Some thoughts on Fallout 4

After an aborted launch day marathon (where I wasn’t paying attention to the skill tree, etc.) I reset my Fallout 4 game. I wasn’t very far along, despite being level 11. I ruined my skill tree by avoiding the good perks (so I can mod weapons) and basically making myself a sitting duck against the inevitable onslaught of fracking Super Mutants (WTF, Bethesda?)

So I deleted my saves and gave the wanderer a new face. I am now level 9 (amazingly only two days of play, roughly 8 hours of total play time) and I am still underpowered and flapping in the wind. I won’t put any plot spoilers in here, but this is my list of things I dislike about Fallout

Difficulty spikes

This is just plain painful. 🙂 I can be nearby a first-level or so quest and wander into a hive of Super Mutants who set up shop in a subdivision. There could be any number of monsters flopping about in the middle of nowhere (not a nest of Mirelurks, but “super” monsters.)  There were places not to go until your level got up in New Vegas, and it was easy to avoid. It took a long time to travel around things that were full of Deathclaws, but you never had to fight them off because you got too close. It’s a bloody shame that the boundaries for difficulty are so fluid and diffuse, you don’t know if you hit “bad juju” or not. There were signs in New Vegas that warned you about bad things ahead (remember the one outside of Goodspring cemetery that warned about the pantload of Radscorpions? Raise your hand if you ignored the sign the first time.) Don’t worry, I ignored it too. But that was the point. You could choose to ignore the warning, but at least there was a warning. In the Commonwealth, there is no warning.

Nerfed Weaponry

There’s no excuse for a .45 caliber weapon to dink off of certain enemies based on a level. The class of ammo should dictate how much damage it does, but in the case of certain monsters, you end up with a lot of misses (particularly super mutants… I hate to harp on them, but they are EVERYWHERE.)  I launched a fat man into a raider camp obliterating most of the surface junk, and because the units weren’t “outside”, they “spawned” and I got shot into bits by TWO nuke-wielding raiders. (And a flamer with an endless supply of Molotov Cocktails.) Was that near an area that hit a difficulty spike? No, it’s right near one of the first farms you have to visit if you start taking the Minutemen quests. I guess it’s more my incompetence with controlling the weapons in the face of a “slowed down” VATS system (that’s for another rant. I LIKE TURN-BASED COMBAT!)

Feral Ghouls

These are EVERYWHERE. I haven’t seen a ghoul yet that is like the other Fallout ghouls (calling me “smoothskin” etc.) though I hear there is a pocket of them in the Commonwealth. The problem with feral ghouls is they lay around like dead things until you get too close. I end up wasting ammo shooting corpses that are in fact not sleeping ghouls. Ammo is rather plentiful, so I guess this is Bethesda’s way of artificially shortening supply. The jump scare was neat, one or two times. Now it’s just an annoyance. It seems random where the infestations occur, and in one case you have to rid some structure of a “nest” of feral ghouls. Seems like we’re leaning on them to be the “radscorpion” of Massachusetts.

Power Armor

Power Armor’s great, huh? Yeah, if you can find any fuel for it. I have found a whopping 2 (count them) 2 power cores for a suit of Power Armor. The sad part is, one of them is the core you find to activate the first suit you encounter. It’s not like I think the power should be everywhere like 10mm ammo. But I’d like at least 3 or 4 to have when I go after things in the suit, only to run out of power at the WORST possible moment. Who made these things? I forgot… the military. 🙂  So they are inefficient and prone to breakage.

 

That’s about all I have for now. I am going to continue playing the game, but I fear the broken aspect of it won’t be fixed any time soon. I should just be playing Wasteland 2. It’s a much more challenging game that punishes you properly when you make a mistake… not when you start the game.

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