The Fallout 4 Intro Is A Mess

Shamus Young

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The Fallout 4 Intro Is A Mess

I love Fallout 4. What's interesting is that I was completely irritated at the start. The first big fight had me rolling my eyes, sighing heavily, and - by the end - gritting my teeth.

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Dr.Awkward

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I'd recommend Bethesda needs to bring back the Hawkhaven way of presentation, where the game experience and mechanics are compressed and summarized into a single location that you can't explore unless accessed via console commands, whereas the experience and gains are more drawn out in the actual game.

...Then again it would be better if E3 and other expos/cons strongly suggest that publishers do not force development teams into an often-short timeline to create a demo for their event.
 

squid5580

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That isn't the intro I have problems swallowing. If you get his relationship high enough you get an idea of why he acted the way he did towards you. The intro I have trouble swallowing is the moment you leave the vault and meet this world and these people. No shell shock? No taking a "me" day to curl up in a fetal position and cry? Your character should be a raving lunatic instead of the calm, cool, collected, one we get. Afterall they just went from "Leave it to Beaver" to "Mad Max" in 2.5 seconds. Even the military training I assume they had (fatigues in the closet) can't really explain how well together they are holding it.
 

pilouuuu

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The previous part was a mess. It would have been nice to get to meet your neighbours before the nukes, because that way you would feel sad by seeing their skeletons 200 years later. Fallout 3 intro was brilliant with you growing up in the vault and getting to know the game mechanics in a natural way. You also had alternate paths to try and the moment you left the vault was one of the best set-pieces in gaming ever.

In Fallout 4 everything feels... rushed.
 

Denamic

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I hate preston because he's black super bland. He has no personality to speak of. Not to mention his default weapon sucks. A laser musket is powerful when you crank it up 6 times. He only cranks it once when he fires, which does pitiful damage on top of being super slow. If you want to conserve ammo by letting your companion use their own weapon, don't use preston. His max affinity perk is really good though, so once you max him out, dismiss him and never use him again.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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My distinct impression of that first mission in Concord is that it is essentially a way to hook newcomers to the series by showing off the cool toys and letting the player experience some really cool stuff first hand. Yes, for those of us who are long time Fallout-fans it feels grating to meet a generous Goody Two-Shoes, get a Minigun, a Power Armor and a SPECIAL Booblehead and face of against a Deathclaw, all within the first hour of being in the wasteland. But for someone new to the series that will probably be the "Oh Shit! Awesome!"-moment that will keep them playing more instead of putting the game away after having fought five raiders with some shitty pipe pistol as the climax of their first quest.
 

Coruptin

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Preston Garvey is immortal. He's transcended the squabbles of humanity like Superman in All Star Superman. He's not supposed to be like the rest of us. Where a normal man may go crazy, Superman perseveres and remains a symbol of goodness.
Source: I shot him like 20 times in the head consecutively then proceeded to have a casual conversation with him so I can confirm.
 

Imp_Emissary

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I kind of had more issues with what comes before that part, but I understand your points all the same.

Also, my only issues that I shared with you were the ones about Preston bing kind of bland but not offensively so. The deathclaw battle was pretty bad though. I actually missed it's entrance because there were still some raiders around and it went after them first. I finished off the raiders and found the deathclaw stuck in a hole. Shooting fish in a barrel after that. ;p

However, I actually got to Preston after not only finding my own power armor, but I also killed another group a raiders and took the leader's mini-gun after she was dead. So while it wasn't intended that way, I came to the fight ready to kick butt.

Still, it is still WAY easier to get power armor than before.
On the other side though, never found and enemy that could one shot me dead when in full power armor in the other Fallout games I've played, so it's not like they made power armor a guarantee to victory.
 

Shamus Young

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"1. The deathclaw gets no build-up. Deathclaws are one of the signature bad guys of the franchise and one of the most memorable parts of the first game. This has nothing to do with the monster design and everything to do with how the monster was introduced.

In the first game, you begin hearing rumors of deathclaws long before you encounter them. They're blamed for various attacks and you hear spooky stories about how fearsome and powerful they are. People are terrified of the name, and you can't tell which rumors - if any - are actually true. Your quest drags you into a cave to confront one, and even though it was a turn-based game with simple 2D sprites, that confrontation was a thousand times more thrilling than the surprise deathclaw in Fallout 4."

