For Posterity: Fallout 4

Wandering around the Fallout wasteland

I got Fallout 4 for my birthday and finally got around to play it last weekend. I logged around 12-15 hours before calling it a day.

I’ve had enough of Boston.

For posterity, I loved the incredible world they crafted here. The background story is great and I had some fun coming up with my character.  Within 5 minutes, I was hooked by the world and its possibilities; climate change and recycling are topics that I care about and the idea of using different components to create new objects sounded really appealing. I am also a sucker for Mad Max and it felt like this could be a more grown up version of Borderlands 2 so it was all looking rather peachy…

… and then it quickly became too much.

I have to say, this is the most unfair assessment of a game ever. I played for 10 hours so this post should not dissuade you from trying the game. Hell, nothing in this world should dissuade you from trying any game you feel like! But for me, this game quickly went from a world of opportunity into a world of too many possibilities. I was overwhelmed by the amount of options at my disposal: the gadget bracelet that seems to have everything you need in it is also incredible hard to navigate; the endless objects you can pick (that then mean you are carrying too much weight leading to having to drop them or store them somewhere); the crafting stations where I created a truckload of crap I didn’t need to; the combat mechanism that is more about wits and careful tactical awareness than gunslinging skills (oh by the way, no swapping weapons with your mouse scroll)… again, maybe all of this is exactly what makes Fallout 4 great for many people, but having just played through Borderlands 2 and Doom, I couldn’t help but feel that I would have to learn an absurd amount of things just to get by.

I did do a bunch of quests and I did enjoy the multiple story lines that developed in parallel… until one of those quests had me walk across the map 10 minutes (no fast track to this one) only to then be killed by a myriad of threats at least 20 times in the space of an hour (no, I didn’t manage to finish that quest). At that point, I felt like I had had enough. So I logged out, thanked my girlfriend for her very kind birthday gift and got ready to move on. Defeated but moving on nonetheless.

It took me 48 hours to let that sense of defeat sink in and now I can write about it with more clarity. I’m glad I tried it. I’m thankful for the feeling of wonder it created for me. I’m glad for Dogmeat, the best companion I’ve ever experienced in a game. I realize that I don’t have enough spare time to grind through games that are too demanding, too mentally-resource-intensive and where the sense of frustration is bigger than the rare – although rewarding – moments of joy. Fallout 4 is an incredible world; just not the world I want to wonder in.