Fallout 4 is an interesting game.
Graphically, it’s pretty – but forboding and dreary at the same time.
I have been playing the game differently than designed – as my character – a female – I am playing without donning a lick of armor – that is – she’s running through the game butt ass naked…
Ok, I lied. She’s wearing a hat and sunglasses and her PIP boy .
After all, in a post apocalyptic world one has to look fashionable and protect your eyes from the nuclear glare!
In any case, even though I am playing the game on the easy level and completely naked, it’s still proving to be an interesting challenge in tactics and the way I’m approaching fights.
The backstory about why Rachel is naked:
A future version of Rachel from the year 2409 started researching her planet’s history of violence and why it took her version of Earth so long to recover from World War 3, nearly 200 years. As she dug into the limited material about a post apocalyptic world in 2278, she found a reference to an unnamed woman and her cryogenic recovery into a post apocalyptic world that she was integral in establishing a new world order in.
Now Rachel – the future version in 2409 – lives on a Starship and comes from a version of Earth where men have largely been eliminated as a gender time and again because of their violent tendencies all dating to around this time period. There’s a scarcity for resources in her world, to which their society has adjusted to the lack of male presence and cloth/textiles – that they’ve simply done away with clothing to conserve on resources.
So night after night, Rachel begins dreaming about this post apocalytic world.
A world that’s a reflection of her – where – despite the fact that everyone else wears armor – it isn’t even an option to her in her dream because of her society’s lack of clothing.
Accordingly, she’s walking around nude. All the time. And no one seems to notice.
Clearly a dream, right?
I HAD to laugh at a Security Guard in Diamond City who walked by and said “Nice Hat”
In any case, With Rachel as my naked but not unarmed avatar, not only do I use my sniper rifle and fight from a distance as much as possible, I run from fights frequently, and I also have the F5 (save game) and F9 (load last save) keys abused as I miraculously take out another enemy or progress to a point I didn’t before with minimal damage.
So with all this said, the game as an RPG STILL leaves a lot to be desired.
Lessons that in my opinion SHOULD have been learned from prior versions of Fallout and it’s respective DLC that oddly enough weren’t applied or carried forward.
While I am only level 15, I have explored immensely and have a few kudos to hand out before I get critical.
What Fallout 4 has done right:
- Back story. Not only does my character have a prewar history, she has a reason for going all rogue. As I play this game I’m letting that story guide me and intentionally avoiding most of the side missions because let’s face it – there’s nothing more lethal than a mother who’s child’s been taken from her.
Other than a father. We’ve all see Taken. It’s debatable who’s going to be more formidable.
- BUILDING and customization. You know. I have only dabbled with the customization and building up of my community, but so far I’m actually digging it.
- The PERK system. I LOVE it. Love the redo and the new interface. Big huge kudos on this!!!!
…. so clearly there’s some good decisions that have been made with Fallout 4.
But for every step back, there’s a couple of sidesteps and steps backward.
Here’s my top ten list of things that could be done differently and/or better with future incarnations of games and DLC in the Fallout 4 series:
- Add more MOB and NPC VARIETY!
Look, let’s be honest, there’s a shitton of resources that Fallout uses and can use for models. But with the exception of two headed bulls and large scorpions and a few other creepy crawlies, there’s a surprising LACK of variety with the not so friendly denizens of Fallout 4. Fallout 3 had the same odd limitations… A world where so much attention to detail is paid with one exception – it’s got tons of zombies, mutants and humans (referred to in many cases as raiders) and little else for the creatures.
Why? I just don’t get it.
- Allow alternative methods to leveling up critical skills
One of the chief complaints I have about any version of Fallout is this: For two critical skills in particular – hacking and lockpicking – you have to be specifically trained through a perk.
How about applying a portion of my lock picking experience to a ‘lockpicking level’ that also levels me up? OR what about putting an in game NPC that can train me?
All I am saying is – perks like ghoulish and gun nut make sense as they’re perks that can be acquired through exposure to the environment. But lockpicking and hacking. One would think these dynamic and necessary skills would be acquired through different mechanisms other than a perk you put a point into and ‘whammo’ you’re instantly a level higher than before.
Not that I am looking for more realism in the game, but maybe I am.
- Add more WEIRD shit
So far I’ve found a downed plane. An interestingly built one with seats inside the wings. What an interesting concept.
But being sincere, when I came across that UFO in Fallout 3. That made my week.
Now the weird doesn’t always have to be alien. Something that marginally classifies as weird just happened to me when I was lured into a building by a woman claiming to need help with her child all to be assaulted by a group of raiders.
But with a post apocalyptic world that’s had 200 years to develop since the war, I would think there’d be a wider variety of weird things in the game.
Well put it this way. IF this ever happened in my reality. I’d not put up a fight. I’d probably be decimated by the closest robot or raider. I just don’t like fighting. HOWEVER if I had the free ability to go roam around, I’d go straight to Area 51 and check out the secret base there. I’d go to Cheyenne Mountain and explore the bunker there. And within my own city, I do not doubt there’d be secret elements of society that had remained hidden and were there for my exploration.
Fallout 3 did this a LITTLE. And with how much people talked about it on the internet, one would have thought you would have spent more time putting these little gems in. Random places to discover, and random secrets to uncover, and maybe even a secret batman like lair of your own….
That would make the game that much more intriguing.
- LET me clean shit up OR HIRE SOMEONE TO!
One of the most annoying things about my community that I can build up is this:
I can’t clean the garbage. I can’t plant new trees. In fact, I can’t do jack shit to my houses other than pick up the broken shit. Papers are strewn about, windows remain broken, ceilings remain holey, and the lake remains toxic as hell.
Now I know the models are there. When I first began the game I saw the pristine communities.
