Experienced Points: The Fallout 4 Intro Is A Mess

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 16, 2015

Filed under: Column 162 comments

My column this week is on the completely patronizing intro for Fallout 4. It doesn’t talk about anything we haven’t already seen in a trailer, it should be safe to read even for the spoiler-shy.

A more complete (and spoiler-heavy) overview of the intro follows:

At the start of the game, you’re cryogenically frozen in a vault, just as the bombs fall.

  1. You’re awakened just long enough to see a Bad Guy come in, steal your baby from another cryo-pod, and kill your spouse. This stuff is about as perfunctory as it can get.
  2. You wake up again sometime later, exit the vault, and run back to town where you meet your pre-war robo-butler, who has been hanging around the house unmolested for 200 years. Your new voiced character has very little to say about these events.
  3. You walk 100 yards and bump into dogmeat who instantly joins your party.
  4. You walk 200 yards and bump into the raiders attacking Preston Garvey.
  5. After killing the raiders, Preston instantly decides you’re such an awesome friend that he’s going to let you pilot the power armor they’ve found.
  6. Once you’ve killed the second wave of raiders, a deathclaw shows up.

So now you’re level 3 and wearing power armor and fighting a deathclaw and you have dogmeat and you have several new super-nice friends. (And a couple of grouchy but harmless friends.) You’re on a shallow and completely rote revenge plot that really overestimates how much the typical player is going to care about their spouse. It feels like the game is in a desperate hurry to check all the Fallout tropes off the checklist, except the tone is all over the place and most of it feels off.

In the column I suggest that the opening is just there for press demos and trailer fodder. It occurs to me now that it might also be an over-reaction to the stiff, tedious, and overlong opening of Fallout 3. And to be fair, despite all my gripes with the Fallout 4 opening, I’ll admit it’s still better than Fallout 3.


From The Archives:

162 thoughts on “Experienced Points: The Fallout 4 Intro Is A Mess

  1. Will says:

    The phrase “intro” keeps confusing me, because I think of the intro as everything up to five seconds after you step out of the vault for the first time””and I actually like it. It’s interesting, to the point, gives you a neat view of the world and (since your character isn’t a blank slate like in other Bethesda games) your characters background and motivation.

    And then you walk down the hill and everything goes to shit. Concord in particular is, yeah, really bad. But everything up until then I think is done pretty well.

    1. Zombie says:

      I like it because now you have a character that, like you, actually knows what things were used for back before the war. Like, the one dude in Diamond City who says that baseball was all about hitting people over the head with bats, you can tell him that’s not true. Its kinda fun.

      Its also fun to drop the “Yeah, I’m 200 years old” bomb on people. Some of the reactions are priceless.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Like, the one dude in Diamond City who says that baseball was all about hitting people over the head with bats, you can tell him that's not true.

        Its not?!Shit,Ive been using my baseball bat wrong this whole time.

        1. Fulbert says:

          The funny thing is, – and forgive me for going offtopic, – baseball is not very popular in my country (Russia). As far as I know, there is only one baseball stadium in the whole country, built by the Japanese as a gift to the Moscow State University. There might be some amateur teams here but I seriously doubt there’s any kind of a professional league. Most people here regard baseball the way you might regard sumo – some foreign sports and a part of a national stereotype.

          And yet, there are baseball bats sold in every major sports equipment store.

          And yet again, no baseballs or catcher gloves or any other kind of baseball equipment.

          Makes you wonder what people buy those bats and what games they play.

          1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

            I wonder if it has to do with weapons permits.

            When I was working in pizza delivery my boss said we’re not permitted to keep weapons in the car. Then he pulled out a big old heavy flashlight and said “this is a flashlight”.

            1. Orillion says:

              Your boss should have jumped at the chance: “You ever played Doom 3?”

            2. Peter H. Coffin says:

              Most places don’t even carry the 4- and 6-D cell MagLights anymore for that reason. Some court seems to have ruled that 3-D cells is small enough to stay “flashlight” and not “weapon”. (They are kind of silly, the 6-cell ones. Barely brighter than 3-cell, and easily twice as much to carry around. 4 lbs of flashlight, those (1500g).)

              1. guy says:

                Police like them because they don’t need a separate baton.

                1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                  Are they really trained to carry gun and flashlight Jack Bauer style (crossed hands with flashlight held dagger style)?

                  1. blue painted says:

                    Two “style” there :)

                    1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                      I want to get on your case for being nitpicky but that now that you’ve pointed it out, it does bug me. Grrr.

                  2. Andy says:

                    No. Cops usually carry a Mag-Lite by the bright end, at head level – the battery-full part extends back over the shoulder. That way the guy you’re looking at can’t stare back at you, and it’s a simple wrist flick away from being a bludgeoning weapon. (You can also tilt your head to the side to pin it in place for both hands free, if you’re so inclined.)

      2. Lupinzar says:

        I’ve been avoiding the main quest and Diamond City and foreknowledge of the world before the war is mostly absent in a lot of the other quest lines and conversations, at least from what I’ve seen so far. When I’m exploring the waste land I don’t really feel any different than the F1 or F3 vault dweller.

  2. Attercap says:

    Compared to the Fallout 3 and Skyrim intro, this wasn’t bad. Especially since, in my playthrough, I skipped the power armor and did what I tend to do in games that allow stealth… snipe everything and run and hide. In the end, the raiders finished off the deathclaw for me.

    1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

      Heck even in power armor I had to hit and run the Deathclaw in Lexington. That was tense.

      They’re actually much more fun to fight in power armor later when they can’t one shot kill you. They’ll pin you on the ground or grab you and body slam you. Its not just two people pressed against each other swiping awkwardly. Really thats another reason why Shamus is right. They should have waited till you could experience that.

      Some of the fights in this game have some real physicality to them. Same with the armor itself. Gotta love the Jet Pack once you can get that.

      1. Attercap says:

        I’ve barely used the power armor. I keep collecting them to store at settlements for defense, but power armor just goes against my preferred playstyle. …Unless I find a set of stealth power armor. I’d use that.

        1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          What I like is it lets you go heavy on crafting if you want to. You may be weak with normal guns but thats ok because you’ve pumped up your power armor and your fusion cores last longer and that sweet Jet Pack lets you get to vantage points quickly. You can either be good at combat and use the power armor for the occasional boost in heavy situations or you can be good at crafting and scrounging and make more use of the armor.

        2. Andy says:

          Stealth power armor is a thing… But I don’t think it’s found, only crafted.

          1. Attercap says:

            Good to know, thanks!

            1. Writiosity says:

              Yup, you can upgrade a torso piece to have a stealth boy field. And it’s not utterly broken like the stealth armour in 3 either, if you move at all while crouched the stealth field disappears until you’re still again, at which point it reactivates.

      2. Shamus says:

        Spoiler: It’s super-easy to cheese that deathclaw. Having played my share of Bethsoft games, I’ve gotten a good feel for how their AI (mis)behaves.

