To complete the thought I started to make in this episode before getting distracted:
Both Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4 begin with a personal story: Benny shoots you in the head vs. the Institute steals your baby. Both use that to drag you into a larger conflict: Which faction should control Hoover Dam vs. which faction should murder the others? On a conceptual level, the segue in Fallout 4 makes more sense than the one in New Vegas. You don’t necessarily have a stake in the fight over Hoover Dam, but you continue to have a stake in the Institute because Shaun is still involved. Unfortunately, this transition from personal to large-scale happens right at the point where the whole world really starts to unravel. It’s a bit like the Mass Effect 3 ending problem: Up until now you could – if you’re feeling generous – assume that stuff will fall into place as a result of a later reveal. That somewhere down the line, all this nonsense will start to pay off and fit together.
But once we meet the Institute the game is out of places to hide the writer’s shenanigans. Once we know the Institute plans and motivations and their reasons for kidnapping Shaun, all of the cards are on the table and we can see the writer has been bluffing us the whole time.
Here in ArcJet Systems, Danse goes back and forth from interesting to incoherent:
“I’ll tag this location for sweep and retrieve.”
Oh that’s cool. We learn a little about how the Brotherhood works.
“Synths are abominations.”
This idea would be okay, but we need to hear their reasoning. Characterize them!
“Those evil corporations before the war exploited technology for their own gain!”
Dude. Isn’t that like, your entire mission statement?
The Loot Lottery
What makes the gameplay of Borderlands so addictive for some, and what does that have to do with slot machines?
A horrible, railroading, stupid, contrived, and painfully ill-conceived roleplaying campaign. All in good fun.
Artless in Alderaan
People were so worried about the boring gameplay of The Old Republic they overlooked just how boring and amateur the art is.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
The Best of 2012
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2012.