Some games split rooms by their very mention, yet up until Fallout 4, Bethesda's post-apocalyptic series wasn't one of them. Both Fallout 3 and Obsidian's New Vegas went down very well indeed, and despite being processor-straining affairs with more than a fewbugs and glitches, still amassed audiencesinthe tens of thousands.
It proved that Bethesda's signature brand of RPG game design - formerly seen in their landmark Elder Scrolls titles - can hop across genres and breathe life into something else entirely, yet seven years later when they tried to do it again... we sawa bit of a mixed reaction.
Not from critics, mind you. Critically, Fallout 4 was Game of the Year across the board - aside from here, where I appointed The Witcher 3 the top spot - as instead, it was only the outlier who pointed at things like its antiquated presentation, lack of new features outside base-building and the overwhelmingly 'last-gen' feel of it all.
Now, Fallout 4 is still one hell of an achievement in pure game design, but there are a number of issues I think will always prevent it from being remembered as fondly as its predecessors. Many, that should've been done far better...
12. Fix The Prologue Pacing And Introduction To The World
There are a few instances with Fallout's narrative presentationthat right from the get go, put me on the back foot. The entire prologue from before the blast feels rushed, going from hanging out with your partner to answering the door mentioning a new Vault-tec shelter, to the bombs dropping just as it's been discussed and walking out into the post-apocalypse a few moments later.
The scene where your partner is killed gets an appropriately passionate reaction, but following that, it's a very quick "I'll avenge you and find our son" line, before you're blasting radroaches and toddling off to do side-missions. Being that your infant son is somewhere in the world, all alone (or so you think), there's a distinct lack of drive behind your actions - especially in how little you're freaked out by, or worried about.
Super Mutants? Not a problem. Radroaches, humanity being decimated, your own house being a pile of bricks? Nope, not a thing.
As a way for Bethesda to fast-track everything in service of 'getting on with the game', all dialogue is very lighthearted and immediately forthright when it comes to embarking on missions. You can choose to be a bit more emotional when telling a handful of characters the details of your family - and you'll suddenly trigger a slow... very... serious... delivery... - but then you're back to being chipper again! Wahey!
It doesn't add up.
Where were the options to scream, Jack Bauer-style, "WHAT'S GOING ON?!"? Even if you had to do necessary tasks to gain peoples' trust, at no point could you grab someone by the collar and get some real answers.