        If you walk out of the main doors of the museum you’ll bee looking directly down the street. In front of you and to your right is a vehicle that’s up on the sidewalk, almost touching a building. The Deathclaw won’t navigate – or even attack – through that gap between the car and the wall. So you stand on one side of the car and donate bullets to the Deathclaw’s face, and when it comes at you, hop to the other side of the car. The deathclaw will stand there like a dunce for a few seconds, and then take the long way around.

        Yes, I do enjoy ruining the game.

        1. Kand says:

          Later in the game, there is a sidequest where the level design basically tells you to exploit the AI by trapping you and a deathclaw in pretty small building and having small human sized “doors” that allow you to take shortcuts while the deathclaw has to take a detour.

        2. Andy says:

          I watched a guy fight it (survival difficulty), and it was significantly smarter than that. He went up a stairwell to a balcony, it recognized that he could hit it and it couldn’t get him, so it ran away around a corner and waited for him to come down. Other enemies (Yao Guai at least) will do the same thing. The deathclaw is also able to throw cars around in that battle, too, so you got kinda lucky, I think?

          So it’s definitely smart enough to know when it can’t possibly pathfind to you, and will try something else. Which is different than cheesing the pathfinding it does have.

          1. Writiosity says:

            From what I’ve seen, higher difficulty = enemies actually get better AI, not just more health. I’ll have to have a look when the construction kit is released, but that’s what I’ve seen people mention and it seems to be the case from anecdotal evidence.

            1. swenson says:

              I love when games do that. Mass Effect 3 had a bit of it, as I discovered to my chagrin when my usual cheese didn’t work on Insanity.

              A lot of games are like “HARDER = MORE ENEMIES = MORE BULLET SPONGIENESS”, which generally doesn’t actually require a change in tactics, you just do more of it. But it’s awesome when a game legitimately ups the strategy required to win a fight.

          2. Ateius says:

            Enemies did this in Skyrim as well. If you shot them with a ranged weapon in an area they couldn’t reach, and they had no ranged attack to fight back with, they’d seek cover and hide from you.

          3. guy says:

            Most likely there’s a glitch in the level design such that it could find a path that it couldn’t actually fit through due to intervening geometry the pathfinding didn’t consider.

        3. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          Mine was less clever. I’d pop out far enough to draw it, shoot a few times and then go in the building. Even though Skyrim allows enemies to follow you to interiors, Fallout 4 does not.

          Which I could see because you might end up racking up an autosave after popping through the door with 1HP and an enemy right on top of you leading to an autoload-death loop.

          1. Andy says:

            Oh, enemies can DEFINITELY follow you through into interiors, at least raider-types. Maybe just not that guy, he’s too big to fit?

            1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

              Maybe. I haven’t needed that trick since then. I remembered that it worked in some earlier Bethesda engine games so I tried it. Also helps that the building is beyond the territory that particular Deathclaw wants to be in.

  3. Christopher says:

    I have to say for me the bad point was between the red rocket station and concord. I actually didn’t mind sanctuary. The game is very intelligent in that the last view you have before going into the vault is the same view you have coming out of the vault.

    I don’t mind Codsworth, because he’s beat up and a little nuts. And frankly, Fallout has always had a long tradition of robots operating way past a reasonable point, so it’s internally consistent.

    Also you can make him wear a bowler hat.

    1. I’m running with the headcanon that the reason why all the computers and machines are weirdly resilient but computationally lame is because “nuclear hardened!” was actually a big selling point back in the day.

      From the looks of things in Fallout 4 the end of the world was pretty well considered to be inevitable. Basically Kennedy-era paranoia turned up to 11.

      1. Stuhacking says:

        This is basically the Fallout canon as I understand it. If you consider that in this alternate modern day, miniaturization occurred in nuclear power and not semiconductors it explains why computers still run on vacuum tubes and phosphor displays, and also why appliances would naturally have their functional cores shielded against their own internal power supply.

        Well… a bit of squinting might still be required. :-)

  4. Rosseloh says:

    The thing that gets me is just how dumb my character is whenever he gets in a conversation relating to the main quest. “My son, he’s not even a year old!” Right, dumbass, because you totally didn’t notice that you lost consciousness again after he got snatched and it could easily be a number of years later? Even just in the back of your mind? Especially with all the foreshadowing they’re bluntly putting in to try and make that obvious? (Or maybe not, this is Bethesda we’re talking about)

    Every time he opens his mouth it reinforces my idea that Bethesda really needs to stop making main quests and just build more world to explore.

    And I’m with Attercap – I hardly use the power armor. I actually kinda like that they give it to you as an early option, as my build and playstyle prove that it’s not a necessity. It’s nice to have the choice, considering it’s completely different than in the previous game.

    1. Zombie says:

      The game DOES kinda play it off at the start that they opened the vault, unfroze everyone, took the kid, refroze you, and then the power went out. So its not unfeasible to think that not much time has passed.

      I will say I guessed that he would be older than a baby as soon as that happened, but its not like they made it obvious that 10+ years have passed.

      1. guy says:

        As of the very moment the cyropod reopened, I’d assumed decades had passed. The pod had been intentionally switched off before, then turned back on and deactivated due to mechanical failure of every other pod in the array.

        1. Zombie says:

          The warnings and such kept talking about a power failure, so i thought, either its been a few decades, or the generators failed when the vault opened, and the people that broke in didn’t think or know that would happen.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      Yeah. I didn’t play F4, but the moment PC started asking specifically about a baby I knew we will be meeting him as an adult and probably as an opponent to foster some cheap drama.

    3. EmmEnnEff says:

      At some point, when speaking to NV, your character will point out that perhaps ten years passed… And NV tells you that you’re a bit of an idiot for considering it. :/

    4. I hate whenever the protagonist dives into histrionic acting. It’s wildly out of character with the entire rest of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever run into an example of “oh, I’m so . . . upset . . just so . . . hard to talk about” *sob* in a game that wasn’t mercilessly awful, jarring in tone, and totally immersion-breaking.

      There are ways (and good ones) to do emotional reactions from the protagonist, but this is not one of them.

      Vault 81 was actually a lot more affecting for me, because I kept looking around for the “secret” and everything just appeared completely normal, even happy, and I kept projecting “this could have been my life” and it was really sad. Not saying that’s likely to be a typical reaction, but it was interesting.

      Real grief and loss aren’t reactions that last for 30 seconds during one conversation about one topic, during which you turn into Weepface McWeeperton. If you try to throw them in for the sake of having Big Drama, it’s going to come across as Drama in a Can. If you’re going to do it, you have to integrate it throughout the game to do it well. Otherwise, don’t do it at all. Skip the histrionics and stick with something that doesn’t jar so harshly against 95% of everything the player will be doing in the game.

      1. SKD says:

        Yeah the times the character starts getting emotional are very jarring considering how many conversations you have on the same subjects with other people where you aren’t being emotional and the short keyword/keyphrase conversation choices during the “emotional” conversations don’t seem to match up with what you say and how you say it.

        The Kellog confrontation was my immersion breaker.

