Fallout 4 - Consequences?

  1. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

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    I'm a huge fan of the Fallout series, and have played all of them. I'm currently playing Fallout 4, and I feel the role-playing aspect of the decision-making is largely missing. I don't feel there are real consequences to my decisions, except for a few heavily indicated ones. I remembered having to wrack my brains and wrestle with my demons when I had to make almost ANY decision in FO1 and 2, and it was a glorious struggle. In this game I feel I can get everything no matter what I choose. Choice doesn't lead to exclusive results. It doesn't feel like you can lose out on anything anymore. And without this sense of possible risk, the game is missing something. Am I alone in this? FO2 specially, whenever you went to a settlement, it felt like you ended up fighting for the settlement's very soul every time, and depending on what you did there would be very different outcomes for each place. FO4 has this to an extent, but it's much more low key, or it could just be me.

    Just some random thoughts that I've been stewing. Back to my game.
     
    Jan 13, 2018 at 11:14 PM
    #1
  2. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood What are you gonna do without tides, Peru

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    [some minor spoilers for game parts]

    I’ve only played Fallout 4 from the Fallout series but yes, as much as I enjoy the game play, and like that they’ve added the settlement stuff to it, overall I’m just so not satisfied by the game. The lack of feeling like I don’t have much of a choice was part of it, and also how rigid it all is. I recently started the game again but just went wandering off into the wasteland and clearing all the random places, and it was ridiculous how few quests you trigger when you don’t stick to the set story tree. When I did start in the main quest line again, I immediately got annoyed by it when I couldn’t progress any further without choosing a particular reply in dialogue. Something else I found odd when I went through the main quest was how soon you can bail and get to the end of it — I parted ways with Dad after the chat on the rooftop, but my partner at the time ended up going through way more storyline by hanging around for longer.

    What’s really frustrated me about it though, is how it dangles so much potential in front of you. So many times I’ve gone into somewhere, especially like the Dunwich Horror story and it feels like you’re really going to get into something cool and weird, and then it just kind of...ends. Same with when I was down in some sewers and found myself chasing after some serial killer, and then halfway through I remembered it would be like everywhere else — it all actually happened years ago and you’re just going to find some skeletons and some holotapes hinting at what took place. Which OK, I’ve been on ice for decades and lots of things have happened in the world in that time, and sometimes it’s fun playing detective and working out what has happened in the past...but not all the time.

    I think that’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t have much meatiness to it.

    But as other people have said, consider it a shooting game, and it’s pretty darn good.
     
    Jan 13, 2018 at 11:30 PM
    #2
  3. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    Bethsea tends to have this issue. They make great engines and world concepts, but overall their roleplay side is almost forgettable. Heck there are loads, like myself, who have played Skyrim for hours and yet have hardly touched most of the main storyline.

    Part of the issue I find comes with
    1) Lack of time-limits or other drivers. There's no reason to do any quest within any period of time. As a result you can ignore them for ages until you've forgotten about them. This tends to take the pressure out when the story is "quick save my child before she dies" and you wander off for a few game-months to do other stuff.

    2) Lack of variety - I don't know about Fallout, but Skyrim certainly had a lot of "go to location - enter linear cave - run through and kill mostly undead - kill end of area boss - loot and leave.


    And yet you can have epic dragon battles; come across random events that spark in world that appear really neat (people running from vampires; mages conducting dark spells; slavers transporting their saves etc..). They are also good at building a character levelling system that is dynamic and fits a single character (barring crafting which tends to rely on making way too many dull/bad things to get any good).

    They can build a fun engine, but story and setting wise they do have ground to improve.
     
    Jan 14, 2018 at 12:15 AM
    #3
  4. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

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    Yeah, pretty much my sentiment. FO3, New Vegas, and FO4 are awesome games in their own right and quite enjoyable even if I nitpick (FO3 is a top 5 game for me), but I guess those of us who like the role-playing aspect might see all the missed opportunities. I think my partial disappointment comes from having played FO1 and 2, which were out-of-this-world-amazing in every way, in which case I might be being unfair to the newer games.

    Also, the newer FOs feel easier, even on hard modes. As it's been said above, maybe it's because it is more shooter-oriented.
     
    Jan 14, 2018 at 11:54 AM
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  5. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    I get what your talking about, but I think it's a difficult problem for Bethesda.

    First off I'm really enjoying Fallout 4, more so than Skyrim - but then I've had Skyrim for about 5 years+ (although I haven't yet finished all the arcs - still to get to the end of the dark brotherhood and the civil war stories). I don't know if I'm near the end of the main quest in FO4 - I've found the Institute and had the tour, don't know what's coming up, so keep those spoilers please!

    They have tried, at least for endings from my knowledge, to have branching narratives for some of their works. I joined the Elder scrolls with Oblivion and played the hell out of it, but I think there was one beforehand, Daggerfall I believe, that had six different endings. Also Fallout: New Vegas has, it seems quite a satisfactory set of choices and branches that let you choose what future you want.*

    But I think that Bethesda might have felt that the problem with branching narratives is that, unless you are obsessive and play through the game multiple times, then that essentially cuts off a lot of content from a player who might put in enough time for one game (perhaps?) It also causes an issue with games in a series - I believe they instigated the 'Warp in the West' event to ret-con the problem of what ending was actually the canonical ending in Daggerfall.

