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 Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.

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Sirdanest

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PostSubject: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:40 am

If Fallout 4 was simply "Apocalypse Adventure!" put out by a previously unknown company... would it have had so many detractors? I bet, no.
The same question could be asked of Mass Effect Andromeda, I suppose.
High standards won in previous works are a rough thing to follow. (Apparently.)
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:25 am

I think you're right about the previous games setting high expectations, but don't think it was a matter of standards. The game is, by and large, actually well made (for Bethesda) with excellent exploration, level design, and tighter shooting mechanics compared to other fallout games. Graphics are the best compared to all other Bethesda games, no matter what others say. The issue to me was they failed to understand their core audience and departed too far from the series design philosophy.

They spread themselves thin with a mostly linear story that ignores your morality and agency, an irrelevant settlement system no one really asked for, and a wealth of content that was too shallow to invoke the choices, writing and philosophy of F03 and NV. I rather enjoyed the main quest, but after it was done I found very few interesting things to do, and that is such a strange thing in a Bethesda game. It has far too much environmental storytelling that isn't balanced by true quests offered by NPC's. When there is one, it's a radiant quest in the forms of Preston Garvey or Unimportant NPC#122. It becomes such a chore to just wander the wastes without a narrative backbone to support it.

The settlements system is a huge missed opportunity in this regard. New settlers could have offered unique quests instead of being delegated to caps, weapons, and quest dispensers. The fact you get Power Armour in the first hour shows the core split between the devs and the fans. I'm sure it's such an awesome, fallout-esque moment to Tod Howard, slaying a Deathclaw in a Tank suit, but die hard fans were just annoyed by the game balance issues and how unearned it felt from a role playing perspective. It's a good game- great even, but a bad fallout game, imo.

In the case of Andromeda... well, there is much to indicate that its an objectively bad game in many respects (writing, bugs, animations etc). I am far more impressed by the older trilogy, and I only played them last year so no nostalgia goggles here. That's just my perspective though.

Cool question, there's a lot to say about this topic and I hope others can add to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:07 am

I'll say what I usually say about Fallout 4. It's a slightly-above average game,but a terrible Fallout game. The main reason that it got so much crap was because of the previous entries in the franchise. 1 and 2 were trailblazers and great(from what I heard,haven't actually played them) isometric old-school rpg games. 3 and New Vegas were essentially the FO version of the jump from 2D to 3D with Super Mario 64,albeit not as gracefully. However,since those 2 are what most Fallout fans will have played and loved,they would become the standard of what was to be expected from future games to come. From the clunky combat, extensive dialogue system, and vast arrays of role-playing possibilities,it was easy to see why so many people loved it.

Now,moving on to 4,Bethesda made a lot of terrible decisions with it. The only sure-fire improvements that I can think of is the better graphics(which to me is overshadowed by the art-style that I am not a fan of. Too vibrant and colorful for a post-apocalyptic game in my eyes. And OH GOD that assault rifle is fucking hideous),more refined(but still somewhat clunky) combat,and more memorable companions compared to the ones found in Skyrim and FO3. Everything else suffered. As mentioned earlier,Fallout to a lot people is a game full of myriad of ways to role-play as the character you want to be. Fallout 4 throws that out the window within the first ten minutes. The protagonist already has a predefined story of having been either a soldier or lawyer from the pre-war times. I'd be able to look past this if they actually made use of these backstories. Give Nate a predefined boost in combat skills and bring back the power armor perk so that Nate would be able to hop into a suit of power armor right off the bat. As for Nora,maybe give her better negotiation skills and have already unlocked those stupid settlement perks by default to capitalize on the fact that she was a lawyer. Obviously,this would never happen with such a prolific franchise and developers for fears of being labeled as sexist,but that is the only way I would have been able to forgive the predefined characters.

Okay,realized that I was starting to go into a full-blown rant there. Sorry about that,Fallout 4 just ruffles my jimmies I suppose you can say. Going back on topic and after some deep meditative thoughts to relax my brain,I honestly think that Fallout 4 would have been fucked either ways,Fallout or not. Obviously,in our timeline where Fallout 4 was Fallout 4,it got a metric crap-ton a flack for it's oversimplification of the beloved rpg franchise. Now,in an alternate timeline where Fallout 4 was a new IP or a one-off game,it probably still would have gotten a lot of flack. If it was made by a different company,there's always the possibility of it being overlooked and largely forgotten. If it was still made by Bethesda,fan would probably have seen it as being too similar to Fallout and an inferior version at that. Really,it just comes down to the fact that you simply can't satisfy everyone. People are always going to feel jibbed and betrayed. The only difference here is that the people who felt jibbed and betrayed were particularly vocal about it. The only thing Bethesda can really do is do as they see fit and just look at us and say," tough crowd."