  5. Wide And Nerdy says:

    There really wasn’t nearly enough angst over all the changes. I can buy that maybe your character is in shock at first but at some point the sheer amount of change he’s having to deal with should break him emotionally.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,its weird how the only one affected by the shift is the robot.Heck,others barely even acknowledge that you are a fish out of the water,completely unfamiliar with everything.

      1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        I wonder if its just about immersion. The moment a character strongly emotes, it suddenly isn’t you anymore. So they have to keep the character dialed down.

        That said, I wish the people I told about being frozen had reacted more. Piper was surprised but I feel like her mind should have been blown. My character was the story of the century. Even moreso once you find out everything.

        1. Except that they didn’t actually do this, and there are moments of histrionic stupidity scattered around like Drama Garnish.

          1. Wide And Nerdy says:

            Maybe they did that in your playthrough. In mine, I felt like there were times when my character should have been screaming at the heavens and he only gave a mild reaction.

            He lost his world, his wife, his son. The wasteland is filled with horrors that his military experience couldn’t fully prepare him for. And just the sheer weirdness of the place and the specific revelations that come later that are spoilers. That much change would break pretty much anybody. I say “pretty much” because I’m not fond of making unqualified statements. I honestly feel like what happens to the Sole Survivor would be psychologically devastating to any real life person.

    2. Will says:

      Once you’ve been out of the vault for about thirty seconds, your character is not really distinguishable from anyone who grew up in the wasteland (other than being able to ask stupid questions with a straight face and little-to-no commentary from whoever you’re asking). The character in no way acts like a pre-war survivor who was frozen and unconscious for the intervening two hundred years.

      Also, my (female) character’s law degree apparently came with a minor in power armor operation and handling makeshift firearms from two centuries in the future.

      1. Er, how do you know what someone frozen for 200 years would act like?

        Culture shock is actually WORSE when things are (for the most part) familiar. People actually tend to adapt better to sudden RADICAL changes than they do to only partial changes, particularly when they don’t have any choice. And even more particularly when they have a goal and keep busy.

        It’s also reasonable to expect that the protagonist of any game is supposed to be rather exceptional. (You’re SPECIAL after all!) There’s no point at which they construe the protagonist as being the embodiment of Joe Somebody (or Jane Somebody).

        Nor is it true that you quickly become “indistinguishable” from anyone who grew up in the wasteland. Most of them are hunkered down somewhere. Just traveling around as much as you do is quite unusual. They’re not establishing new settlements or single-handedly taking down raider strongholds. Most of the ones who do try doing something unusual land themselves in serious grief until you come along.

        1. Couscous says:

          That doesn’t seem distinguishable from how it works in pretty much every other Bethesda RPG setting and the RPG protagonist in the setting. Hero does all the heavy lifting. Everyone one else mostly walks around not doing much as far as the player can tell unless he is the one doing most of the work for them.

      2. SKD says:

        One minor quibble I have with the world design is the number of Pre-War people who apparently used the same makeshift weapons as are now common 200 years after the bomb. As witnessed by the number of pipe pistols and rifles I find in apparently unlooted safes and ruins around the wasteland.

        The existence of the weapons doesn’t bother me and actually increases my immersion as it is logical to assume that manufactured weapons from pre-war days would become harder and harder to maintain and would eventually wear out to the point that they could no longer be repaired. It does take a fair amount of precision machinery to make replacement parts, whereas the makeshift weapons are easier to build and maintain although they would be less durable and accurate.

        One point I would have liked to have seen addressed is for the character to ask, at least once, why bottle caps have become the standard currency.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Hey,remember how the original fallout*drink*had to teach you what bottlecaps are?Yeah,those were the good times.

  6. General Karthos says:

    The other thing about the deathclaw fight is that I have no idea what a deathclaw is. I never got far enough into Fallout 3 to fight a deathclaw, and never played any of the other games. So when it showed up and I killed it, I figured it was just in there so you’d have to spend more of your minigun ammo to minimize the overuse of the power armor in the future. I had no idea deathclaws were supposed to be terrifying until I talked to some of my friends the next day and they talked about how they “s*** bricks” when the thing showed up.

    I also want to point out that when you shoot someone in the head with a pistol, their head doesn’t fall off in slow motion.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It doesnt?Because Ive done it a bunch of times with both bullets and lasers.

      As for the deathclaw,its the shittiest one yet.Yeah it has a bunch of hp,but its neither as maneuverable nor terrifying like some of the previous incarnations.

      1. Ringwraith says:

        I suspect its damage output is severely hampered so it doesn’t one-shot you at the level 2/3 state you’re in, even in power armour.
        It’s massively misplaced still.
        Maybe if they gave more raiders and less minigun ammo?
        Oh, and have a fusion core with barely any power would work too, just enough to finish the fight and limp back with all the junk you’ve just picked up.

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        To be fair it is basically a tutorial Deathclaw and the game gives you nearly every advantage it can. You’re forewarned (if you listen to the junkie), the deathclaw is wounded, you have power armour, a minigun and plentiful ammo; I also suspect its stats are likely lower than on average they should be or it’s otherwise scaled. They can get nastier in the game, especially the one in the museum of witchcraft though that one borders on scripting, has the terrain advantage and my build was somewhat messed up at that point which probably didn’t help the difficulty.

        1. Sean Hagen says:

          Yeah, the one in the Museum of Witchcraft was actually a really good example of how they can handle deathclaws. Although I was a bit annoyed that it doesn’t spawn until you get close to where it spawns, felt a bit cheap.

          Also, the quest where you return a deathclaw egg had a good payoff if you decide to return it to the nest instead of whoever wants it ( I went straight to the nest ). The nest is in a small little valley, right near one of the cliff walls. When you get close to the nest, a deathclaw ( it was a glowing one for me ) suddenly jumps off the cliff and lands in front of you. It’s great because you’re probably looking at the nest, not up at the cliff, so it’s a really well done jump-scare, IMHO.

          It’s probably because I’m now at level 45 with some absurdely powerful guns ( I’ve got a shotgun that does 130 damage normally, and does 2x damage on foes that are still at full health ), but the bigger baddies aren’t as scary any more.

          I do still have to be tactical as I tend to wander around without power armour, but a combination of buffjet + {that other buffout combo drug} + some shotgun rounds to the face usually ends up with whatever giant baddie falling over dead. There is still a moment of “oh shit, ” when something shows up unexpectedly. Overall though, Super Mutant Behemoths, Mirelurk Queens, and Alpha Deathclaws are just about the only thing that I find challenging to fight lately — and even then engaging at a distance with my sniper rifle or with some buffjet & shotgun rounds usually ends the fight pretty quickly. Sometimes I’ll run into a high level raider or gunner that’ll take a few extra shots to the face to bring down, but for the most part they’re not too hard to take down.

          I’m really curious to see how things go as I continue to level — apparently there’s no level cap in this game, so I’m curious to see if there are even higher tier levels for the various enemy factions than what I’ve run into so far.

        2. Decius says:

          Deathclaws got trivial for me once I got a Kneecapper 10mm pistol. (10% chance on hit to cripple a leg).

          After I rip one clip into center mass, it’s normally immobile and unable to even turn around as I walk up behind it and punch it to death. Even if it’s not completely crippled, it’s almost certainly slower than me.

