Bathed in the undying glow of a new civilisation.
Fallout 4 has always been an interesting blend of contradictions. Having enjoyed both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I’d approached Fallout 4 with the expectation that it would feature a broader story and more comprehensive mechanics. Which it does. Kind of. Having started a new character recently I’ve noticed that almost every improvement is immediately countered with a drawback. Such as the crafting mechanics, which do function as intended, but they also have (seemingly) arbitrary level requirements that make it difficult to effectively utilise them.
I’ll never understand the reasoning behind level requirements for perks.
It feels as if they’re artificially lengthening character development by forcing you to invest elsewhere for no discernible reason. This is most noticeable when you want to craft workbenches in any settlement, as that requires a fairly heavy investment into Charisma and two perks to unlock. Even though most settlements only feature one or two workbenches by default.
Criticisms aside, I’ve (mostly) enjoyed what I’ve seen of Fallout 4 even if I’ve yet to experience the DLC, which is one of the motivations for creating this character. I need to experience these revitalised mechanics from a different perspective, and that requires a different kind of character than the ones I’d usually build. Not that I’ve actually settled on a build yet. I was thinking about using pistols but decided on automatic weapons. I’ve been thinking about using power armour but I’m also interested in armour sets. I’d usually be frustrated by such a lack of clarity, but it’s actually advantageous for a character that could fundamentally change my opinion of Fallout 4. I’m able to utilise more mechanics with no build in mind.
Following my rather spontaneous return to The Commonwealth, I’ve also decided to purchase Fallout 76. I’ve been somewhat disinterested with the development of Fallout 76 due to having limited information about how viable its content will be when experienced alone, as (knowing me) that’s exactly how I’m going to approach its content. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s entirely viable to explore Appalachia on your own, and that the C.A.M.P. mechanics provide brief (and mostly passive) interactions with the community. So it’s possible to have both.
I feel as though Fallout 76 has an incredible amount of potential, and it really depends on how that potential is realised as to whether it will be a truly great experience. At present, many of the mechanics function as intended but they rapidly become less important after the first few hours. Like collecting scrap. I’ve now collected so much I’m bundling and selling it.
I’ve enjoyed the (ironic) feeling of isolation and loneliness in Appalachia. Due to a lack of NPCs (besides robots) and mostly being surrounded by the rotting, irradiated, post-war corpses of the characters whose stories you’re following you’re presented with a unique storytelling approach. It’s also a very depressing approach. If the previous adjectives hadn’t given you the hint. As many of the stories have themes of regret, loss, desperation, and hopelessness as the characters adjust to their new post-apocalyptic hell. But it fondly reminds me of the same feeling of isolation and loneliness present in Fallout 3. I’m looking forward to (and remaining optimistic in) exploring more of what Fallout 76 has to offer.
Have a nice week, all!