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:35 pm

Ah, but if Fallout had never existed previously, then people couldn't call F4 too close to fallout. It's closest relative would be Skyrim. The settlement system is better than Hearthstone's building options in my opinion, and the companions and romances are better than the ones in Skyrim (carrying our burdens and the marriage amulet, anyone?) The faction choices are, for me, more interesting than the two civil war choices (who I just wanted to tell both of them to go shove it, I wanted to bring them both down and then let the chips fall where they may.) One of my characters surely would have empathized with the elves wanting their freedom, looking down on humans as an enemy.
I might have been more forgiving of Andromeda if it had been done by a small company's first effort, even though its problems were pretty clear even when separated from Mass Effect's history.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:57 pm

@Sirdanest

I agree. Fallout 4 would not get as much detractors if it was not tied to another game and was just known as this original post nuclear apocalypse game.

I feel that the reason that Fallout 4 has this many people hating it is because it is a successor to the previous Fallout games. Standards isn't really the issue, it's expectations.

Game developers are like artists, they want to create/innovate but it is hard to do that on sequels when there are set expectations by fans like on how the fans of the original Fallout games(1 & 2) was expecting an isometric game but they got the FPP when Fallout 3 was released and the fans of that game was expecting a world that they could explore in Fallout: New Vegas but instead they got a barren wasteland with a fleshed out world.

It is a cycle of disappointment that you have to live with as a game developer where you cannot satisfy everybody and you cannot be happy because there is not enough room to stretch since your hands are tied.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:07 pm

It wouldn't get as many complaints but at the same time it wouldn't change the problems with the game. Even if you ignore how it was lacking in rpg elements compared to previous Fallout games the actual main story is still incredibly shallow.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:23 pm

The story was incredibly cringe, and the gameplay was laughably bad. Pretty gun animations don't mean shit when every enemy is a bullet sponge and all your gameplay mechanics are shallow. I personally think it only sold well because it had the Fallout name, and that if it didn't it would be hated even more. As always, hardcore fanboys are always ready to forgive the flaws simply because they prefer brand recognition, as opposed to a proper product.

Just my two cents though, I could be wrong. For all I know it could have been the best selling game ever.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:52 pm

Bad combat and main plot compared to what though? Vanilla Skyrim? Without the other fallouts, it would have almost no close relatives in gaming.
Any comparisons would have to go to other genres, like adventure games that might have better story but no combat, or pure shooters that might have better gunplay but even less story and choice.
But it stands up well to Skyrim, barring a very strong preference for fantasy and a wider range of strange monsters. The four factions provide more depth than the civil war factions, I think.
I agree with the notion that it falls short as a Fallout game, but standing up against Skyrim, it does well. Most other comparisons are in different genres and are going to specialize and best F4 in one area while completely lacking any others.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:27 pm

Fallout 4 is hardly the first action game with a story. Without older Fallout and Elder Scrolls games it'd probably be compared to Mass Effect a lot, which has a very good story.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:34 am

Well,it seems as if that in my initial post my overall dislike for FO4 got me so worked up that I didn't even consider the original question of what FO4's reception would have been like if there was no Fallout to begin with. In that situation,I could see 4 having actually gotten overall positive scores and no backlash because they're would have been nothing to compare it to. The only downsides would have been hardcore rpg fans disliking the fact that the rpg elements were so light and a not-so stellar story. Other than that,it would probably have been seen as a mostly succesful beginning to a brand new ip.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:42 am

I mean, lets all just sort of admit it, part of what got FO4's foot in the door is the power behind Bethesda's name. I may not be the biggest proponent of Skyrim but when casual gamers hear Bethesda they think "Those guys that made Skyrim." Or, in some cases "Those guys that made Fo3."
If it was just TES that Bethesda was popular for, I think FO4 might have actually been better received, as, in my experience, it has a very similar play-style to Skyrim with much more customization and even more choice in how you talk to people (replay skyrim if you don't believe me, Dialogue was sparse).
Gun-play's good, acceptable at the least compared to the TES franchise, and it presents a world unlike any other... mostly. If Fallout 4 was the very first Fallout game, the Fallout franchise wouldn't carry the same weight that it does today. Its this weird inverse where the old school Fallouts and FNV are adored by old school and "hard core" RPG players but more casual gamers shouldn't even touch them because they [FO1 and 2] are nightmares to actually play, this is where the huge separation in the fan-base comes from, those who want a hardcore RPG experience and entirely distinct wasteland vs those who want a more straightforward "do as you please, the story isn't very important or good so go do side-quests" experience mingled with a more, dare I say it, stereotypical wasteland that evokes fallen monuments and a society where civilization is no longer attainable and those that pass for civilization are mere facades littered with everything foul the world can muster.

