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 Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?

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PostSubject: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:37 pm

I'm looking for some opinions because there's a topic I've been thinking about for a while:

Do you guys and gals think that the Fallout series is becoming too mainstream to the point where we'll never get a raw gritty story like we did in games like Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas? For example I was playing Fallout 2 with a low intelligence character just for laughs, and there was a scene where Myron referred to me as his "retarded friend." I feel like the offensive, often raw dialogue options in the older Fallout games won't ever show up in the future games because of how mainstream its audience seems to be getting these days. I don't know, maybe I'm looking too far into it but I really like the nitty gritty, offensive, and often humorous dialogue and banter from the older games and I really hope they show up later on. I feel like Fallout, especially because of Fallout 4, is loosing its edge aside from dropping the F-Bomb every once in a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:48 pm

In short, no, but let me explain. There are certain pieces throughout history that enter the "Mainstream" and, instead of conforming to what is popular at the time, it forces the mainstream to fit the standards and expectancy of the piece. This is what happened with music tracing back to 98 when the Gorillaz and numerous other artists introduced new ways to work with defined genres and showed that artists didn't necessarily have to fit into a box and could incorporate more than one style. The effect is still noticeable in modern music and has changed pop forever.

The same happened with movies back in the 70's when you had directors like Kubrick, Spielberg, and Lucas which laid the way for how movies would be written and made in the future. To this day someone who is even moderately familiar with movies can walk into a cinema, see a film and pick out parts, and see what they were inspired by almost as if the parts were homages.

With visual art there have been too many examples of this to count, some era's of western history can even be defined by the way mainstream art was changed particular pieces (see: The Renaissance).

Bethesda, as a whole, has made a significant change in modern gaming that is more noticeable now than ever. Since Bethesda released Morrowind and showed the world that a large, open, and coherent world (unlike Daggerfall or Arena which were segmented and separated) could be done there has been an influx of games that have tried to grasp that same level of freedom and style (Most of them being failures, See: the Two worlds Series).

I see where this question is coming from, Skyrim was very simple in comparison to Morrowind or Oblivion. Fallout 4 in particular seemed to be massively dumbed down to fit appeal, but here's the thing, both the masses and the developers acknowledged it as a misstep. This, to me, signals that Fallout has already altered the mainstream to fit its standards. As for the change from the older games, of course its going to be different, its a completely different studio that has had varying results when it comes to writing especially (IMHO Bethesda hasn't written a good story since Morrowind, but Morrowind nailed it so hard its almost forgivable).

Not to mention, Fallout 1 was an extremely mainstream game for when it came out, and while FO2 broke the mold a little bit it also didn't try too hard to get away from its predecessor, almost basking in it in many ways. A story doesn't need to be gritty, or offensive, or darkly humerus to be good, even if it is set in the post apocalypse. At this point it would be more original and more refreshing to have a story about endearment, about humans coming together and accepting that human nature will inevitably try to tear them apart but they can get through it together... Oh wait, that IS what made fallout different from the start! That's why Fallout 1 and 2 aren't considered mainstream and its what Fallout has done in some noticeable way in every installment (barring brotherhood and Tactics), including Fallout 4!

TL:DR The Mainstream isn't changing Fallout, Fallout is changing the mainstream and the major themes of any good Fallout game are still present in FO4... even if the story and dialogue sucked ass, they were there.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:39 am

I think has less to do with mainstream and more with who writes what. Bethesda has a very simplistic way to look at stories and people, and their games have this naive, almost childlike quality to them in understanding how the world works. Look at how Skyrim presents it's civil war but has no atrocities that would be committed during such a conflict, like pillaging villages, raping, maiming, etc. It's all very clean. Look at how FNV structured it - first you meet the NCR in Primm, where they are well meaning but bureaucratically ineffective. Same thing continues at the Mojave Outpost and then at Nipton you actually see a Legion pillaged town where only scorpions remain. Searchlight, No Mans Land between Nelson and Camp Forlon Hope (at least before the memory patches), Boulder City - they all show a prolonged and brutal conflict with no end in sight. In Skyrim if NPCs didn't talk about it, you wouldn't even notice that there's a war going on.

