What's the opinion on Fallout 4 now that its been out for a long while?

happyninja42

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Fallout 76 shows a West Virginia with plenty of living, flourishing trees. Fallout 4 shows Boston surrounded by forest. So there are trees and they are quite near by modern standards. Fallout 3 contains one (dead by the time you find him) former Enclave member who went from Navarro to the Capital Wasteland, Harold who travelled from New Reno (and had gone there from the Hub in between Fo1/2) and both a synth and a synth hunter from the Institute in the Commonwealth. DLC has you going to the remains of Pittsburgh and Point Lookout, which looks a whole lot like Louisiana but could be Georgia in a pinch. Fallout 4 has you going from Boston to Maine in the DLC. All these games also show you traders, general wanderers and explorers roving the wasteland, so people obviously do move about quite a lot.

This really is one of those cases when you shouldn't try a Watsonian explanation, because Fallout 3 is pretty inconsistent in its portrayal of how people survive in the Capital Wasteland. People hide in old museums in a bombed out city without any way to get food or water yet still manage fine. Other people get their water from groundwater pumps pumping straight from water irradiated by a damaged nuke yet don't suffer tons of ill effects. The explanation is purely Doylist, in that Bethesda was going for a pulpy adventure in a post-apocalyptic setting and wanted lots of eyeball kicks and cool settings instead of a grounded simulation of how humanity would rebuild by making lots of farming settlements far away from the useless ruins of the old civilization.
It's worth pointing out that F76 is based only what, 20 years after the fall? And everything is already royally fucked on so many levels out there. So it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to see those various biomes dying out. Also, a quick google search says that it's roughly 330+ miles from DC to West Virginia (varying a bit depending on where in WV you're going). There is no way anyone in DC, other than the brotherhood/enclave, have the resources/infrastructure to manage that long of a journey, and not die. They are lucky to survive just going a few BLOCKS to scavenge for supplies, without dying. And we know this, because as the player, WE are lucky to survive moving a few blocks at best, without running into a host of lethal threats. So they are limited to the nearby area for resources, all of which are blasted.

As to the comment about FO 3 being inconsistent about irradiated water. I would disagree there. While every character isn't scripted to show radiation sickness, your dad clearly establishes right up front that the water situation is terrible, for everyone in DC. And you can often run into wastelanders outside the communities, begging for pure water, because they've been drinking irradiated water so long, it's making them sick. I always assumed that everyone else will, eventually, get to that point. But we are seeing them in the "still haven't had so much to be visibly ill" stage. Of course we don't see any actual passage of time in the game, so it's hard to say. But ALL water sources in DC are irradiated, not just the Megaton puddle. So those wastelanders are the stand-in for "this is where the DC area will end up eventually, if Project Purity can't be fixed"

That's my take anyway.
 

Terminal Blue

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And seriously, how much of the world is radioactively fucked? I'm not saying that to be snarky, I genuinely want to know. Because from what I've seen of the games prior to FO 3, everything is portrayed as a Mad Max-esque, blasted wasteland.
Again, I have to point out that Fallout 1 is set in southern California, a region which even today is hot and dry. When you try to map Fallout's geography onto real Californian geography, Shady Sands is literally in death valley (which may be one reason why they had to retcon in the use of the GECK to make the region habitable). Much of California already looks like a Mad-Max-esque blasted wasteland, and while it's clearly undergone extreme desertification in Fallout it's not silly beyond the realm of believability.

Fallout 2 is set in Northern California, Southern Oregon and Northwestern Nevada, a region which has more diverse terrain, and lo and behold we see trees, particularly in the northern part of the map in areas like Arroyo and Klamath which are forested in real life.

Agriculture, and plantlife at all, are either non-existent, or incredibly rare.
Agriculture is actually incredibly common. We see it almost everywhere. Most settlements in Fallout 1 and 2 have some evidence of crops or cattle, usually both. Even in Fallout 3, we can buy mutfruit in various places, so if we were to treat it as a coherent world there must be somewhere where people are growing mutfruit. The problem here is that you can't treat Fallout 3 as a coherent world, because it doesn't hold up to basic scrutiny.

So we are back to the question of "how much of humanity survived to even try and DO engineering, assuming they have the free time to do that."
So, again, if we look at the West Coast, we can get a sense of what happened to society after the war. In most places, post-war society completely broke down. People reverted to very simple kinship societies ("tribes") and over a few generations typically lost almost all of their culture and technical knowledge. This is why noone in the West coast is particularly concerned with pre-war stuff unless it can immediately help them in the present. The society of West Coast fallout emerged from the complete cultural destruction after the war.

The issue with the east coast, and Fallout 3 in particular, is that people on one hand seem to have nothing, they seem to just roam around fighting super mutants and barely surviving, but on the other hand they have a lot of technology. Guns are ubiquitous in Fallout 3, and yet where are they coming from? Is there some group like the gun runners who are still making or refurbishing guns? If so, where did they find the time to do that given that apparently noone found the time to build houses or (and I keep stressing this because it's kind of comical) to clean out the skeletons from the places they live?

