That’s when you like, interact with characters. Some games you actually have companions that you can talk to and that follow you around and help you. Also almost everyone in the world is an actual NPC rather than window dressing. It’s kinda cool, you should try it!
Bethesda are great visualists, and their level designers are top of the class.
Their writers are absolute shite in terms of plotting and – particularly – wrapping up loose ends. I forgive them a little because the open-ended nature of the Fallout/Skyrim games must be an absolute fucker to write for in terms of catching all the edge cases (which their writers/designers basically end up ignoring), not to mention the fact that the story designers seems to be locked in the own sandboxes. Still, though, you end up with real buzzkillers like all of F4’s endings, or crap like assassinating the Emperor in Skyrim and basically nothing happening afterwards.
Fallout 4 is a good, generic open world RPG. It is a terrible Fallout game.
Because I know it will be asked, what makes a Fallout game a Fallout game that Fallout 4 failed at?
In fallout games, you are an active participant in many stories. You make branching choices in those stories. IE: Quests can be solved in multiple ways.
In Fallout 4, mostly, you only have a binary choice. Do whatever quest or do NOT do whatever quest. There is very little, “on the how” you chose to solve a quest and even when there is, it makes very little to no impact upon the world.
Also the wold is mostly populated by generic bandits / mutants. The only story you get involved with is reading it on a terminal opposed to a typical fallout game where you live the stories and make moral choices.
Of the endings of fallout 4, 3 are almost the same. 3 of them give you a new radioactive crater in Boston. How that is accomplished is also almost identical with just a different aesthetic on NPCs doing the dirty work.
3 of the ends also end up with the prydwen blowing up, again with the only difference is the detail of how that is done.
In the end, the wasteland doesn’t change with the possible exceptions of a new radio active crater and/or smoking remains of an air ship.
You do not have any real say in how any quest line turns out. You only have the choice of doing the quest line or not doing the quest line. The “how” and its impact is almost completely missing from fallout 4, which is why its not a real fallout game, IMHO.
Except for the required quest lines, which you must do and cannot deviate from.
You’re going to go find Nick in the Vault. Or you’ll never complete the game.
Then you’ll find Kellogg and do the Memory Vault thing. There are no other options.
You can’t find Kellogg on your own. Nick has to be there. You must be his friend and he can never die.
Bethesda always, always requires NPCs to do things for you. You can’t tell Nick to take a hike. You must do the thing with the Jarl in Whiterun. You must roam around with the Blades chick. There is always an NPC someplace that you must do X with to advance the story. The choices don’t ever exist. At best you can say no until you give up and say yes, assuming that “No” isn’t actually “Yes” anyway.
Yeah, As much as I am really excited about Starfield being announced this E3 for a November release, I do worry that it will just be the same product but in space. The world building is great. They just need to improve the open world/quest dynamics.
I also don’t want to be the chosen one. Just let me be a space bounty hunter or a mercenary who dies ignominiously when he chooses the sarcastic/snarky dialogue option. oh wait. nevermind.
So I’m seeing a lot of criticism of the narrative of the main quest. Ok. But my question stands, do any games do this better? Truly open world, truly open ended games would have basically no story, no writing, no character development, no impact on the world. Or you can have a cooridor shooter with a really tight narrative.
So who is doing open worlds with better stories and writing? No one besides Bethesda, that I’ve seen. I think you guys are critizing this game in favor of a game that doesn’t exist.
For instance, there is an optional quest in this game that makes the radio announcer and thus the radio station better, by giving him more confidence and changing his dialog completely. That’s a huge impact in the game world, and it’s totally optional. It’s also changing and growing a character, aka character development, which is the lynchpin of a good story. Who else is doing stuff like that?
CDPR blew away Bethesda’s writing in The Witcher 3. It may not be “open world” multiple choice enough for you, but their writing is league’s ahead of Bethesda’s po-faced janky scripts.
I have no idea how anyone could hear the dialogue in Fallout 4 and think it’s anything but the most facile generic RPG writing.
I have no dog in this particular hunt but this is a weird argument to make. There doesn’t have to be a game that does it better for criticism of Bethesda’s games to be legit.
The problem I have with Fallout 4 is not that most/many quests suck, but the MAIN QUEST sucks. The one they pretty much railroaded you to finish, and it is as uninspiring as it gets. All binary choice and no finesse. There are lots of other (hidden) quests that are interesting, especially the ones that required you to explore.
