Fallout 4 EP22: Reginald’s Suit

By Shamus
on Jul 27, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

126 comments


Link (YouTube)

“Does this game look good?” is the question. I had a bunch of nice things to say about it when the game was new:

  1. It’s got lots of color and they don’t abuse the color filter like in Fallout 3.
  2. The faces don’t look like potatoes, like they did in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
  3. The weapons look pretty cool compared to Fallout 3.
  4. The supermutants are a little less like Fallout 3 and a little more like Fallout 1.

But that’s praising the game by pointing out how awful Fallout 3 looked. A more fair question would be, “Does Fallout 4 look good for a game in this time period, with these system requirements?”

I don’t know. I’m just glad that wretched green filter is gone.

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Footnotes:


A Hundred!206There are 126 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Izicata says:

    I want to have sex with that robot.

      • Izicata says:

        The sexy one.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          That doesnt narrow it down much.

        • Wide And Nerdy® says:

          So Curie?

          Even in Handy form she has that painfully sweet fake french maid accent.* To say nothing of what happens later. Its a little ridiculous that someone programmed her to sound like a stereotypical french maid and that when Curie later needs a body, they just so happened to have the body of an attractive young woman to go with the accent. And how does she still have the same voice? What if all they had was a body that looked like Mayor McDonough, would Curie still sound like a french maid? I kind of wish they’d happened to have a couple of bodies on hand so that the game was making you or Curie choose, and she chose the obese middle aged guy body because she doesn’t care but with a persuade check you could steer her towards choosing the attractive young woman. Because otherwise its all too convenient for the goal of turning her into a love interest.

          I wish the game had an appropriate costume and duster I could give her to complete the picture. Maybe there’s a mod. Maybe there’s a variation for her Handy form.

          *I looked it up just to make sure it wasn’t a case of Lelianna again where the actress is really french but sounds suspiciously fake. Sophie Cortina only lists two acting roles, both playing french characters, but she was born in Venezuela and I see no indication that she lived in France before moving to America.

          • Majere says:

            I did not realize there was a feminine-coded robot companion in this game and now I can’t skip it because I need that like I need oxygen.

            There is totally a joke about gender coding and robots to be made here but it will take a cleverer person than I to make it.

            • Wide And Nerdy® says:

              Yeah. You need to do the stuff in the occupied Vault (I forget the number but its the one that still has an intact Vault dweller community) then you have to grind the relationship state before she’ll do the next part.

              As with Codsworth, I wish you could awkwardly romance her in her Mr Handy form.

            • She’s a “Nurse Handy” model, all of which are female, I believe. Her “Curie” personality is the result of tinkering by whatever scientist programmed her to be inquisitive and “do science.” There’s another one in Diamond City, who asks you about love and relationships.

              Here’s the odd thing now that I think about it: The Nurse Handy is involved in the only instance I can think of where a speech choice actually has an affect on the game world. In Diamond City, you can convince the Nurse Handy and the school teacher that a robot and human can find love together. If you do, you’ll see them being wed outside of the church later in the game. This could be a parallel with your own Curie-romance possibilities, but I don’t know if that was intended.

              • Majere says:

                Okay now I need this game.

                • MichaelGC says:

                  Might want to wait for a deep sale! – that’s not the tip of an interesting iceberg ps238principal describes there: that’s the whole iceberg. It’d be unfair of me to say that it’s ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ … but it wouldn’t be hugely unfair.

                  • Ninety-Three says:

                    No, it would be entirely fair. I managed to stumble my way into saying “You should express your feelings for him” the first time I met the lady robot, before I knew anything about either of them. She listened to my 1 charisma idiot and the next time I saw them they were getting married. After that I never saw them again.

          • Disc says:

            “Sophie Simone Cortina, daughter of French mother and Mexican father, was born in Caracas , Venezuela and was raised in Mexico City. Fully immersed in a multicultural environment since birth, she learned to speak English, French and Spanish simultaneously, flowing from one language to another effortlessly. ”

            From the video description of her demo reel

            Make of it what you will. She speaks a short bit of French around 2:34 and she does sound fluent in it. The in-game accent definitely doesn’t seem like her natural one though.

            • Wide And Nerdy® says:

              I’ll give her this, its at least consistent. It just sounds stereotypical and when I hear a real french person speak, they don’t quite sound like that.

              But good research. I couldn’t find much about her.

            • Incunabulum says:

              It would be freaking hilarious to find that BGS made her fake up the accent because they didn’t think their target audience would know a real French one and would get confused.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I propose that we call all the modern accents fake,and say that all the genuine ones died in the last millennium.

            • Wide And Nerdy® says:

              This makes me want a Fallout: Minnesota. With nice heavy stereotypical Minnesotan accents.

              “Eh Burt, capped me a couple’a two-t’ree ghouls on da way over. Would ya borrow me some slugs?”

              “Yah, ghouls like ta wander this time of year. An’ da skeeters, cripes! Let me do a checksie.”

              “Ok den”

            • Incunabulum says:

              So . . . 1999?

    • Phantos says:

      You know what the sad part is?

      I actually can’t tell WHICH of the sexy robot gals in this game you’re talking about.

      (I’m a KL-30 man, myself. Dat voice)

  2. baseless_research says:

    At this point I’m retconning Jet to have been a pre-war drug made out of cow dung that Myron didn’t invent but found on some old computer and re-engineered it with whatever materials available to him.

    I mean on the one hand Bethesda obviously fucked up and forgot the chronology but on the other hand … this is a thing I can totally see Myron doing, being the little shitstain that he is.

    Also that bartender is my favorite Stephen Russell appearance in this game. Bar none.

    • Writiosity says:

      Bethesda didn’t ‘forget’ the chronology, they simply don’t give a shit about it.

      • Chris Davies says:

        My personal theory is that it’s like children’s cartoons from mid-20th century where every child character lives with their uncle/aunt, because if they had biological parents then that would imply sex had happened.

        If Bethesda ever acknowledged that something was invented after the war, then that would imply societal change and that can never be permitted in a Bethesda RPG.

        • Sunshine says:

          There is Megaton, Rivet City, Diamond City, the Prydwen. That someone has the resources to build an airship fortress suggests off-screen progress.

          I do see your point, though.

          • Echo Tango says:

            They have progress in their games; It’s just that the time-scales are all wrong. If all the times since the real world and/or the war were divided by 10-20, it would be a lot better. :)

          • MrGuy says:

            Canonically, the airship was the result of a horrible copy-paste error between Spoiler Warning and Shamus’ Final Fantasy X series.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        Exactly. Like my pet peeve where you can find bottle cap stashes in buildings and safes that were not opened since the war. WTF would anyone care about bottle caps before the war?!? Or finding those cobbled pipe weapons in vaults.

