Fallout 4 is impressively bad

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thomasnash

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#1  Edited By thomasnash

I was trying to think myself through a much more well reasoned post about my reactions to Fallout 4. I wanted to acknowledge the baggage I was bringing from my love of the original games, and try and decide whether I could step back enough to feel confident in making a negative assessment of the game - and even if I try and assess the game on its own terms I feel like I can't arrive at anything but a negative assessment.

I've played about 30 hours of Fallout 4, and quite early on I started to wonder whether I was actually enjoying it or if it was just Stockholm syndrome. The game is incredibly boring! Boring characters, boring story, boring combat (notwithstanding the improved weapon handling), boring locations (and this is something I've normally found Bethesda to be pretty good at).

But something about playing it this evening has broken it even more for me. It's not just that it's boring. It's that it feels sometimes like Bethesda have studiously avoided opportunities for interesting things, refusing to deviate from an incredibly shallow overall design even for a second. A lot of my issues with the game really came together for me when I came across East City Downs.

There's a kind of intriguing approach to the location - you here a very 1930s voice over a tannoy announcing a race of some kind. So you walk towards it thinking maybe there is an interesting quest. Except there isn't. Before you even get a chance to see what is going on you have to shoot a bunch of dudes. When the dust has settled, you see a whole bunch of robots racing round a track. That's kind of funny! You find a terminal that controls the bots. Wouldn;t it have been cool to have a quest that involved rigging a race? or even just to be able to bet on the races. But no. Shoot dudes and move on, or don't shoot dudes and move on. That is the limit of my responses to this situation.

The idea of fallout being a role playing game seems laughable when your only reaction to raiders is to shoot them. Maybe I want to role play a compulsive gambler, or even someone who just doesn't care, or even just someone who has a bit more guile than Bethesda wants to allow for - there is an option to turn the robots on their masters, but the reality of playing the game means this can only really be done in the hear of the moment, not with any satisfying subtlety. Are the raiders just so quintessentially raiderish that I can't help but reach for my gun? Is the very concept of robot horse racing so reprehensible that the game's absolute morality demands blood? Ok, so I'm sure some people will say "raiders are raiders, they shoot people on sight duh" but that is equally stupid anyway. Are they opportunistic hunters like cats? Why would raiders want to interrupt their down time at the tracks by ruining it with work.

This is sort of my second issue that this whole thing illuminated - a design choice for combat above all else leads to situations that trample over any kind of environmental storytelling, any kind of lore (not just "fallout lore"). Any sense of this being a world where people live and make choices to become raiders is obliterated by their presence as mindless attackers. This is a microcosm of the "gunners" issue. Numerous bits of "lore" info tell us they are simple, if ruthless, mercenaries whose only loyalty is to their job. Why do they kill on sight? It is senseless. The answer is because the focus on combat over all else required a differently armed enemy, I suppose. Incidentally, why are their triggermen at this place? It seemed like they were pretty localised to Goodneighbour. The answer seems to be that having triggermen their justifies the 1930s style race announcements. Much like their presence in goodneighbour seemed to be thrown in as a "well Valentine is a 40s detective so he should probs be fighting some 40s style gangsters, right?" sort of thing, which really just seemed like a bit of a stupid coincidence in the context of the wider world of fallout 4.

Maybe this wouldn't be an issue, but Fallout 4 just seems incredibly light on quests. I've got Radiant quests from Preston coming out of my ears but very few honest to god quests. It feels like they feel that the radiant quest system is fully fledged enough to take over that aspect of the game's design for them, but it seems like a pretty massive misreading of the response to those systems in Skyrim. I did two in a row earlier and got the exact same dialogue for both. It is not a substitute for writing.

And lets be fair, it's not like the honest to goodness quests themselves are actually very interesting or well designed. I came very close to putting the game down when a quest devolved into just following dogmeat while he sniffed some cigars. Just half an hour of thinking "why am I playing this game?"

It's not just me,right? Honestly, I want to like this game. I love Fallout as a whole. I may be an old schooler at heart, but I really enjoyed the bulk of Fallout 3. I didn't hate little lamplight, even. But this game is just bad. It's certianly a bad role playing game, and the ways in which it fails to be a roleplaying game make it a pretty bad open world game, too, I think. It's not even that good as a shooter. It's boring, it's drab, it's not fun.

Sorry for that rant, I realise that a lot of people like it and will disagree. I just needed to vent.

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hawk767

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I think your problem was just that you were looking for more of a roleplaying experience in it, more options, obviously with the mention of the race track.

Personally I've found some of the small side stories and some of the specific companion stories to be really well done, but ya, the rest of the game suffers from a lack of quality in the writing department, per the usual Bethesda way, and I'd definitely say its lack of skill based dialogue choices, and ya just the poor dialogue options overall, to be the biggest issue I've had with the game.

Shame you aren't getting the fun you were looking for out of it though, I'm around the 50 hour mark I think and at this point I'm just sort of plowing through the main story line since I've done most of the side stuff I've found interesting.

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imsh_pl

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I only played it for like 3 hours and consider the post-leaving-the-vault sequence to be among the worst I've ever seen in an RPG.

