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Fallout 4 (NSFW)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Valokiloren, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Valokiloren

    Valokiloren Well-Known Member

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    So, over the past nine days I spent the majority of my waking hours during which I wasn't doing something mandatory (namely work, use the bathroom, eat and drink, and the last two I attempted to do while playing) playing the latest Open World RPG that Bethesda have made, Fallout 4. The next few paragraphs are fairly crude and somewhat graphic, and use language which is decidedly NOT safe for work, so approach cautiously, watching out for freak radscorpion attacks.

    I'm not going to lie for one second: it isn't my favourite Fallout game ever. In fact, I dare say that of the numbered installments and New Vegas, this ranks in at #5, aka last place. It's not that it's a bad game, mind you. There are some lovely additions to the game which are gratifying enough to forgive some of its short-comings, I just don't like the stylistic choices that Bethesda's version of the Fallout series has. Namely, the fact that after 200 years everyone in post-apocalyptica still lives in the old cities of yesteryear wanking off until the protagonist comes along to tidy shit up.

    Case in motherfucking point: everyone in Boston suffers from the RPGNPC syndrome: we're so fucking useless that things were muddling along while we waited for Mr. JC. Protagonist to show up upon his (or her, cannot be a misogynist /sarcasm) cloud of glowy rainbows and sparkles to help out. While this isn't something I've necessarily got a problem with, when someone sleeps in the same bed as they found a skeleton which is now a haphazard pile of bones next to said bed, then I know that the NPCs can give zero fucks.

    I do like the world-building element though - upgrading my base and by extension giving me a reason to constantly search for random crap without being an arbitrary objective of my own devising is a nice one. I just hate how it's not even Sims 2 on console level of competent. And this is a game on the PC in 2015.

    Rage-inducing screaming follows.

    The worst problem though is that it suffers from the typical Bethesda problem ever since Oblivion - "Oh no! We can't lock out gameplay behind a competence barrier in a select skill otherwise we can't have people do everything on a single playthrough - better make everything accessable to any idiot who can point and shoot semi-straight... if need be." Used to be back in the murky depths of Morrowind's time that you needed to actually show some skill at magic to be accepted into the Wizard's Guild, let alone to PROGRESS in it. Oblivion came though, and one of the only two times I beat the magician's guild (one on 360 version; one on PC) I was a burly warrior who was too busy beating people with a cudgel to remember that I actually was allowed to cast spells. And yet I was the Grandmaster of a guild devoted solely to the research of magic. Cue headdesk on three.

    So to make everything accessible, or at least as one of the casualties for that to happen, they did away with the best part of Fallout to me, the levelling system. It used to rely on your initial build, which was a vital core part of the game, and fuck you for not knowing that if worst comes to worst going average across the board is the best scenario. If you don't like, tough - live with it or reroll and start over. Pay attention next time. Then it built upon the fact that you gained EXPERIENCE POINTS as opposed to SKILL POINTS so that you could level up your sneaking skill without having to sneak in a corner for 24 hours grinding style. It also forced you to commit to something - if you want to use shotguns that's all fine and good but don't come crying to us when you find a nice shiny melee weapon which outperforms your shotgun, and then you cannot use said melee very well due to not meeting the requisite.

    Now, I as Johnny No-name can meander around the wasteland, the smallest one to date mind you - oh god Todd I love your sweaty cock slapping me in the face let me blow you as you describe just how gorgeous the scenery of this fourteen minute walk from north to south of the map truly is -, and I can do anything I want. Want to use a pistol and kill people? Sure! Want to swap awkwardly two-thirds in to use this badass new sledgehammer? Go for it! Want to start stealthing it up? Why not? I'm not penalized like RPGs should do to stop me from being good at any of these things, so I can just blow my load and pick out any and every shiny option I look the look of. On my lvl 34 character, I've got a heap of crafting perks and can hack and pick everything in the game provided I have the patience and enough lockpicks. Which is about 50 with most of those being backups for fiendishly tricky ones. Meanwhile, while I currently have been carefully adding to my damage perks in non-automatic weapons (which are not pistols or big fuck-off heavy guns) if I want I can completely stop using those sorts of weapons and become a pray'n'sprayer and it'll all be dandy, and I won't be penalised for not going by the basis of my build.

