Bethesda…Bethesda never changes. I truly believe they are the only company who could get away with the things they do and still receive so much love from the community. The games can crash or glitch and still have people clamoring “game of the year!” with so many more qualified candidates out there. This year’s most qualified, Witcher 3, comes from a smaller team that went out of their way to make a world feel truly alive. By comparison, Fallout 4 feels like a lot of lazy half assing in so many ways. The vast majority of the sound effects in this game have been used in every single other Bethesda game in recent memory. Even the music playlist for the radio station has been heard before in previous Fallout games. The recycled engine is given some new next gen spit and polish, but aside from the prettier outdoor environments and new more colorful locations, the character models are often but ugly and badly animated.
The problem here for me is that I’ve seen other companies raise the bar higher and higher for what to expect in terms of character design and animation with each release, but Bethesda…Bethesda never changes.
However, this is actually the first Bethesda game I’ve played all the way to the end, (Unless you count Fallout Shelter, which I don’t.) liking and loathing it in equal measure. There is nothing I can praise in the game that does not instantly lead to a big BUT, and for every time I was enjoying my game, there’s at least twice as many times where I was left groaning, “This is utter bullshit.” Or yelling it, or even growling it. And I want to note that it was rarely the challenge level of the game that was the reason for my anger. Sometimes it might be a glitch or a crash, but more often, it was just lazy writing or coding.
But let me start off at the beginning. Bethesda never changes. That’s why yet again, Fallout 4 starts with the same introductory sentence. However, this time the world is fleshed out in more detail before the character creation process begins, and I think it hurts the premise even more than the previous entries. In this version, the war did not take place in an alternate fifties era. Instead, the world went on with the same culture and technology until 2077. Try to think about that. If a person from 1950 were frozen and taken to our time, they would not recognize quite a lot of the progress we take for granted. But not only did technology freeze, but so did all culture and art. So for this period of supposed nuclear peacetime, no one ever did anything in any field. Ever. The game actually contradicts this idea many, many times, and yet…Bethesda never changes. Continue reading