"This is great," I told my friend. "I want this for my Power Armour back at Red Rocket Truck Stop." So I looted the lot.
Then, the inevitable: "You're carrying too much and can't run!"
"So, yeah, in Fallout 4, if you're carrying too much you slow right down, and you can't fast travel back to home base," I explained.
Into the Pip-boy I went, poring through my inventory, looking for something to dump on Piper, my then companion. But she didn't have any of it. "I'm full, mate. No more room for more of your rubbish." Decision time: do I drop some of the cool stuff I had on me, some of the junk items I'd picked up? Some of the weapons? I spent a good 10 minutes fumbling about the menu screens trying to shuffle bits and bobs this way and back until I came to the inevitable conclusion: I'll just leave the armour on the Raider's corpse.
"You seem to spend more time in the menu than in the game," my astute friend observed. "I don't think this is for me, to be honest."
I tried to explain that messing about in menus is part of the fun of Fallout - indeed it's a part of the fun of most role-playing games. There's a strategy to managing your weight. I need to decide what to take and what to leave behind. When you're so weighed down the game forces you to crawl, working out how to lighten the load without dumping the essentials is somehow fun. What is it Call of Duty marketing man always says? Oh yes, that's it: there's a logistics manager in all of us.
But, for me, with Fallout 4 it's just not worth it.
I often hear the word "realism" used by those who counter this argument. It wouldn't be very realistic if you could carry as much stuff as you want, they say. To that I respond: the realism horse bolted long ago. Fallout 4 and, let's be honest, all games, include magic backpacks that let you carry around a bucket load of stuff, before some arbitrary stat tells you you can't carry any more. It's already silly. Why not make it sillier?
So, after 15 or so hours with Fallout 4, I'm done with encumbrance. It's an archaic mechanic that gets in the way of the best the game has to offer. If you make junk matter, Bethesda, let us carry as much crap as we want. It's a video game, after all, about robots who tell jokes. It's not a post-nuclear simulation. Leave that to DayZ.
"Yeah, I don't think this is for me," my friend concludes. "Really, once it gets going, it's fantastic," I counter. "It looks a bit too much like hard work," he suggests. Yeah, I guess it does.
Streamline the thread if old.