Fallout 4 Fridays: Part Zero — Prologue
Chronicling my return to the wasteland
I still haven’t finished Fallout 4. In fact, since its release in 2015, the most time I’ve logged on any of my characters is about six measly hours.
This, in spite of being a big fan of Bethesda’s games, and Fallout 4 being one of my most anticipated releases of 2015. I’ve even bought copies across all three of its release platforms, thanks to sales in the last year or so. But I still haven’t finished it, or even come close.
It’s time to change that. Join me every Friday as I catalog this journey.
The first conundrum was which version of the game to play. The PC version provides the best visuals, thanks in part to its support for Physx debris and effects…but it’s not without fault. It has issues if you run the game at anything above 60 FPS, and mouse control on the platform has never quite been where I’d want it to be.
I am fortunate enough to have a PS4 Pro, and that version runs at 1440p and 30 FPS. And it doesn’t look much worse than it does on my gaming PC. So that’s a frontrunner…but it doesn’t have the full mod support that the Xbox One version does. And I have a thing for achievements.
After checking out the current state of the game’s performance on PC by running through the first bit of it (something I’ve done far too many times now), I ultimately settled on the PS4 version. I like the convenience of the console platform, I don’t mind the framerate drop…and the game seemed to have some weird minor surround mixing issues on the PC that the PS4 version doesn’t have at all.
The first thing that greets you in Fallout 4 is a stirring live action video introduction, and you can tell immediately that this is Bethesda’s biggest budget in-house game to date. The whole thing has a polish and level of presentation to it than none of their previous games even approach.
And then you hit the character creator.
I love this character creator.
Taking place in a bathroom mirror, you get to create both a husband a wife, and you can choose to play as either of them. Unlike the many menu driven character creation systems out there, this one has you directly interacting with the character model. You can use the controller or mouse to physically shift, scale, and drag elements around.
It’s not entirely menu-less. You still have basic selections for hair style and eye color and the like. But man, is it robust!
The character creator here puts the one in the recent Mass Effect Andromeda to absolute shame. I hope that other games take lessons from this experience.
I decided that I wanted to play a different character from my normal soldier fare. So, I created a lady named Lisa who has 10 points in Charisma and Endurance, and 4 points in Agility. I love speech options in games, so I figured that Charisma would be good, and I wagered that having all the health I possibly could would hopefully make some of the tougher scrapes a little easier, since I had no real starting weapon or fighting skill beyond the basics.
I don’t have a picture of Lisa because I forgot to take one, and I decided to start writing this feature at the last minute on a whim after already playing a few hours of the game.
Next week, I’ll have my full thoughts on the tutorial and the first several missions of Fallout 4. It’s probably the most focused game that Bethesda has ever made…and unlike some others out there, I really like the conversation system.
I have no idea why I haven’t finished this yet.
I still go back and watch this trailer every so often because it’s awesome.