Fallout 4 Check List
April 24, 2015
Any Fallout fan is going to get the joke the picture above tells and it pretty much sums up my feelings about the 101 stories out there about Bethesda and the upcoming E3 event. I’m seriously getting tired of, “Click Here to read that there’s nothing to read about Fallout 4. Our advertisers thank you.”
Then again I also found myself thinking that even worse than a no announcement for Fallout 4 might be them actually setting a release date. Considering how bad Fallout New Vegas was there is no guarantee that a future installment will live up to the hype. Depending on what direction Bethesda goes I may end up holding out more hope for the Fallout Lonestar mod instead.
When throwing all genres into one big pile I think that Fallout 3 stands alone on top as the single best video game ever made. By Mennen if it’s not broke then don’t fix it! With that in mind here is my check list of what I would want from Fallout 4.
Keep it Single Player and Offline
It’s called the wasteland for a reason folks. The last thing I want to see is 40 “lone wanderers” in my subway crawl or emote dancing at the trading post. Just how many vaults are around here anyway? The next to useless NPC followers we teamed up with on the occasion were more than enough. If we just HAVE TO include multiplayer then make it an expansion or DLC. Just like in Fallout 3 we had “The Pitt” then give us another city outside of Fallout 4 we can travel to that is an online free fire zone.
Bring back the Sandbox
In Fallout 3 if you were smart, lucky or just sneaky enough there was nowhere you couldn’t go and almost nothing you couldn’t do. Bethesda dropped a huge radioactive post apocalyptic wasteland in our laps and said, “Good luck and remember kids, only you can prevent human flesh fires.” From horizon to horizon a great deal of the fun was just seeing what was over the next hill.
New Vegas totally killed that by building several bottlenecks into the map you couldn’t get past until a certain level. And even when you did explore the out of the way places you would just run into an invisible wall. Sorry, you can’t go past here because it’s the map edge or a section boundary. Why don’t you turn around and follow the road to the next set piece we have pre-planned for you instead?
And it wasn’t just the map building either. Even when I got to a new area and stumbled across a side quest I would discover I could only follow it if my barter skill or charisma were a certain level. Just what I frigging need. Sure, I’ll waste some skill points on those, why not? I’m sure they’ll come in very handy the next time a Deathclaw jumps my ass. I’ll just pretend to have a headache and talk my way out of it.
Who the hell needs charisma? I have questions and a combat shotgun. Give me all your Sugar Bombs then start talking.
Give me G.E.C.K or give me death! Unless death lets you play a ghoul character then give me both! Player mods and player maps being added to the game keep it fresh and expands the replay and continue play of the game for years and years. I don’t have too many worries on this one since Bethesda has a good track record supporting the mod community. It isn’t very hard to get a company to let gamers work thousands of programming hours for FREE.
One of the little touches that made a huge difference to Fallout 3 was all the music and radio stations. Three Dog was always saying something different and you got to hear propaganda from different factions and broadcastings on issues from several points of view. And it was fun to just crank up the Pipboy and let “Civilization” by Danny Kaye and The Andrews Sisters draw feral ghouls from miles around. Damn, typing that out makes me want to listen to another President Eden fireside chat.
No thanks. If I wanted to I could rig a backpack onto a super mutant and dangle a carrot in front of her nose. I’ll be there in no time. Vehicles are a really bad idea. I already have a 30 year old motorcycle in real life that I can’t get parts for. Getting a new clutch for a 150 year old bike at the wasteland trading station just isn’t going to happen. There are already enough “universal cog” things about Fallout that walk a fine line but vehicles are too far out of bounds. Leave them to the Enclave.
Please keep it a 1st person game. The only thing 3rd person is good for is taking dramatic screenshots, which is very cool, but playing the game from an out of body experience angle takes away from the immersion factor.
The minimal crafting of Fallout 3 was perfect. Who didn’t go out and have a ton of fun with their Rock-It Launcher the first time you built it? However the overloaded endless list of crap in New Vegas, most of which you’ll never find in usable quantities, was an example of how not to do things. Like mod support though I don’t worry too much about this one. Bethesda has a strong track record here while Obsidian who did New Vegas clearly had no idea what it had gotten into.
I’m sitting on the fence here. You really can’t get rid of it since the gun prop sights ingame are mostly meaningless. I have always viewed V.A.T.S as an ingenious band-aid covering up that fact. Plus it is a lot of fun. So if the game engine isn’t going to let you actually use your weapon then keep the system. Though if we are going to keep V.A.T.S then please fix the bugs. It gets frustrating watching my character shoot the barricade I’m crouched behind in slow motion instead of the Radscorpion running straight at me that I was in fact aiming at. If the next generation game engine does allow 1st person correct use of your weapons then I won’t be too sad to see them scrap V.A.T.S.
Build for the PC
If it happens to also run on consoles then that is ok with me. But build Fallout 4 for the PC! It is no coincidence that a keyboard has 101 keys on it folks. Fallout and PC are just meant to go together. Games, all games, made for console then adapted for PC absolutely suck. Dumb it down for console if you must Bethesda but the heart of Fallout is in being a PC game made for PC Gamers.
I thought this was the one good thing that New Vegas added to Fallout. Having to pay more attention to food / water / radiation at times really added to the immersion factor. It wasn’t perfect by any means but as a first attempt I liked where it was going. In the new game I would really want some obvious common sense added though if we are going to include or improve on survival mode. I mean here you are getting a refreshing drink at Bitter Springs. Lets see here, clean water, empty bottles and bottle caps. Now if only there was a way to combine these things into something I could take with me.
I also think weather would be a great addition to survival mode. I could easily spend a couple days hunting down some Raiders through the wasteland by their tracks in the snow. A night attack in the rain on a super mutant camp? Finding my way to the next town through a summer dust storm? Frigging bring it!
So that about sums up my check list for Fallout 4. Other than the obvious, “Release it or announce a release date already!” And hopefully we’ll be lifting our Nuka Cola in toast to Bethesda doing just that in a month or so. I along with millions of other gamers are years past due for a new lunch box.
The West Report
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