So why can’t I restore this, in game?
Why can’t I de-radiate the lake behind my community?
Why can’t I grow green trees yet I instantly grow every edible substance available in game?
I’m going to NOT read internet stuff on Fallout 4 anymore. And hopefully I will learn about in game NPCs and house functions I just didn’t reach yet which will allow me to revitalize the entire area.
Seeing a rebuilt freeway AND city with cars driving around in it at the end of the game, a city I can fully explore – could absolutely rock. Heck I’d really think it was cool to see this world having commercial flights again!
- Allow the game to evolve with me.
Ok. I know. I’m in the year 2016 and you gotta make sure what happens in my timeline doesn’t violate your precious Prime(itive) Directive.
But IF you could insert things to show – subtly – the game’s evolving – and the scenery and world are changing as a direct result of my actions, I might love you long time.
What do I mean with this?
The decisions I make as a leader in my community may influence my community. The decision not to steal for instance, may encourage them not to steal. The decision I make to run around without clothes on – may influence them to change the way they dress and even abandon their own clothes.
Seeing in game items offered and actions carried out by the NPCs as the game progresses that were NOT there previously as a result of my influences and actions would really be interesting. For instance, maybe the game can sense I’m not wearing any armor, at all, so as a result armor vendors go away and are replaced by fashion vendors, or body artists so I can get custom tattoos, or dyes for my hair (up top and down below), etc
I mean. This world DID come from a capitalistic world, so why are NPCs limited to only selling what’s available and not being creative?
- Allow programming in-game and storage of user based input
There’s a ton of robots and computers in the game, but oddly enough, other than hack through some contrived interface I can’t program a robot’s patrol routine or functions, or a computer’s information AT ALL.
Now as I build a community. I can save information in notepad outside of the window. But why not be able to take notes and write things down with my pip boy IN game?
I am able to clear out many buildings. But once I have taken out a turret I can’t install a new one, let alone program it to recognize me and allow only me in?
A limited interface to reprogram things would be interesting and add to the dynamicism of the game.
- Let me drive.
With so many vehicles around, I can’t drive a single one of them.
One would think I’d be able to piece together a working vehicle with all the spare parts and drive around if/when I cleaned up the streets.
- LET ME HAVE Sex and relationships!
In games like this. Why can’t we have relationships and (*gasp*) sex?
Did Coffee cup with GTA scare you that much?
Don’t fret it. People will get used to it over time.
For an immersive world like this, ONE thing that Fallout 3 got right was gambling.
With so few options for entertainment with a world where most entertainment options were destroyed, I’d expect that.
But there’s another vice that would be occurring, guaranteed:
Sex. And prostitution.
Pull the kiddie gloves off. Time to start depicting these worlds a little richer and truer to the reality it could be portraying, and let people imagine that while these worlds aren’t great, there is more goin on than gunfights and gambling. And if they aren’t interested in this element, don’t make it integral to the story. THEY make the choice to participate in the sexual aspect and stories, be graphic when you want to, and you can defend yourself and your support of this with a rated ‘m’ rating.
SO when someone screams about the content their child’s playing, you respond with:
“Parenting your child is your responsibility, not ours, we’ve done our job and placed the rating there, now it’s your turn to do your job as a parent. “
Look at America’s western history and the rise of burlesque as an example of what you’re missing – and how it adds interesting variety and a feminine aspect to the storytelling that otherwise just doesn’t exist in this gender neutral world.
- ALTER and Adjust the AI
Ok. I should have put this as my chief complaint.
But here’s the deal. Raiders attack, every time, and while tactically they may come and search for me, the AI is the same – every freakin time for every NPC.
Now in MY real world. Every individual TENDS to act individually.
Sure, there’s some predictability – women don’t approach me, ever, whether or not I have money for reasons I’ve gotten past attempting to explain. Prostitutes act and dress like prostitutes mostly, homeless people tend to act the same, as do CEOs and Presidents.
But by and large – each still acts individually and does things based on their own tastes, experiences, and desires.
You see NONE of this individuality in Fallout 4. One would think some raiders might be inclined to stop and ask the naked woman why she’s naked like the security guard who said only ‘nice hat’. One would think that this shoot and attack first ask questions later mentality would not be absolutely ubiquitous in all the behaviors. One would think that there’d be flirtation in game, there’d be more dynamic movement other than caravans.
To that end – I did see the Brotherhood attacking raider settlements. So I followed them around for a while and scavenged. This was pretty damn cool. I also saw a group of cattle –
It would be nice to see more of this. But less about fighting and more normal, every day random events and things happening that might put a smile on my face or make me feel like I’m in a more dynamic world rather than a programmed on.
Put specifically: it would be nice to have a wider array of individualized behavior within the game, among both the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’.
- EASTER EGGS
One of my favorite things to find in video games and software in general (and real life) is hidden little secrets.
Fallout 3 had a few. The UFO was hidden in plain sight. And if I remember there was another one hidden in the basement somewhere. But being sincere, the Easter eggs were… limited.
I’d say in future installments – perhaps even this one as I continue playing it – I’m going to make it a fact to play the hell out of this game and explore every nook and crannie within it.
And the hope is. I find some entertaining, interesting, oftentimes comical and fun treats inside this game. Stories within stories. Of a society’s deviational path or history, or what led to the war, or conspiracies involving her husband, or things that are completely unrelated. Secret doors that lead to underground bunkers, or top secret facilities.
Or maybe a computer system I find in game that has the real programmer’s touch and love applied to it.
You know. Shit that while it momentarily may remove me from the immersiveness of the game.
Will leave me smiling as I look up at the stars at night believing I’d been heard by beings I quite likely will never fully comprehend.