384 Impressions After Fallout 4

I’ve talked about Fallout 4 a little bit so far; like that time it influenced the way I think about making decisions in life, or my critique on its dialogue system, and even a weird idea to include more voice and microphone input. But I’ve certainly had many more thoughts than those throughout the 49 hours I put into it, over the course of 2 months (for any non-gamers, that’s not quite as much time as it sounds like; it’s about identical in hours to watching the Breaking Bad series).

My initial impressions of the game were ambivalent. It felt like Fallout 3+. And that certainly isn’t a bad thing, considering how much I enjoyed Fallout 3. It just wasn’t obvious to me immediately how it was pushing the series, genre, or gaming forward.

Maybe that was the point though. It felt familiar and comfortable. As comfortable as nuclear devastation can feel, anyway.

It wasn’t until maybe a dozen hours into the game that I really felt the changes, enhancements, and frankly, the appeal and purpose of the game. Around that time, the questing system finally hits its stride (around when the extended Minute Men quest line finishes, which is essentially one long tutorial), the crafting and upgrade system makes sense, more materials become available, and a clearer story begins to emerge among the varying quests’ narratives.

It’s insane to me though, the number of ways one could play this game. Maybe I’m even more aware of it because I’ve been watching a few streamers play, and can watch how differently they do. But I think it’s obvious, every decision you make in the game affects the way you play, and most decisions have merit for any of the possible options; it’s not as though there is always one best choice.

This flexibility is what really makes the game shine, to me, and it’s definitely present in a lot of Bethesda’s open world style games (although I can’t claim to have played many; only Fallout 3, ES4: Oblivion, and, loosely related, Dishonored and Rage). Decisions you make all throughout the game continue to question your ideas of mortality, strength, conviction, empathy, and dozens of other emotions and attitudes.

I can’t very eloquently describe the feelings and changes that the game has made in me, but they are certainly there. If nothing else, not so many other games can’t claim to affect the way I live my life and cause me to revaluate my humanity and moral compass.

[ Today I Was Playing: NomNomGalaxy ]

January 19, 2016

#narrative-game