I've played a little under two hours and made the decision to request my first ever refund on Steam, mostly due to technical issues that have been fairly well-documented by now. I really want to like this game, but I can't seem to square my personal experience with most of the reviews that were compiled yesterday. I guess I identify most with the following sentence from Jeff's review:
As such, a big part of deciding if you want to play Fallout 4 becomes a personal inventory of your desire to either revel in these glitches or your patience at dealing with them, should they appear.
Maybe I just don't have patience for these glitches anymore. Here's what I ran into during my time with the game:
- Input lag
- Mouse acceleration and the X/Y mapping issue
- Framerate stuttering while changing angles
- Vsync/Framerate tied to engine speed (old problem, but still a problem)
- Stuttering in intro cutscene
- Microstuttering in outdoor environments
- Incredibly narrow FOV (fixed via ini)
- Exiting power armor breaks ability to toggle run/walk speed
To a certain extent I can either troubleshoot technical issues myself, wait for community fixes, or just deal with it. And that's fine.
But man... the pre-War prologue... it's just not very well executed. Here's an abridged version of my thought process:
Where's the emotional investment in the story? Does the main character care that his wife has died at all? Or that the entirety of his world has been upended and he has to learn an entirely new method of survival? He's not at all completely incredulous to see his house and Codsworth? Does he have any questions about who was running Vault 111? No? No questions? Great... Does he really know how to craft guns and build bases innately? No, no tutorial at all? OK... So...why is he asking about his son again? It's been 200 years! What makes anyone think his kid is alive? Whatever, just go with it....The second quest I have is to get power armor and wreck everything with a minigun? No subtlety? No buildup? OK... great...now I can't run...this is dumb.
To be fair, it could just be poor timing. I could simply have open world fatigue after two very big, very good games in Witcher 3 and MGSV. There's definitely some involuntary direct and indirect comparisons that contextualize and color my experience with the story themes, which isn't the games fault necessarily. For example, we've spent many hours in MGS V yammering on about revenge and fiery anger after trauma, so to see my main character just sort of whimper "They're dead..." and immediately start puzzle solving and shooting things has zero emotional impact. Inventory management and base building were respectively the weakest parts of Witcher and MGS, so I wasn't excited to be dealing with that again in Fallout 4. The game doesn't look great, either. The Creation engine is really showing its age and it visually compared very poorly to Witcher and MGS, but again the graphics evaluations are well-documented.
Jeff and other members of community have had similar thoughts about the technical issues being less and less acceptable as Bethesda continues releasing games using this template. It certainly pushed me towards a refund in this instance. If my technical experience were better I would be able to look over the obvious story and pacing issues.
Maybe I'll give the game another chance in a year or two when it's 10 bucks on a Steam Sale, when the game has been modded to fix 90% of these issues. But today I had 10x more fun playing mutators on Rocket League than trying to get into Fallout. Admittedly, that probably says more about me or Rocket League than it does about Fallout.
Wondering other people's opinion on this... especially as to whether things change as you get deeper into the game...