First and foremost, to set the mood I really think you should listen to Diamond City Radio while reading this. Shit I’m listening to this while writing it, and man this entire week I have had these jives stuck in my head. Lay that pistol down baby, it’s a man, and grandma did play the numbers.
I thought that last week was going to be a productive one for me. The quarter is winding down and I wanted to get a lot of these things off my to-do list that have been bugging me. Normally when I need to cross things off my list I have a system where I will play a game of DotA or CSGO, and if I lose I need to accomplish something before playing again. It helps keep me productive while I feed the gaming addiction.
Tuesday night I bought Fallout. I never played a full Fallout game or Elder Scrolls game before. I was not uber hyped like my friends for Fo4. Shit I haven’t even finished MGS5 yet. My fallout 3 experience was two hours long, before my game saved right before a crash, leaving my save unplayable. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided “Oh, I will play a quest and then do some work, then play another quest.” L-o-fucking-l was that logic not going to work here.
After watching my wife be killed and my son kidnapped, I was hooked. The exposition was actually quite masterful, as I felt engaged and enamored with the world pre-bombs. I thought that the feux future reality was fun, and clearly that was just the beginning of my fun time. Out of the vault I wanted to do absolutely everything I could in the world. Fallout 4 is the first open world game (with the excretion of my LA biased GTA V experience) where I wanted to genuinely explore the map and find all of it’s little corners. I took off on every side quest I could find. My goal was to finish every side quest I could before doing the main quest as to consume as much content as possible. Little did I know at the time that some of these quests would be infinitely repeating. I figured there was a lot of things to do, but after someone giving me a similar quest for a 12th time, I did get a bit concerned.
Who needs a main story line quest tho when I could play Minecraft and sim city by building up my settlement. While the fun in this did peter off with the lack of options for building placement, and a horrid interface, I did take a lot of joy in rebuilding a settlement with defense food and nice bedrooms.
Eventually I did move on to the main story. By the time I got Valentine, that was not my primary quest at the time, but instead me exploring for bobble heads, another side adventure that entranced me for hours on end. By this point I was already level 30 and barely knew the Diamond City layout. I attribute my high experience not just from the time that was sunk into side quests and base building, but my skill build. As a Starcraft player I always look at games now with an element of “macro” game play. As such I figured that starting with 10 points in intelligence would allow me to level up even faster and be stronger. Sounded like a good idea to unlock more fun perks. I soon paid for my sins of neglecting strength when my puny body could not loot and carry much of anything. I just ran around a lot with my max sprint ability and traveled light. No hoarding for me.
Because of the way I leveled my character, I did not have a certain inclination for one type of gun. I got to use a lot of weapons to see which style I was having the most fun with. I really did not like the feel of shotguns or automatics because I was playing without V.A.T.S. This decision was not a conscious one, but just one that arose when I found myself not enjoying the targeting system too much. Once i got my hands on pistols and rifles with medium scopes, I was in heaven. I could shoot exclusively head shots with high damage weapons without the use of V.A.T.S. I could sneak around or pick people off as they rushed my face. I kept this style and only slightly modified guns for the majority of my play through.
While exploring some of the most remarkable moments I had were not scripted, but instead put in place by the prop artists. By the arrangement of dead skeletons, props, and other random things (bloody bowling pin sticking out of the toilet, I remember you) I constantly found myself just appreciating the attention to detail in the scenery. I would also make up stories about what happened to these people before the bomb hit.
For me when I committed to finishing up the main quest line, mostly because my friends were doing the same and I wanted to discuss it with them, I began to be off put by the script. SPOILERS AHEAD YO DONT SAY I DIDNT WARN YA. I was an institute boy. The whole time I wanted to find my son, and I did. I sympathized with Synths and loved that there was a place that was rebuilding a between world after the bomb, even if they had to do some bad things to reach their end goal. My son was cool and I supported him, just like I think a dad should. But by the time I was playing these last few missions, everything felt so predictable. Rid the wasteland of the other factions. Dad dies. You’re kind. La de facking da how anti climatic after all of that tense buildup. When I saw that video roll at the end to signify I “beat the game” I was relieved, but not happy.
Ya see I threw a solid 50 hours into Fallout in a five day span. That’s more than a full time job and I’m not proud of it at all. However the time was enjoyed. The combat, the environments, some of the story. One of the highlights for me was being able to discuss and compare events between my two friends also playing their own stories alongside mine. I finished at level 52 and feel no real need to go back and find different endings or stories. I like committing down one story line without loading any quick saves. What happens happens in my world and I stuck with it. Even if I didn’t get to see the institute go boom.