It's like Bethesda has so completely lost themselves in making 'another one of these' that they completely forgot about the most fundamental concepts like narrative progression, immersion, cohesion within the created world and the most basic exposition.

It feels kind of like the Hobbit movies where the pursuit of 'bigger and more epic' has completely overshadowed things that are supposed to be the backbone of the story, the world and the characters.

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DonChipotle

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Fallout 4 is a really terrible role playing game that doesn't really offer any options to literally roleplay. You're always stuck with four options, including a generic and often misnamed 'Sarcastic' option and most of the time the options boil down to "Yes" "Yes, but fuck you pay me" "No, but okay actually yes" and "Sarcastic". The fact that 'speech checks' can just be scummed and don't even do anything other than give you minor experience and doesn't alter the course of conversation or quest outcomes is ridiculous. Your character has a pre-determined background and in the case of the wife makes no sense from a narrative angle why she'd suddenly be queen shit at killing motherfuckers when all signs point to her being a doting housewife when she isn't being a lawyer while her husband is off doing shooty mcbangbang shit.

That in almost every case a quest boils down to "Okay just fuckin kill everyone" with no other potential outcome is fucking crazy. It made my initial build as a charisma character feel worthless because I decided to play into the whole 'I'M A LAWYER I GUESS' background. Like, Dragon Age Inquisition had pre determined backgrounds for its player characters but the player got to at least flesh that out and account for multiple angles within that background; like sure you're part of a Dalish clan but your feelings/history/role within said clan was up to you. There's nothing like that in Fallout 4. It's not a role playing game. It's a walking game. The point of the game isn't the narrative (which is awful and offers no breaking from the linear path whatsoever, thanks, Bethesda), it isn't the characters (every major character is an idiot and poorly written); it's the walking around. The Commonwealth isn't a particularly engaging land to explore, but there are some neato bits out there. It's either that or a basic settlement builder game, but since only one of the two is actually enjoyable on any level...

Terrible RPG. Okay walking sim. Fallout 4.

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Justin258

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I love Skyrim, it's easily my favorite game of last generation, warts and all. I don't hate Fallout 4 and I want to give it another chance at some point, but I won't defend it. It's a vast step down from anything Bethesda has ever done. If you want an open world post apocalyptic game not called Mad Max, maybe give it a shot. Otherwise, I can't say it's currently worth it.

I never finished New Vegas but I'd like to see Obsidian get another shot at this series, this time without the big publisher fucking them over.

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colourful_hippie

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Maybe not so impressively bad and more so impressively boring

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Briggs713

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#7 Briggs713  Online

Your response pretty much sums up my feelings on the game. The GOTY discussions focused a lot on the technical issues, of which I had very few. I got so bored trying to find good fully fleshed out side quests (like Fallout 3) that I leaned on the main quest for enjoyment. This didn't make things much better, as the main story is generally the weakest part of these games. And holy cow was this game no exception. I did every ending and man do they all suck butt. I did not care about a single character in this game. Bethesda is getting outclassed by their peers in every aspect of making a fun RPG. I know they're not directly comparable, but it was a bad year to come out after the Witcher 3. I really hope they go back to the drawing board for the next Elder Scrolls Game.

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Briggs713

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#8 Briggs713  Online

@imsh_pl: The pursuing the bigger more epic thing is a great point. I really disagreed with Brad and Austin's comments about the technical issues being a reality of them chasing this type of big game where so much stuff can happen. But man, they fill that world with absolutely nothing of interest.

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mlarrabee

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#9  Edited By mlarrabee

Fallout 4 moved away from traditional RPGs, in which you design a character to "role-play," and toward BioWare's model of giving you a preset character with a choice of moral alignment and ideology. That's mirrored in the changes to the skills and perks system: don't level up your skills, just level up specific biotics- I mean, perks.They're just not nearly as good at writing as BioWare. That's kind of the only difference from earlier Bethesda Fallouts, but it's huge enough that it really impacts my enjoyment.

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ShaggE

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I think Fallout 4 is a great game and an awful RPG. I enjoy playing it, but I'm not nearly as completely swept up in it as I was with 3 and New Vegas. Admittedly, playing a game so insanely similar to two games that I invested a ton of time into already makes it naturally harder to dive into it with the same gusto no matter what, but the game itself isn't exactly going to great leaps to pull me back in, either.

It's weird... I *do* like Fallout 4. Quite a bit, even. But I find myself looking at it on my PS4 dashboard and waffling over loading it up for way too long, then half the time saying "fuck it" and doing something else.

Maybe I'll just make this into a podcast game, because god knows the story hasn't been holding my interest.

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hassun

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Feels like you could replace that Fallout 4 in the title with Fallout 3 or even Skyrim and it work just as well.

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soulcake

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#12  Edited By soulcake

I just think Boston is boring. As some one from the EU, all i know about Boston is Red Sox and Tea party that's it.

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Neurogia

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It's sad to hear there are deep rpg problems with Fallout 4. It sounds like the game is just a first person shooter with an open world attached. I think I'll wait until it gets a big price cut.

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BRich

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@neurogia: A stilted, impressively bad first person shooter.