Also you're in luck, because there's a character in FO4 who calls you a retard, voiced by none other than Emil Paglirulo, that classy lead writer of Bethesda.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:32 am

I'll offer a really short answer Smile

No, it is nowhere near mainstream, well at least in my area of course. In my school, there are only a handful of people who knows and plays the game. I even persuaded people to play it because its a really great game, but alas they are much more interested in multiplayer games like Overwatch, CSGO, TF2, and other games. Why that is? I do not know.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:48 am

Fallout didn't come to the mainstream, the mainstream came to Fallout.

Bethesda, with Fallout 3, turned the Fallout franchise into an RPG with elements from both FPS shooters and Third Person shooters. They turned it into a 3D game and so more people were willing to try it out, myself being one.

Fallout: New Vegas then invited many new players since Obsidian are a reknown company with many good games under their belt. 

When Fallout 4 was released, it was never dumbed down to the fit the mainstream, Fallout 4 was experimental. Beth wanted to see if a cinematic Fallout game would do good with the sacrifice of RPG elements from the previous games, the character voice and backstory being two. Bethesda released Fallout 4 in a time where gaming had just become mainstream, when in FO3 and FNV there were a lot less gamers around. 

In 10 years or so, there will be way more gamers around, especially with children growing up in the technological era we are in. The franchises we know and love will be more popular, and there will be more pressure on companies to do right by their fans. In turn, games will become better. Being a mainstream game franchise is not all that bad, especially when your game franchise attracted the mainstream and didn't water down their games for it.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:57 pm

Starting to see blokes and gals rocking Fallout apparel everytime I go to the mall or something. Along with the Elder Scrolls.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:05 pm

Nothin' wrong with being mainstream, dude. Just more people to talk to who share your love for the series. Popularity garners game/merch sales and in turn produces more games/merch. As for the dialogue changes, that's often dictated by what is or isn't socially acceptable in the timeframe. Back in the time of Fallout 2, it was more acceptable to use the word "retarded" than it is now.

The main difference in the comedy between the classics/newer games is the fact that the same writers aren't working on, say, Fallout 4 as the ones that worked on Fallout 2.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:38 pm

GTA is pretty mainstream too so I don't think being mainstream necessarily means bad. Hopefully they earn more money to make better games. So in that case Fallout 4 might have been an compromise maybe to attract more people but surely it wouldn't endure.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:59 pm

The mainstream came to Fallout. Really, if it wasn't for Bethesda buying the rights to Fallout and moving it from a  2D isometric to a 3D 1st/3rd person shooter, the franchise would've been dead.  Remnant developers of the old Fallouts said this themselves, and has said that giving Fallout to Bethesda was probably the best thing they ever did. Fallout 3 brought in a ton of new fans(including me), and Fallout 4 did the same. Fallout 4 brought a lot of Elder Scrolls fans from the huge popularity of Skyrim, and because of that, we're getting a lot of amazing mods for Fallout 4. @Corvo said it best in my opinion. Fallout 4 was Bethesda's experiment at going for a more cinematic and straightforward experience. They did that by giving your character a preset background, giving him/her a voice, sacrificing RPG elements, and cutting down dialogue options to only four to really give off a more Bioware feel. From the reaction of the fanbase, it didn't really go down so well. That is why Far Harbor is said by many to be a return to form for Fallout storytelling wise. Bethesda is trying new ideas and with those new ideas, not every one of them is gonna be nailed. Also, mainstream doesn't automatically mean "bad" or "watered down". It just means that certain thing is getting a lot of global attention and is considered the go to thing people talk about at that time. A lot of developers want their games to hit mainstream status because that usually means a bigger budget for their future games.

@superpele It's funny that Parker was voiced by Emil himself, seeing that encounter was probably one of the better written scenes in the base game.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:24 pm

I think it is too mainstream. Fallout 4 was a good game but just horrible in many ways imo. I see what you did t Machine Gunner
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:26 pm

in my oppinion yes, but not because alot of people like it now but more that Bethesda dumbed it down to make it more "mainstream" this i feel has killed what fallout was all about.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:10 pm

@erebamagi_10 I agree. When developers dumb down a game to fit more casual players, it can hurt the series. I heard a lot of the complaints about Fallout 4 were about them dumbing it down like no weapon degradation and extremely simple dialogue(though complaints differed between outright hatred of it, the fact that it limits speech options, or both).