        • Munkki says:

          Bottle-cap collections? I hear they were a thing back when (soft drink) bottles had caps. In fact I think that was part of the joke with using bottle-caps as money in the first two fallouts – it was an inversion of something that would have at the time been not just nerdery but outdated nerdery.

          Maybe they’ve changed the drop ratio between caps and pre-war money in FO4, but in 3 it certainly seemed like in ruins you’d usually find paper currency, and then when a big pile of caps showed up it’d be this amusing little moment where you’re excited about finding something that would have been pretty much worthless to anyone but its owner before the bombs dropped.

          Though I will concede that there are issues with the ever-present (presumably discarded) small piles of 2 to 10 caps you find at lower levels scaling up as you get further into the game, creating the impression of this weird culture of filthy maniacs who were happy to leave huge piles of bottle-caps everywhere instead of throwing them out – but I think by that point you’re really supposed to have stopped noticing them as anything other than an abstraction, because by the count on your inventory screen you’d be hauling around several industrial-strength kitchen disposal bags full.

          I dunno – it’s certainly not perfect, but I liked the bottle-cap caches. I thought they were fun.

    • Sunshine says:

      I suppose New Vegas just had to roll with Jet still existing, but they also forgot that “The name ‘President’ was only remembered as a boogeyman to frighten children,'”

    • Decius says:

      Myron invented Jet, and then the recipe was leaked and in the 100 years since then everyone has it and forgot where it came from.

      Then Vault-Tec sleeper agents activated a vault, put a bunch of addicts into it to detox, and put drugs in there with them to retox them.

      It makes as much sense as anything else Vault-Tec does.

  3. tmtvl says:

    Is the screen melting at 7:13 and 9:40 happening for anyone else or just me?

  4. MichaelGC says:

    Definitely a Cuthftbert reference I reckon. There is a Josh in Fallout 4, actually:

    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Josh_(Fallout_4)

    He’s a pretty well fleshed-out character, as you can tell from the length of the biography, there. (Actually he does share a voice actor with the character called ‘Father’ via his holotape. So. Yes. Not all can say that.)

  5. Andy_Panthro says:

    If they want to put Jet and Super Mutants into their Fallout games, I’d much rather they did it without the terrible justifications. In that sense, I agree with Campster that the SM bit is worse because the explanation for them is awful and still doesn’t explain why there are thousands of them all over the place.

    It’s a shame the game is such a shooting gallery, even if they did make the combat better for this one. Although if there’s one part of Fallout that has stayed fairly constant, it’s the way the combat overstays its welcome (for me anyway, but I’d happily reduce the amount of combat in almost any RPG, by as much as 90%).

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I wouldn’t say the combat overstays its welcome in FO4, because the combat is the only good part left. Once the combat is unwelcome, you’re done with the game.

    • Sunshine says:

      Fallout 3 had a half-decent reason for Super Mutants in FEV experiments in Vault 87, but not
      for why they either stayed there or moved to DC. Maybe they just don’t like the great outdoors.

    • MrGuy says:

      I’m annoyed they put Jet and Super Mutants into FO3 and later, because it’s indicative of a franchise running out of ideas.

      Really? It’s been 200 years and we’re half a continent from FO1, and the best evolution we have in drugs is “bufftats,” which is just two great tastes tasting great together? We couldn’t have come up with ANY interesting new drugs?

      And we couldn’t come up with any enemy more interesting than “maybe more Super Mutants I guess?” to have us fight here in Boston?

      I don’t have a problem with some amount of recognizable canon. But on the other hand, this is the company responsible for The Elder Scrolls, which (as Ruts wrote a near-novel about) is pretty much the gold standard franchise for experimenting with canon, lore, and new factions/critters/ideas.

      Bethesda are the ones who taught us that you can keep some recognizable aspects from game-to-game (who the Nords are, the Dwemer, etc), without having to be solely defined by those elements. Bethesda are the lords of “try something new.” They’re the kings of “Yes, and” as a design philosophy.

      But not in Fallout, for some reason.

      I’m not angry there are Super Mutants and Jet. I’m angry because Super Mutants and Jet are here to the EXCLUSION of taking the opportunity to mix things up a little. Sure, synths are new I guess, but you still fight an awful lot of Super Mutants. Would be nice to have them play more of a niche roll than be so front-and-center.

      I though the handling of Nightkin (both in the rocket factory and in Jacobstown) in New Vegas was spot on as an example of how to keep around a throwback to earlier games without having it crowd out doing something different.

      • Chris Davies says:

        For Bethesda, Fallout will always be something they’re borrowing. For the team at Obsidian who worked on New Vegas, I think they felt like it’s something they owned.

      • Writiosity says:

        Not a ‘franchise’ running out of ideas, New Vegas proves there’s plenty of space for interesting new material… but New Vegas was developed by a competent studio who actually have good writers.

        Fallout 3 is basically just ideas from 1 and 2 mashed together into an incoherent whole with nary a new idea or interesting dilemma or problem to dig into. Bethesda are just creatively bankrupt, I’ve given up expecting anything new or interesting from them.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hey,fallout 4 has two headed DEER.So its definitely NOT running out of ideas,because no other fallout had two headed DEER.

      • KarmaTheAlligator says:

        The synths aren’t new to FO4, though. They were in FO3, too, as well as the mention of the Commonwealth and the Railroad (Railway? Whichever is the organisation that gets synths out).

        • MichaelGC says:

          It’s ‘road’ – I’m assuming it’s a reference to this:

          The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

      • Incunabulum says:

        I don’t think they needed to come up with *any* new drugs at all and the ones they did are mostly pointless.

        Open Pipboy and time stops or hotkey and take them instantly – there’s really no reason for ‘bufftats’ over buffout and mentats.

        Plus the way the Special system, even in this iteration, is set up, even small bonuses have huge effects – and they let these effects stack.

        Personally – I’d have gone with no stacking the same effects – only the highest malus/bonus – *or* most buffs are fractional improvements rather than integers, along with hardly any buffs on clothing and most items.

        • MichaelGC says:

          I never quite figured out what all the various new drugs did differently from each other. I remember all the old-school ones, of course, but with the new I’d just craft whatever I had the stuff for (mainly for the echsp) and then smash down whatever I could find in my inventory whenever a fight seemed to be getting a bit tough.

          It was not an especially tactical nor strategic approach, I’ll admit! But then as you say it’s not a very complex system to manipulate, so slamming my fingers on its keys (as it were) seemed to mean operating it just fine.

  6. No. It does not look good. It VERY doesn’t. Say what you will about Skyrim, at least its aesthetic was unified. The lighting alone was miles ahead of this. This entire game has looked muddle, soft and buh-land.

    • Compared to Fallout 3? Are you kidding? There’s loads more color and variety in this. In fact, it’s one of the few things it has going for it. There’s also a lot more color and variety than in Skyrim. If the next Elder Scrolls game is made on this engine, perhaps that’ll change, but apart from areas that had loads of flowers, the towns were based on a similar aesthetic, there’s only so much you can do with trees, etc.

