It’s fair to say that Fallout 4 is the definitive gaming event of 2015. Chances are that you’ve already sunk countless hours into this newest wasteland adventure. We here at CHUD do take time from our copious movie-watching to get in some video game goodness, and quite a few of us have done so with Bethesda’s fourth outing in this monumental series. Travis Newton, Shannon Hubbell, Ryan Covey, and Brandon Marcus all decided to chat furiously about Fallout 4 and we’ll be bringing you their conversations over the next three days. Be warned that SPOILERS for Fallout 4 are bound to occur, so traverse this roundtable with caution. You may want to bring some Nuka-Cola for the journey.
TN: To begin, I was shocked to discover how different Fallout 4 was from Fallout 3. I’m playing on PS4, and the new default control scheme fucked me up for a few hours.
SH: I keep accidentally bringing up the pip boy when I’m done looting something because I needlessly hit the button to exit. That’s taking some adjustment. Also, wasn’t the VATS button on the right before?
TN: Yeah, it used to be the right bumper button. I was also shocked to discover that neither armor nor weapons degrade. That was such a core mechanic in 3, and it defined my playing style. Fallout 4‘s streamlined weapons and new armor system threw me for a loop.
RC: The only thing I dislike about the lack of armor degradation is that I leave so many guns sitting around. There’s no real incentive to pick them up any longer and if you can strip mods off them then I don’t know how.
SH: Apparently there is a way to move mods from gun to gun but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out.
TN: I’ve been able to move gun mods from one gun to another by replacing a mod on the gun with a more basic mod. Then the desired mod enters your inventory and you can put in on another gun of the same type. The new incentives to pick up guns are to scrap them, or give them to companions or settlers.
RC: Guns yield scrap I can get from junk, and all the peddlers I’ve found are cheap bastards who don’t give much value to them. I’d usually leave my companions with their default weapon so I don’t have to keep giving them ammo.
TN: There is a perk that will yield better and more varied scrap from guns. Screws and such, not just wood and steel.
RC: I know, but that perk should’ve been a basic game mechanic.
Oh, and I outright hate the new piecemeal system of armor. I miss that all coming as one entire outfit. It makes it not work collecting full-outfit armor.
TN: The new basic armor system doesn’t allow the player to play dress-up as easily, which is something I really miss from Fallout 3. Here, there’s hardly any incentive to remove your vault suit, and the different armor pieces all look very similar.
BM: I love how you can assemble armor in a piecemeal fashion but I don’t think I’m good at it. Comparing items to what you have equipped still isn’t super easy.
TN: The new facial customization system is pretty deep, so who’s got the goofiest looking character?
BM: I made mine look like me but then realized I’d get eaten alive in the apocalypse so I added some scars and a sweet haircut.
RC: I tried to make mine look like Marty Feldman but couldn’t get the eyes right so in just turned him into K-mart brand Josh Brolin.
So has anybody gone in the Massachusetts State House yet?
TN: Not me.
SH: Me neither.
RC: Take A LOT of ammo, stimpaks, and a mini nuke or some missiles if you can.
Has anyone found Swan yet?
TN: Yep. Got ‘im. I love his power fist; it’s my current melee weapon of choice.
RC: Yeah same here, it doesn’t have the problem that all the swinging weapons have of actually hitting the thing I’m trying to kill. Feral ghouls stress me out so much for that reason.
TN: Feral ghouls are much scarier this time around. They can knock you around quite a bit, and irradiate you very quickly. That’s why I tend to VATS their legs off first.
RC: Ye gods, yes. And they were pretty fucking scary before. The gangrenous ones are the bane of my existence and my biggest pet peeve with this game is that VATS no longer pauses the game. I’m sure it’s to add difficulty, but when I’m diddling the joystick in vain trying to get it to select a Mirelurk’s face it gets especially frustrating.
TN: I didn’t like that at first, but I think VATS in Fallout 3 was a bit too easy.
RC: Most of the time it doesn’t bother me until something attacks me up close and the screen goes a million different directions and I can’t select the thing I want.
TN: The first person shooting has gotten so much better and VATS so much harder that I didn’t use VATS much at first. Now I use it all the time. Helps with those pesky mutant suiciders. I miss grenades in VATS, though.
RC: I’m iffy on the first-person shooting. I didn’t really have a problem with it in Fallout 3 and I hate how difficult it is to aim whilst shooting. I prefer more fluidity even if it is less realistic. And yeah, I miss VATS grenades.
We should probably talk about the dialogue wheel and the voiced protagonist since that’s what the seething masses are howling about the most. I have no problem with the voiced protagonist. It really matters not whether he/she can be heard. Despite what the hardcore fans are saying, ALL the Fallout protagonists have had a distinct personality. You’ve never really had any freedom in choosing “who” they are, just whether that particular person is a do-gooder, a selfish jerk, a violent psychopath, or (if you skimped on intelligence points) a meat-headed dullard.
TN: I have no problem with the voiced protagonist, either. I think the new dialogue wheel is a bit oversimplified, because I can’t see the success percentage for certain dialogue options, and sometimes the short summaries don’t adequately sum up what comes out of the character’s mouth. But it doesn’t suffer from LA Noire syndrome, where one vague dialogue option can unexpectedly turn your character into a complete nutjob for a few seconds.
RC: I have a slowly building hate for the dialogue wheel. The one on the right is generally the “Fuck you, let’s fight” option, but the others are hard to suss out. Even sarcasm is extremely vague because I generally expect snark and my guy decides to be a venomous dick.
SH: I haven’t had any problems with the dialogue wheel, but I’m playing as a saint so my choices are pretty clear.
Come back tomorrow for part two of this roundtable and join in on the discussion in the comments!