What Fallout 4 Was Missing
Fallout 4 just came out with its complete edition that features all the DLC content released for the game. If you are a big enough fan you may have even scored the Pip-boy Edition for $99. Fallout 4 was without a doubt a great game, but I feel as though it is lacking in comparison to the other 3D Fallout titles. Much like Skyrim to Oblivion, I feel like Fallout was dumbed down in several ways to appeal more to a mass market. The Boston Wasteland just couldn’t capture my heart the same way D.C. or the Mojave Desert could. This article goes into details of what I feel is lacking from this RPG.
First off, It’s a Good Game
Let’s set this straight first Fallout 4 is a fantastic game still that I had a lot of fun with. There are some interesting quests that are memorable to me and the opening to the story is gorgeous. The gameplay is more smoothed over from the previous games making the shooting controls much better. There is also still a lot here to explore and lore expansions for you to find hidden in computers. You also will not find yourself for a good bit while playing this game and it’s a greater starter RPG for people new to gaming.
If you play this game without playing its predecessors you won’t see too many problems with it. Overall, it has great replay value to it as well meaning it’s a game you can constantly go back to. My main complaints all come from the fact of the elements I felt have been downgraded from the previous iteration of the game. Likewise, I feel like original fans of the series may have similar thoughts between Fallout 2 and Fallout 3. If you’re debating the complete edition then, by all means, buy the game it is completely worth the money.
One of the biggest issues I saw was the map. If you look at it a pretty good chunk is actually taken up by water. When I first started playing Fallout 4 I actually took the time to explore the whole sea. That’s right I was one of those lucky journalists who was looking for cool missions underwater. To my surprise, the water contained absolutely nothing, but a few pictures of cats hidden in a boat. I feel like this was a huge area that they could have done a lot with. Who doesn’t want mutated whales chasing after them? Also, you can’t tell me there aren’t some cool sunken ships that went down when the bombs fell. Can you imagine going on a quest underwater to get a memento for a ghoul?
The next part is the lack of towns, This is excluding the bases which we will get to in a minute. Fallout 3 and New Vegas were both filled with interesting areas you could visit. These areas each had their own feel and lots of quests you could choose to do. In Fallout 4 though they downsized the towns and turned them all into settlements you can build. The sad part is that while settlements do give you randomly generated quests they kinda suck. They are generally random fetch quests that give you no reward or story to latch onto. This means that other than Diamond City and its darker counterpart Goodneighbor you won’t find much in the way of towns.
While there was nothing wrong with these two settlements I feel that they were lacking in quests. The idea behind the areas where cool, but there was nothing to makes a wave like with Fallout 3. Instead, you had to build parts of the map yourself. While this is a cool feature we will touch on later, I missed finding towns. I also feel that a lot of the scenery closely resembled Skyrim’s textures with a few tweaks here and there. This made me feel like the game wasn’t given as much love as it’ predecessor. Also, I really wish the Glowing Sea had some ghoul settlements in it as well. I feel like the area was a really unique idea that overall felt pretty empty other than its involvement with the main storyline. Capsized factories are cool and all, but an isolated clan of people who migrated to escape judgment would have had some pretty sweet backstories.
The story in Bethesda RPGs generally are not the most riveting tales you can find in gaming. Fallout 4 though went the extra mile by making an interesting start, then totally letting us down later on. It was really neat to see how the world was before the world happened, but you are quickly rushed into the cryo sleep. From there the story is all about looking for your son. Who in turn is in control of the people you’ve been tracking down. This would totally make sense if you know, the guy who was working for them didn’t decide to try to kill you. See, the thing is your son wants to meet you, so it doesn’t make much sense that the institute’s assassin didn’t just take you to him and make some more money. In fact, the whole Kellogg story and saga literally make no sense when you look into it.
The Institute is also made out to be an evil organization the whole game. You never exactly see them kidnap anybody like most wastelanders claim though. In fact, they don’t really do anything negative. The existence of the Institute even kind of devalues the Railroads existence by confirming the Synths are really just robots that can learn. I’m also not entirely sure why we didn’t go more into the biology of the synths I felt like the whole morality of the game was kind of half done. The game set up the basics for a good argument, but never really got into it that deep.