    Without stat points, it's not really Fallout anymore; it's Borderlands 0.75. And that's not a bad thing to be, but it just doesn't match the IP anymore. Sure, series ought to evolve, but doing away with skills altogether and making your starting core statistics extremely pointless is a tad counter-intuitive, at least when you are trying to claim that you are still making an RPG.

    I can still roleplay in it, I can do a lot of the things I could in Fallout 3. I just dislike that particular growth as far as plot and series development goes, since they took one step forward, one to the side, and one backwards, and then waved while starting to shuffle backwards slightly. I want replayability, I want the option to tell someone to fuck off and mean it, without sounding like a pretentious arsehole, and I definitely want to be told "Fuck off, due to certain pre-requisites and the fact that you joined a rival, you aren't allowed into THIS club", since it would then say "Huh! I want to replay this game and see what I wasn't otherwise allowed to play, and I'll see if I can find some more stuff to do." FO4 meanwhile likes throwing legendary gear at you as much as Borderlands loved throwing any and every piece of scrap iron under the sun and claiming it was super-amazing.

    Maybe the biggest problem is that Bethesda design games for the general public now, and the dribbling monkeys who spend ridiculous amounts of money on FIFA packs are more seduced by easily accessible drivel which is halfway cogent but definitely bitesize, while their initial fanbases were for hardcore lunatics who scoured regions for hidden secrets and therefore needed meatier game elements. Well, the former is your money maker, so design to make cash and lose all respect for your IPs I guess. Maybe for Christmas, someone might want to get Todd Howard a dictionary and a history of RPGs, and then point out that the Fallout series is a proper RPG, and not a fairly decent FPS with a couple of vestigal RPG elements still attached.

    That said, maybe I just read too much into these things, and am far too rabid a fan to really matter. I think this might be the superior argument.

    As for my rating, I'd give it a solid 8/10, as a game. As a Fallout game, I have to give it a mediocre 6.5/10. It's Fallout's ideas and thoughts and theories, and it asks the big questions and expects you the player to answer them through gameplay, but its soul has been replaced by a robotic automaton. Which is actually a nice metaphor for the very basis of the Institute in the first place, o-ho! Zing! :D
     
  2. Street

    Street Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree. I am now 14 hours through, I haven't finished the main story yet but have played enough to get an opinion. The loss of the stat points is dissapointing, it made you specialised into using certain weapons like you say, now you use all weapons equal but can put perks to get bonuses to whatever one you need. Also from what I heard there isn't a level cap on this one? I may be wrong but if that is true, you eventually get to a point where you are just a god against anything because the enemies don't scale that far.

    The settlement building is nice, but also feels like they couldn't be bothered to make towns etc for you to get quests and explore, and are just getting you to build the game yourself.

    The conversation options also feel very weak compared to oldder games, i feel this is likely due to the choice of a voiced main character limiting the dialog somewhat, and is also likely where a huge part of the budget of the game has been wasted. Having your character talking in these games makes it feel less like it is your own created character exploring the world and more like any other generic story driven game.

    Good points I can say, is ignoring the perks which are there to cover what used to be stat requirements (Lock picking, weapon damage bonuses etc) the rest are quite nice and interesting, though there is still plenty of variety missing from it.

    The power armour change is nice, though the armour pieces do break waaay to quickly, giving them a resource needed to use them makes them feel more special than just heavy armour i need a perk to be able to use it.

    Honestly though, I didn't expect to much which is why I am not too dissapointed by it myself. New Vegas has been the best of the modern fallout games. And to me that is down to it being developed by Obsidian rather than Bethesda. Bethesda should just stick to publishing Obsidian to making fallout games as they do a better job of it.
     
  3. Valokiloren

    Valokiloren Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much my opinion on the Fallout series - since Obsidian had Black Isles Studios as a key part of their workforce at the time of FONV, and therefore had the minds and souls of the creators of the original series, they produced something which is actually Fallout as opposed to being Fallout meets Metro meets some other post-apocalyptic game which has a lot of fanboys who don't know what lore means, let alone some of the more obscure parts of it.