      • Incunabulum says:

        The main problem here (as the released shots of Skyrim Remastered show) is not the engine but the art choice to make the world nearly completely dead.

        So everything is brown. Though that does make the bits of color (from the pre-war stuff) stand out more, it makes the rest of the time kinda ugh.

        That’s why some of the earliest retexture mods turned the grass green and added leaves to the trees. Just those two changes make this game look a fethton better.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I will definitely agree about variety and colour but at the same time Skyrim had much better views. I don’t remember any particularly “wow” visual moments in Fallout 4 (the Prydwen is somewhat impressive but it enters in a voiced cutscene with all the bells and whistles) and I recall a few in Skyrim.

        • It’s hard to achieve, but The Glowing Sea had a few. Every so often, the clouds will lift a bit and you get a view of the landscape, which is pretty cool. Just for contrast, there’s the interior of the Institute. I also liked the vistas from on top of places like the Corvega plant.

          Skyrim had rivers/mountains, true, but what was a “OMG look at THAT!” moment?

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            I’m going to say the ruin/tomb you can see from the first village (if you follow the guided tour) looks pretty impressive and I remember thinking “can’t wait to go there”, admittedly it does appear early on when the initial rush is still fresh.. There are also some nice views down riverbanks and I remember that seeing a dragon perched in the distance on one of those lonely towers felt pretty great (though this does include a mob rather than just plain terrain features), some of the towns have fairly distinct looks that you can see from a distance (though the interiors are generally locked behind loading screens)…

            To be fair there are multiple factors here, Skyrim has a lot of mountains, waterfalls and cliffs that open opportunities of this kind while the Boston area is comparatively flat, Skyrim is also set in a fantasy land and not bound by reason or even physics of architecture (the Winterhold College for example) whereas FO4 needs to put more justification for extravagant locations and the architecture is more bound by the real life Boston. Skyrim was also purposefuly designed as a beautiful (if largely harsh) land and FO4 Commonwealth is recovering from being laid to waste by nuclear fire. Finally it’s probably to some extent a matter of personal preference, I don’t find urban ruins that aesthetically appealing overall.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            Skyrim had rivers/mountains, true, but what was a “OMG look at THAT!” moment?

            Did you ever find the giant underground cavern with 50-foot mushrooms and so on? That place was stunning and I explored every inch of it.

            Of course because it’s Skyrim, there was no content: no quests except a literal scavenger hunt for nirnroot, no NPCs, no treasure chests, just some random generic enemies scattered through the beautiful landscape.

    • Jokerman says:

      Vanilla Skyrim was boring as hell, just the whole thing being completely stale. Fallout 4 is far more interesting to look at for me.

      • tmtvl says:

        We need a third opinion…
        Oblivion looks very pretty as long as you don’t look at any NPCs.

      • Fair nuff. Personal preferences and all that. My point was that Skyrim is half a decade old and yet still holds up to a game released last year. I’d personally say it looks better and I’m not the only one who thinks that. FO4’s got texture resolutions that wouldn’t pass muster in a ps3 3rd person shooter. There are more than a few times this run where I’ve seen them look at an object and I wondered if the textured just hadn’t fully loaded in yet, but I’d see it again later and it’d be clear that nope, that’s how it’s supposed to look. Not small objects mind you, the nuka cola dispensers looks like they gotta tex res that was lower than the walls in Doom3. And it’s much lauded ‘color’ is only colorful when compared to the monochromatic FO3 and NV. Again, when put against its contemporaries, F04’s visuals are technically deficient, and aesthetically directionless and unengaging.

        • Incunabulum says:

          That’s one of the biggest disappointments here – the freaking game has *larger* textures. Most everything is at least 1 and 2k – but they don’t use any of that to put any *detail* in those textures.

          Look at the ghouls in the loading screen – the body is a single texture that looks like mud except for some red shading near mouth and eyes.

          For 256 and 512 textures, Skyrim is pretty good and even their ‘HD DLC’ which rarely goes to 1k resolution still looks more detailed than most anything in FO4. Animal fur looks like fur (from a distance) but doesn’t in FO4.

          I think the shift to PBR that was happening when they were developing this game hurt them bad. Too much time spent bringing artists up to speed on PBR leaving too little time to churn out and tweak textures.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So lore,how bout them killing jokes movie,Mumbles?

  8. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    “Nobody cares when you insult them.”

    I agree but I mean if I were Shakespeare guy and I’d been rescued from an army of Super Mutants I let myself be captured by, I’d tolerate that comment. Even if I thought I had a really good reason for risking capture, I’d be willing to put up with other people thinking I was an idiot for it, especially if they just risked their lives to save me. Its really not worth having that argument under these conditions.

    Now where its less defensible is when you tell the Brotherhood over and over again that they’re evil, their goals are stupid and their leader is a man-child and they promote you to Knight. Then you go on mouthing off to their faces and disobeying orders, even allowing a synth to live, which Elder Maxson directly witnesses you doing and they promote you to Paladin.

    I laugh every time Captain Kells tells me that they expect military discipline and that I’ll have to earn their respect. This is provably false.

    Side Note: I just played the Strong quest again and was wondering the same thing when my character said she’d keep her promise to Strong. I didn’t make a promise either. I freed Rex, we escaped, and then we had the dialog where I agreed to keep my promise.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I can think of one character who cares, slightly, if you insult him. WhatsHisName at Abernathy Farm, if you insult his farm and way of life, he just ends the conversation. Of course you can then start the conversation up again and have him send you on the Abernathy Farm quest at which point it all goes back on the rails and he’s happy to be helped.

      • Wide And Nerdy® says:

        You can even repeatedly make horrible comments to the ghoul leader of the ghoul farm about how all ghouls look and smell like corpses and all the guy says is “well we’re hoping that others don’t see it that way.”

      • Fists says:

        I have found exactly one event where people actually listen to and act on your response. Not sure if I should bother spoiler tagging but will just to be extra nice to that one guy that might care.

        When you first meet Father in The Institute, at the end of the conversation one of the options is “I want out”, that choice will immediately make you a permanent enemy of The Institute the same as attacking them or going through the Brotherhood quests. Contrasting strongly to every other factions open door policy this is the only thing I’ve found in the game which suggests Father isn’t the most stupid person in the entire world.

        • That’d carry more weight if other actions didn’t trigger the Institute going off and trying to murder you. Being caught reading Dr. Li’s terminal will suddenly make you Public Enemy #1 to anyone in a lab coat.

          • Fists says:

            That’s just the clumsy ownership mechanic though, pretty sure the other factions all do the same. There’s heaps of easy ways to choose sides through actions but this is the one place where you get to do it in dialogue.

        • Fists says:

          Apparently I’m bad at spoiler tags, oh well.

        • Wide And Nerdy® says:

          I saw that too and in this context that is a terrible idea.

