So it seems a Fallout 4 announcement is nigh. That's good to know since my plans to build a gaming PC or at least get a Steam Box to run it are also planned for next year. I love post-apocalyptic RPGs and Shin Megami Tensei V is probably a ways off, so a new Fallout is highly anticipated and clearly the next best thing for me - though I will give Wasteland 2 a shot when I'm able to.
At any rate, I'm already dreaming about scavenging for weapons, caps and fending off raiders with my trusty magnums to the tunes of days gone by. Here are four things I'd like out of Fallout 4!
Do more New Vegas-like things.
As Fallout games go, I am someone that liked FO3 but loved New Vegas. FNV felt more connected to Fallout and Fallout 2 in terms of universe, balance, morality and narrative. Perhaps part of it is the western American setting, which has a bit more series lore going for it, but it certainly didn't hurt that Obsidian developed it - they have many of the people that worked on Fallout and Fallout 2 back in their Black Isle days.
FNV had more challenge to it, it made you think harder about how to spend your perks and NPCs conversations were more in-depth. Local fame, faction and choices affected your ability to get new quests and also affected how people interacted with you. Basically, everything felt connected and your choices mattered. Your choices were reflected from start to finish.
Its important that when you champion choice in narrative that you really mean it and Obsidian seems to handle this better than most developers do. It was even rather staggering how much NPCs had to talk about compared to NPCs in Bethesda Game Studios or Bioware games. It really helped build the world right alongside your own experiences.
But the best part?
For me, it was that there was no purely good faction. Even your most altruistic, well-intentioned members of the Followers of the Apocalypse were asking you to plant bugs in someone's computers to monitor their actions. The noble NCR had little problem denying aid to those that needed it if they didn't pledge to be a citizen of the NCR. Mr. House did seem like he could bring order to the Vegas strip, but he was a man from another time trying to control the future.
We know the Legion are a bunch of slavers and thugs. We know the Brotherhood of Steel are a weapon-hoarding cult of power-armored nannies. There is no real reason to trust either.
Otherwise who's to say what's really right? It seems like no matter who you side with in New Vegas there will be some downsides. I just prefer that to being limited to good or evil.
Fallout 3 had to change things to make the Brotherhood of Steel heroic which was a questionable choice. The Enclave are not heroes, but there's no real reason to believe the BoS will work for humanity's greater good when they help you save the day and purify some east coast water supply. They have this doctrine about hording technology for themselves, after all.
A device that purifies radiated water? They'd take that.
If there was one thing that both Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas got right, it was the music. Both games had excellent soundtracks that suited the tone of the games perfectly. I very much enjoyed the characters Three Dog and Mr. New Vegas as well, so I welcome the return Three Dog.
However, if I had one gripe about those games, it's that both games were too tied to licensing music from the distant past. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with licensing music from the past - it's just that there are a lot of modern bands today that do music in the style of the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's and they'd fit right in.
Being a fan of the Squirrel Nut Zippers I couldn't help but think of their music while I played Fallout 3. When I played FNV, I felt like I needed some Johnny Cash in there.
The whole series is retro-themed future fiction anyway, so why not? By series lore the bombs don't drop until 2077, so Johnny Cash fits in timeline. Its not like country music in the 60s made leaps and bounds ahead of what was done in the 50s. I think his music still would have happened, even if his career didn't start until 1968.
I think there's some room to take some liberties with music in terms of history. We don't have to be entirely bound to the 1950s and recordings before that. I think Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Prince Nez" are the kinds of songs that would fit in the Fallout universe.
Color and scenery
One of the other sticking points I have about Fallout 3 is that is not terribly colorful. It is a very gray and brown game... a very, very gray and brown game. There was a moment where there was more bright green - actual green, really, really green green. I like that part but I still thought there could stand to be more colors.
In Fallout New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim there were many moments where I would stop and have wanted to take a picture. There are some very visually breathtaking moments those games. Asceding the mountain to meet the Greybeards? Awesome view. And arriving on the New Vegas strip? I nearly barfed rainbows - the bright lights were that pretty.
Now, I know this is a post-apocalyptic series and that there are some times, well, there's practically always a wasteland filled with radiation and mutants to deal with.
Even so, I think there's room for a few more breathtaking set pieces in that vast open world. Supposedly, the setting of Fallout 4 is Boston, Massachusetts. I've never been there but as I understand it in terms of series lore Boston was one of the hardest hit areas when the bombs fell, to the point it is more common to resort to the use of androids for outdoors labor.
There's just that much radiation.
Still, I just want those moments where I can stop and take the scenery in. It doesn't have to be pretty nature scenes, I just want to see Bethesda use color to great effect like they did in Skyrim - even if its just burning neon death for androids.
It is said that Destructoid writer Jonathan Holmes makes his home in Boston, Massachusetts. It is also said, by a certain man, that Jonathan Holmes is Boston's favorite son.
Knowing this, when I arrive in Boston I expect I should see a statue of Jonathan Holmes at the center of the city. This man of legend should have a tribute to his greatness as a professional psychologist and slayer of dogs.
Now, this statue might be in ruin when I arrive. There could be a quest to restore this statue! I certainly would fix the statue.
Perhaps some children made off with his head, as the children seem to love Jonathan Holmes and want to be just like him. You may even be told they hold conventions in the man's honor where they kill dogs. These children have heard of his exploits as Lieutenant Saucy Portions, Soda Baby and Freaky Constantina. Jonathan Holmes' personas are almost as legendary as the man himself, so why not make it a quest to reassemble the statue as one of these personas to give the players some choice?
Perhaps as a reward we could watch one of his great films that he directed and allowed Willem Dafoe to star in!
Yes, this idea above all others is the one Bethesda Game Studios should consider most strongly. Todd Howard and his crew should explore the lore of Jonathan Holmes deeply, probing his innermost depths.
Perhaps as a twist, we can even see that Jonathan Holmes lives on as a supermutant. Maybe when he sees the statue it will bring a tear to his eye.
About Pixie The Fairy One of us since 2:32 PM on 12.21.2012
I'm 30-something. I play games and sometimes type things. Possibly also a level 80 fairy that can cast Ziodyne on her enemies or give +30 to each stat to any of your demons via Sacrificial Fusion in the Cathedral of Shadows.
Don't do that, though, I'm helpful. I can heal and revive you. I also recap/promote blogs, moderate comments and write funny stuff.
Fuse someone else!
When I'm not helping decide the fate of humanity, I'm probably roaming the open world or rolling into a ball to access secret passages and seeing if my Paragon rating is high enough for discounts at the mall.
For other things and stuff about me you can read here, here and here. You will learn of my origins, my trials and tribulations and how I became a superpixie!