We talked about building magazine racks for the comic collection you can build in this game. This is the largest my library ever got:
The scene where you’re railroaded into picking a fight with Kellogg is a disaster. A farce. A sad mockery of every possible definition of “roleplaying game”.
So Bethesda gives us a voiced protagonist, but then refuses to give them a discernible personality. So we have a… voiced blank slate? Then they put us into a conversation with a character where THE OTHER PERSON is willing to make peace, but after weeks of dicking around punching radroaches and building shacks for Preston Garvey, our no-personality character is overcome with bloodlust. Our avatar insists on picking a fight while surrounded, after giving up the element of surprise. But it’s not enough that our character is an incoherent, tactically inept dipshit. We’re made to participate in this stupidity by initiating the fight from a four-options-but-only-one-choice dialog wheel.
Here are some options that the player might want to consider if this were an actual roleplaying game:
- Kellogg seems to know some stuff. He knows what happened to your kid. He might know where Shawn is. He knows the reason for the attack. He knows how reach / contact the Institute. Let’s continue the conversation and pump him for information by using things like dialog and speech skills and charisma.
- If we brought some sort of hard-to-find proof that the Institute used this whole incident as a way to dispose of Kellogg, then he might be miffed enough to switch teams. Maybe he feels bad about what he did to us (and a lot of other people) and he’s looking for a path towards redemption?
- Maybe we want to pump him for info, pretend to part on amicable terms, and then ambush him once we’re in a more advantageous position?
- Maybe we conclude that he’s just a hired gun, and that – having become a hired gun ourselves – we decide to leave him alive.
- Maybe we want to leave him alive in the hopes that he’ll call or visit his employer and we can tail him.
- Maybe we don’t want to talk to him at all and want to sneak in through some secret way and backstab him.
- Or maybe we want to stagger into the open, get surrounded, fail to ask any useful questions, and then pick a fight in the open while telegraphing our intentions before drawing a weapon.
I understand games can’t have limitless choice, but the only choice available to us is the most brazenly idiotic and unsatisfying possible. Here we have a roleplaying game that flies apart if you attempt to roleplay anything other than an INT:1 berserker thug. The game pretends to offer us choice to get our hopes up, and then dashes those hopes by forcing us to do the thing we’re least likely to want. If you’re only going to have one choice, then that choice should at least be sort of “most obvious road / path of least resistance”.
This game is diabolical in its misguided wrongness.
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