I'm going to frame my response by including an "Add" section, and I'll be writing all of this up in a larger review I'm planning. But here are my thoughts:Keeps, or "Where Fallout 4 Succeeded":
1. Power Armor:
Quite simply, the power armor system in Fallout 4 is what power armor should have always been.
Although Fallout 4's graphics aren't omg amazing
, they're certainly a big step up.
As many have pointed out, the gunplay in 4 feels smooth. I always felt that gunplay in vanilla NV was the absolute bare minimum quality that it could be while still allowing the game to be playable. Fallout 4 actually feels like you can shoot your guns effectively. This was a welcome change.
4. Creature Animations:
The ghouls and other creatures in Fallout 4 are on par with modern games and they were very nice to shoot and kill
5. Character Appearances:
Even if you hated Fallout 4, you have to admit the hair in the game is light years ahead of 3/NV. Facial appearances are also much improved.
Unfortunately, as I've discussed at some length with @hitman47101
, all of these areas where Fallout 4 was successful were areas where the game would necessarily
be better simply because of the advance of video game technology. The game wouldn't be relevant in the market if wearing power armors was still like suiting up in a tin can and if the world looked like mud. Remove, or "Where Fallout 4 Missed the Mark":
1. Voiced Protagonist and Dialogue System:
"If it's not broken, don't fix it." Words Bethesda should have done well to follow for Fallout 4. Aside from all the usual criticisms of the dialogue, I also think it's worth noting the enormous amount of time, money, and other resources
that went into creating the voiced protagonist.
I've always said that my biggest qualm with the settlements is that if I want to build a city, I'll use GECK. I realized a couple days into Fallout 4 that I simply wasn't having fun because I was so worried about my settlements. And in the vanilla release, the settlements were very bland. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make something that was fun to live in or consider home. Settlement building should absolutely
be 100% optional--perhaps even a separate game mode.
3. Armor and Gun Customization:
A lot of people liked the customization mechanics, but it was very frustrating to me. In the same way that Bethesda used settlements as a shortcut around actually building vibrant locations (this was a good point made by @Alixen
above), they used armor and gun customization as a shortcut around creating varied weapons and armor in the game. Plus,
the system was only half implemented. Some armors could be customized while others couldn't... what the hell? Bethesda got caught up here straddling the fence. They should have either committed to a much deeper customization element for all armors along with a wider array or base weapons, or stayed away from it entirely.
I didn't like any faction in this game. Not one. I think the Minutemen were the worst major faction the franchise has ever introduced. Lazy good-for-nothings and boring. The Institute spoke of some great plan for humanity, but I never felt like this plan had any depth nor could I determine why their plan involved planting synths into human communities and supposedly killing the live person. This whole thing was very convoluted. The Railroad was almost charismatic enough to cheer for, but their steadfast commitment to impractical ideals was confusing. These were humans who were willing to kill other flesh and blood humans to protect machines that could literally be reset simply by a short recitation. The moral relevance of artificial intelligence is a fun debate, but the Railroad's treatment was too shallow. Last, the Brotherhood was a group of intolerant warmongers. It was disappointing for me to see how they followed their principles so strongly without ever showing hesitance on Maxson's part or his recognition of moral ambiguity (there was that one quest where you could talk him into saving a synth, but he made you feel like shit for it, and then the decision didn't matter in the progression of the game). As I've said before, there was a big difference to me between NV factions and FO4. In New Vegas, every faction was flawed and left something to be desired morally or idealistically, yet every faction had something
you could grab onto to justify a playthrough for that faction. In FO4, every faction is similarly flawed, but instead of having something with which you could identify, they all had some game-breaking reason I couldn't
side with them.
5. Boston Accents:
Did anyone else get really annoyed hearing everyone speak with a northern Boston accent?
Add, or "Things that Should be Included in the Next Fallout."
1. Raiders with a purpose:
Even though Fallout 3 and 4 have much more raider combat than in New Vegas, I liked the raiders/fiends in NV much more. You could speak with Moto-Runner and even work with him. You had raiders with whom you could actually associate actions and (though it was cut) converse. It starts to feel really empty when you just kill people over and over who wear the same clothing and respawn in the same places who are hostile to you immediately for no reason and who seem to belong to no community. (E.g., Where do all these people keep coming from? How have they survived so long living a life of pure violence? I've killed 1000 raiders... why hasn't word spread not to attack me?) I would personally like to see it possible for the player to become a raider and have a truly
evil playthrough. Imagine having a leadership structure among the raiders that you could work through and then eventually discover that you can bypass the other resolutions of the story and simply wreak havoc on the world! Even if you didn't take this path, just having the option would create a sense of the importance of choice.
2. Legendary Enemies:
The legendary enemies in NV were much better. They gave you a sense of oldschool boss fights. Killing them felt monumental. In 4, killing a legendary enemy is just a reason to hope you get a good loot drop. At least in Fallout 3, you had behemoths in the world that felt like big, important fights. In Fallout 4, the behemoths are small and there is nothing on par with 3's behemoths or NV's legendary enemies.
3. A Decent Weather System:
Fallout 4 clearly took a lot of cues from NV mods on what they needed to do to make a game players would enjoy. However, despite there being some basic weather patterns in vanilla 4, the weather system is not impressive. I would like Bethesda to implement real
weathers in the game with changing flora, rain, snow, clouds... all of it.
4. Wacky Wasteland:
I think Fallout should bring back the wacky wasteland perk. This is not because I want to use it... but rather because I don't
want to use it! I like my game to be a little darker while Fallout 4 seemed to have too much wacky/attempted-humor as content. I think New Vegas suffered from this a little too--I would have liked to see things like Tabitha on Black Mountain have a different appearance in the regular game and not be in love with a robot.
5. Role-playing Elements:
Most fans of the series ripped into FO4 for dumbing down nearly all roleplay aspects of the player's experience. The voiced protagonist really hurt here because no matter how I made my character look or what personality I wanted him to take, he still had the same voice. This is hugely immersion breaking. Also being able to level up indefinitely removed the ability to build a character with special skills (why have, say, three character saves when you can just have one character at level 100 with every perk in the game?)
I suppose I've written enough at this point.