Hmm. I guess we will agree to disagree. I thought the Red Baron quest in W3 was great, and everything else seems to be getting generic fantasy. I found W3’s overworld and dungeons completely generic. Bandit camp, cave, bandit camp, cave, bandit camp. I found F4’s world much more engaging. To each their own. It’s pretty sad these are the only RPGs worth talking about, though. I’d really like to play more open world RPGs. I guess … Ghost Recon:. Wildlands? Ass Creed Origins? Kinda drawing a blank. Maybe RPGs are kinda dead.
Witcher 3 sidequests are a bit meh. So many question marks on the map and so similar to each other. But the main quest is elaborate, non-linear, and very affecting IMO.
In fact, the parallel between the main quest of Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 just made Fallout 4 looked outright bad. The protagonists are both looking for his/her offspring. You can take your sweet time looking (Yen reprimanded Geralt explicitly for being tardy with the main quest) or never bothered to do it. The payoff in Witcher 3 is the reunion of father and daughter, and how your guidance can help or hinder her finding her own way in the world. Whereas the payoff in Fallout 4 is to know that your son is an asshole (my subjective opinion of course), and you can either oppose him or work with him.
Maybe on consoles, PCs are in the middle of a second golden age right now.
As for FO4’s narrative - I actually enjoyed it for the most part, but there were moments that made me cringe and/or facepalm pretty hard. If there’s one thing you can’t fault Bethesda’s writers for it’s consistency - most of their games over the last few years have a very similar style of writing, almost campy, as if they intentionally want to remind the player that they’re playing a game. I guess I’ve just gotten used to it over the years so it doesn’t bother me anymore. That said, I think their best storytelling is done with the environments, there are so many locations in Skyrim and FO4 that are meticulously decorated with insane attention to detail and they’re really fun to explore and uncover the background stories for those locations. Also, my favorite moments in Skyrim were when I was left in peace and no one referred to me as the chosen one/Dragonborn and I was basically able to roleplay an adventurer. Fortunately this was the bulk of the game, and I’m hoping future Bethesda games put a little more emphasis on that instead of trying to shove preexisting family relationships down our throats again.
I thought Elex, warts and all, had pretty interesting and variable-solve quests if sometimes a bit killy-fetchy.
All the other fallout games do this much better than fallout 4.
As far as non-fallout games that do this really well, I can’t think of any, hence my disappointment with Fallout 4. It is the one game that should do this, yet didn’t.
There’s definitely not many entries in the “huge open world RPG” category like Fallout 4 and Skyrim. The only recent examples I can think of are Kingdom Come: Deliverance and maybe Horizon: Zero Dawn, if the latter was an RPG, which I’m not sure about.
I did appreciate what you’re saying about Fallout 4 though. Not only was it this huge world filled with stuff, it was all stuff you could scrounge for and scavenge and use in various recipes. Whether it was different foods you could use to cook up different concoctions, or screws from various objects in the world you could use to build various things. Fallout 4 was themed completely around being a post-apocalyptic world you were rebuilding. So you were taking old and discarded things all over the world and using it to rebuild the world, and I really appreciated that. It also helped that it was a great shooter. All the various weapons were fun to use and VATS was a great system to give you some help.
I never played any of the quests in the main quest line though, so I can’t comment on that.
While some of your comments ring true, this one does not. Bethesda has always been about dynamic environments that invite you, the player, to create the story around it. The addition of radiant objectives also was a step in that direction. It’s the very fact that we have required quests that are linear (story) that rankles a lot of the players. We enjoy that dynamic environment. You stumble upon a mini story of someone that left loot somewhere and you follow along, seeing that they were murdered for it, etc.
The story in the Bowling alley in Far Harbor
The Vault Tech rep you meet in the beginning
The Giddyup Buttercup inventor
What was going on at Dunwich Borers
The Cheers Bar
I mean, a lot of them aren’t quests, but they are small peppered stories all around the game. And I love that. It makes things seem so much more inviting/scary/sad when you get engrossed in them. Sure, log entries are kind of a cheesy mechanic to relay some of these, but … how else would you do it? It’s hard to convey some background information in a totally graphical game. It’s even harder when it is a post-apocalypse where the majority of other characters are out to kill you. Who is going to sit you down to tell you a story? Fallout 1 and 2 had the advantage of a text based story playing out with on screen movements/characters/battles. I’m still quite impressed with what is in Fallout 4, despite agreeing with your point about the main quests.
There’s a Cheers bar in Fallout 4? How the hell did I miss that?
Thanks, just checked it out!