. I think it’s easy to criticise the small things when the game had so much expected of it

  • Fallout 4 might not be the perfect game, but when it comes down to it I’d like anyone try and justify how any one game is ‘perfect’. All I know is that I am 74 hours in and I still haven’t finished the game, and I’ve had more fun with it than I’ve had with anything else in years. This is all coming from someone who has been a massive Fallout fan since the first game. You can get nick-picky about things here and there if you really want to analyse it and strip it down to bare metal, but on the whole this game is incredibly fun and engaging, and it’s given me something I’d been missing for a long time – an experience so engrossing that I often lose track of time.

    • Exactly what I’ve been thinking. I’ve been Fallout mad since I played a copy of Fallout 2 that one of my mates older brothers had. I get so sidetracked every time I sit down to play the game, and not once have I been bored at all. Yes, it’s different, but so was 2 from 1, 3 from 1 & 2 and so on. As long as they keep making them I’ll be singing along to old tunes and targeting heads in VATS.

  • The skills system at least in f3, new Vegas was terrible. By level 20 you could be 100 skill in most things and by 30 it was the case, and that’s with most main quests still waiting because of expansions or side quests. I feel everything is much more balanced and better with the new perk system.

    Last time I checked you couldn’t converse with the Jackels nor other small time raider groups in FNV either. And you still had to kill people up until getting into the front door of the vault with the fiends. Even in F2 you could talk to the raiders in vault 15 at the entrance but past that you had to fight until Darryl at least.

    Power armor is now beast like it is in original games, not to the full same extent where small arms and unarmed do nothing but much better then the last games. Even the Vault suits are much more closer to the originals – heck even better.

  • I think the disparity between published reviews and player reviews REALLY needs to be looked at.

    One of the biggest problems with reviews is how easy it is to be taken by the hype. Especially in big games. If you asked me to review Spore when it came out I would’ve gone on about how great it was. It didn’t take long after for that for the hype to dissipate and for me to realise that Spore was lacking hard.

    I certainly don’t think Skyrim was deserving of all those 10/10s, that’s for sure.

  • I think the criticism of the “dumbing down” is valid but at the same time you would have to be bat shit insane to consider any other fallout a better game. Fallout 4 does feel like a fallout game, its also by far the best one. Most disappointing thing for me has been the lack of vaults, the ones that exist are nowhere near as good as the vaults in 3 and nv. With that said though, the amount of areas, the downtown area, the glowing sea, it patches the hole in the wall for me. I also wish the ending was more like nv, that was disappointing but lets all hope for some killer dlc!

  • Yeah, because metacritic user scores are totally reliable /sarcasm. Come on, you don’t even need to have owned or played a game to review it, the steam user reviews are very positive but your point that “the most upvoted reviews are negative” is just as meaningless as metacritic user reviews, you dont need to own the game to upvore a review. Kotaku arerealy grasping at straws here, clickbait, sensaitionalised articles in the guise of journalism.

  • Fallout 4 is a great game. I’m loving the settlement system. I once accidently spent 2 hours building a three story ugly shack; I was originally just trying to build a way onto the roof of the Red Rocket building that didn’t look terrible or clip through anything. I came back the next day and demolished it for being a hideous monstrosity.

    One thing I don’t like is the main story. In New Vegas it was simple, a guy tried to kill you and He Went That A Way. Making it to Vegas is a major milestone. In Fallout 4, my robot tells me to go to Concorde (for no reason), and then Preston tells you to go to Diamond City (for no reason). Neither one has a concrete lead for you, it’s just “go there and I’m sure things will work out.” WTH. Consequently I said “screw that” and just started exploring. I’m dozens of hours in and I’ve still never been to Diamond City.

    I love Fallout 4, but it (sadly) is no New Vegas.

  • I’ve been a Fallout fan since I first played and finished Fallout something like 15 years ago in early high school.
    And I would still call this a Fallout game. Happily.

  • As much as I liked Skyrim (the visuals still blow me away), the aesthetics kept me at the game the most. I have not yet bought F4, maybe won;t for a long time now after reading some very valid opinions of the game compared to its forerunners. Why did I mention Skyrim?, from what most of those disappointed in F4 are saying, their remarks remind me of what Bethesda did to Skyrim when they removed spellmaking and allowing the leveling up every skill and the player can be what they want. Skyrim did have the benefit of a better dialogue system with choices, though they almost always landed the conclusion. I’ll have to read more in the future to see what mods do to help this out.

  • Can anyone help me out with a problem I’m having? I’ve established supply lines from sanctuary to red rocket truck stop to starlight drive in. I’ve got the local leader perk obviously. But my inventory of junk isn’t shared between them. I was in red rocket and I had 42 steel while at sanctuary I’ve got over 1000.
    A couple guides on the net said the junk would be shared between the supply line or have I misinterpreted something ??

  • You need to assign a settler to the supply line. Once thats done the inventory is share.One settler per settlement

  • if you take the time to look around before rushing in you’ll find most areas have multiple ways to clear them I.e the race track has a terminal that controls the robots. Sounds to me like you need to turn the difficulty up a bit so you can’t just destroy a group of 6 robots plus raiders at once. Granted you can clear each section by brute force if you choose. Pretty much what I’m saying is use your V.a.t.s and take your time there’s more than one way to get stuff done and also it’s probably not a good idea to sprint into new areas you discover

  • I have to respectfully disagree. As someone who wholeheartedly prefers 3 and NV to the older titles I found that Fallout 4 was easily the best installation in the series. Why? Because unlike previous incarnations this ISN’T just an action game masquerading as an RPG. Fallout 4 finally has the one element that I find to be lacking in almost all Bethesda titles: Story.

    Not only do we see a much more prevalent and cohesive plot in Fallout 4 than in previous titles but the characters you meet along the way are much more than the flat interchangeable meatbags from before. Perhaps it’s the Bioware fan in me but I found having companions with distinct personalities, backstories, and relationships with the player to be much more satisfying than either Skyrim’s endless parade of lackluster companions with one of 7 different voices and generic commentary that held no actual significance to the game. I also found them much more interesting than previous Fallout games (poor) attempts at creating companions we actually give a crud about.

    Perhaps to those who care little for story and play Bethesda titles for the hack n’ slash this game is a disappointment. I found the combat sufficient but everyone has their own playstyle. To someone like me however the voiced protagonist and characters who actually seem genuinely three dimensional was a breath of fresh air. Sure, I bought the game expecting yet another of my “fuzzy’ games, games I play when I don’t want to think and just want to basically daydream while killing things. To me that’s what Bethesda games are unless I heavily mod them. Fallout 4 surpassed that however and joined the ranks of games I can actually connect to.

    While it may sound as though I am bashing gamers who don’t enjoy story the way I do, I assure you I’m not. Again, everyone has their own style and preferences to gaming. Mine just so happens to focus on story more than anything else. I’ve played and enjoyed games with absolutely no combat because they had great stories with meaningful choices. I dislike most JRPGs because they’re little more than visual novels with no input or decision making left up to the player, I play each character in Skyrim or Oblivion or Fallout 3 as a brand new person. They do what they would do and their choices are consistent with the personality I’ve created for them throughout the game. That’s my particular playstyle and I found that Fallout 4 did a marvelous job of mixing classic Bethesda with a bit more depth and flavour.

    Personally, I hope that they continue this trend for future incarnations of their games.

    There is a way to save the robots by the by, in a small shack on the race track there’s a console you can use to disable them. Once you kill the hostile humans you can reenable them to go about their metallic little lives in peace.

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