This. So much this. Great job Shamus.

This is what I love to happen in such games. For example the bloodsuckers, the Monolith and snorks from STALKER all had this legendary buildup that was given to the player little by little IF they payed attention. This meant that the first time fighting these monsters or insane men, it felt special. Horrific, yet special. All those legends, murmurs and stories coming to life to face you.

And not only did you remind me of that, you also reminded me of how awesome it was in Fallout 1... damn... thanks!
 

Otaku World Order

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Preston also seems oddly accepting when you tell him you lived in the neighborhood 200 years ago when the nukes hit. Instead of questoning the sanity of this stranger, he just reacts like it's just one of those things.
 

Barbas

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Yeah, bit of a weird showpiece there. In fact, with the exception of a few buildings you can enter, the town of Concord feels like it was built primarily for that demoing purposes rather than as a stepping stone to Lexington and Diamond City.

EDIT: And jeez, don't blow a deathclaw that early. Not even a severely injured and loping one. Speaking of which, though, blowing its leg off was a satisfying remedy.
 

Darth_Payn

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The thing about the whole Fallout series, to me, is that there's almost no connecting thread in between games. There's a common visual aesthetic and recurring imagery (Vaults, Vault Boy, The Brotherhood of Steel, the Power Armor, post-nuclear wastelands), but what is the overall theme of the whole thing? How do I explain it to people who didn't play one before, or get back into it since #3?
 

EternallyBored

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I can see where this article is coming from. And as someone who has played all the fallout's I do agree that the first mission in concord takes a lot of the high end stuff in the universe and hands it to you right off the bat. It's a nice slice of gameplay but it's also very shallow, hell, the main story itself starts off pretty shallow, and I was worried it was going to end up like Fallout 3 with a linear main story with the factions merely being the good brotherhood versus the evil institute.

Then the Prydwen shows up like a boss, the BoS starts spouting some very genocidal propaganda, and the Institute and railroad start making cases for why we should give the brotherhood the giant middle finger and suddenly you actually start getting New Vegas style faction quests. Suffice to say, the main story ends up much closer to NV than 3, although no faction nearly as bleak as the Legion, every faction hovers around a grey morality centered around the question of what to do about synths and advancing the Sci-fi technology of the setting. The brotherhood going back to being technology zealots hell bent on saving mankind from itself, and picking up the enclave's mad hardon for killing mutants and non-humans, there's even a conversation about the old BoS from 3 being weak and turning away from their true cause.Not quite as good as NV, limited in its role-playing by the fact that your looking for your son, and a dialogue system that doesn't let you go straight up dark like a legion playthrough of NV, still, I would call it an overall refreshing step up from 3's lackluster story. [\spoiler]

I do agree with squid that the character's lack of reaction to being 200 years in the future is kind of lame, although codsworth is a good companion for making comments about all the differences between time periods. This is even truer for female characters, the male is a former soldier, but my female avatar stomping around with mini guns and power armor apparently was a lawyer before the war.

Still, like shamus said, the rest of the story manages to do a pretty good job after kind of blowing its load in the first mission, deathclaw's are still threatening, but there's bigger monsters out there now that fill the role of being the ominous reveal. The power armor and minigun eventually become useable again, but I was around level 15 before I could break out the armor for more than single encounters, and it was a while before I encountered enough 5mm ammo to use the minigun for more than 2 seconds before running dry, the minigun itself isn't even all that great a weapon without a few upgrades anyway, and it took getting a legendary minigun before I even bothered to clear enough space in my inventory to lug the ridiculously overweight thing around with me, it's a lackluster weapon without the associated heavy weapons perks, you get a lot more bang for your buck out of an upgraded combat rifle for less than half the weight.
 

zombiejoe

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Darth_Payn said:
The thing about the whole Fallout series, to me, is that there's almost no connecting thread in between games. There's a common visual aesthetic and recurring imagery (Vaults, Vault Boy, The Brotherhood of Steel, the Power Armor, post-nuclear wastelands), but what is the overall theme of the whole thing? How do I explain it to people who didn't play one before, or get back into it since #3?
I'm not sure what you mean by "theme" here? Wouldn't it be "War Never Changes"?