          By the time the player gets to this point, you’ve already been in tons of dialog interactions where you can say things like “this sucks” or “you’re stupid” or “You’re all a bunch of horrible people” and everyone brushes it off.

          So when the player sees the “I want out” option, they’ve already been primed to expect that Father will dismiss your objections and try to persuade you to see things his way rather than kicking you out. What should be a good roleplaying option becomes a gotcha moment because the roleplaying elsewhere is done so badly.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Aye right. It’s quite weird that they decided to make Father the exception both to this rule and the invincibility one. It’s almost as if they wanted some token old-school-style character that they could point to if we were to complain that the game constrains our actions – which, to be fair, we do do.

            I just can’t quite decide whether picking Father for this role of token killable/insultable character speaks well of their risk-taking, or speaks poorly of the overall narrative. Oh well, it was fun blowing him away when he was halfway through a sentence…

    • potatoejenkins says:

      Well, you gotta give Bethesda some credit for equality.

      Nobody really cares when you insult them. Ever. The player character insults NPCs? Worst case, they laugh it off/ give you a quest. NPCs insult the PC? Best case, you might be able to outright murder them. Your companion insults someone*? Nobody cares. You as player might, but your character apparently doesn’t.

      Not beeing a ‘nice guy’ is NOT the way to play this game. Or a way to exist in the Fallout 4 universe. Everyone is nice. Or a raider. And/or with the Brotherhood.

      * Danse reaction to recruiting the Vault Tec Rep while beeing my companion. Holy sh*t batman! And I was not allowed to react to it in any way.

      On a sidenote, beeing allowed to tell the BoS that they are stupid and/or I disagree with some of their actions is one reason why I prefer them over the other factions.
      I may be able to utter some sort of concern when talking to people inside the Institute, but I have no option whatsoever when it comes to the Railroad. Whatever they do, however they do it, in the end I am only allowed to roll with it. Though that might be a simple matter of underdevelopment. It seems most people think the Institute is the worst in that regard, but my vote goes to the Railroad. Eh, going off topic.

      P.S.: Hi. I’m new. Fallout 4 is weird. It makes me feel weird. Like “I’m having fun when playing it but I also want to punch someone for some reason”-weird. I’ve also never yelled “Stop beeing stupid!?!” so much at a screen before. Sigh.

      • MrGuy says:

        Well, you gotta give Bethesda some credit for equality. Nobody really cares when you insult them. Ever.

        The other thing to keep in mind, of course, is that insult is only offered as an option specifically in cases where Bethesda allows it. So of course they can swing it so you only have the option when they’ve decided the NPC will shrug it off. They’ve engineered all the conversations where all roads lead to Rome.

        I’d guess a lot of that is just being consistent with their overall recent design philosophy of “never risk the player missing out.” If conversation choices “mattered,” then you might miss out on the quest/lore dump/etc. that the NPC is here to deliver by picking the “wrong” choice. So, of course, nothing you say can alter your relationship with the NPC. It’s just roleplay for rolepaying sake with no consequences and no payoff.

        It sometimes bugged the crap out of me at the time, but honestly sometimes I miss Paragrade so much. At least a renegade interrupt where you shoot a guy leads to a…different outcome.

        Actually, riffing slightly on that, if Bethesda wanted to make most conversations “safe” but still provide a few options that mattered, like potentially pissing off an NPC, they could use a similar system – most choices don’t matter, but the “risky” ones get special color codes to let you know “picking this one might have consequences.”

        • Wide And Nerdy® says:

          But they want you immersed in the story. When you escape the vault, in the early parts of the quest, all you can talk about is Shaun and your dead wife.

          But then you get to Diamond City and you can’t ask anybody about Kellogg until you get to Nick.

          So they engineer the dialog to have your character be invested in the story, until they need the story to conveniently go a certain way so they engineer your character to avoid obvious plot breaking decisions that they could have accounted for.

        • Munkki says:

          Edit: Holy rants, batman! Sorry about posting such a wall of text. It’s just – I have tried building these kind of games more than a few times, and it’s really complicated. Probably doesn’t help that I used bad to mediocre tools (No, really. MS Powerpoint is not the best vehicle for a role playing game) and was insanely ambitious (I mean that probably comes across from the MS Powerpoint thing).

          Well, here’s the thing though – your NPC interactions in this game do have consequences, just maybe not very deep ones. You do talk to them, hear their unique dialogue, hear your unique dialogue, get their quest, complete their quest and set them into a new state once you’re doing the quest and after you finish it, in addition to triggering any other effects of completing the quest. Also, some of their responses do vary depending on which dialogue option you choose.
          It’s not usually a properly branching interaction, but it’s taken more than zero effort to implement – all those lines still need to be written (and voiced, but that doesn’t eat into the writers’ time, so), and their effects scripted. In a linear conversation like most of the ones in Fallout 4 and Skyrim, the scripted effects are probably going to be relatively simple.

          Now. If you want to add one small branch (let’s make it a really easy branch, like saying ‘Maybe later’ to a quest giver and leaving with the option of hearing their dialog again in future) then you add another state the NPC/quest can be in, and you add another few lines of dialogue that need to be written. So far this is still pretty manageable, and only a small amount of extra effort – but in a game with as many characters as Fallout 4 it can still add up to a significant increase in the overall amount of work for scripters and writers. And it’s still not a really interesting consequence – all you’re saying is you’ll come back later and resume the conversation you were having before.

          So we try something with a bit more meaning – give the player the ability to insult characters in conversation, changing their attitude and responses in future interactions. For this we not only need to add one more state to track on this NPC – are they insulted or not – but also account for its interactions with with other states the NPC can have and its effects on the outcomes of the dialogue tied to those. So every existing state now needs a new set of dialogue options and scripts to fire off when an NPC is insulted, and the more of a noticeable effect you want insults to have, the closer this option comes to doubling your scripters’ and writers’ workload for NPCs that have it. Every other big, important decision you can make that affects the world state and NPCs’ reaction to it adds to that multiplier for the affected NPCs, and if you’re not careful you can end up creating interactions between these states that actually start causing exponential increases in the complexity of the system you’re building. What if a character can be simultaneously insulted and afraid, and in awe of the PC’s defeat of Gorgotron the Indolent, and tempted by the PC’s offer of a bribe for more useful information? That’s 16 different combinations to figure out. Even if some of them can be overridden by others, that’s still 16 different possibilities you’ve got to step through and figure out what should be happening, and then possibly write dialogue and scripting for. Even if you’re lucky and it only ends up taking four times as long because most of those outcomes aren’t worth worrying about or can be mostly merged with another, that’s still a very large increase in your workload.