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Anonymous_Jesse

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Fallout 4 is my biggest disappointment. I have loved every Bethesda game since Morrowind. New Vegas was great. Fallout 3 is on my all time list. Just fallout 4 is bad in so many ways.

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heaveninblack

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There are definitely some flaws, but overall, I'm having a great time with Fallout 4.

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ArbitraryWater

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I had a lot of similar thoughts when I put the game down a few months ago, though I'll add in that I think the Perk Chart is pretty bad in the sense that most of the meaningful perks are lower on the totem pole for any given stat and it's really easy to make your character a bland, formless "Jack of All Trades" who can do everything.

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deactivated-57d3a53d23027

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I enjoyed it, but it did kind of feel like a chore to play and the quests were not as interesting as those in Skyrim or New Vegas. One of the mildly interesting features in New Vegas was the survival difficulty mode which was seperate from the difficulty of combat and forced you to keep hydrated and well-slept. Perhaps the world has had all the Fallout games it needs or our interests are changing?

I do however appreciate that they have addressed my major frustrations such as the load times on console which are significantly better than what I have experienced in similar games (by many orders of magnitude). Only a few other decent games came out on the PS4 in 2015 so it was still a sort of privilege just to have something to play that wasn't total shit.

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ichthy

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#19  Edited By ichthy

It all just felt very mediocre to me. Nothing in the game truly stood out as exceptional, and the world didn't pull me in as much as Skyrim. I don't think it's a bad game, but playing it just felt really hollow and soulless.

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davidh219

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I kinda knew from videos that I didn't want to play it, but me and the gf just got a PS4 and she recently beat Fallout 3 for the first time, so she really wanted to play it. Been watching her and, yeah, it's just not much of an RPG. Beyond the typical freedom in Bethesda games of going anywhere at any time and ignoring the main quest, there's just not a lot of choices for the player to make their character unique. Attributes feel almost inconsequential, perks even moreso. The voiced dialogue is an obvious problem. My girlfriend literally has no build. She'll use anything: knives, pistols, laser weapons. It doesn't seem to matter. It mattered a lot when she was playing Fallout 3. So yeah, it sucks. On the plus side, the game looks a lot better in person than it did when I was just watching videos of it. I'm actually really impressed. It's not a technical showcase, but it does look good. Has some great art design in comparison to the previous two games. It's so much more colorful and has a more....cartoony feel around the graphics almost. I really, really like that a lot.

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Skald

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Fallout 4 is probably the closest Bethesda has ever come to remaking Daggerfall. They kept all the least interesting parts, like numerous towns with no definable characteristics, dungeons that logically serve no purpose other than holding loot, and excruciatingly simple randomly generated quests. All the ingredients for generic game soup.

Which I think is why things like East City Downs sting that much more. Here's a genuinely interesting, memorable locale amidst so much chaff. It's a shame that it has to end up being a glorified bandit outpost, especially when the game's idea of a main hub is as prosaic as Diamond City.

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Jimbo

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@imsh_pl said:

I only played it for like 3 hours and consider the post-leaving-the-vault sequence to be among the worst I've ever seen in an RPG.

It really is bad.

Maybe not so impressively bad and more so impressively boring

Pretty much sums it up for me. There were a few high points along the way (Brotherhood arriving, USS Constitution) but they are drowning in an ocean of phoned-in dullness. The majority of the 'content' could have been left on the cutting room floor and the game would have been better for it.

I really hope this means most of their talent has been concentrating on the next Elder Scrolls game.

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Humanity

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@jimbo: Ever since Morrowind really, I don't think these games (and I group Fallout, Oblivion and Skyrim.. all together because they're essentially the same game) have ever quite shaken this ramshackle feeling that all these quests were made by slightly above competent modders in a limited level maker environment. There is hardly any spectacle or production value and the puppet strings for both AI and scripted sequences are so painfully obvious as to detract from any sort of immersion.

I've heard the sentiment thrown around that they made this game on the side while the A team worked on a bigger, better TES entry, but at this point I have a more pessimistic theory that they simply don't know how to make a better game. This is as good as it gets for Bethesda. Maybe it isn't, but nothing in the past 7 years has given any evidence that they're evolving the formula in any significant way.

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Lucifer

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#25  Edited By Lucifer

Honestly, I see more and more people falling off the Bethesda formula, it happened for me with Skyrim, and it's happening for many others with Fallout 4. I haven't played Fallout 4, most seem to love it, but many also seem to think it underwhelming. I think much of this has to do with the fact that Bethesda Open World games simply aren't that impressive anymore.

I was a bit flabbergasted to hear Austin's and Brad's defense of Fallout 4 be that no other games have this many variables and strings being pulled as Bethesda games, hence why they are so buggy. Well I'll be honest with you, I think that's a weak as fuck argument. I know very little about game development, and I haven't even played Fallout 4, but seeing MGSV and its endless guard reactions, adaptive behavior, outpost routes, dynamic weather and how it all runs on a decade old hardware makes what I have seen of Fallout 4 on next gen consoles extremely unimpressive.