Skyrim was also guilty of being dumbed down. They ditched weapon maintainance and more complex things in favor of more casual elements. Don't get me wrong, I love Skyrim(with mods obviously), but I enjoyed Oblivion more.

The more popular a game series gets, the more chance it'll get dumbed down in an effort to appease more casual players who want to join in, but lack the basic skills. *Cough* Fable 3 *cough*
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:27 pm

@Wertologist The biggest mistake was dumping skills in FO4. That greatly limited their quest design and the ways to solve them, limiting it to two choices - shooting or talking that proceeds to fetch questing. And talking is hindered even more by it being a dice roll that allows to make even the "hard" rolls possible on level 1.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Wed May 03, 2017 10:34 pm

skill and haveing no armor deg in survival and no side quest and vioced main ect. i could go on but talking about it just depresses me

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Thu May 04, 2017 7:24 pm

It's odd you should mention this, I remarked on Facebook a while back how different "normies" (sorry) view Fallout vs say, Skyrim. Fallout gets a lot of flak for either not being realistic enough, or for not being a fantasy game like the Witcher or Skyrim (I've actually never played Skyrim myself - not a big fan of fantasy). I guess Fallout has that semi-political edge to it that has made it somewhat more niche - I mean Fallout just doesn't seem to have reached the same mass audience as Skyrim has, at least not to the same extent (even Fallout 4, really, which Bestheda tried really hard to make an "accessible" game). Plenty of people play it, but it just doesn't seem to have as wide or as "deep" a fanbase. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Just what I've noticed.

I'm not particularly complaining though, sometimes it can be nice to have a little retreat from mainstream culture :3
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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Thu May 04, 2017 10:02 pm

I think Fallout is going mainstream since Skyrim blew up in 2011 everyone has their eyes on the fallout up on the release until now. I dont think its necessarily a bad thing for the game its that the devs should strive more.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Sun May 07, 2017 1:51 am

Yeah fallout began to be mainstream the second bethesda bought the licence, you can see that in fallout 3, compare that game to fallout 2, they really wanted to appeal that game to the widest margin possible, not trying to go all NMA here but i really dont like the way the series has gone and i hope they realize what fans of the series really like; story not looting and run n' gun

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Mon May 08, 2017 5:24 pm

How I see it, there are two camps: the original fans( F1, F2, and tactics) and the bethesda fans. People who love the Fallout franchise love every single one, but personally have their own biases. Of course you will have the 'Purist' fans that will scorn the bethesda fanboys, and vice versa. I personally love seeing new people join the community, regardless of which game they choose. I played my first Fallout game, Fallout 3, when I was in 6th grade back in 2007-2008 and it forever changed my opinion on video games. Before I played F3, I had only played games like Ratchet and Clank, Halo, and Medal of Honor/ COD which were fun but oh so linear. I remember my first time ever leaving Vault 101 and all the thoughts that were going through my head: I...I can see the Washington Monument! Look at all the decayed buildings! This is the most beautiful thing EVER!!!... Now... what do I do from here? That right is what got my hooked on the game series, that sense of adventure and self discovery is what fascinated my little 6th grader brain. Don't get me wrong, the Bethesda storyline was somewhat lackluster, but oh my lord did they nail the map. From going to Wilhelm's Wharf to Rivet City, the map will be forever embedded in memory( hopefully for the better lol). After some years, my interest in the Fallout games fell... that was until I got my hands a copy of New Vegas! Man, I don't think I've put so many hours into a game. I played that so much on my PS3 that the system almost broke. When I discovered mods, my interest had increased double fold. This is where my point comes in.