          There are ways around this, of course;
          – Morrowind has all but a few lines of its dialogue stored in one massive database that is accessed by all NPCs who apply a set of filters to it based on tags and conditions checked by each piece of dialogue, allowing for new NPCs to be created, tagged with faction, personality and any other options the designers want and be automatically assigned appropriate dialog. This lets the entire world respond to potentially every single one of the player’s actions, because the entire world is drawing from the same bank of dialogue. It’s both as awesomely responsive and as eerily homogenous as it sounds.
          Also the in-game interface for it is hyperlinked textboxes, because once upon a time that was an accepted means of conveying character interactions.
          – Fallout 1 gives you a bunch of different options and outcomes for dealing with people, and also does a great job of hiding just how small the game world really is and how few people you can interact with in it. It also separates its content pretty heavily, having each location and scene mostly self-contained in terms of its impact on other parts of the game – which works because the intervening space is shown as desolate wasteland and people from one town really have no reliable way to know what’s happening in the next.
          – Pillars of Eternity (because New Vegas) gives you a lot of options for deciding the fate of people and things and your opinion about them, but also boils half of the decisions you make down into some different items and a pool of points that can be used to trigger a few extra dialogue options. It again separates its content in such a way that most of the rest of your choices will usually only affect one NPC and possibly an ending card. It can do this because the writing is good (and sometimes great) and your party members’ stories and the main plot throw out new developments often enough that it ties everything else together.
          – Fallout New Vegas – apart from being dark, dark magic (and hence saved for last) – uses the idea that you can fail, decline and otherwise lock yourself out of quests and content to trim down the number of permutations possible in the game state and allow quests, factions and characters to be way better connected than should otherwise be possible. I suspect that if you got a big chart and plotted out every possible game state, you’d end up with a few long trees that manage to branch into one another, rather than a lot of smaller ones.

          So I think it’s pretty much what Rutskarn was talking about in his Elder Scrolls series – this particular game is about exploration with a side of player empowerment, and the designers have decided that hiding or repeating content is the exact opposite of what the game stands for, and thus went for a system that’s a bit broken sometimes but mostly fits with the game they were trying to make. Because someone’s got to write and implement all the dialogue you get in a game, so there are tradeoffs between NPC depth, complexity, individuality and population.
          Also it’s Bethesda, the same studio that created the dialogue database in Morrowind, the social minigame in Oblivion, and the – encounters that Rutskarn has covered in Battlespire. Weird experiments with NPC interaction just seem to be part of their *thing*.

          • Decius says:

            New Vegas managed to always “fail forward”, in that whichever outcome you earned resolved the quest and had an insignificant but nonzero effect on the main plot line, but basically no nonlocal effects.

          • potatoejenkins says:

            Wow, so … I had to type this twice because the internet ate the first one. Thanks internet. I hope its still coherent.

            ————————————————

            The problem I have with the current system is not missing complexity and depth. In fact, I believe the affinity system in Fallout 4 is too complex. Unnecessarily so.
            Also, throw away NPCs do not need a disposition to the player character. The only thing I’m asking for is for them not to smile and ask if I would please kill ghouls on the other side of the map after I told them their daughter deserved to rot and eating their cat. Let me miss out on that one settlement, please. There are enough around.

            I will keep to and compare two companion affinity systems, because those are the ones I (once) care(d) most and know most about (which isn’t much, I know shit about coding). I’m also new to the Fallout/Elder Scrolls universe as an active player. I only know Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 3, parts of ….. that non canon Brotherhood thingy and the ‘must know’ Elder Scrolls incarnations (I knew about the existence of Dawnstar! Ha!) through others/let’s plays/wikias.

            Onwards then:

            Dragon Ages affinity system, no matter which incarnation, used the dialogue system to rate companion disposition towards the player. Dialogue happened, player chose answer/action, points were distributed:
            Player chose answer A: Morrigan hated that (Morrigan affinity -15)
            Player chose answer B: Alistair hated that (Alistair affinity -15, also Morrigan liked that; Morrigan affinity +15).

            While maybe not as simple in code, it’s still a very logical and engaging system. The player reacts to the world (in form of dialogue as a very controlable environment) and the companions react to very specific answer and actions the player chooses, which boil down to A, B or C. No branching. Just browny points.
            In short, everybody reacts to the world and the story. The player character through the player, the companions through the player character. Reaching a point threshhold unlocks another branch of dialogue. A fine reward, if you ask me. And a logical one. I spend a lot of time with Person A, now they want to talk with me some more.
            After your tenth playthrough you can game the system, but hey, it’s your tenth playthrough. Or you looked up the dialogue online.

            Now Fallout 4:
            Companion affinity can be raised via few dialogue options (good!) and accepting or completing quests. This is not much different from Dragon Age: A, B, C; The player character reacts to the world through the player, the companions react to the world through the player character.
            Connection, unity, wonderful! Though you can never really talk much with your companions except when reaching the magical three affinity threshholds. And then most of them only want to talk about you or a specific problem they have and not about the world around them. Exposition is for terminals.
            You can bang them if you want. The companions, not the terminals (though nobody will react to the latter in any way so … go wild, I guess?).

            Now here is where it gets … weird? Affinity also factors in how you play.
            Kill an enemy a certain way (McCready likes headshots), pick a lock, do drugs, some companions like that, some don’t.
            Instead of talking with Hancock and agreeing to huff some Jet together some time, because you like drugs, dialogue gets replaced with gameplay evaluation. You can grind affinity like exp. The only difference is, affinity gets a cool down (extra code there, no?).
            Other problems include Piper loving you and thinking you are the sexiest most goodnatured dude/dudette in the whole Wasteland because … you picked some locks? You tend to eat your settlers too, but hey, there are still prewar toothbrushes laying around everywhere.
            You are a proud member and upholder of the BoS code. You tell everyone you hate synth on every possible opportunity. And you are good at hacking. Guess who loves you now?

            It’s needlessly complicated, has nothing to do with the world and your interactions with and/or in it. Even worse: Companions interaction with and their opinion of you often contradict everything they stand for.

            But hey, I’ve got another one: It seems that simply beeing your active companion raises affinity. Slowly and without notification (like a lot of actions btw), but it does. Recruit someone, go somewhere safe, leave the PC/Console, win.

            Instead of spending time coding all this fancy ifs and buts and hows with cool downs and exceptions, constantly evaluating how I play the game, calling on dozens of scripts, could we not pretty please stick to the simple “if player picks solution/answer X, character Y gets Z ‘I like you’ points and rewards you with more dialogue”? You know, the RPG thing.

            Voice acting takes time, money and has to be implemented via code, flags, scripts and whatnot as well. But is coding an experimental monster really that much easier and safer? FO4 has apparently already a Balrog hidden underneath the settlement system. Why spawn more?

            Ugh. Long post. Hope it made sense. Tired now.

        • potatoejenkins says:

          Except the roleplaying is only allowed to happen in your head while simultaneously dodging contradicting plot points without missing out on the coherent and/or interesting stuff. Which is usually hidden away because Bethesda does not seem to know when to be subtle and when to directly tell the player what they mean or what they want you to know.