Bethesda seriously need to go back to the drawing board with TESVI, last time I checked they are still building on the same engine from goddamn Morrowind, with old code still floating around from that game, it's time to step up your game. I know that might seem overly harsh and ignorant from somebody who knows almost nothing about game development, but I think Bethesda needs some tough love right now. They helped to define the Open World genre, but they never continued to evolve with everyone else. They are now selling like tens of millions with these kinds of games, and when we live in a world of Witcher 3, MGSV and GTAV I seriously think Bethesda can do better. I am 100% with Jeff on this one.

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Mirado

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#26  Edited By Mirado

@skald said:

Which I think is why things like East City Downs sting that much more. Here's a genuinely interesting, memorable locale amidst so much chaff. It's a shame that it has to end up being a glorified bandit outpost, especially when the game's idea of a main hub is as prosaic as Diamond City.

I had that exact same feeling when I walked into the Combat Zone. "Oh shit, this is the arena they quickly flashed in the trailers!" I figured it could be one of the best parts of the game; a place where you fight to earn money, or can place bets on AI fights. Hell, I was wondering if you could wind up running the place and set the fights yourself, sort of an in-universe way to use the console commands for those fun AI vs AI battles you see pop up on youtube.

So you walk in, everyone turns hostile, you kill them all, and that's it. It never reopens, you never get to do anything with it at all. No fights, no bets, nothing. You get a companion who I didn't give a shit about (but that goes for anyone who wasn't Nick, Curie, or Deacon), and you never interact with that area again.

What a fucking waste. The whole thing's a fucking waste.

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thomasnash

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@imsh_pl said:

I only played it for like 3 hours and consider the post-leaving-the-vault sequence to be among the worst I've ever seen in an RPG.

It's like Bethesda has so completely lost themselves in making 'another one of these' that they completely forgot about the most fundamental concepts like narrative progression, immersion, cohesion within the created world and the most basic exposition.

It feels kind of like the Hobbit movies where the pursuit of 'bigger and more epic' has completely overshadowed things that are supposed to be the backbone of the story, the world and the characters.

Not to get too precious about those original games or whatever, but the leaving the vault stuff is especially frustrating because it feels like they have this idea that Fallout has a Bioshock-esque element - there's always a vault, there's always a dog - and that's what makes it fallout. Now obviously if that's what they want to do then ok, cool, but I feel like always tying the games into a time before the war hamstrings any effective sense of development in the wider universe. This is something that Black Isle (and then Obsidian) did really well - show the world as actually developing along some broadly logical lines. New Vegas I thought was especially good, showing how the march of (re)civilisation has led to a lot of the exact same roots of conflict that led to the war in the first place. Bethesda are way too in love with that shot of you leaving a vault and adjusting to the light, and definitely way too in love with little environmental narratives showing how people died when the bombs fell - even when it makes fuck all sense in context for this house full of raiders to have all the original owners stuff where they left it - to allow the world room to expand and breathe.

To make a lightly more rarefied and contentious point, I feel like the overall theme of Fallout in the originals, is the need to escape from the old world - the way that the ways the pre-war world shape the post-war world are pretty much universally negative. It's about having the strength to forge something new and take the harder option (ironically enough) rather than relying on the dwindling resources of before. The original fallouts are about not being in thrall to the pre-war world. Bethesda are just in thrall to the pre-war world.

@believer258: Yeah, I enjoyed skyrim. It was still a shallow experience in a lot of ways - particularly in it's systems, but there was a lot more stuff to do. I enjoyed one play through although trying a second was too much for me. Part of it I suppose is that the universe of Skyrim allows for lots more monsters. It makes way more sense for Draugr and Ice Trolls and whatever else to always be hostile than for Raiders to be mindless killers. It also means there's a bit more natural variety - although Draugr certainly did become boring quite quickly. With that said, The Witcher kind of shows that up a bit, doesn't it. There's a lot of great moments in those games where you have to decide if a monster is really dangerous or not that makes it a richer experience.

@hassun said:

Feels like you could replace that Fallout 4 in the title with Fallout 3 or even Skyrim and it work just as well.

I honestly don't think you could? Those games have their problems, no doubt but not to this extent, I think. In Fallout 3, I remember there being a lot of places well off the beaten track, where you would go and find an honest to goodness quest. I'm thinking about little lamplight, big town, republic of dave, that lady with her violin, tenpenny tower, etc etc. You can argue about the quality of those quests and areas all you like, but at least it was content you know? Fallout 4 just doesn't have anything like that. Sure, you can go to any building you can see, but chances are the only thing to do there will be shoot raiders, shoot ghouls, or shoot raiders who are also shooting ghouls. Skyrim was maybe a little like this as well, granted, but it still had some good, meaty side quests in cities. The side quests in Diamond City are ludicrously half-assed in comparison.

@neurogia: Honestly, I'm not convinced it's worth getting at any price. I'm not for paying a tenner to perform menial data entry tasks, sort of thing.

@lucifer said:

I was a bit flabbergasted to hear Austin's and Brad's defense of Fallout 4 be that no other games have this many variables and strings being pulled as Bethesda games, hence why they are so buggy. Well I'll be honest with you, I think that's a weak as fuck argument. I know very little about game development, and I haven't even played Fallout 4, but seeing MGSV and its endless guard reactions, adaptive behavior, outpost routes, dynamic weather and how it all runs on a decade old hardware makes what I have seen of Fallout 4 on next gen consoles extremely unimpressive.