  7. Artur CalDazar says:

    Genuinely shocked that you prefer the opening of 4 to 3.

    1. Attercap says:

      Because Tunnel Snakes rule, right?

        1. Squirly says:

          That’s gotta be worthy of a hearing at The Hague, right?

  8. hborrgg says:

    I was really expecting some throwaway dialog about how you recieved power armor training in the army and that’s why you get to pilot it but no, apparently anyone can pilot power armor now.

    Also, tangentially related. I know that Operation: Anchorage was pretty bad, but is anyone else really hoping that we see a DLC like it for Fallout 4 but set during the Sea of Tranquility conflict?

    1. guy says:

      I haven’t gotten all that far in Fallout 4. By Sea of Tranquility, do you mean the one on the Moon?

      Because if you don’t, such a DLC cannot be anything but disappointing.

      1. Zombie says:

        I’m still betting the 1st DLC is based up in Rhode Island and is completely Lovecraft themed. I know theres some Lovecraft stuff already in the game, but I still can’t think they’d pass up on the opportunity to do a full on Lovecraft based DLC.

        1. Andy says:

          I loved Dunwich Borers.

    2. Jabrwock says:

      I was really expecting some throwaway dialog about how you recieved power armor training in the army and that's why you get to pilot it but no, apparently anyone can pilot power armor now.

      In New Vegas, the NCR salvaged T-45 power armor from the Brotherhood, and stripped out some of the servos, making it less strength-enhancing, but removing the requirement for specialized training.

      Maybe the type in Boston is the same idea? Or maybe the training was needed to use it effectively? Maybe that’s why they handed it to the newcomer. They assumed if it went wild and tore your arms off, well, you’re the outsider, it’s ok.

      1. guy says:

        The armor is definitely powered, not disabled like the typical NCR gear. The main character is explicitly a decorated veteran, but I gather that the armor is widely used in the Commonwealth.

        1. Jabrwock says:

          Oh. So maybe the designers just used your veteran soldier status to make the logic leap that you should already have the power armor training? Pretty much everyone who fought in Alaska got the training, since the armor was pretty commonplace.

          When you pick the wife as the main character, does it switch roles, and she’s the soldier while he’s the lawyer?

          Or did the writers not think that hard?

          1. guy says:

            I believe she’s the soldier if you pick her; I’m playing a female character and that seems to be what it’s going with.

            1. Lalaland says:

              I’m playing a female character and she notes how hard the law degree was to earn in the intro and comments on her husband’s service so the game isn’t swapping back stories.

            2. Shamus says:

              When playing as the wife, she comments on the law degree in the house, saying “All those late nights were worth it.” Which implies she went to law school.

              And the husband is the one giving a speech to the veterans, regardless of who you play as.

              I’m leaning towards “This was not given much thought.”

              EDIT: I am too slow.

              1. Jabrwock says:

                A simple throwaway line could have solved all of this as it boots up. “Welcome to the Mark T-52.” Then you could come up with all sorts of theories about how this the ‘next’ model that just didn’t make it into big enough production before the bombs fell. Advanced features were a better design that didn’t require specialist training.

                Problem solved.

                Too much effort I guess.

                1. swenson says:

                  “Why are there six pedals if there are only four directions?”

                  1. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

                    “firing main cannon”

              2. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                Would be neat then if they’d started out each with a free perk based on their training/education. Both backgrounds would justify that.

                1. Zombie says:

                  They could have done something like the guy gets 10% more weapon damage, and the girl has a 10% better chance of passing a speech check or something. But I’m sure other people could come up with more fun/interesting ideas.

                  1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

                    Yeah. On the one hand, their skills should be pretty widely divergent given his training and her education, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t want the benefit to be too extreme. Make it something that can be overcome as the game progresses.

              3. guy says:

                Huh, as the wife when I went to the door the conversation sounded like I was the veteran who was receiving the vault slot for my service and was asking if the husband and son were going to get to come along too.

              4. modus0 says:

                If you do the “Last Voyage of the USS Constitution” quest as a female, you get roped into it by a robot accessing it’s Pre-War records and stating your driver’s license and occupation as a lawyer; conscripting you due to your status as a resident of the United States.

                Which I thought was a neat touch.

                1. Zombie says:

                  There’s supposed to be a dude who quotes Shakespeare somewhere. I kinda hope he throws out a “Kill all the lawyers” and you get mad at him or something.

          2. Da Mage says:

            The “Power Armor Training” was only a late addition to Fallout 3 after an early public demo had the player get a suit of power armor by grenading a brotherhood outcast as soon as they had left the vault and basically turned the game into easy mode.

            It was just a patch to stop that from happening and didn’t exist in the previous games, so it’s fair they chucked the idea out,

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Thats because in the previous games you would be able to find just one(a couple more in 2)suit in the whole game.It wasnt just another armor with some nice properties to it,it was THE armor you got for being so awesome to survive the first half of the game.

        2. Decius says:

          The male character is explicitly a veteran. The female character is given the line “My husband was in the military”, and is identified as a lawyer by the robots on the USS Constitution.

      2. Andy says:

        Well, except everyone can use it, straight up. You can command your human companions to use it, and they have no problems. Piper in hotrod-pink armor is fun.

        If you’re like me and leave numerous sets just sitting around your settlement, random no-name npcs will use it when the settlement gets attacked.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          Unless you pull the power cores out – then they’ll leave ’em alone.

          1. Decius says:

            On that note, you can pickpocket the fusion cores out of power armor that random NPCs are wearing, and it forces them out if you succeed. It doesn’t help when a raider steals the power armor that you put out for defenders to use, because you can’t pickpocket a hostile as far as I can tell.

            Or you can shoot the fusion cores and make the armor blow up.

            1. Rosseloh says:

              That’s why I take my cores with me when I leave a suit at home- NO raider is getting MY sweet walking tank.

              1. Decius says:

                I used shotgun turrets and chokepoints. They can try.

    3. modus0 says:

      Only the male protagonist was in the military, the female was a lawyer.

      1. Decius says:

        Could be handwaved by saying that he taught her how to shoot, wear armor, and modify laser miniguns.

  9. Spammy says:

    As much as the build up of The Deathclaw was cool, what I really remember was fighting the Deathclaw Mother. My character sitting in the puddle of light around the stairs and desperately blasting away at this enormous beast, replacing all my lost blood with stimpack healing juice. It’s the most tense and white knuckle memory I have of Fallout 1 and probably did the most to solidify the threat of Deathclaws in my mind.

    And they just put you in powered armor to kill one at the start of the game? That’s not selling Fallout 4 for me I’ll be honest.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      “That's not selling Fallout 4 for me I'll be honest.”

      This is pretty much my sentiment about everything I hear about Fallout 4. First, I find out my computer can’t run it*. This by itself would be reasonable, since my computer is a 2 year old laptop, but then I find out it’s $80 for a game nowadays. Plus I can either spend $40 now on the DLC season pass**, or (presumably) more when it comes out piece by piece. Now I hear that the intro is a mess.