          Playing Fallout 4 AND caring is actually pretty damn exhausting.

          Regarding Renegade interrupts I’ll just post what happens in the scene I spoilered:
          If you meet the Vault Tec Rep and recruit him, Danse, with a face oozing disgust and disregart for said ghoul will chime in and say: “This thing should not be allowed to live anywhere, it should be put out of it’s misery.”
          This ends the dialogue. He has the last word. With this. Your character says nothing. The ghoul says nothing. The scene is over, the NPC walks away and everything is like it was before. Well, you get a merchant.
          How detached from storytelling in general has a writer to be to think noone would want to react to this in any kind of way? Not to mention that you can not really discuss ghouls or synth with anyone in any kind of way. As we have seen, asking Daisy about beeing a ghoul only leads to telling her you are just as old. Or not. Because that’s the only thing someone who has not the slightest clue how this new world works would want to talk about. That and SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAUN!!!!!!*

          *Who is mysteriously absent from any dialogue options as soon as you have reached the Institute btw. Because the head of the organisation everybody hates and fears beeing your son, or the child you thought beeing Shaun beeing a synth would be of no interest to anybody. Not even to the Sole Survivor itself it seems. Until you want to blow up the facility. Suddenly, for a very brief moment, everybody cares again.

          Edit: The “risky” ones are indeed coloured. Aside from very few quests (Comparing factions most of them in the Brotherhood questline.) the risk usually only involves not getting paid more or not getting laid. You can do drugs though, that always helps.
          Funny enough, sometimes failing those speech checks leads to far superior dialogue options. The quest ‘Blind Betrayal’ has one of those. Fail all speech checks with Maxson in the beginning and suddenly the Sole Survivor has a sound and reasonable answer.

          @Munkki
          You posted while I was replying so … I guess I need another moment. Or two.

        • Incunabulum says:

          The thing that is bugging me about their ‘can’t let the player miss out on content’ is that that would have been an entirely appropriate stance to take in . . . 2002, with Morrowind. Back when games still had printed manuals and not wikis and forums.

          Nowadays, the people who believe that such things as ‘good endings’ exist are perfectly free to look up a walkthrough to get that. Its what they’re doing anyway. None of those people played FO4 without constant reloading and wiki-walking to make sure they made ‘the right choice’ at every step of the way.

  9. James Porter says:

    Eh, I don’t think this game is ugly, I am pretty sure its the closest Bethesda game to have a cohesive artstyle, and there are tons of little details put into the world and its creatures that actaully do make the world feel more cohesive. I really like how when you are shooting robots, they slowly fall apart, giving it that Terminator vibe that actually can make even silly robots intimidating. I think I will go out on a limb and say that Fallout 4’s design of Power Armor is probably my favorite too.

    Mumbles also pointed out the environments use of strong primary colors on pre-war ruins. I think that is a decision that actually solves a ton of problems. One it makes the world less samey, as you can see the personality of what this place use to be like. It also is a visual method of evoking that pre-war nostalgia, which can be poignant at times.

    So I think I am alright in saying its a pretty game. I don’t have that powerful of a PC anyway, so the fact I feel that good about this style when it’s turned down on my machine, makes me think people who complain more are the types who want more pretty pixels.

    • Wide And Nerdy® says:

      These are also hands down the best faces that they’ve ever had in a game. Not only in terms of just generally not looking ugly but also having actual design and character.

      Its a little mixed. I think they had a few different artists doing the faces and one of them was going for an almost Dishonored style of caricature while the others were just going more for straight realism. It really struck me first when I saw the sales guy right at the beginning. His face didn’t look like anything I’d ever expect to see in an engine that allows player face customization.

      Ironically, this has the effect of making the settlers feel that much more generic since they’re clearly created using a limited set of randomized values run through the character creator. In the past, you could tell the important characters because they had names, now you can tell by the faces.

      • James Porter says:

        True, but conservation of detail is a thing. It makes sense to me that settlers would look more generic and that named NPC’s with quests would have a bit more effort put into them. I don’t usually mind since settlers arn’t all that interesting, and the game lets you create personality by giving them certain equipment.

        The Vault Tec Salesman is kinda weird to me. I’ve seen the concept art of him, and he doesn’t even really look like that either. I hear people say he kind of looks like Tod Howard, but besides the nose I don’t really see it.

        I could probably buy that different artist made different faces though. I can’t think of any particularly weird examples of my own, but I appreciate that all of the major characters of the game actually look like they have personality, even Preston, who actually doesn’t!

        • MrGuy says:

          True, but conservation of detail is a thing. It makes sense to me that settlers would look more generic and that named NPC’s with quests would have a bit more effort put into them.

          That doesn’t actually make sense to me, at least in modern games where the NPC’s are animated live by the engine, and we have a universe of sliders that allow for fantastic facial variety. If you’re rendering faces through the engine, it’s not appreciably harder to roll up a random set of NPC’s than to make them all look alike clones of the same guy.

          Granted, “named” NPC’s would be more DESIGNED – they’d be carefully crafted to have a specific look. But why not randomize the mooks a little? There’s no reason they have to look alike.

    • Christopher says:

      I think it looks pretty in these videos(and in particular, the examples you mention), but honestly I haven’t played a lot of other current games to compare it to. I could see an argument for just the setting meaning it’s never gonna look that great, what with all the trash and ruins and monster people everywhere.

      This town looks nowhere near as Good as Diamond City so far, anyway. Flat and boring and with colored lights instead of colored environments.

      • James Porter says:

        Yeah, Goodneighbor while being a bit more fun with quests and jokes, is not as well laid out as Diamond City was. I think they had an idea of “Back alley Gangsters” so they made their town nothing but alleys. That makes it so there are fewer sights to see, and there isn’t an interesting way to light the area.

        I like Handcock’s building in the center of it all, if you didn’t have to load everytime I would totally buy that you are suppose to walk through it where he can keep a close I on people. Also each individual place is interesting in its own right. But man, the Memory Den and the hotel are just right next to each other, it feels super flat.

        And the kicker is, my computer hates Goodneighbor. I don’t have the most powerful machine, but something about loading too and from densely packed Boston streets to the town locks my computer up 10 times more than any other area. Which sucks since I’m playing on Survival and can’t save.

        • Wide And Nerdy® says:

          I guess thats why it looks different than the demo. They must have had to delete stuff to hit their performance target.

          I remember that demo footage they’re talking about. It didn’t even occur to me that it was Goodneighbor. I thought it was Diamond City (especially since Nick lives there, although the game clearly shows that Nick knows a lot of people in Goodneighbor, who he’ll talk to if you take him with you there.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The game is pretty as long as you dont talk to anyone.But the second one of them opens their mouths its recognizably bethesda.