    But then having everything open-ended and available has the issues stated above. Although I one hundred percented Oblivion...it had the same issues - there was no need to rush off and attend to the Oblivion crisis, but even if you did it first, you were then left with the odd situation, as hero of the empire, of starting off right at the start of all the other quest lines being treated as a novice, which felt really strange from a role-playing perspective (I think I just started them all and tried my best to advance along them at the same time!) I think it's somewhat worse in Skyrim the various quest lines seems even 'flatter' and even less satisfying to get to the end. Becoming the Head of Mages feels very anti-climatic and, well, nothing much happens after it. You get a nice room in the magic college, I suppose.

    You can of course role-play time pressure, I suppose. And maybe it's possible to mod. (I did notice that some quests in FO4 had time limits, but not big ones - a settlement quest did flash up that I was too late to try and save some one. Clearly the super-mutants had done something bad to the taken settler!)

    I think that having everything open-ended and accessible does help an exploration and wandering play style which helps the slightly less obsessive players. But it does hurt the role-playing. Having a more satisfying role-playing game, which I think I would like - although I tend to spend years with the same play through (I don't like fast travel!) and therefore the open-ended structure works for me - might mean an inordinate amount of content required to make all play-throughs as rich and satisfying as each other.

    ------------------------------------------------
    * I haven't played it, but I understand however, that if you choose to back Ceasar's legion you have significantly fewer side missions that if you went with the NCR or Mr House
     
    Jan 15, 2018 at 8:32 AM
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  6. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

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    Fair point. Must be a tough balancing act for the developer. All freedom comes at a cost, and this is true even in games, huh.

    I would love it if they could make an isometric Fallout, much like FO1 and 2, for this new age. They could integrate the best of both worlds (make it real-time but keep VATS?), and given isometrics are cheaper to make, they could load up on more content. I've gotten my hands on Wasteland 2, which is the closest thing to this, but as good as it is, it isn't Fallout. I'm such an elitist fanboy ugh.
     
    Jan 15, 2018 at 8:10 PM
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  7. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    Yeah, I guess Bethesda have the entire Fallout IP and they probably aren't going to isometrics or let anyone else mess around with it. But there's definitely some other FO inspired games out there that are isometric on the radar.... let me see ... Atom RPG is a Russian based one I've seen a tiny bit of, but it's in an Alpha state, so lacking content and may not get to the end. :(
     
    Jan 15, 2018 at 8:33 PM
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  8. Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I really don't want time limits on missions: I like to work at my own pace, and dislike the feeling that it's the game controlling the speed, not me. It's false, but its preferable to being hurried around the map in what I see as a game of exploration at your own pace.

    I agree that Fallout 4 can feel a bit empty, especially given the repetitious nature of some missions (hello Preston) but I think the development of the companions makes up for this by a fair way. I was impressed by how much they had to say about the setting, some of it very specific. For me, a lot of the entertainment is just going around looking at things, and in that respect I think Betheda has done an excellent job - not just in the graphics, but in the little stories and details you find (a skeleton which has clearly died trying to pick the lock of a Vault, for instance, or a body in a bathtub imitating a famous painting).

    Many missions have three options: "selfish", "altruistic" and (if it's really an option) "don't do it at all". That is a bit limited, but the approval/disapproval of the companions provides a degree of nuance as to how I'd do a quest (heroic but aggressive, heroic but polite etc depending on who I was with).

    When I played Fallout Vegas, which I found disappointing, I was struck how I had to choose a faction and obey it. That meant killing the Brotherhood of Steel, or taking orders from some military twit in the NCR, both of which I would have rebelled against. I want an option where I don't take orders from anyone, because I appoint myself as king. Why not? The setting is wildly unrealistic anyway, and I'm about 15 times tougher than anyone else by the end. I'm also wary of unforeseen "real-world" consequences. If I decide to rescue the princess, that's the good option, and reasonably ought to be rewarded as such. It makes no real sense to add in a consequence where the princess murders the king, becomes queen and enslaves the nation, even if it's possible in the story, as that isn't a logical reward for choosing the "right" option earlier.

    I think the ultimate answer is that different things matter to different people, and you just can't please everyone.
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 12:47 PM
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  9. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood What are you gonna do without tides, Peru

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    Your reply brings up the thing I'd like most in a game like this -- I get that Skyrim and Fallout 4 were going for the "look how much you can explore!" and I do still enjoy just going for a run off into the mountains of Skyrim. What they've built and the level of freedom is stunning. But I would be happy with a massive reduction in map size if it meant more interaction with people. It's ridiculous that you can become the Dragon born Arch Mage Super Assassin Werewolf and guards still call you a sneak thief. Or that you can even walk around in Brotherhood armour and not get spotted. I'd like more elements of having to adapt and change to different locations and people.

