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(01-06-2016, 12:01 PM)
It's a huge pile of shit by a developer which I now consider one of the most amateurish developers under the sun in relation to manpower and budget.

I can't believe how many positive reviews and great scores it received. I guess this definitely makes me a moneyhatting believer, though. Can't believe how much I was looking forward to this game. You can find posts I made defending this game until the very day it came out, even its graphics, all the time. I was that guy.

What exactly were they thinking when they replaced the old conversation system with a generic conversation wheel? In the past I even defended this. I argued it's better for a video game this way because you don't have to read so much and gameplay is more important than story. But when I said this, I was just playing Witcher 3 and it has visually simplified answer choices, too, and it does a great job with those most the time. When I said this, I was considering how much more expierenced Bethesda is than CDPR, how they have way more resources and how much I actually liked their Fallout 3. Boy was I blind. It's like their target audience was the same people that bought a Wii for Wii Sports and Mario Kart. It's completely generic, for some reason they never wanted to exceed like four words, even when this leads to absolutely vague shit. Sometimes it even seems like, whoever was responsible for this shit, couldn't put what your character actually says into four words and just called it a day. For example (SPOILER): See 14:00. Maxson is giving you a speech, yelling at you, actually making a good point. It's probably one of the most substantial points of the game. Then the conversation wheel pops up and it gives you "Seriously?" What the fuck do they mean by "Seriously?" What the hell were they thinking? And the funniest thing is this is actually the best answer you can pick because it seems to be the most moderate one.


The bigger issue, however, is that they completely butchered the RPG mechanics inside the conversation system itself. Maybe I'm just dumb and didn't see it, maybe my version is broken or something, but I could swear your characteristics and perks don't affect the answers you can give anymore. In Fallout New Vegas, for example, there were many answers you could only give when your character is clever enough or when you have unlocked a specific perk like "Science", I believe. Those answers were always fun and it made the conversation system actually more interactive and motivating. If I'm not totally idotic or own a broken copy and they really scrapped this, I have no idea how everyone can be accepting of this. This is a huge flaw, a huge step backwards.

Anyway, I could actually still live with this. Even more important; what the hell was this terrible attempt of a story? They really recycle this terrible humanoid robot theme? I don't even know where to start, I think I hated everything about it, from beginning to end. First, why would you even make the protagonist of a Fallout game a parant looking for a missing son that was just taken by someone who killed his mother/father? The Fallout universe is a grotesque, serious but at the same time humoristic one, especially in this game with the character talking and making faces. I just saw how my wife got shot, I'm missing my son who could get killed or be already dead and after 20 minutes I left the vault, I'm already laughing, cracking jokes, listening to funny music, building fucking chairs for lazy people and doing weird Fallout quests, wearing detective clothes and mimicking a cartoon character.

A talking character with a backstory isn't generally a bad idea for an RPG but they did an absolutely oustanding job with this story making you believe it is. Again, this was actually one of the things I defended months ago. And again I took Witcher 3 and Geralt who is one of the most reasonable and charismatic characters out there as granted. I had no idea Bethesda could fuck up like this.

But of course the crucial point of the story is the whole Institute thing and all the quests around it. One quest that comes to mind is the Covenant quest. It finally lets you choose between either letting some scientist experiment on and finally "kill" a synth in order to find out a way to identify synths and distinguish between synths and people or kill the human and save the synth, a robot. The writers really want you to sympathize with a robot, basically a toaster (yes, synths behave unrealistically human because it's a silly game but they're just robots), in a way that you would kill a human with good intentions. This is how stupid the story is. There are similar quests with ghouls instead of robots and they make sense, Ghouls look nasty and many of them try to eat you out there but not all of them are bad and they're actually living people. This quest was the point I realized this story is going nowhere. It's a shame. I liked Shaun and the Institute as a location but nothing about them made any sense. I was tempted to join them but after unsuccessfully talking to every single NPC multiple times hoping to get some answers, I joined the Brotherhood and blew the whole thing up. To this day I have no idea why they're risking a war with the Brotherhood and basically every small association on the surface and spending all those resources and energy on building generation 3 synths. "Hey, we have working health care, food, economy and protection. Oh yeah, we're also making copies of humans." Just why? After realizing the game is a steaming pile of shit in almost every way, I made a lot condtional on this one answer, maybe hoping for a redeeming factor. But I never got it. I think once I could actually ask an NPC inside the Institute, all he replied was basically "Haha, are you joking? Just think about all the possibilities. Haha." Hell, most NPCs there don't even seem to be all too fond of the synths themselves. And of course they are a threat in every way, shape and form. They are a threat for everyone.