      …I think I might not be in the target demographic for Fallout games anymore. :S

      * Do I spend $1500 – $2000 to get a laptop that can meet all my needs, or keep my shitty laptop and buy a $500 lump of plastic that needs to sit in a living room that I don’t have?

      ** This is roughly equivalent in my mind to buying an expansion pack. Priced about the same too, compared to the cost of the game. Now if the game only cost $60 or so…

      1. modus0 says:

        Let me guess, you live outside the US?

        And as Shamus stated in the Experience Points article, the intro isn’t that great, but the rest of the game is.

        I’ve spent 54 hours in the game, haven’t finished the main quest (been exploring, doing side quests, finding bobbleheads/perk magazines), and I’m definitely enjoying it.

        And what I’ve seen of the main quest’s story, it’s a lot less stupid than Fallout 3’s.

        Also, they ditched the slightly green overlay that Fallout 3 had.

        1. AileTheAlien says:

          Oh, son of a jerk-wad! You guys get it for $60 AND your dollar is worth more than mine? Arrrg!

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            At least you arent in europe,where games cost 60€ because conversion is haaaard.

            As for fallout 4,if you liked(read:tolerated)the gameplay of fallout 3/new vegas,youll like it.

    2. Jonathan says:

      Oh man, I’d forgotten about that. Scary fight. I think I preferred the rocket launcher for that fight.
      The cheesy way was always to try to snipe their eyes out.

      It sounds like Powered Armor isn’t just “a better set of armor” like it was in previous games. How does it work? Continuous power requirements for use? Tied to only the minigun and a couple of other weapons (vs. “powered armor can wield any weapon”)?

      1. Ayegill says:

        Basically, power armor is like a vehicle that you get into. You need “fusion cores” to power it, and when it absorbs damage, you need to scavenge for resources to repair it. In return, it makes you all but invulnerable to the attacks of most enemies(the DR system in this game is a little complicated, but the tl;dr is that you can shrug off bullets, but deathclaws can still mess you up if they manage to close).

        The minigun can be used independently of the power armor, and PA can use any weapon. It’s a little weird, it seems like you shouldn’t be able to grasp a combat knife with those big-ass gloves.

      2. guy says:

        I won the first Deathclaw fight in Fallout by emptying my combat shotgun into its eyes.

        Power armor in this is an exoskeleton you step into and out of. It’s powered by fusion cores that drain in use, not sure if they can be recharged. You can still access your inventory and use all weapons. According to the toooltips when you’re out of power you can still use it but are much slower. It gives huge damage reduction and negates falling damage.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          You can’t recharge power cores, but you can pick up more along the way – either pulling them from generators in specific places or from random loot here and there. Also, apparently the static cores respawn after a few days so you can pick them up again.

  10. Starker says:

    And so it begins…

    …and I don’t mean Fallout 4. :P

    1. rofltehcat says:

      Shamus never changes.


      1. Starker says:

        The next season of Spoiler Warning occurred pretty much as we had predicted. Too many problems with the game, not enough sensible dialogue or consistent lore to go around. The details are mocked and nitpicked, the reasons, as always, purely nerdy ones.

      2. Gruhunchously says:

        Shamus has changed. He’s no longer about pessimism, bitterness, and relentless nitpicking. He’s an endless well of enthusiasm, fueled by good gameplay and world design. Shamus, and his praise of Fallout 4, has become a well oiled machine. Decently thought-out characters serve decently thought-out organizations. Use decently thought-out gear. A well designed perk system enhances and regulates their abilities. Appreciative podcasts. Appreciative articles. Appreciative tweets. Appreciative upcoming Spoiler Warnings. Everything is observed, and most of it appreciated. Shamus has changed. The age of bile has become the age of appreciation. All in the name of averting Twenty Sided’s decent into a series of tirades against popular continuations of old franchises. And he who controls Twenty Sided, controls the nerd rage. Shamus has changed. When Bethesda starts releasing good games, the praise…becomes routine.

        1. LCF says:

          This praise is of the highest craftShamusship. It menaces with spikes of approval.

  11. chiefnewo says:

    Re point #5: Does Preston decide you’re an awesome enough friend, or more likely an awesome distraction? Who knows if this 200-year-old power armour even works? This way if it fails at least someone he knows isn’t going to be killed by it and maybe you’ll take out enough raiders they can escape.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      I think he is presented as too big a goody two shoes to do something like that.

      1. Writiosity says:

        Preston himself actually comments that he’s too idealistic and optimistic, and that’s probably why he failed to keep everyone alive. There are little bits of dialogue for this type of thing whenever you’ve got them following you around in missions and things.

      2. He’s a goody two shoes in a really weird way. He’s fine with you setting up a plan to rob both sides of a secret drug exchange–as long as you pick the “lets leave people alive” dialog options. He actually gets mad if you select the only dialog option that lets you OUT of going along with the double-cross, because you wind up fighting the guy who proposed it.

        I was scratching my head over that one. I was rather expecting Preston to get mad at the very suggestion of going along with the heinous plan in the first place and get increasingly pissed off at every single stage that didn’t involve just calling the stupid thing off. Instead he . . . gets mad if you reject the plan and then mad again at the end if you follow through with the proposed plan which he initially . . . endorsed?

        Dude makes no sense.

        I mean, he seriously has a line of dialog if you insist on an uneven distribution of the spoils (after you did 95% of the work). He says, no kidding, “no honor among thieves” . . . so, you’re OKAY with the thieving, as long as I do it in a nice way?! WTF dude.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nope,he does see you as a friend.None of them even attempt to escape while you are fighting everything outside.

    3. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

      Somebody accidentally hit one of the minutemen in VATS and Preston started to chase him everywhere he went.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The power armor is such a huge disappointment in this game.For the first time in like forever,power armor feels like a really powerful suit of armor.Its basically a personal tank you dont wear,but drive around the wasteland.It feels better than the original fallout*drink* even.And yet,everyone and their dog has one,which robs it of all of its power.

    Whats worse is that even though its more common than bomb craters(I randomly stumbled upon a random raider in a power armor wielding a fatman pretty early on in the game),people still treat it like something special.Paladin danse tried to entice me to join the brotherhood by promising me “my own personal power armor”,while I was standing in front of him in a flame painted power armor of my own.Which wasnt even my only set.Not even 3 hours in the game.What,the actual,fuck?!

    1. Ringwraith says:

      Which only speaks to the reasoning the sequence was made for press demos and then just… left in.
      Sounds really, really weird.

    2. Trix2000 says:

      Honestly, I hardly noticed when others were wearing armor other than the fact that A) they were pretty tanky and B) they had pieces of it to loot afterwards. Doesn’t really feel that similar to the stuff I can use.

      It may not be special to have, but it’s still a pretty impressive tool to use from time to time. Hard to deny the amount of durability and such it gives.

    3. guy says:

      I met that fatman-wielding raider and killed him with one shot.

      Putting 10 into perception was a wise decision.

  13. rofltehcat says:

    The power armor mission would have been absolutely fine without the power armor and the deathclaw. You got a fucking minigun on the roof, what more do you need?