    • Baron Tanks says:

      I agree it’s a pretty game and the colours make it feel vibrant and alive. Whether this is appropriate for the setting is up to your own interpretation. But at least it doesn’t wear you out the way the colour filter used to.

  10. Coming_Second says:

    Speaking of wretched screens of green ruining everything…

  11. Christopher says:

    You wake up after two hundred years to discover that not only did the whole world explode, your spouse is undead and has been married to another person for the last century

    And I thought the story that was already here was kind of a bummer.

  12. Henson says:

    Oh wow. Okay, this game just did something amazing.

    So in games with dialogue choices, we all accept the convention that when the dialogue choices are on screen and we’re mulling over which one to pick, the gameworld (or at least the person we’re talking with) is essentially paused in time; the camera is focused on the player character to highlight the person that everything is waiting on. But in the beginning of this episode, while Cuftbert was in a dialogue choice and the camera was focused on his face, the camera cut over to Strong where he says “Why are you silent?” The game has just let us know that in every instance where we are making a dialogue choice, Cuftbert is actually standing there, staring at the person across from him, the seconds ticking away, giving the silent treatment. I wonder how all the people of the Commonwealth react to this.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Did you miss the part where Kellogg desperately tried to make overtures and break ten minutes of dead air while Cuftbert stared vacantly, obdurately past him, occasionally shifting the weight of his nuclear catapult?

    • Philadelphus says:

      I wonder how all the people of the Commonwealth react to this.

      They pretty much don’t, apparently, apart from reciting a few canned lines every so often while you wait.

      Which actually makes it kind of an immersion-breaker for me. Just like the stage hands in Kabuki theater (whose costumes inspired the modern idea of ninja) are visible but meant to be ignored by the audience, the pauses are assumed to not actually happen in-game, it’s just a convention to give you time to think over your answer. Having someone in the game world prodding you repeatedly instantly breaks that convention and makes you realize you’ve apparently been standing around silent for two minutes because you got up to get a drink IRL. And yet the person you’re talking with doesn’t get bored and wander off, start getting annoyed because they think you’re giving them the silent treatment, or get worried that you’re having a stroke or anything; like proper submissive NPCs they’ll continue to wait for you to resume the conversation forever while helpfully reminding you of their presence every so often.

  13. Khazidhea says:

    I haven’t watched this episode yet, but as Spoiler Warning was the reason I ended up giving Fallout 4 another go (for better or for worse), and as I’ve just completed my playthrough I thought I’d list some of my thoughts/experiences. I don’t think I’ll add anything new to the discussion, and sorry for going on long, but after playing this for months I just wanted to say something, especially to an audience who knows what I’m on about.

    First of all I picked up the game at the end of last year, and pushed on until about 500m after leaving the vault before deciding I’d had enough of this, and had other games in my to play list I’d prefer to be playing. Even when SW started the current series I couldn’t really see myself getting back to playing it as it lacked the things I typically look for in a game (story, good characters/dialogue, sense), but I was looking for a more actiony game before starting another RPG, and after a handful of episodes a comment from Shamus about his goal in the game being to collect the magazines was enough for me to decide to give that a try.

    I don’t think I’d even booted up the game again before looking into what mods were out there, figuring that the modding community would’ve had time to address most areas needing improvement. I probably installed 30-40 mods initially, so I have no idea what the vanilla game looks like. These include essential fixes, such as the spelling of aluminium, lowered weapons, map markers to all bobbleheads and magazines, and improving the dialogue menu, along with many cosmetic ones from hairstyles to environment changes. Added to these later were improvements to how Cait looks (I never put points into lockpick), and changing the idiot savant sound/image. Towards the end of the game I added a respec mod, and a companion affinity mod to try some other content as I’d be unlikely to play the game again.

    I did a little build research to identify if some stats were more useful than expected (luck) or largely useless (charisma). I started playing a stealth/sniper/melee build but largely dropped the sniper aspect as I enjoyed the melee style play (what Josh has ended up with). After 80 hours this felt overwhelmingly broken, oneshotting even the most powerful enemies, but I didn’t want to change my choice of playstyle to fix Bethesda’s design.

    I wouldn’t have played the game if I hadn’t been prewarned about FO4’s strengths and weaknesses. I actually quite enjoyed my game as environmental storytelling seems to be Bethesda’s strong point. I wandered around, never knowing what would come next, and encountered most places without context. One moment I’m in the sewers reading notes from a serial killer, the next I’m on a crashed ship on top of a building, or diving into a pool at the end of a haunted mine to find a cool new sword, or dressing up as a vigilante/super hero, or finding a school filled with ghouls and some pink goo as the only food substance. It always seemed odd seeing places like fort hagan on Spoiler Warning, as I never new it was part of any story, to me it was just a building full of terminators. The lack of detail never failed to produce a better result from my conjecture compared to finding out later the actual reason chosen by the story.

    Mine was a largely dialogue free playthrough and I can’t imagine playing any other way now. I unlocked the first Minuteman settlement before not touching any faction related content again until the end, and largely avoided the in game quests for the most part. I did resent that some of the main quest (bobblehead collecting) was gated behind irrelevant side quest progression (finding Shaun). On that note if it wasn’t for SW I would’ve had no idea who this Shaun character was or why he was important.

    The above mentioned 80 hours was the point I should’ve finished the game, as that was when I’d finished all my collectable collecting, yet I played for another 10 hours. I mistakenly thought I should give the factions and the main story a chance, but this actually detracted from the overall experience. Not only was a lot of this exponentially more nonsensical than any sidequest I had found, they on the whole just weren’t fun. The more of this I slogged through the more jaded I was with the game, which led to my character being completely antagonistic in her responses to all the factions, but, as the SW cast have made quite clear, no matter what you choose all dialogue paths lead to the same point (or you just walk away completely). Added to this was the forced end game stuff, particularly that you had to choose a faction and wipe out all other factions. Where’s the role playing or player agency in that??

    After forcing the big ticket items on the player at the beginning of the game where they make no sense, I never used the power armour ever again, and deathclaws were no longer novel or interesting, no longer worth caring or getting excited about, when they did occasionally show up.

    Having played ‘further’ the true end for the game, for me, would be to close the game after finishing up in my cosy little corner of the Red Rocket Truckstop, going to sleep next to my Bobblehead display, surrounded by shelves and racks of magazines, dreaming of further places to explore, being content with my small role in life and not needing to get involved with anyone beyond a few close companions and the occasional visit to the occasional shop for supplies.

  14. Ciennas says:

    I’m not sure where to bring this up, but something’s seriously bothering me about the Brotherhood of Steel.

    What the fuck are these clowns doing in the Commonwealth?

    One of the ‘Arrow in the knee’ lines BOS characters bring up a lot is…

    “If you think the Commonwealth is bad, you should see the Capitol Wasteland.”

