So let’s talk about Bethesda’s big problem: they simply don’t care about choice and consequence any more. They only care about money. You need look no further than their actions in recent years to understand that ever since Skyrim, they’ve realised they can basically just put no real effort in and still make millions of dollars.
Part of this lack of effort is never, ever locking content away from the player. So having Sanctuary become a no-go area after Act 1 until you advance far enough to liberate the place would be a big fat nope; that’d be locking content away.
Likewise, having the player locked out of faction content (like happens in New Vegas) is a big no-no as well. Which is why you can do basically everything for every faction in Fallout 4 until the very end. And even then, I suspect the only reason you eventually side against one faction is so Bethesda could put a pretty nuclear explosion in their promo materials.
Bethesda removed skills, simplifying the game systems and removing any sort of level cap in an effort to get people to play forever on a single character. There’s virtually no real replayability to be found in new character builds, because character builds don’t really exist any more. Every new character ends up the same because there are certain perks that are necessary for everyone. And with them being level-locked, you can’t specialise early on.
And let’s not forget the cherry perched on top of the disgusting shit cake: radiant quests, the lowest of the low when it comes to quality and fun. They’re just MMO daily grind quests except, unlike an MMO, you don’t get anything useful from them. Just more xp and items, which you can farm anywhere anyway.
Then there are other issues such as unique weapons not being unique, meaning every character again ends up basically identical. For example, in New Vegas every single unique variant weapon was actually unique in that it had its own model and skin and either required you to complete a quest – often locking yourself out of a unique item entirely if you went for the ‘good guy’ route, like that of Contreras – or visit a dangerous location to acquire.
Contrast with Fallout 4, where uniques are almost without exception just the base gun/weapon model with a legendary effect attached, effectively identical to how they were in 3. And for the vast majority, it’s virtually impossible to ever miss them, except by not having enough money for those stocked at shops… and money really isn’t an issue in this game anyway.
At the end of the day, I don’t expect Bethesda to change how they make games, not any more. They’ve found a formula that makes them ridiculous amounts of money, and expecting them to risk that by actually making good games is silly. When all’s said and done, Bethesda has become just another AAA factory churning out bland games lacking in creativity, same as the rest.
And that’s depressing as all hell. But more than that, it’s sickening knowing that my favourite game franchise is in the hands of people who don’t understand or respect it, and only care about it to the extent where it makes them money. And given Bethesda is owned by Zenimax… yeah, that just compounds the issue.
New Vegas had a theme running through the whole game: let go and move on, or begin again and make the same mistakes in a never-ending cycle? Frankly, I feel it’s probably time to let go. Fallout is effectively dead, at least as far as getting anything worthwhile going forward is concerned.
Though that doesn’t mean I won’t continue criticising Bethesda or their games/stories. Letting them get away with it is worse than simply staying quiet. At least I can exercise my brain a bit. And who knows, one day I might talk about New Vegas or the originals, and dig into why they were such great games.
Compared to Bethesda’s sophomoric fare, the difference isn’t even night and day; it’s more akin to a baby following its parent around, mimicking and imitating, but never managing to understand or learn. Though even that isn’t really accurate. Because that would imply Bethesda even wants to learn. And it’s quite clear from their own actions that they do not.
Powered by WPeMatico