Next, the I am your father/son thing was just kinda weak to me. I feel like the main character would never have naturally gone for the other sides. This being mostly because the Institute proved all their good points and was never shown doing anything that negative. They only disliked the railroad because they felt there synths could be dangerous if left unchecked. Not really an evil mission. That being said, I also don’t understand why the institute even felt destroying the Railroad was needed. They were pretty much a blip on the radar since most of the Commonwealth was horrified of synthetics. It’s just like yeah there a small group why do we need to completely destroy this base?
I also was pretty irritated with the fact that we had to destroy two of the factions no matter who we sided with. The best part about Fallout 3 was making the choice of keeping Megaton around or not. That being said you still could have access to Tenpenny tower and all of its quests without destroying the town. In this game, though you can only go up to a certain part with each faction before completely wiping out the other two. This means two fewer places you can go on an already empty map.
I literally tried every path possible to keep everyone alive. I really wish there was a neutral option I could have taken in the game. I didn’t feel like there was a good or a bad choice either. You pretty much lost out no matter who you went with. I wish there could have been a way to make a deal between all the factions or just keep them from fighting in the first place. Kind of like how in Fallout 3’s ending you could pick who to send in the chamber to activate the water purifier. The story just didn’t give me enough choices and I hated it.
Lack of Quests
One of my biggest issues was the lack of quests. I feel like the other two games were packed with long quests line and interesting characters while 4 focused on settlements. I actually was stunned when I had finished all the quests in the game so fast. I was expecting a lot more depth and backstory than I got. One of the most disappointing locations was the old robot ran shopping center. It was there, it had an interesting premise, but there was nothing we could really do with it other than look around. I found a lot of interesting places and just ended up thinking “ this is it!?”
I totally understand that most of the map didn’t do so well after the bombs fell. We could have had a little more variety though. Especially when there is literally a family in the game that has found immortality. The fact that there weren’t as many vaults to explore also saddened me. One of the best parts of Fallout 3 was finding out what the many vaults were used for. They gave the game a touch of horror when going through them that made it an addictive experience. I also, feel like the main character’s responses are very limited in most situations making a narrow number of paths you can follow.
Lastly, the morality system is completely gone in this game. The decisions you make barely affect the gameplay or worldview of you. The game doesn’t really have any heavy decisions to make outside the faction either. The paths are pretty straightforward. This makes a lot of the quests in the game less memorable. I really loved being able to make an impact in the Fallout world outside of the story. Fallout 4, however, doesn’t really give me this option much at all leaving me feeling a little bit empty after completing each quest line.
I don’t hate the settlements, but without mods, they are pretty limiting. The settlement system feels pretty limited and while you can create some interesting features the base game didn’t add much. It didn’t help that most of the DLC put in for settlements was a lot of textures that already existed in the game. I also feel like some of the settlement locations were pretty small and not good for working with like the farm area. The most amount of glitches also seemed to occur in my settlements like disappearing followers.
I kind of wish that they also wouldn’t have taken such a prominent role in the game. It was pretty bad when the main story started forcing me to build machines. The feature was pushed way too much and given more priority than it should have been in my opinion. I also feel like a lot of the released DLC for it could have been free patches. As much as I love my pet Deathclaw I would have preferred unique NPC’s to gather in my town with interesting narratives. I feel like I put more work into building my settlement than the reward I got out of it.
To start off 2 of the 3 DLC add on’s disappointed me greatly. This isn’t counting the DLC for settlement add on’s. The first DLC was all about building robots. The quest for it itself was extremely short and kind of boring at times. The robot customization was pretty cool but felt limited. All over I felt like this one was ok, but not living up to the name of the character it was named after. I also wish it had added in some new locations to explore instead of just adding on to one that already existed.
Far Harbor, on the other hand, was probably my favorite part of Fallout 4. The decisions in the game felt a lot more important and the factions that went against each other fit perfectly together. The quests were also interesting, and the vault included in the game was hilarious and felt more like an actual experiment than some of the others. The main story was also pretty interesting and made some good points towards synthetics that I wish had been addressed in the base game. All in all, this DLC focused little on settlements while still throwing a few in for the fans and more on quests with heavy consequences. Also, the fact you can join the Fallout world’s biggest cult is pretty sweet.
Nuka World though was pretty empty. The opening for Nuka World and the idea of it is really cool. I do feel like there wasn’t much to it after the initial setup. I was expecting a much more lively area with a lot of backstories. Instead, it felt more like I was playing an action based shooter and the Rpg elements were put on the back burner. That being said it barely held my interest even though the Nuka Cola vibe is one of my favorite parts of Fallout.