It's a defense you see a lot from fans of Bethesda. The thing that really does it, they'll tell you, is the fact that objects are free-floating and individual, ie every stimpack you find on a table is an independent moving part that needs to be modelled and accounted for. Bookcases aren't just a single model, they are a bookcase model and 10 or so "book" models. It's a lot of objects to keep track of and have physics interactions with or something. The real issue is that none of that makes them better games, really. Especially in fallout 4 where I'm not convinced you can even interact with these objects in the same way (is there still a button where you can pick things up without putting them in your inventory?). In a lot of cases it just adds to the frustration, when grenades make everything go flying so you haven't got a hope of ever finding them again. No matter how funny it is that you can steal from shopkeepers in skyrim by putting a basket on their head, it sure as hell doesn't make up for the severe lack of things to do in the game, and the poor quality of the stuff there is to do.

@mirado: I've heard about that zone and so this sort of criticism was in the back of my mind already. But actually seeing it for myself made me irrationally angry.

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OurSin_360

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#28  Edited By OurSin_360

I think i made it around 50 hours, 8-15 probably tweaking graphics, before i just got bored with it. It actually kept me interested longer than fallout though (maybe ill give that one another go) I think the fallout world is just not all that interesting and never was (at least bethesdas version). I love elder scrolls even if the dialog and actual story isn't the greatest the world and the things you do are interesting for me. Fallout just doesnt really have that, or you have to search a little to hard to find it. I did dig the valentine and silver shroud quests they were fun.

edit: Maybe I'm missing something, but is spoiler block available on the mobile site?

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imsh_pl

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@imsh_pl: The pursuing the bigger more epic thing is a great point. I really disagreed with Brad and Austin's comments about the technical issues being a reality of them chasing this type of big game where so much stuff can happen. But man, they fill that world with absolutely nothing of interest.

It's like they did it the other way around. It doesn't feel at all like they went 'okay, let's make a list of all the arcs and quests and characters that we want to show the player', ended up with a big-ass list, and concluded that the only way to really tell everything they want to is to have this big-ass world.

Instead it's like they came into the conference room and said 'okay, this one has to be bigger, what can you think of to put into this square here, it's not dense with quests enough'.

That's also why I feel that the Hobbit analogy is a really good one here.

I just disagree with Brad that there is this inherent value in making a game this big. Scale should be used as a tool to the characters, story and world that you have created. A truly epic and vast world only works if you make the player invested in what is happening in it, or it just becomes a bad comic book where the villain 'wants to destroy THE UNIVERSE, you guys!'.

Scale itself does not determine stakes; it's the player's investment with what will happen to characters and the world that they care about. This is why you care ten times as much to what happens to the tiny town of Inaba in Persona 4 than to the fate of the world in Call of Duty.

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CoinMatze

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#30  Edited By CoinMatze

Bethesda made this gigantic world and then filled it with nothing but loot and enemies. There isn't much room for roleplaying when the only way to interact with the world is to kill stuff. Just two types of quests. Kill stuff or get stuff and on the way to said stuff, kill stuff. I think there was only one instance of my 10+ charisma stat making a difference. After I saved Nick some low life mob boss stood me up and I convinced his right hand woman to shoot him. One enemy less. That's all it did. No interaction with her afterwards. Other parts that stung have already been recounted in this thread.

After New Vegas it seems even more obvious that Bethesda have no clue how to make a good RPG. Which is too bad because I still enjoy walking around their worlds and nobody does it like them. With every new game those worlds feel less and less alive or believable. Just stuff. It's not even worthy of being called a sandbox.

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@thomasnash: You make an excellent point about all this superfluous interactivity not making these games any better and in fact just bogging down an already struggling engine. I'm not sure if the ability to bump into ammo or random trash that is strewn all over that world ever factored into my enjoyment one way or another.

To confirm, yes you can still pick up items and dangle them in front of you. To what end? Who knows, but you can do it since I tried at some point and I think it was still hold B (on a 360 pad). It was the same button in Fallout 3 so it's only natural that it would still be the same here.

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#32  Edited By WalkerTR77

As someone who's poured an embarrassing number of hours into every Bethesda RPG since Oblivion and considers Fallout 3 to be one of his favourite games, Fallout 4 is quite disappointing from a role playing and world point of view. I'm reasonably placated by the game being pretty much what we've seen before with slightly slicker looking graphics and effects, but the interaction with other characters is very much like a my first Mass Effect, it's extremely limited and unsatisfying. There's also no real ability to put a personal stamp on your character, either with their personality or build.

Being a Vault dweller is one thing, but you're also railroaded into being a parent who's had their child stolen. It's actually a decent setup, but you're hard pressed to colour outside the lines of being a good guy grieving his/her partner and running around the Wasteland like post-apocalyptic Liam Neeson looking for his kid. *Story setup spoilers*

Even the locations in and around Boston are a little uninspiring. There was a majesty in the Capital Wasteland, at least in the Mall seeing places like the Washington monument. The lack of any recognisable landmarks used other than Fenway Park is a missed opportunity that is indicative of a wider lack of imagination that Fallout 4 is missing.