To get on to the most important subjects, core gameplay, level design and performance/polishing/playability, from annoying, little flaws to "what the fuck were they thinking?": The Pip-Boy menu is still bad and you can't even sort your items by date which you could actually do in New Vegas. This isn't as much of a step backwards as the butchered dialogue system I mentioned earlier but it's defnitely a step backwards, and a weird one. Then, instead of fleshing it out and making the Fallout combat somewhat more tactical which is long overdue, they just scrapped the New Vegas mechanic with the different types of bullets.

Something more or less optional that lets the player put his personal mark on something and is a) not very demanding to implement and b) not totally out of place is generally a great thing, there was no need for taking this choice away from the player on top of castrating the old, more complex conversation system with characteristics actually affecting your answers.

Why I think the combat needs to be improved? Because it is fucking terrible. Even though I considered myself a Fallout fan until Fallout 4, I always hated it and wondered who in his right mind would design shit like this and then be like "Yeah, that's great guys, send it out." If you play on anything but easy, enemies in dungeons become damage sponges and either you try to stealth your way through which (could be wrong here) is often impossible or you'll eventually end up putting the cursor on an enemy and holding the left mouse button while walking backwards, spamming heal items and walking around obstacles hoping the terrible AI is too dumb to deal with them. This is the Fallout combat. If you play competitive shooters like Counter Strike, I think it's even worse for you. They clearly tried to make it play more like an shooter but failed miserably. It still plays like shit. Horrible mouse acceleration, you stutter, enemies stutter, everything stutters, the animations are terrible and way too unrealistic and unpredictable with the enemies clipping through everything, crouching, getting up, crouching again at the speed of light and invisible walls blocking your projectiles. Well, you can just spam jet all the time which makes the game hilariously easy but at the same time, well, slow, slow and bad for your ears. Doesn't help you are forced to play on higher difficulties to not miss out on rare weapons (which idea I actually love if it wasn't for the horrible gameplay) and you can make more jet than you could ever use up. I love the idea with playing on higher difficulties actually rewarding you but I feel like the gameplay is way too shit for this to work. I also don't like how you actually drown in legendary weapons and how they render all normal weapons compeltely useless. This makes a lot of hidden weapons and chests pointless.