    It shouldn’t have been “there’s power armor on the roof!”, it should rather have been “we are trying to get onto the roof and climb across to the church while it is dark”. Then: Surprise! There’s a minigun up there. Use the mounted minigun to kill first wave of raiders until ammo runs out while the group slips away through the church.

    The deathclaw thing doesn’t work because deathclaws are introduced as some alien-type monster in fallout lore. If they really wanted to keep the deathclaw they could have set up a siege type of situation where the minutemen are trapped in the museum and the raiders are laying siege to them since a few days. On the way through town the player finds logs of raiders complaining about some of them mysteriously vanishing without a trace. Once the character is inside the museum the siege could resume for a few days and your group could maybe use binoculars or whatnot or maybe Preston tells you he observed the deathclaw take some raiders while on watch, after which the other party members tell you what vicious monsters deathclaws are. You could then even devise a plan to lure the thing out into direct confrontation with the raiders.
    This way you’d feel like you had used the dangers of the wasteland in a cunning way to get yourself out of a bad situation instead of being handed a tank on legs.

    As for the power armor, it should never have been there. Alternatively, they could have scripted it that the deathclaw grabs you (like it already does), warning sirens start going off in the power armor (“warning, containment breach!) and steam starts pouring in through holes in the armor. You then emergency eject yourself out of the power armor just in time to run away for the damn thing to explode in a mininuke explosion right in the deathclaw’s face. They scripted so much of that mission already that they could easily have done this.

    To get power armor you should probably only get some by joining the brotherhood (like Fallout 1 & 2, even in Fallout Tactics you need to do a lot to get power armor despite already being a brotherhood member) or by raiding some underground complex (heist mission to get military equipment for the minutemen late in story?). Or by crafting a “junker” power armor yourself (limited by perks/minlvl of perks).

    As it is, I currently have two power armors that I never use because it feels like I didn’t earn the first one and because the second one felt cheap as well. Because it just stood there since 200 years inside a wire mesh fence secured by an expert computer terminal. You’re telling me people can’t be bothered cut wire mesh fences to basically get a completely fuelled battletank (with 3 more power cores inside the building next door)?

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      “200 years inside a wire mesh fence secured by an expert computer terminal”

      Man, that would have been jarring to me too. I Find it troubling that in two minutes, I can envision a much better placement of power armor that would at least somewhat fit in with the lore of these things being hard to get. Better than whoever was actually paid to put the armor in the game. For example:
      – small bunker somewhere, half-covered by rocks and rubble
      – outer door is bypassed with locksmith, or demolition expert
      – inner area has a second door on the closet that actually holds the armor, bypassed with hacking (bypass door lock), or else science (disable the power on the door lock) and a strength check (manual operation of the heavy door)

  14. Mattias42 says:

    I don’t agree with that the Deathclaw needed buildup.

    What was missing was a voice-line or two from the pre-war protagonist crapping themselves going: ‘WHAT IN TARNATION IS THAT ABOMINATION OF SCALES, HORNS AND FANGS?! HAVE AT THEE, SATAN!’

    That would have worked just fine as a the fish out of his pond just realized how big the sea is type deal, but the ‘meh’ under-reaction was a big mistake.

    Heck, the rad-roach at the start gets more out of him/her.

  15. Abnaxis says:

    Has nobody weighed in on “This is the first time we’ll do Spoiler Warning on a new game,” or am I blind?

    I’m very much on the fence on what I think about SW’ing a game this new. On the one hand, I would not like it if it was any other game besides a Bethesda game. On the other hand, I have never, ever finished a Bethesda main quest–the Spoiler Warning of Skyrim was the first time I ever saw the main quest run to completion, and I have hundreds of hours in the game. On the gripping hand, if the main quest is as good as every keeps making it out, I might actually want to finish it when I have a chance to play…

    1. Abnaxis says:

      Aw, damn, this is the wrong place for this, no wonder…

  16. I think the intro is also the way it is because they wanted to cram the “build a settlement!” tutorial in as early as possible. Which, frankly, was another major mistake. Not only is the tutorial terrible (it doesn’t explain basic concepts like “what makes my settlers happier?” or the fact that the “size” of your settlement is STATIC or that you can have 10+your cha settlers at any given settlement), like the power armor, it feels unearned.

    I got to about level 11 and then re-started from scratch. I was just getting more and more overwhelmed by the whole settlements thing. It made a lot more sense when I started over having some clue what I was doing.

    There IS a fairly simple thing they could have done to make this all work, though–have a mythology of pre-war people being all kinds of scary awesome. (After all, they built all this cool shit.) They’d only have to mention it a few times in passing and channel your initial dialog options a bit to make it impossible to fully conceal that you’re an Old Timer. Add this to the mystique of the “Vault Dweller” and you have people just EXPECTING you to be some amazing badass who can solve all of their problems. Which would make for some very interesting situations.

    That would have been a cool quirk to fix Preston, too, poor thing. Make him an enthusiastic Old Timer/Vault Dweller fanboi, and suddenly everything he does makes perfect sense. He’s a “Minuteman”, too, after all, it’d make sense if he’s an early American history fan and also is not terribly clear on the fact that there’s a HUUUUGE difference between George Washington’s time and YOUR time. Are fans of “period” romances usually very clear on the difference between the 14th and 17th centuries? Really a missed opportunity there.

    That would also have made Kellogg more interesting in that he doesn’t buy into that mystique.

    1. I mean, seriously, that would have fixed Preston completely:

      Preston: “You’re from 2077?! YOU MUST TOTES KNOW HOW TO USE POWER ARMOR!!!”
      Sturgis: “Uh, I don’t think EVERYONE knew . . .”
      Preston: *sad puppy eyes*
      You: “Geez, man, don’t cry. I’ll do it.”
      Preston: “This is gonna be AWESOME.”

      1. Lalaland says:

        That makes way more sense than what we got and would be a really clever way of playing with the natural tendency of folks to conflate historical time periods ‘2077 huh, what was it like to go everywhere in a horse and buggy?’

        Even if he’d waited a while before declaring you general so that it was a reward for collecting 50% of the settlements, ‘Well you’re obviously the more charismatic leader of the two of us and I really want the MinuteMen to thrive again so I’ll stow my ego and follow you. If you slip though…’. I mean right now he thinks we’re a suitable leader for thousands on the basis of one fight

        1. Writiosity says:

          Horse and buggy? You know horses are extinct in Fallout, right? ;) Or at the very least they are in America. No one would know what one was unless they just happened to come across some old book or something with pictures.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Seeing how f4 introduces two headed deer(because of course),I wouldnt be surprised if in one of the future installments(or a dlc)they introduce two headed horses.

            1. Xeorm says:

              With separate horse armor DLC.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                And because its two headed,there will be two dlcs for horse helmets.One for the right,one for the left head.

        2. Heh, maybe not horse and buggy–after all, there are wrecked cars EVERYWHERE. It’d make more sense for him to assume that G. Washington and Co. must have had cars. He might assume that “horse” is slang for “engine”.

