Mumbles pointed out that she’s logged more hours in Fallout 4 than New Vegas. Same with me. It’s interesting because we’ve both spent the last 33 episodes crapping on Fallout 4 and comparing it unfavorably to New Vegas.
I knew I’d played more Fallout 4 than News Vegas, but I was still shocked when I looked up the numbers. (174 for New Vegas vs. 600+ for Fallout 4.) There are a few reasons for this:
- I never got into the New Vegas modding scene, which is small compared to the massive flood of Fallout 4 mods out there. A lot of my time with the game was spent mod-browsing.
- For me, New Vegas was far more unstable than Fallout 4. I know some people have reported the opposite, but that’s my experience. Fallout 4 is still buggy as hell, but most of the bugs manifest as hilarious physics, animation, or AI freak-outs rather than frustrating crashes to desktop. The instability of New Vegas probably drove me away from the game before I’d really seen everything I wanted.
- Back in 2013 I got an upgraded computer with 16GB of memory. This means I can now alt-tab in and out of games for free, which wasn’t possible back in 2010 when I was playing New Vegas. So these days my “hours played” numbers on Steam tend to be inflated by the time I spend writing columns and reading comments while the game is idle in the background.
But I think the biggest reason I’ve clocked so many more hours in FO4 than NV is that I play the two games very differently. When I’m playing New Vegas, I’m usually interacting with the structured content like having dialog or doing quests. In Fallout 4, I spend my time doing everything I can to avoid the structured content, because it’s awful. So I do free-form stuff like building bases, exploring aimlessly, and obsessively searching for “treasure”. And judged on those merits, Fallout 4 really does have better unstructured content.
If you’re curious, I’ve got 1,100 hours in Skyrim. (Again, greatly inflated by Alt-Tab time and also by the ridiculous amount of time I put into playing mods.) I bought Fallout 3 on disk instead of Steam, so I don’t have numbers for hours played for that one.
Of course my dream game would have New Vegas quality structured content and Fallout 4 quality unstructured content, but I’d rather have some decent QA testing more than either of those things.
Care to share your hours played for Bethesda games? I’m curious to see the results.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.