Now what were they thinking with this whole Sims bullshit? Instead of wasting time on this, they should have spent more time actually writing a good story and making some decent sidequests and locations. I understand letting the player organize his own room and put his own mark on something, many RPGs have this, it's great. But the Sims mechanics in Fallout 4 are foced on you, whether you enjoy it or not (and no one buys Fallout for this stuff), it was unpolished and extremely glitchy. It was probably the element of this game that made me waste the most time on watching loading screens while questioning my whole life and my stupid hobby. I gave it a chance, mostly because I read you can get unique weapons, armors and other stuff this way. I focused on Sanctuary Hills, After like 100 hours I've played this game, I did not get anything out of it, all the NPCs are just there for, well, that's why, to be there. And it's your job to keep them safe, protect them and every 20 hours kill a few super mutants that are attacking the settlement. Why? So they can proceed being there, of course. You build those generic Fallout objects and then they're there, too. Then you have pointless NPCs and pointless, generic Fallout objects just being there. Isn't that great? You can't interact with anything, you can't play pool after having built a pool table and putting some balls and cues on top of it. You can't sit there and eat with them in your lawn chairs with them actually saying something funny or interesting, they don't leave behind any trash that you have to clean, you don't have to walk your dog or make some NPC do it, you can't adopt more and other animals. You can't even really make an awesome looking village or something like that, that's not possible at all. I also never got that unique weapon I read about. To get those weapons, I wasted like six perks so I can build all this stuff and those shops on top of having invested all of my caps. After 100 hours I have never seen that guy who is supposed to sell them. Why would they even do something this stupid and cryptical? Those shops are as useless as those whole Sims mechanics in general. It's an incredibly frustrating part of the game with no way around if you're a "completionist". The worst thing is how glitchy it is. The informations you get through your Pip-Boy don't go hand in hand with the informations you actually get through your building menu. Sometimes the Pip-Boy says a settlement lacks protection, you go there, endure the long loading time and the settlement building menu tells you everything is fine (i.e. no red icons) with NPCs not complaining about anything. Then you check out your Pip-Boy and suddenly another settlement lacks something. I have no idea how much time I wasted on this shit but I think I've never seen something this fucking terrible in a video game made by a developer this big. What I hate the most about the settlements is how Bethesda used them to fill this terrible, boring mess of an open world, making them a repeating point like all the terrible factories, churches or monster nests in Witcher 3. If it would be only a few settlements, it would be actually something special. This way it's just a geneirc, predictable event of an amateurish open world, Ubisoft tier.

The settlements feel like remains of a scrapped online mode/MMORPG with players being able to invade or help each other.

At this point I was actually happy how glitchy it is. I had no idea how to build and arrange this thing properly. I can't really remember anymore what my problem was but this thing just didn't fit inside that huge thing because the feet (concrete) were in its way. Then I just removed the wooden floor and it suddenly worked with the huge thing floating in the air.

Glitches over glitches and more glitches. Without autosaving and being able to save whenever you want and making multiple files? Yes, it would not be possible to finish this game. It's a game in its pre-alpha state with an autosaving system slapped on it sold for 50 bucks. Soon months have passed and basically nothing has changed.

A very harmless glitch. Enemies just sinking into the ground. It can be very frustrating when it's a legendary enemy and you can't reach the loot, though. With a product this glitchy, it's weird how no one at Bethesda came up with the idea of making the loot appear automatically after having killed an enemy (see Xenoblade, for example) or just let a loot bag appear approximately where the enemy died (Witcher). Although the Xenoblade method is probably less advisable considering this game is all about shooting raiders and crabs, a window popping up every 10 seconds could be annoying.

What actually shocked me, however, was how glitchy and unpolished the power armor mechanics were. This was one of the main selling points of the game and it felt like the idea with making it basically a mech came to them like six months before the game was released due to the general mech hype. You're too big for many rooms with your head going through the ceiling which makes you see the skybox, it's too broken, you often can't operate computers because there is a fucking chair in your way you for some reason must sit on before operating the computer. Which leads us to the terrible enter and exit animation that is way, way too long. Why would they waste our time like this? You'll hop in and out many, many times in this game and every single time you have to endure this terribly long animation. Just why? Were they so proud of themselves they actually managed to animate human looking movements with this archaic engine? There even is a faster animation in the game. Luckily there is a mod for this by now. There are so many terrible things in this game that you have to play it with mods to make it bearable. How horrible is this developer?

This is me trying to have fun with the jetpack mechanic. No, that actually was the moment before, this picture shows me being stuck and having to reload my save again.

And again. No, you can't just exit the armor wherever you want to prevent this bullshit, that's Xenoblade X.

This one is actually funny or maybe creepy. Some elevators let you open that little hatch, I often thought "what's the point". This time I could even see there is a corpse up there and I had a jetpack equipped. Well.

Now in this case I was actually lucky I was inside my power armor. No idea what this glitch is, just used this eleveator and when I was at the top, this happened. Without the power armor (no fall damage), I'd have to reload my save again.