TL;DR The game would be much better received, but it probably wouldn't sell as well. The Fallout Name wouldn't be as Iconic, and the fan-base would likely be more unified but much smaller.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:52 am

Yep, I couldn't agree more. The game can be judged on it's own merits without expectations or legacy. The game is a good open world shooter that does too little in the role playing department to consider it such. The story could definitely have been improved, but it was passable overall, imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:10 pm

Honestly or me, with the exception of the dialogue poo poo (which was fixed with that mod that came out a few days after release), Fallout 4 is still my favorite...Yikes, will I be crucified by the legion now?
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:51 am

Nah, you're fine. Well,as far as I care. Smile I like all Bethesda games, once they've been modded to hell and back -- I don't play them vanilla.
Mass Effect, back in Bioware's golden age, was an example of a specialized game, very dedicated to its characters and writing, but the world wasn't open the way Skyrim and Fallout 4 are. There weren't four factions to choose from.
So yeah, as a specialized game, it beats the less specialized game in some areas, while "losing out" in others. That's why I'm saying Skyrim would have been F4's closest relative, differing almost only in setting. You can see how they are so closely related looking at the construction sets behind the scenes.
"Behind the scenes" mass effect would be much different, focusing on a specific story with no sandboxing; you can't impulsively decide to rob or steal in a peaceful area. Not necessarily a criticism, I'm just saying that their playstyle was different than the more freeform Skyrim and F4.

I wonder if people who wait to play these big games end up happier than those who played on day one? I would have probably been miserable if I'd tried to do that, to start playing right away with no mods or patches. I'm glad I waited until i could mod away so many of its problems. Skyrim feels so different too, with so many mods. And I never played Mass Effect 3 before it was fully dlc'd.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:46 am

I think Fallout 4 was a very fun game to play. Standalone, it would not get as near as much criticism as it does.

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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:39 am

Do you remember the first Rage? Okay gameplay, fun gunwork, beautiful wasteland, mediocre story.
Well, that is what you would have gotten had Fallout 4 been brought into the market on its own merits.

It would be quickly brushed aside, like Watch_dogs was.
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:45 pm

Man if that were the case, the dialogue system wouldn't be heavily criticized for what it is. Okay, maybe some comments like "it could have been more direct" or something else, but that's still leagues better than being called "stupid" and "shitty". HOWEVER, one thing that would most likely pull the game down would be the bugs. I really think that if some unknown developer released a buggy game like fallout 4, they wouldn't get the "Free Pass" Bethesda usually gets when they release their games.

But damn...now that I think about it, the game would really be unique since a 1950's post-apoc game with Flash Gordon-like sci fi weapons is a concept you don't see often in video games (unless of course you know a game like that because i sure don't)
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PostSubject: Re: Fallout 4, if Fallout had never existed.   Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:01 pm

well, bethesda storytelling is no longer their strong forte may I say, back then we had amazing talented writer such as Michael Kirkbride, Ken Rolston & others, I remember reading an article of interview with Ken Rolston where he saying, " I prefer Morrowind's partially recorded dialogue, for many reasons. But I'm told that fully-voiced dialogue is what the kids want. Fully-voiced dialogue is less flexible, less apt for user projection of his own tone, more constrained for branching, and more trouble for production and disk real estate. " the " I'm told " was Todd Howard himself at that time where he shaped the future of bethesda game studio with game like Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, FO3 & then FO4, not saying it's todd howard fault or something, it just, bluntly stupid to think he would say his game were inspired by the greatest RPGs of all time Ultima 7, but what we got here is just blank & shallow mechanic of RPGs itself, dumbed down more than enough, no speech check whatsoever, & trying to emulate what make Fallout a Fallout game, even though Tim Cain said, " My idea is to explore more of the world and more of the ethics of a post-nuclear world, not to make a better plasma gun. "
now bethesda owned full of the Fallout franchise & there is no WAY other outside 3rd party studio could get their chance on Fallout IP, that's mean West Coast Fallout would be in danger my friends, all the established lore & story would be retcon, NCR, bunker hills, Legion, the Shi, New Reno will be written BADLY by bethesda oh god... ( sob sob )
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