Enjoying the Heck out of Fallout 4

Since I last wrote, I played a lot of Destiny. I would even say too much Destiny, with the terrific Sparrow Racing League (getting all 3 characters a Class S license, but never getting any 320 gear), followed by Iron Banner where I got all 3 characters to rank 5. And that’s pretty much the last Destiny I played (other than getting the nifty Warlock helmet from Xur this weekend).

I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout 4 and enjoying it quite a bit. I loved Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, and I’m enjoying this just as much. The combat is pretty good as are most of the missions. One of the things I most appreciate about Fallout 4 is the writing. I love finding notes and holotapes from people that survived the war but were then trying to find each other or get home. Some of the stories are quite convincing and moving. The developers didn’t need to add so much flavor to the wasteland, but I’m sure glad they did.

I mostly like the four factions (though I have not met the Institute yet – more below), though some of the missions get a little tedious. Some of the escort missions from the Brotherhood of Steel are annoying, because the escortee tends to like running up to Deathclaws and the like. [Spoiler alert – don’t read the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want a minor spoiler.] While looking at the Fallout 4 Wiki, which is a good idea to make sure I don’t miss anything in the buildings I explore, I saw evidence that in the endgame, the factions will turn hostile to each other and, for example, try to attach the Prydwen, the BoS’ airship. I’m disappointed that I’ll be forced to make a choice to attack or protect one of the factions if I want to see the endgame content. I’m pretty happy being the General of the Minutemen, a Knight of the Brotherhood of Steel, and a Railroad operative. Having to choose and making enemies isn’t something I’m looking forward to.

I like the voice acting quite a bit, especially Tim Russ (Star Trek’s Tuvok) as the captain of the Prydwen. Some of the NPCs, especially the guards on Diamond City, have too limited a phrase list, so it gets a bit tedious. It’s almost as bad as the “arrow to the knee” of Skyrim. But overall, the voice acting and behavior of the NPCs and the player’s companions is good and convincing. The background stories are well done too, though I heard Cait’s story last night and it was quite disturbing and sad.

One of the things I don’t like about Bethesda games, and this one is no exception, is that enemies attack on sight, even if I am so much higher level that they are but gnats to be squashed. I remember in Oblivion when I was the Champion of Cyrodil and had braved Oblivion, but stupid bandits would attack me everywhere I went. So tedious. LOTRO has a nice system where if you’re several levels above the enemies, you can walk through and they don’t attack unless you attack them. Freelancer, from way back when, had a neat system where you could hear the radio chatter from other pilots, and I remember a bunch of baddies scanning me and saying “Nope, not gonna mess with that guy” or something similar, followed by them steering away. Why a modern game can’t do such things at least as well, I have no idea.

 

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