Unrelated but whatever. Killed this Railroad guy but the quest marker ain't going nowhere. I'll never be able to finish this quest without using the console or mods. This game is a disaster for completionists.

How can someone release something like this? How can something like this receive such positive feedback?

The quest design is terrible. The generic Skyrim tavern quests are everywhere and you often couldn't even know when a quest is just a generic fetch quest with you killing a bunch of raiders, then heading back to the quest giver, getting some experience and useless money. At one point in the game I think I noticed that all quests that didn't have a unique Pip-Boy animation were generic and should be ignored. Too late, though. And even the optional quests with the unique Pip-Boys were usually terrible, always about shooting raiders, crabs with pointless reward or a boring story. The biggest disappointment was probably that Museum of Witchcraft every NPC in the game is talking about, saying it's totally spooky. It's one fucking generic enemy and a stupid, pointless decision you can make. Talking of raiders; what the hell were they thinking making this an unofficial Rambo game? Those guys are fucking everywhere, either raiders, crabs, robots or ghouls. Except for the centerpiece, the world is just one generic, flat pile of shit filled with you running from generic factory to generic factory. Sometimes there is a generic churche that looks like every other churche. And of course the generic settlements. I'm not saying there aren't some actually decent locations in this game. I liked Covenant (despite the terrible synth story), Good Neighboor (probably where the game peaks) and of course Diamond City but the world is infested with generic, boring copy/pasted content which burns you out 10 hours after you left Sanctuary Hills. It's completely missing the unique Fallout atmosphere. Where are all those people coming from anyway? Wasn't there something about nukes and a post-apocalyptic setting? There are people everywhere and the lollipop color palette isn't really helping. There are almost 40 fucking factories in this game and they're all more or less the same to me with the same assets. 40. Packed with armies of people you have to mow down. Remember New Vegas which you can finish without killing anyone? Quests that even let you be cool with the raiders? It also didn't have countless factories and enemies everywhere and the few locations and NPCs it had actually felt special. Even that one cabin with the old guy and the tame mole rat you can talk to. The world had the necessary emptiness the Fallout franchise and this setting needs. Atmosphere and immersion is extremely important for Fallout, New Vegas respected this. I loved Good Springs, the contaminated village with a unique kind of ghouls, that village with the dinosaur statue, Jacob's Town, the settlements, and of course New Vegas. Not to mention that it actually had good dungeons and vaults, probably the best abandoned vault in the series. And you can find posts of me shitting on New Vegas right here on NeoGAF.

There are a million other things you could criticize. Many small things. Like how illogical this quest with the boy in the fridge is, how annoying it is that you can move around freely when talking to NPCs and accidentally shoot them when you don't know for sure if there'll be an actual conversation with text you can skip (same button as shoot button), how bad the economy system is, how dumb charisma is in this game with not even giving you hard numbers for your chances. Not to mention you can just reload your save anyway. If we fuck up despiet having hard numbers, it's only our own fault and we can accept this and keep playing. The way it is, I'm sure, everyone reloaded his save at some point.

It really didn't help the game that I played Witcher 3 before and that I'm now playing Xenoblade which lets me enter and exit my mech within one second, a game that basically has no glitches despite having a world that is way, way bigger, way more varied with actual verticalness (while mountains don't exist and there is fucking nothing on all those buildings in Fallout 4), less generic and repeating content and no loading times at all.

Oh, the loading times. How could I forget the loading times? I had to buy an SSD for this game because it was unplayable with my HDD while every other game is perfectly playable with it. Some loading times lasted two minutes and there are loading times for entering a small room with nothing but a table, a chair and maybe some empty bottles. This alone already makes the game a pile of shit, doesn't even matter how good or bad the actual game design is.

I dedicate the final word to Trace who has 19 FPS looking at some nasty PS2 shit with a GTX 980 Ti: I have an R9 290, it was sometimes unplayable for me while I usually have like 45-60 FPS with a low/high settings mix. How can you design a game that performes this irregulary without realizing this is not OK?