    But yeah, mostly, just a bit of damn recognition, thanks :D I loved in Dragon Age: Inquisition where passing NPCs salute you and call you Inquisitor, which develops the more you progress.
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 1:04 PM
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  10. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    Toby I also hate time-attack however I think there's room to build in some sense of game time being important without rushing the player the whole time.

    I think it hinges on having actual time to traverse the world to achieve things (without fast travel) and having spare time; whilst also having a journal that helps the player track those quests and shows up when limits are getting close.


    Of course the other downside is locking players into quests. Nothing is worse than getting locked into a quest when your character is under equipped/levelled to achieve the end goal. Skyrim and those games are designed to allow the player to keep going rather than having multiple saves (heck the skyrim save system is childishly simple and rather annoying at keeping track of multiple characters let alone multiple saves of the same character). So being able to leave off a quest and go level of just play something less challenging for a bit an then return later.

    Many other RPG games, including the much famed Baldur's Gate 2 also had this approach whereby you could do sidequests and go as far as you wished then leave off and return later to finish it (heck many times it was important to do that to level up on multiple quests starts then finish them off at a higher level). I think Skyrim and similar games start ot show the weakness in this approach, story and game world wise, because the worlds they've built are so huge and full of stuff to explore that you can get lost in that side of the game. Heck just approaching any new settlement in skyrim typically sparked off at least two or three semi-major quests without you even doing anything.
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 2:24 PM
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  11. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    I agree with you, the developments of the companions are interesting and I do think are handled well - to an extent. And they do add something on top of what might be a glorified fetch/kill quest. However, I wish they'd stop trying to have a quiet word about our relationship in the middle of a fire-fight.

    I say to an extent, because really I just watched my husband get shot, baby stolen, but after about 30 or so in-game days of thawing out and finding myself hundreds of years in the future...I've found a new lover in Cait.
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 9:24 PM
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  12. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

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    Daaaayum. That's *cold*. Badabump-tsh.:cool:
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 10:26 PM
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  13. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    Yeah, but you get the Lover's Embrace perk, so that's an extra 15% on your experience points for 12 hours after sleeping with them...

    ...oh, yeah, that's a mite cold. :p
     
    Jan 16, 2018 at 11:10 PM
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  14. CTRandall

    CTRandall I have my very own plant pot!

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    One of my fav bits of FO2 was the post-game shots that showed what happened to the world in later years--Vault City fading away and growth of NCR, etc. I don't know for sure if in-game decisions had much effect on that but it felt like they did!
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 12:13 AM
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  15. Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Well-Known Member

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    Random thought: leaving aside big name actors, are there very few voice actors for computer games? The same chap does Nick Valentine, several shopkeepers in Skyrim, and even appears in Thief and System Shock 2 back in the early 2000s. (I should add that he's pretty good). Also, does Curie have a different strong accent in the French translation of Fallout 4?
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:18 AM
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  16. Venusian Broon

    Venusian Broon Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity

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    It does feel that some really big voice actors seem to do everything. Perhaps their rates are extremely good!

    As a Bethesda aside, I believe Wonderwoman, a.k.a. Linda Carter (showing my age here :D) did the voice acting for the female Orcs and Nords in Oblivion. (And a couple of the Skyrim characters)
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:39 AM
    #16
  17. SilentRoamer

    SilentRoamer Well-Known Member

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    I found the lack of character development in FA4 a bit of a problem. The settlements made it up for me. When I stopped playing the game had gotten silly due to the level scaling. So I had all settlements with 28+ settlers, all settlements were fully built, L3 shops and full defences. Sanctuary in particular I spent time building an entire castle unit and used about 5-6k worth of contrete surrounding the entire thing in a 6 block high wall.

    I got to around LVL 90 with almost all of the perks unlocked, collected almost all of the bobbleheads and the + magazines and perks. The problem at that level is they just scale everything linearly so early game battles as an example would involve a good firefight. At this stage in the game I walk into any compound and don't need to hide, I can shoot with impiunity BUT it takes forever to kill anything worth killing which at that point was only Super Mutants. They gave the Super Mutants changing names as they grow more powerful. So now for me battles involve me emptying 1000's of rounds at point blank into an enemy that takes forever to die and does next to no damage to me. Everything else I one shot. At that point my Settlement Empire was at its height and I then quit just before the expansions and Add Ons started coming in.
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:51 AM
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  18. Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there comes a point when you’re basically the hardest thing in the game and you can just lumber around as you wish. I can’t suggest a solution for this except starting again at a higher level of difficulty. I’ve done this and found that it takes longer to reach that tipping point between being hunter to hunter. Also, I don’t think Fallout 4 is really a game that I’d play to beat so much as experience – which means that missions, stories and characters need to be especially good.

    I wonder if Linda Carter is the Scandinavian-sounding lady who pronounces the "w" in "sword"!
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 12:11 PM
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  19. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

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    Fallout tends to bring the utilitarian in all of us, don't be ashamed (y).

    IIRC, decisions do matter! There are multiple endings for each settlement.
     
    Jan 17, 2018 at 5:49 PM
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