Just kidding there, but if I were explaining the Fallout series, I would probably say something along the lines of "it's a series of RPGs that take place in different parts of a post-apocalyptic America that never got over the 1950s."
 

Tiamat666

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Hmm, maybe this is Bethesda's new strategy. Make the intro sequence so shockingly lame that it utterly shatters your expectations. Then, if you scarred psyche and insulted intelligence manages to pull through, it is so devastated that any plot presented to it, no matter how mediocre, is perceived as if George RR Martin wrote it.

Nice going Bethesda!
 

Gorrath

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While I was shocked that we got power armor, a minigun and fought a deathclaw so early, I can see how it all worked out. The power armor hangs in my shed while I go out and fight. It's a cool thing to have but its not new. It is something that will be really cool when I get it upgraded. The deathclaw is something longtime fans have seen over and over, so while the fight was really underwhelming, the game has much newer and more interesting threats to throw at us later on, including new versions of our old favorite monster.

What's more, one of my biggest complaints about things like miniguns, the fat man and power armor in the previous games was this: by the time you get them, you don't need them. Yes, getting power armor in 3 and FNV was cool, but by the time I had it I could kill anything and everything without much of a sneeze anyway. By giving us these items early in the game, we can rely on them to help us through really tough spots, making them seem super valuable. Which would be bad if they were just a crutch, but they now have inherent limitations that keep them from being an auto-win and are upgradeable to keep them useful throughout the game. This is waaaay better than finding them later on and going, "Neat, guess I'll go toss this in the bin with teh other really cool but totally unnecessary crap I have."
 

Jack Action

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Gorrath said:
While I was shocked that we got power armor, a minigun and fought a deathclaw so early, I can see how it all worked out. The power armor hangs in my shed while I go out and fight. It's a cool thing to have but its not new. It is something that will be really cool when I get it upgraded. The deathclaw is something longtime fans have seen over and over, so while the fight was really underwhelming, the game has much newer and more interesting threats to throw at us later on, including new versions of our old favorite monster.

What's more, one of my biggest complaints about things like miniguns, the fat man and power armor in the previous games was this: by the time you get them, you don't need them. Yes, getting power armor in 3 and FNV was cool, but by the time I had it I could kill anything and everything without much of a sneeze anyway. By giving us these items early in the game, we can rely on them to help us through really tough spots, making them seem super valuable. Which would be bad if they were just a crutch, but they now have inherent limitations that keep them from being an auto-win and are upgradeable to keep them useful throughout the game. This is waaaay better than finding them later on and going, "Neat, guess I'll go toss this in the bin with teh other really cool but totally unnecessary crap I have."
That's actually a major problem with anything involving progression. The endgame gives you awesome stuff... which you either don't need anymore and on top of not needing is also very hard to use (either due to to ammo concerns or accidental suicide), but there's also nothing to actually use it ON, because you're 5 seconds from the final boss and you've already genocided the entire world, barring the level 1 respawning mobs that you can annihilate faster than a particle cannon.
 

Gorrath

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Jack Action said:
Gorrath said:
While I was shocked that we got power armor, a minigun and fought a deathclaw so early, I can see how it all worked out. The power armor hangs in my shed while I go out and fight. It's a cool thing to have but its not new. It is something that will be really cool when I get it upgraded. The deathclaw is something longtime fans have seen over and over, so while the fight was really underwhelming, the game has much newer and more interesting threats to throw at us later on, including new versions of our old favorite monster.

What's more, one of my biggest complaints about things like miniguns, the fat man and power armor in the previous games was this: by the time you get them, you don't need them. Yes, getting power armor in 3 and FNV was cool, but by the time I had it I could kill anything and everything without much of a sneeze anyway. By giving us these items early in the game, we can rely on them to help us through really tough spots, making them seem super valuable. Which would be bad if they were just a crutch, but they now have inherent limitations that keep them from being an auto-win and are upgradeable to keep them useful throughout the game. This is waaaay better than finding them later on and going, "Neat, guess I'll go toss this in the bin with teh other really cool but totally unnecessary crap I have."
That's actually a major problem with anything involving progression. The endgame gives you awesome stuff... which you either don't need anymore and on top of not needing is also very hard to use (either due to to ammo concerns or accidental suicide), but there's also nothing to actually use it ON, because you're 5 seconds from the final boss and you've already genocided the entire world, barring the level 1 respawning mobs that you can annihilate faster than a particle cannon.
Quite! When I got the fat man in NV, the only thing I ever used it for was quicksaving at the strip and using it to see how far I could make all the bodies fly before I got bored and reloaded my save. There is enough of a drawback to teh fatman where, even if you had it early, you couldn't just lob rounds at every radroach you stumble across. Which ironically, is pretty much exactly what you end up doing with it late game anyway since you don't actually need it to kill anything.