          Having Preston just assume that you must know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING pre-war could have been seriously hilarious, though.

    2. ? says:

      To be fair there is only 278 years between George Washington’s death and Great War, and 210 years between Great War and Fallout 4. And Fallout verse is stuck in the fifties, so there should be less of a difference between Sole Survivor and Ol’ George than between him/her and any other wasteland survivor.

      1. Except that the Wasteland is built entirely on the remnants of pre-war culture. It has no culture of its own, merely the (sometimes misunderstood) relics of a wrecked era.

        Wasteland culture is basically a form of cargo cult.

        1. ? says:

          Oh yes, “should” is a very important word in that sentence.

    3. Artur CalDazar says:

      This is a really good idea. Would also solve the problem of telling him you’re from the vault 3 times and him being surprised each time.

  17. Merriam says:

    Oh, Bethesda. Never improve.

    I remember first meeting Deathclaws in New Vegas and not being super concerned because they were weaksauce in Fallout 3. They weren’t weaksauce in NV.

    But that’s not what stuck with me. What stuck was the context: I tried hoofing it to Vegas and got to the NCR Quarry (after giving up on the Cazadors). And then I got a short political catch-up on why NCR Dollars ain’t worth shit since the Brotherhood of Steel destroyed the NCR’s gold deposits, and that traders often switch over to doing the rounds for Caesar’s Legion in part because Legion currency is minted in precious metals.

    Then I remembered that part in Fallout 3 where you had to fix a water purifier to save the world by pumping clean water into the ocean, apparently.

    And then in the intro of Fallout 4 I survived a nuke and then some bald guy shot my husband and stole my infant son in a setup for the most predictable plot twist since… actually, nevermind. This might be the most rote and perfunctory plot twist in human history.

    1. AileTheAlien says:

      At least the mechanics of the game have been improved! No more sprinkling tiny +1’s to your skills every level, so they do basically nothing – combining perks and skills was a big improvement, I think! Plus, the world actually has color variation! no more all-the-skies-are-green-and-brown-puke feelings while I’m walking around! :)

      1. Writiosity says:

        You know those little +1s represent an abstraction, yes? It’s how RPGs work, they’re not meant to be taken literally, they indicate your character training themselves whenever they get the chance. It’s merely an in-game mechanic, one Fallout 4 drastically suffers from the removal of.

        1. Except that the skills had hard threshholds so raising them by +1 was mechanically meaningless–they were all basically pass/fail except maybe persuasion which was easily save-scummed. :P

          They took out the meaningless numbers and replaced them with hard-threshhold perks instead. The mechanics are a lot more transparent as a result.

          The skills system in Fallout 3 also made Int a disproportionately important stat, because it governed how many skill points you got per level (and this was a big deal, since there were only 20 levels to work with until they de-stupided the ending). The stats are much better balanced now.

          Don’t really like how they level-locked everything, though.

          1. guy says:

            The weapon skills were not pass-fail thresholds.

            1. AileTheAlien says:

              It wasn’t often useful however, to have a small improvement in your weapon skill. Having 35% in a skill versus having 30% still leaves the player with not enough to-hit to be useful in combat. It was usually after dumping a whole level or two into a skill, that you started seeing meaningful results.

            2. The stuff that didn’t have the hard thresholds is now based directly off of your stats, which works perfectly well. It’s a good change.

        2. AileTheAlien says:

          All the skill checks for hacking, lockpicking, explosives, etc, were something like 25% skill needed, 50%, 75%, and 100%. So, you either had the correct skill amount, or you didn’t. The only thing that actually mattered for each percentage you dumped in a skill was, technically, the combat skills. Technically, but not practically. I as a player get a small increase in chance to hit from pouring my whole allotment of points for that level, but I’ve already got gear that gives a large chance to hit. I’d rather have one meaningful improvement each level, than the option for a dozen weaksauce improvements, smeared across my whole character.

    2. Lalaland says:

      Yeah I saw a few shots pre-release and presumed you’d make it into the shelter before the detonation and subsequent heat flash. Instead we get to watch the nuke (I was looking away but I’m guessing staring at it doesn’t blind you) notice there was no heat flash (cold fusion maybe ;) ) and then ‘escape the world’s laziest blast wave.

      You know the more I play Bethesda post apocalyptic games the more I regret having read so much on the topic of nuclear weapons and their effects it genuinely hurts my enjoyment. For example the ‘Red Forest’ was so named for all the dead trees post Chernobyl and now despite being one of the world’s most contaminated sites it’s visually indistinguishable from a thriving national park. So seeing a 200 year old bomb blast look like it happened last week is odd to say the least, hell after a mere 30 years Pripyat is all but swallowed by the surrounding forest (and probably would be if not for looters, wardens and scientists who visit). To say nothing of the ‘water chip’ being the most advanced tech ever conceived to replicate the effect of filtering water through about 10 feet of soil.

      That being said while that killed FO3 for me when stacked alongside my dislike for VATS and the awful game feel of shooting in FO3 it turns out if you just tweak the gamefeel and dump plots that makes ignorance of nuclear physics a prerequisite for enjoyment I’m all in. I’ve been really enjoying FO4 despite the ever present GameBryo jankiness amazing what good writing does for a game.

      1. They don’t even grasp the difference between fusion and fission.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yeah,having fusion blast leave radiation behind is pretty stupid.But then again,this is a setting where water is radioactive,so who knows what helium is like.

  18. Lalaland says:

    My own pet theory for why weird moment #5 is that at one time there was no female protagonist option as per the Kotaku casting leak. It would make sense given the husband’s story in the intro as a decorated veteran for him to be given preference however that brings it’s own problems in that it asks Preston Garvey to trust a stranger who runs up and says ‘Hey I’m a 200 year old war veteran, I can fight in that power armour!’.

    There are just too many odd uses of usually gender specific pronouns (one NPC just kept calling me ‘guy’) and straight out misgendering (several incidents of his for her, etc). They’re not often enough that I think the female option was shoved in at the last moment but it does seem at least some VO was recorded with a script that assumed a male protagonist.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      It’s always annoying when that happens, whether it be in Mass Effect, Fallout, or any other game. It unintentionally reinforces an uncomfortable feeling that being a male is the ‘normal’ way to play the game.

      Ironically, the opposite happened to me a few times while playing New Vegas: when playing as a male character, several NPCs referred to me as ‘lady’ or ‘miss’. I chalked it up to general bugginess.

      1. Writiosity says:

        Always loved how they lampshaded this in Old World Blues by having the vendor in the Sink call you sir regardless because Mobius never bothered putting female options in.

        1. Gruhunchously says:

          Yep. Same goes for your brain, which has a male voice because nobody at Big MT bothered to develop a female coded voice modulator.You can still hit on her (the brain) with the Cherchez La Femme perk though, much to her horror.

        2. Trix2000 says:

          To be fair, ‘sir’ can be considered gender-neutral.

    2. Writiosity says:

      lol, that’s probably just regular bugs, Fallout 3 had plenty of those as well. Dear old Dad calls you son on at least one occasion even while playing a female, because the script variables weren’t set correctly.