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@CoinMatze probably add some spoiler tags man, especially for one of the coolest quest lines in the game.

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Todd Howard bragged (I took it as bragging at least) that the team that made Fallout is made up of just about 100 people. I can't help but think they could make a new game that doesn't feel like an impressive Oblivion mod if they spent some of the gazillion dollars they've made on their games to hire a larger team. I loved Oblivion and Fallout 3. I enjoyed Skyrim a whole lot. But Fallout just felt SO dated, and trying to wrestle with the crazy mouse and keyboard UI just made me stop after a few hours. I obviously don't know the reality of Bethesda Games Studios' financial situation, but don't brag about your relatively small team size (when compared to other big AAA studios) when your games have started to feel like texture packs to 9 year old games.

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#35  Edited By artelinarose

I'm gonna repost what I said elsewhere because it's relevant.

The story/writing/stuff that’s in Fallout 4 is dirt garbage. This game has no idea what it wants to be beyond a forced cishet relationship angst simulator. They force you into a cisgender, heterosexual relationship at the beginning of the game and you have no say in it whatsoever, and both of the characters have their backstories decided for them. The Guy is a military vet, and The Gal is a lawyer and they sure do love their happy little nuclear family. That’s all you get. If you’re not interested in being straight(or bisexual at most) or you have zero attachment to children or especially not the one they give you because there’s almost literally zero bonding time, then the whole story is completely worthless to you. They tell you that you HAVE to miss your spouse and your baby and you really gotta find him over and over and over and over and it’s just bad and poorly done and I don’t care about either of them but all of my ladies are forced to because they said so. With the forced backstory, the elimination of skills and limited dialogue options the only ways you can express yourself through stats or conversation choices are now just “how good are you at murder and how much do you miss your slug baby”

The whole game is a big mashup of settings, genres and ideas that don’t mesh. It’s a huge collection of popular nerd shit and I think it’s awful. The game has no cohesive style or theme. I helped a family of Immortal People kill their dad because he had literal magic powers from an old artifact that he excavated in the 1800s. You have to find this 1950s era noir detective who’s having a big struggle with a Chicago mobster gang and then you follow a dog across the wasteland tracking a cyborg(???!?!?!??) whom you defeat for revenge, then a big steampunk airship shows up(?????), then you go across the wasteland to find a memory machine(????) so you can delve into this guy’s cyborg brain and relive his memories(????!!!!!?!??!?!???) all while dealing with the current popular social trend in media of asking the hard hitting question of Are Robots That Think And Feel People

They do all of this by asking how you feel about Robots Being People through the factions, but there’s literally only one that says “Sure” and the other choices are all varying shades of “fuck ‘em”, mostly in the “They’re slaves” way or “They all deserve death” way, and every one of the factions has completely flawed logic in really bad ways that I don’t feel are intentional. There’s no moral ambiguity here and they often have incredibly contradictory opinions or morals, especially in the Brotherhood of Steel and Institute. (Brotherhood Of Steel: we need to protect humankind from weapons and technology that could bring harm to the few survivors of global warfare. also the BOS, somehow: we need you to steal ten thousand nuclear bombs so our war-robot can fling them with total abandon at anyone we don't like)

I also just have a huuuuge problem with how little faith they put into humanity in these games. My partner has been playing a little bit of Fallout 1 recently, and in that game it says in the opening it’s been ONE generation since the Vaults were locked up and the bombs fell and you go out and there’s civilizations building back up, factions in power, large trading hubs, farming communities. You leave the Vault to find a water chip and the people you find aren’t like “Chip….? Like, potato chips? The only source of food available because the only way we know how to eat anymore is to scavenge old bombed out supermarkets?”, they tell you to go to the massive trading city because they’ll probably know what technology you need. The people in Fallout aren’t idiots, but they absolutely are whenever Bethesda touches them. The intro to settlement construction has you building water pumps to get clean water from underground, so if this shit is so easy, WHY ARE YOU THE ONLY ONE DOING IT? gahhhhhh In Fallout 4 it’s been 200 years since the bombs fell and the people in Diamond City are still in the stadium proper and haven’t even checked the ruined buildings down the street. They act like the bombs JUST fell, it was the same problem in Fallout 3 and it’s even more egregious here because of the amount of time that has passed between you going into a Vault and coming out. It's terribly realized. It's lazy. It's also not a surprise, considering who made this game.

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#36  Edited By TwoLines

Wanna play a good Fallout game? Try 1 or New Vegas.

Want one that's kinda meh? Try 2 or 4. Want a bad experience? Try playing 3.

Goddamn 3 is so boring. At least 4 has some cool ideas thrown about, even if they are not realized in any way, they're still there. And the characters are kinda cool. Nick is great, Curie and Deacon are also cool. Fallout 3 is boring and ugly. And badly written. And I can't think of 1 cool character from that game. Goddamn. So bad.

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#37  Edited By GDB

@twolines said:

Wanna play a good Fallout game? Try 1 or New Vegas.

Want one that's kinda meh? Try 2 or 4. Want a bad experience? Try playing 3.

Goddamn 3 is so boring. At least 4 has some cool ideas thrown about, even if they are not realized in any way, they're still there. And the characters are kinda cool. Nick is great, Curie and Deacon are also cool. Fallout 3 is boring and ugly. And badly written. And I can't think of 1 cool character from that game. Goddamn. So bad.