    Which implies that after a decade of being the indisputable masters of DC, and if nothing else finding the resources and time to build the Prydwyn and the Vertibirds, never mind all the T-60s and the swanky new uniforms and all, they still haven’t finished creating a semblance of order back home.

    What the fucking hell are these dudes bringing their flagship and commander and this entire fucking armada 450 miles from home?

    The only thing I can think of is that they were forcibly kicked out after they started abusing their little feifdom.

    Seriously, a scouting party, a regiment. Alrighty. Just like the NCR with better tech support. That behemoth?

    Now to be fair: It is totally a cool idea. It is just very much a nonsensical one, especially in light of how they haven’t even made their home fortress safe.

    • Considering that the only two people with any sort of relatability in the Eastern BoS died during the year Fallout 3 ended, they probably WERE kicked out. :P

    • I recently reviewed the BoS story, and Fallout 4 really trash-talks Elder Lyons as having made the Brotherhood weak. Elder Maxon apparently whipped them into shape, got rid of the whole “help the wastelanders” angle and concentrated on securing technology that was out of control, or destroying it if it threatened the world. He gives a speech about how synths would probably decide they didn’t need humans, they can make more of themselves, and they’re capable of overwhelming humanity and wiping it out.

      • Pax says:

        Man I wish Maxson turned out to be a synth. That’d be soo goood.

        • I wish who was or wasn’t a Synth depended on some player choices in a few cases. Kind of like how you can choose if you’re the reincarnated hero-being in Morrowind, being able to choose your own fate (YOU could be a Synth) with resulting perks/faction relationships as well as perhaps the fates of others by either investigating their Synth-ness or basically telling the game “I want that person to be a Synth” and having things develop from there.

          Yes, I know, this is Bethesda we’re talking about, so it’d never happen, but why not dream?

          Do Synths dream of poorly-scripted sheep?

          • IFS says:

            I remember how the first Kingdom Hearts game asked the player a bunch of questions at the beginning and depending on your answers tweaked the difficulty of the game in certain ways (Kingdom Hearts is weird). It would be interesting if FO4 did something similar where it gave the player some sort of exam (maybe a personality test before leaving the vault or something) that then determined which iteration of the game world you got and certain characters would or wouldn’t be synths depending on that. That way it’d be in some control of the player (not that it would make any sense) and would allow for some diversity among repeat playthroughs. Alternately you could just make the world iteration random, but that might annoy players looking for a specific version of the game world (then again I guess that’s what mods are for).

            Of course I have no idea how difficult that would be to implement, or if it’d even be a good idea to begin with. Certainly modern Bethesda would never try something like that as it’d go against their philosophy of ‘the player must be able to do/see everything on one character’.

          • potatoejenkins says:

            Yeah. Remember beeing able to use V.A.T.S before getting the Pip-boy in Vault 111? That was strange.

            It’s nothing more than an oversight now, but it sure would have been a handy way to terminate the player character and streamline all the different endings into a simple: PC turned out to be a synth, lost all influence and went into hiding.

            Player led the Minutemen? Player had to step down since the Commonwealth wasn’t yet ready for a Synth leader. Did the Minutemen recover from it? Bethesda decides.

            Player was a high member of the BoS? Brotherhood crumbled after another Synth was discovered within their ranks. Did they recover? Bethesda decides.

            Player was a high ranking member of the Railroad? Player continues undercover operations. Nobody has heard from them. Does that have any influence on the Railroad? Bethesda decides.

            Player was named head of the Institute. The fuckers knew all along. Drawing a blank here. I don’t like the Institute.

            Not all your companions may have stayed loyal. A few of them only because you did their loyalty quest … eh …. different game altogether.

            • Somebody says:

              The player in the previous games two games had Pipboy HUD too, and they were human. I wish there was a mod that turned off the HUD before the player acquired the Pipboy, but it would show up once you got it.

  15. Tuck says:

    Speaking as someone who hasn’t played the game and has no plans to, yes, this is a very pretty game! Not quite up with Witcher 3, in my opinion, but the prettiness is one reason why I keep watching this season of Spoiler Warning…so it must be good.

  16. potatoejenkins says:

    Strong has no companion quest. He is the obligatory ‘neutral’ companion and a running gag. And annoying. That’s all there is to his character and his story.

    Raising his affinity only makes him think of you as his new leader. The ‘you have reached enough sympathy points’ dialogue is not bad. It just leads nowhere.

    Oh, and he likes helping settlements, fighting strong enemies and building. So every character, however aligned, is able to get his companion perk.

    There is no reasons whatsoever for this character to exist in the first place. Which is very sad, I think he had great potential. What would have happened if he’d figured out the ‘milk of human kindness’ is neither milk nor something that makes you physically stronger when you drink it? Betrayal? Enlightenment? Some kind of emotion other than annoyance over a picked lock?
    But that would mean he would no longer be a running joke. … , get it? Because he is running around with you. And he is dumb. Because Super Mutants are dumb. It’s so funny.

  17. I disagree with Rutskarn that Fallout New Vegas’ super mutants didn’t look more like Fallout 1 and 2. Compare Marcus and Mean Sonofabitch. They both use elements from the first two games. They aren’t shiny and slimy-looking. The Nightkin draw on their previous iterations as well. The only thing they seem to share with FO3’s mutants is the skeleton, which they were probably stuck with.

  18. MichaelGC says:

    So why is it called ‘Reginald’s Suit’? The best the internet seems to be able to do is that it’s a reference to Scribe Rothchild, which just raises the question of why anyone would be referencing Scribe bloody Rothchild.

    If the player character is a woman I gather you get ‘Agatha’s Dress’ instead. Whilst the Agatha from Fallout 3 is perhaps more inherently referenceable, I’m not seeing any connexion beyond the name. Is there a radio show or something featuring a Reginald & an Agatha?

  19. Whenever I hear “milk of human kindness” (especially when said by strong) my mind often goes down the dirty road “Um Strong, some may call it milk but…”

    Also according to the Shakesperian quote that Strong seems to like so much http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/milk-human-kindness
    “To Lady Macbeth, the “milk of human kindness” is distasteful stuff”
    Wait, what type of milk where we talking about again?

  20. Regarding the issue with the “towns” in Fallout 4 seeming “small” or simple. It’s the same issue BioWare had with Mass Effect.
    You can’t properly populate a town (or citadel in the case of Mass Effect) without a lot of time/money. And if not optimized properly it could make most CPU kneel I’m sure.

    • And to Bethesda’s credit, they’re really good at making small areas seem big. It took seeing modded areas in Fallout 3 and New Vegas to tell that there’s more to it than just arranging the furniture. They use the environment to hide things, require you to take a non-linear path to get around stuff, and otherwise make it “inconvenient” so it seems like you’re trekking across a vast distance.

  21. Grudgeal says:

    For a 270-year old, Daisy has amazing teeth. I wonder if her teeth are radioactive too, keeping the bacteria off or somesuch.

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