    3. guy says:

      That happens a lot in these sorts of games; there’s so much dialogue that some gendered language slips through the cracks. Part of why BioWare insists on giving you a gender-neutral title so they don’t have to deal with it.

  19. Ayegill says:

    I’m responding to shamus’ call for a mod to remove the level gates on perks here, since I don’t use twitter. It totally exists.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You know,the tutorial start may suck,but the intro intro,up until you get unfrozen,is great.It even includes the fake out of calling the cryo pod “decontamination pod” at first(hey bioware,are you taking notes?).

  21. evileeyore says:

    “And to be fair, despite all my gripes with the Fallout 4 opening, I'll admit it's still better than Fallout 3.”

    Now that is some damning with faint praise.

    So Shamus, you’re saying I (a true Fallout 1 fanatic) should wait until some hero mods the first mission to less… stupidly lame?

  22. Duoae says:

    Not going to read through all the comments on here because there are quite a few spoilers in the first few posts already! BUT! I agree on the intro being completely rushed.

    I think the smart thing to do would have been to stretch out that first quest to take the survivors to the starting village. i.e.:

    You hear the fighting in Concord and move in – taking out the raiders on your way. You get inside and meet Garvey and the rest… though this time there are more people – a LOT more people. People who are injured, tired, beaten down. These are the survivors of the big fight he tells you about… routed to this last hold-fast. You speak to people but the consensus is not to move from this place of relative safety. It can and is being defended from the few raiders that have been attacking…

    Now, the player has to meet Garvey up on the roof (he calls down when you’re outside to ‘come up’) instead of inside the entrance to the place. Up on the roof, they’ve set up a sniper/lookout/command post in and around the helicopter – the important thing is the power armour is just standing there. You can ask about the armour or perhaps the mechanic guy has an off-hand comment about how it’s a useless piece of junk and that it doesn’t work.

    The player does some supply missions, scouting missions, etc. for the people/Garvey and each time they return to the place there are more dead and fewer living – each time there are some raiders to fight through.

    Eventually, the player learns of an impending attack from one of the raider groups in the game and races back to warn Garvey and the rest. Along the way, the player has learned how to use and power the armour. Just as you’re warning Garvey on the rooftop, a legion of raiders pour into town and it looks like it’s an unwinnable situation. Maybe someone makes an off-hand comment about wishing that someone could use the power armour and it’s up to the player to choose to do that or not.

    Encounter over, player wins and then the few survivors decide that it’s way past time to move away from this place. No deathclaw… player has earnt the use of the armour and the whole thing doesn’t feel so condensed!

  23. Corsair says:

    Power Armor being a little more common than before doesn’t really bother me, or the necessity of special training – that was some BS that Fallout 3 introduced and I’m happy to jettison it. Considering that the only Power Armor you see outside of the hands of the Brotherhood are the junk armors used by some Raiders – which look like heavily repaired and patched T-45d to me – well, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that people other than the Brotherhood might have gotten their hands on the odd set.

    As for the one you get super early on, meh. By the time I iced the Deathclaw and the Raiders I was down to 20% on my core, so I had to shelve it anyway. It didn’t really effect me.

    That said, Shamus isn’t wrong here, the whole sequence from leaving Vault 111 to having the Minutemen set up in Sanctuary Hills is a narrative mess.

    1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

      Yeah this is actually something a lot of games do called a “Taste of Power”. You get a preview of how awesome you’re going to be later so that you have something to work towards.

      Dragon Age 2 did it by having Varric embellish during the intro so you had more powers.

      God of War did it by having Kratos battle a giant monster in the opening (haven’t played but I’ve heard about it.)

      Mega Man X did it differently by having Zero rescue you then tell you that with your planned upgrades you’ll be as awesome as him.

      A number of games do this by having an In Media Res cold open before flashing back to how it all started.

      Now just because it works doesn’t necessarily mean it works here. But with your proposed fixes in the Diecast it could have.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Except its not just a taste.You can use that power armor immediately afterwards,and there are 2.5 fusion cores in the immediate vicinity of it,so it can last you for a long time.Not that youd need it though.

        1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          Yeah but in the beginning its hard to maintain it. You don’t have a lot of resources yet and Fusion cores are few. To say nothing of how quickly the minigun uses up bullets.

          The other half of it is being exposed to how powerful the Deathclaw is. Even in power armor it will tear you apart if you’re not careful. So it gives a sense of progression when later in the game you can actually take them down somewhat reliably (though they’re still powerful.)

          1. Decius says:

            “Don’t have a lot of resources”?!

            Most of the pieces only require steel, which is in such high abundance from scrapping cars and buildings in settlements (and incidentally from valuable scavenging) that it is the one thing that I have never intentionally picked up. (I did have to acquire some of the other really common resource once when I wanted to build a wooden mansion)

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Like Decius said,you can easily maintain it for quite a while in the beginning unless you go spending happy on your shelters.And there are quite a few fusion cores to be picked up in the starting area.

            Also,the deathclaw isnt really dangerous unless you up the difficulty,because its pretty sluggish and dumb even on normal,constantly trying to slow pounce you.But even on survival,you can take up 4,5 hits from it before you die,though its much quicker and smarter.

            1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

              I’m playing on the step below survival and have been since the beginning. In the beginning I died a lot but eventually turned it around.

  24. Decius says:

    I’m a little bit confused. I thought it was clear if you read the terminals and watched the cutscene that the people who kidnapped your son and killed your spouse intentionally refroze you and your spouse’s corpse, but also intentionally left everyone else thawed but sealed until they suffocated.

    Much later on, even after killing Kellog, that made me annoyed that I couldn’t confront Father/the Institute about that. Especially since the motivation that they claim for the kidnapping doesn’t justify calling *you* “the backup” if there are other survivors on ice.

    I declared a war and shot a character that should have driven the story because writer laziness/engine limitations kept me from asking for the justifications behind the atrocities committed. Also, because the timelines didn’t add up in that I could track down Virgil in a very short time, but according to Father’s age and Kellog’s memory, Kellog had been tracking him for decades without getting very far out of town.

    Is it wrong for me to give the writers so much credit that I conclude that the holes are in-universe, and have my character draw conclusions about what those holes imply about the universe?

  25. Dork Angel says:

    I agree it was cheesy and wasted at the start. Having played Fallout before, when the Deathclaw popped out and killed the Raiders before heading towards me I was “Oh crap”. But it wasn’t that hard to empty enough bullets into it with the minigun while protected by the power armour. I think that gave me a false sense of security. (Hmmm I’m level three and I just killed a Deathclaw. I seem to remember spending my last two Fallout games running away from them most of the time). Normal service was resumed though as the one I later found in a basement when I didn’t have my power armour on ripped me to pieces several times.

    As an aside, I had later spent a good hour reinforcing my settlement in Sanctuary with walls and guard towers and I happened to look out over the swamp and see a light. I went to investigate and was killed by what can only be described as a large mosquito. As my hour of unsaved work disappeared, all I could think was “Seriously, a mosquito! I killed a Deathclaw dammit…”

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