I think Fallout 2 is pretty fucking awesome, the dialogue in that game hits notes that the series hasn't since. Fallout 3 is held in such high regard because at the time the scope and setting of that game were things that hadn't really been seen by the general public yet, considering it wasn't exactly as if Fallout was a part of the public consciousness back in the mid 00's the way it is now. I agree that it is an ugly game now -- buggy as hell, bland environments, absolutely horrendous gunplay and combat. I disagree about the writing in that I don't think its any better or worse than anything else Bethesda has put out. But at the time, Fallout 3 was a revelation.

FO4 suffers from all of these issues. It's basically the same game, let's be real here. It's just not 2007 anymore.

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#38 SaucyGiraffe  Online

I find myself messing with settlement stuff and not really playing the game, fallout 4 isn't bad, it's just Meh. I wasnt huge on fallout 3 but loved New Vegas, maybe im just not crazy about Bethesda take on fallout

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#39 SaucyGiraffe  Online

@briggs713: I had to use console commands to finish several quests. The best bug though is when I randomly died just walking past the bean town brewery, nothing near me, just fell down dead

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I think a player's approach to the game dictates their enjoyment of a game. I think it is unfair to label a game "bad" when so many people enjoy it. I think with almost all Bethesda games, you get out what you put into the game. It isn't going to guide you along, dictating a great story, and hold your hand to make sure you experience the best parts of the game. That has never been the case with any of their games. What I enjoy most about these games is "exploration" (and who the heck labeled these games as RPG's?). This game is made to scratch the itch of people that enjoy exploring a gaming world that set's up interesting back stories for different locations. I love finding a town run by robots, and exploring vaults to see what experiments have been performed on the residents thereof.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game, and applaud Bethesda for what they have done. It isn't the best game I played this year (Undertale), nor is it the most engaging (Hearthstone). But it was a good time for $60.

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objects are free-floating and individual, ie every stimpack you find on a table is an independent moving part that needs to be modelled and accounted for. Bookcases aren't just a single model, they are a bookcase model and 10 or so "book" models. It's a lot of objects to keep track of and have physics interactions with or something. The real issue is that none of that makes them better games, really.

Oh absolutely. I am sure there is a lot of impressive systems going on under the hood of Fallout 4, but none of that actually seems to manifest in the quality of the final game.

Games are nothing more than smokes and mirrors really, it's about using clever loopholes to give players the illusion that something is more than just beeps and boops. You hear a lot about the dynamic system stuff going on in Bethesda games, but at the end of the day, what does that matter if what's reflected in the actual game is just not very impressive? You can sit all day and talk about how good Metal Gear Solid V would have been if it had been properly finished, but as a consumer all you can really go on is that which is right there in front of your screen, the actual playable game.

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#42  Edited By GDB

@leftie68 said:

I think a player's approach to the game dictates their enjoyment of a game. I think it is unfair to label a game "bad" when so many people enjoy it. I think with almost all Bethesda games, you get out what you put into the game. It isn't going to guide you along, dictating a great story, and hold your hand to make sure you experience the best parts of the game. That has never been the case with any of their games. What I enjoy most about these games is "exploration" (and who the heck labeled these games as RPG's?). This game is made to scratch the itch of people that enjoy exploring a gaming world that set's up interesting back stories for different locations. I love finding a town run by robots, and exploring vaults to see what experiments have been performed on the residents thereof.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game, and applaud Bethesda for what they have done. It isn't the best game I played this year (Undertale), nor is it the most engaging (Hearthstone). But it was a good time for $60.

You're right in saying that the game isn't "bad", but I think we all know what to expect and how to approach Bethesda games by now. They are certainly RPG's and to deny that is insane, however I do understand what you're saying by labelling them as explorative experiences. There are definitely interesting storylines no doubt, and interesting characters, too (no matter how few and far between they are). The thing that I think most people take issue with is the fact that Bethesda has changed next to nothing in their releases since Oblivion dropped a decade ago. The engine is the same, the bugs are the same, the writing is lackluster as it's ever been -- everything is starkly similar to the way it was when they were making video games for the beginning of the last generation of consoles.

Their games still scratch that itch, yes, but is that enough? I for one am not okay with saying, "Well, at least we get a new Fallout game." Fuck that. There has been very, very, very little progress on the part of Bethesda in the last decade outside of the refinement of their titles' combat mechanics.

Everything about FO4 reeks of deja vu in the worst possible way. But it isn't a "bad" game.

EDIT: Also try not to use an appeal to the people as a defense of something. Such a claim is a fallacy; you can't say that 'well if everyone likes it, it must be good'. That's a red herring and has no bearing on the quality of the product.

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@gdb: @leftie68: This is sort of part of the point I was trying to get at. I know what Bethesda games are and I've enjoyed Bethesda games in the past (Fallout 3 and Skyrim, mainly). I'm saying that even by the standards of what we're supposed to be enjoying in their games, I feel that this one falls way way short of the mark.