    As for the perks system - I'm of two thoughts. On the one hand, some of the new perks are genuinely fun and interesting ways to develop the game, such as the Idiot Savant perk which makes low-Intelligence more than a funny gimmick. On the other, I definitely dislike a lot of the new perks, such as VANS, and no level cap means that I can become a god provided that I accrue enough XP, which shouldn't be too hard provided I decide to continue to do the radiant quests for some of the factions which respawn enemies and refill areas far quicker, and are of unlimited number in terms of how many you are allowed to do before the game refuses to give you XP for them.

    The trouble I have with a few of the new mechanics is it makes certain perks vital ALL over again. In FO1/2 the perk which added AP was vital since players lived and died around those; in FO3/NV the Repair skill and the Jury Rigging Perk. Well, in FO4 Aqualad/lass is practically vital for removing the rads from water as well as perpetual underwater breathing, and Scrapper is damn near necessary since my Survival Stealth Pistol Idiot Savant playthrough is without Scrapper, and I'm just haemorraging screws without having a steady source of them.

    Settlements are a nice touch as I said before, but they suffer from the piss-poor building mechanics. I've seen some genuinely awesome stuff, but it all requires exploits or God-Mode to actually build. What I wouldn't give for a system which allowed to actually rotate the object I'm holding without having to dance around the map like a fucking idiot, as well as allowing me to copy and paste sections as opposed to having to continously rebuild them. That said, I suck at the settlement building stuff since I haven't spent over two hours trying to get to grips with it. :(

    Power armour being breakable is annoying, but depending on which version you are using it isn't a problem. T45 is actually the easiest to use, since while it has huge health problems and isn't as amazingly good as the others, since it only requires steel to repair without mods its incredibly easy to do while you are out and about. Fusion cores are arguably more problematic, but since they are ammo for the Gatling Laser they are affected positively by Scavenger which drops more ammo. Rank 2 of Scavenger, achievable by Lvl 7 with just Luck 2, means that you have zero problems.

    Ultimately, I just think it's a lazy game as opposed to a bad one. It doesn't know what it wants to achieve, and its got the tagline Fallout placed haphazardly over it with the Bethesda logo placed there too, and we're supposed to forgive its shortcomings. It's not god awful that it deserves the stupid amount of 0s its got on many ratings sites, but it isn't a solid step for the latest generation of Fallout. But then, I didn't think an awful lot of Skyrim with its streamlining of Oblivion, which itself was streamlined from its predecessor.

    EDIT: This particular opinion is no doubt a retread of the arguments since Fallout 3. Now, admittedly I started with FO3, but having since played the other games I feel like I can have this opinion with sounding stupid:

    How on earth is the level of radiation in both FO3 and FO4 in any way fitting to the lore of the series? I know that the East-coast got hit harder than the West, but it's been 210 years since the Great War by the Vault 111 escape, and just by entering lake water I'm suddenly being super-irradiated at +5 Rads a second. The fuck? Not to mention that going near a single barrel of radioactive waste now ups your +rads to about 12 a second if you are lucky to get a low spike. I understand that in previous games radiation has never been a huge issue, but it is completely at odds with the story to suddenly ramp up their deadliness for gameplay purposes.

    Maybe it would work better if FO4 were set closer in time to the Great War, but then I've always felt that the East-Coast was supposed to be set in a much earlier time period, like at most 50 - 100 years afterwards for FO3. It could have been done incredibly easily too if they had just decided to not use the callbacks to other games, such as Harold, the BOS as anything other than their role as the Outcasts, and the Enclave in general.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  4. Werebat

    Werebat Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree that FONV has been my favorite of the new Fallouts as well, and I've played them all (except for this latest one), from the first one on.

    Not sure how my gameplay of FO4 is going to go. I did just buy a new computer more or less specifically to play it (and Wildstar with friends), but I spend very little time sitting at my computer these days. Trying to be healthier and more active (lost 55 pounds now!), and wary of the whole "sitting is the new smoking" medical meme I've seen cropping up everywhere.

    Considering getting a standing desk to play games at, just to assuage my fears of ruining my health further by playing video games.

    Anyway, I'm sorry to hear that FO4 hasn't been what you guys would have wanted it to be. I was hoping that the success of FONV would encourage the company to move the entire franchise in that direction, but I guess not.

    Oh, and I want to play Pillars of Eternity still, too! After I finally finish Wasteland 2... Wish sitting at a desk all day were GOOD for your body.