I think Fallout 4 has solved this issue rather well! I get the cool stuff, can actually make use of it and can keep it upgraded so it remains useful throughout but can't overuse it because of its inherent limitations. I'm not sure a better solution could have been had.
 

ZombieMonkey7

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While I have to agree with all the points you made with that tepid opening of a mission; when you said intro I at first thought you meant the entire vault section which I believe commits far more egregious crimes. First off, I think some perspective is in order. When FO4 was first announced at E3 we got to see start of it all. How you lived before the bombs going off and suddenly thrust into a world far past your time and hopelessly alone. Now this sets up some interesting mysteries that basically Bethesda all end up choking on such as, how could 200 years have passed, why are they the sole survivor, will his past play a role in events to come, and how does the character not know what happened to them? Oh such a treasure trove of mysteries waiting to be unwrapped... Well until they give you all the answers in a matter of minutes.

Once you enter the vault you are lead down a narrow corridor and are quickly told to get in the freezer tube- Wait, that's it?! Are you joking Bethesda? Any moron with half a brain cell could have come up with cryogenic freezing and yet you jumped at the chance to make this the plot device. I even asked my friend how he thought 200 years had passed in the vault since he didn't own the game or watch any streams and he even said freezing as his first answer. Even such a simple basic premise is ruined when you exit your tube and the very first terminal you see explains the entire purpose of the vault spoiling any tension the audience had left surrounding the nature of the vault. However it gets even more absurd when you realize the purpose of 111 is to suspend people in cryo without their knowledge. Now stop right there, you can not expect me to swallow that garbage. What kind of person plays this game for the first time and doesn't know exactly what that machine is, you even see frost seeping out of the machine! And of course your character is completely oblivious to all of this with no option to call them out (Is it just me or is the sole survivor incredibly dense throughout the whole game?). Of course I didn't even mention the kidnapping being rushed as heck as the character is left alive to their own devices, but I won't go into that. After fighting the obligatory rad roaches and finding a convent pip boy you are off into the wastes.

Thematically speaking I want to talking about FO3 and really explain why it's intro felt so complete. Now FO3 was my first fallout game as I assume it was for most people and do you know where you start off as, a baby. This was a clear design choice to put you in the place of someone who knew absolutely nothing and slowly acclimatize you to everything. You grew up in the vault learning all it's ins and outs, you live with the everyone else forming relationships and caring about them, and when it's all taken away and you leave the vault only to be confronted by that blinding light shining on the empty wasteland it fills you with so much emotions all at once. In FO4 the vault is simply a tutorial and plot device, nothing more, nothing less. FO4 takes absolutely nothing away from it's predecessor and just shoves you along as if it knows you have better things to do than listen to same lame brain "story" naaaah you just want to explore like everyone else! It's a shame that a wonderful game like FO4 has to get bogged down with another awful Bethesda opening *See Extra Credit's "Skyrim's Opening - How NOT to Start a Game"* and fails to capitalize on the wonders of mystery and exploration that previous Fallout games always do right from the start.
 

Jack Action

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Gorrath said:
Quite! When I got the fat man in NV, the only thing I ever used it for was quicksaving at the strip and using it to see how far I could make all the bodies fly before I got bored and reloaded my save. There is enough of a drawback to teh fatman where, even if you had it early, you couldn't just lob rounds at every radroach you stumble across. Which ironically, is pretty much exactly what you end up doing with it late game anyway since you don't actually need it to kill anything.

I think Fallout 4 has solved this issue rather well! I get the cool stuff, can actually make use of it and can keep it upgraded so it remains useful throughout but can't overuse it because of its inherent limitations. I'm not sure a better solution could have been had.
Maybe I'll have to wait and play it for myself, Warmaster, but it just seems like a re-naming of the whole thing; I mean, is there anything to use the endgame PA upgrades on?