I'm not bemoaning the fact that I have to explore. I'm saying that I do explore and I don't find anything worthwhile when I do, just endless combat and uninspired locations. The few times a location has any kind of promise, it is almost immediately squandered. If the game is set up to satisfy a need for "interesting back stories for different locations" then it falls well short of Fallout 3 in that regard, and it's not bringing anything else to the table to make up that shortfall.

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After putting 20hrs into FO4 it seems like a dumbed down STALKER.

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@gdb said:

EDIT: Also try not to use an appeal to the people as a defense of something. Such a claim is a fallacy; you can't say that 'well if everyone likes it, it must be good'. That's a red herring and has no bearing on the quality of the product.

I wasn't trying to use it as a defense of anything. I was merely pointing out the simple fact that labeling anything as "bad" is callous, lazy, or at the very least misleading. Bad...bad at what? Bad at being an RPG? Bad at making you feel that gleeful feeling you get when you played previous Bethesda games? Bad at being a great building sim? Fine if your answer is yes to all of the above, but to label anything as generally "bad", even in a title is unfair. We seem to do it far to often. The OP, granted, did go into detail for reasons why he didn't like the game (which I respect), however I just took exception to the over-reaching generalities in the title of the thread.

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@leftie68 said:
@gdb said:

EDIT: Also try not to use an appeal to the people as a defense of something. Such a claim is a fallacy; you can't say that 'well if everyone likes it, it must be good'. That's a red herring and has no bearing on the quality of the product.

I wasn't trying to use it as a defense of anything. I was merely pointing out the simple fact that labeling anything as "bad" is callous, lazy, or at the very least misleading. Bad...bad at what? Bad at being an RPG? Bad at making you feel that gleeful feeling you get when you played previous Bethesda games? Bad at being a great building sim? Fine if your answer is yes to all of the above, but to label anything as generally "bad", even in a title is unfair. We seem to do it far to often. The OP, granted, did go into detail for reasons why he didn't like the game (which I respect), however I just took exception to the over-reaching generalities in the title of the thread.

I can respect that. I would be lying if I claimed not to be indulging in a bit of provocation with the title. The original thought I had when I began writing this thread was that "It is impressive how studiously Bethesda avoided doing interesting things" but that's a little bit wordy so I truncated it to something that I felt encompassed my screed a bit more.

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#47  Edited By Wraithtek

I said it in another thread, and I'll say it again. I'm really surprised how much hate there is for this game, given how much I've enjoyed it.

Maybe it's because I haven't played very many big AAA open world games in the last year or two (so I'm not worn out on the genre), or because I don't have a big attachment to the western RPGs of the 90s (pretty sure the first one I ever played was Morrowind, which is from 2002).

While there are things about it that could be improved, and a few things are annoying (repeat settlement quests), it hasn't stopped me from having a lot of fun with it.

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@leftie68 said:
@gdb said:

EDIT: Also try not to use an appeal to the people as a defense of something. Such a claim is a fallacy; you can't say that 'well if everyone likes it, it must be good'. That's a red herring and has no bearing on the quality of the product.

I wasn't trying to use it as a defense of anything. I was merely pointing out the simple fact that labeling anything as "bad" is callous, lazy, or at the very least misleading. Bad...bad at what? Bad at being an RPG? Bad at making you feel that gleeful feeling you get when you played previous Bethesda games? Bad at being a great building sim? Fine if your answer is yes to all of the above, but to label anything as generally "bad", even in a title is unfair. We seem to do it far to often. The OP, granted, did go into detail for reasons why he didn't like the game (which I respect), however I just took exception to the over-reaching generalities in the title of the thread.

So, you're saying that there are no bad games..?

I did make a point to say in my post that FO4 is not a bad game and instead mention the aspects of it that are bad. And I think it is lazy to merely say something is "bad", but if you can back it up, then I no longer think that label is a lazy one. "Be the bomb you throw", as Jeff has said. I also think that you're right, that we do label games as "bad" too often; I was merely trying to convey to you what I think the OP meant in saying that the game is "bad". "Disappointing" is probably a better way to phrase the way he described his feelings of the game.

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#49  Edited By Arjailer

I'm with you @wraithtek - surprised to see all this negativity.

I'm thoroughly enjoying Fallout 4 for the same reasons I loved Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Skyrim - mostly just exploring the world and seeing what's over the next ridge. I'll get bored eventually (as I do with all these games, usually at 80 hours+) but at the moment I feel that that won't be for a long time yet.

I've just come straight from finishing Witcher 3 so maybe the lack of a dense story and rich character interactions isn't bothering me 'cos I've just finished one of those.

And I'm playing on Xbox One and (having played all but Morrowind on the Xbox 360) this is the best running Bethesda RPG I've played yet, so I'm not feeling the disappointment for the technical side either - quite the opposite.

I know Jeff etc. were down on it in the GOTY discussions, but given that he also gave the game 4 stars I took that as the GOTY debate hyperbole that they all employ at times (Brad being the worst). But seeing this thread makes me wonder what I'm missing ...

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#50  Edited By RonGalaxy

I finished the main storyline recently, and it was amazingly awful. Like "holy shit, what the fuck?" bad. With that said, I still think it's a good game with a ton of great content. Just so happens a decent chunk of it is total garbage.

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