When people talk about ' is Fallout becoming too mainstream', they tend to imagine that with the huge successes of Skyrim and F4 will change the formula of the games they have cherished so much, and do you know what? It will change. Dramatically. However, that does not necessarily mean a bad thing. People for the longest associated Fallout with an isometric view with a sort of turn based fighting system. That obviously changed when Bethesda obtained the rights to the franchise. Some older fans were turned off to this new way of playing, and they have the right to hold these views. Other fans came back and fell head over heels with this new game. The most impressive thing about this change is that it opened the door for newcomers like me. From F3, I went on to New Vegas, then F1, tried playing F2 but it just didn't run on my computer, and now F4. The lore of the game was such that it drove me to not only look it up on the wiki, but to actually play the games. Don't get me wrong, I personally dislike most of the changes in the new Fallout game( such as the voiced protagonist, less choices, the lack of a degradation system, etc.). The thing is that I encourage Bethesda to step out of their comfort zone and experiment in what they think is best, but they also to listen to the feedback of their fans. Fallout, IMO, is not a mainstream series, but it definitely has a huge fanbase; they range from the average joe that picked up a copy because they were bored, to a fan that has put more than 500 hours...in..each...game.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Mon May 08, 2017 7:58 pm

Fallout has been growing in people playing slowly (All of these numbers are at the peak of people playing) (At least from the numbers on steam), Fallout 4 had the most people playing it by far with 471,955 people (At least from steam), with the second being Fallout New Vegas with around 30,000 people playing. The entire Fallout series (Excluding Fallout 4) (At the peak of each game) had around 45,000 players playing.

Fallout 4 - 471,955 people playing at it's peak
Fallout New Vegas - 30,309 people playing at it's peak
Fallout 3 - 2,653 people playing at it's peak
Fallout 3 (Game Of the Year Addition) - 10,357 people playing at it's peak
Fallout 2 - 650 people playing at it's peak
Fallout - 1,160 people playing at it's peak

So IMO, I think it's getting mainstream, but it's not there quite yet

(Source: STEAM CHARTS)

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PostSubject: Re: Is Fallout Becoming Too Mainstream?   Mon May 08, 2017 8:23 pm

I think it's been pretty mainstream since 3. Yeah I agree that there's something to be said for a game remaining "our thing" and been this underground indie secret. But reality is there's no major developer out there clamouring for that. Universal acclaim equals sales and sales equals money. That's the end result. I definitely agree that Fallout 4 dumbed down the rpg elements to clearly cater to a larger, less intensive audience as opposed to an audience who are going to devote a lot of time to the games in depth mechanics and replay it to see all the possible outcomes. 

I think you can still get both, as Witcher 3 has proven and it's no excuse for fallout 4 to be, while still a good game, as bland as it was. Fallout's true problem, and Skyrim's too, was that they're amazing worlds that are actually void of any meaningful content. Once you get past the pretty scenery, there's not much there. A few dungeons, things to kill, but that's it. It doesn't expand much through the narrative. Nothing changes much in the wider scheme of things. Actions in these worlds don't have major consequences and even those that feel important aren't too important once the quest ends and you get your experience and reward. If anything, that's the issue with Fallout, not that it's becoming mainstream. It's that it's becoming bland. It's simply riding off the association of been in that world. Compare Fallout 3 to Fallout 2. Fallout 3 is in no way a sequel to 2. Fallout 2 followed on from one with the vault dwellers descendant being the chosen one, among a tribe of runaways from vault 13 who followed in Dwelller's footsteps after they were exiled. The chosen one later reunites the tribals with the remnants of Vault 13 and brings them together. It carries on the narrative in the same developing worldspace. 3 takes the setting to the other end of the wasteland, disregards the story and creates a new unrelated narrative. It's not a sequel. The storytelling there is disjointed, doing nothing to develop on the story we have already been told. It makes no sense. Fallout new vegas felt like far more of a sequel, though much like Tactics, will likely be retconned in the true canon. The story has became so secondary to the "gameplay experience" and this is from someone who does enjoy Fallout 4. When I think of Fallout, I think RPG. You can't have an RPG without a clear story. You can't have a clear story when you don't follow your own flow. Even Fallout 4 is so disconnected from 3. The Brotherhood are back to being xenophobic, possess a giant airship, with no word on the fate of the world we left behind or the character we created. Our actions hold no water. That's the real issue with Fallout 4. Bethesda aren't writing a story. They're writing several stories in the same world, which is fine. But in moving on from one, you must acknowledge the consequences of the other. 4 fells so far from 3, which in turn, was lightyears from 2. It has far more effect than you'd think. Particularly in an RPG where, as I mentioned, story is everything.

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