Bethesda’s love child is a bit of a mess really. This is game number four and it has barely changed. The bugs have become an on-going joke – where you buy it months down the line fto guarantee an almost-normal gaming experience. Throw in the poor lip sync you can’t really consider this a polished product.The post-apocalyptic wastelands look more depressing with every version that’s released and the graphics could be a lot better. So how the hell did it get so many positive ratings?
I tell you why. Because it’s still bloody awesome.
Wait, what was that first paragraph all about? Well, it was the truth but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter (that much). Regardless of how bias game journalism has been in this case, you can’t deny the community love in spite of its many flaws. It is still being nominated for numerous awards and happens to be the only thing non-porn related to dent Pornhub’s website traffic. So why do we love the Fallout series so much? Is it overrated? And is the hype justified? For these reasons, I believe it is and will continue to have special place in the heart of the gaming community.
We want to test our survival skills
Everyday we are told that the inevitable end of the human race is only round the corner. That climate change will destroy civilisation. That World War 3 is inevitable. That if it’s not Ebola then another disease will cause human extinction. Doom days have been prophesied in many forms, from click-bait headlines to theories from paranoid experts. This has been embedded into our imaginations thus we fantasise of how we ourselves would survive a real, global crisis. That is the scenario Fallout 4 provides. It is Day Zero as you exit ‘The Vault’ being one of the few survivors who must start over and survive once again. But rather than feel sorry for yourself, you pick up the stray 10mm pistol and enter the new world.
A fresh start
Most of us have many regrets and have already made mistakes in our short lifespan. Upon reflection many of us hope for a fresh start. We all long for a new adventure without the baggage. And then a new Fallout game is released and we can start from scratch without leaving our bedroom. It is game escapism at its best. Besides the odd Deathclaw and the absent nuclear explosion, the setting is realistic enough for us to immerse ourselves until we have the courage to pursue that fresh start in real life. Ahh, technology. What a blessing.
A shooter without the gimmicks
Many think the Fallout series has turned from a traditional RPG to a glorified shooter. But this criticism is nothing new as series will always tend to both evolve and digress from their humble beginnings. It’s called going mainstream, an unfortunate reality for day one fans across genres. Anywho, Fallout 4 bucks the trend of traditional shooters unintentionally (just imagine a FO4 multiplayer mode? It would be insane). There’s been this trend with shooting games being too “futuristic”. I felt this quote summed this up.
Most shooters have focused on bleeding-edge technology and the allure of the futuristic. Titanfall pushed things even further from the present, motivating recent FPS games to include extremely fast, augmented movement. The character you take control of in Advanced Warfare or Black Ops III is not so much a soldier as a hyper-lethal cyborg.
Call me old-fashioned but it is then nice to scale back all the technology and be like:
“Hey, here’s a switchblade. You can choose to give it bluetooth, wif-fi and stick it on top of your laser cannon…. Or you can just leave it as it is. A switchblade.”
Also finding the materials and piecing together your own rifle gives the final version more sentimental value. You actually want to name your FO4 weapon, whereas I tend to only want to name my custom loadouts so I don’t confuse myself. Kind of like driving, automatic is easier but nothing beats the feeling of manual gear changing.
Freedom to f*&k with everything
The level of customisation in this game is ridiculous. Every asset can be modified whether it is on PC or PS4. You can spend hours mixing and matching, alternating, changing, editing and modifying stuff. It’s your post-apocalyptic Minecraft. Unlike real life, this world is your oyster and you can do whatever you so please with it.
A good change from swords and dragons
When you think of RPGs you think swords, fantasy and dragons. The genre is filled with open worlds filled with mythical creatures and humans with supernatural capabilities. Something a bit more modern is a nice change. Particularly those who are fatigued by medieval settings or others who want the same deep customisation in an open world without the magic. This is a gap in the market that has been dominated by Bethesda without any clear rivals – albeit Mass Effect, which is sci-fi. Although that is slowly changing with the open world trend happening across many gaming categories.
These are probably the bare minimum in terms of what makes Fallout so amazing in spite of its flaws. So…what makes this series so much fun for you?