Again, the problem is that it's not a coherent world.
 

Gethsemani

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I feel like it's an appropriate time to link to Shamus Young's 5 part series of articles titled The Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3.
Reading that again made me realize how many ideas from Fallout 3 that Fallout 76 cribs but improves on by making them more in line with Fallout lore. The Enclave is run by a broken computer, one who is genuinely menacing and which constantly keeps you questioning whether you are improving anything or just enabling a genocidal AI that can barely hide its true intentions. The BoS was a bunch of former soldiers who converted to the BoS because they got enthralled by Maxson's charisma via radio. Who genuinely tried to protect WV from the Scorched threat, but also sucked at building bridges with the other factions and eventually made a futile final stand because no one wanted to help the assholes. The "new" BoS of Shattered Steel are relief forces from California who are torn between making WV a better place and sticking to the BoS ideals and who arrived only to find that the people they came to assist are all dead and that the whole place is in terrible shape. They are also bordering on open civil war with the clashing missions. That's not to say that Fallout 76 executes all of it to perfection, a recurring theme is that it hastens through genuinely engrossing plot points (a Bethesda tradition!), but it does it way better then Fo3 did.
 

Kyrian007

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The issue with the east coast, and Fallout 3 in particular, is that people on one hand seem to have nothing, they seem to just roam around fighting super mutants and barely surviving, but on the other hand they have a lot of technology. Guns are ubiquitous in Fallout 3, and yet where are they coming from? Is there some group like the gun runners who are still making or refurbishing guns? If so, where did they find the time to do that given that apparently noone found the time to build houses or (and I keep stressing this because it's kind of comical) to clean out the skeletons from the places they live?

Again, the problem is that it's not a coherent world.
Well, the easy answer to the guns question is simply... "Murica." I posit the people most likely to survive the war depicted in Fallout... if you are looking for realism and a "coherent world," are the kind of people who would undoubtedly prioritize guns over houses and the skeleton cleaning out thereof. And I'll grant you that guns (especially decent ones) were rarer in 1 & 2. But most people screaming about how awful Bethesda was to the property, positively gush about how New Vegas was the "true sequel" and was "more faithful" to the originals. So, how rare were guns in FO: NV? Not very rare. Actually so common I leave the desert practically littered with them because they aren't worth the weight of carrying them around.

But, for me its a good thing I'm not looking for a coherent world. I'm looking for a fun game. I don't want a farm co-operative studded with crops and field workers backstopping my shots when I'm just trying to murder supermutants, just because that would be "more realistic." I don't want to play around in the sandbox of a world that's nearly dragged itself back to the level of society that they lost in the war; because I can have more agency, more of an influence on, a world on the brink of collapse. Even if that "isn't realistic." I can put up with a decent amount of contrivance... if it makes the experience more enjoyable. I'm more in agreement with immortalfrieza on that last point actually. I think the major contrivance I'm looking past playing Fallout, is that people are even present on the North American continent at all. I'd put my money on the few survivors after the war all succumbing to suicide, the guns of the other few survivors, radiation, disease, and the final few getting picked off by mutated flora and fauna. I think simply being able to look past the almost certainty I have that there would be no survivors, kind of immunizes me against the handfull of other valid/notvalid so called "plot holes" in any of the Fallout games... Bethesda or not. Because in the "real world" we'd all be rotting, either above or below, the irradiated earth.
 

Agema

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What nearest surviving forest? That's my whole point. Sure trees can last a long time as wood, if kept dry....do you think anyone's doing that with the heavily irradiated, and centuries dead trees that are just littering the wastelands? Do you think they've got the resources and inclination to even attempt to journey across potentially dozens, if not hundreds of miles to get to wherever this mythical "surviving forest" is to try and get wood? The trees in the wasteland would be so decayed and rotted they would be useless, they have no seeds to plant new ones, and the soil and water supplies are so irradiated as to make it virtually impossible to grow anything anyway. So again, where is this wood of good enough quality to use coming from?
Who said the forest's 100 miles away? It might be just 10. And there clearly are travelling traders around.

Although it also occurs to me that there are trees all over the DC wasteland. I doubt they're 200 years old: trees rot and collapse. They don't look very healthy, but maybe it's just the wrong season or something happened to kill them quite recently?
 

happyninja42

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Who said the forest's 100 miles away? It might be just 10. And there clearly are travelling traders around.

Although it also occurs to me that there are trees all over the DC wasteland. I doubt they're 200 years old: trees rot and collapse. They don't look very healthy, but maybe it's just the wrong season or something happened to kill them quite recently?
They establish pretty heavily, that the entire DC area is a lifeless biome. It's why Oasis is such a special thing. Because everywhere else, is dead, scorched earth. So those trees are the blasted husks from 200 years ago, or at least most likely. They sure don't establish any functional ecosystem that would explain it otherwise.
 

Gethsemani

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They establish pretty heavily, that the entire DC area is a lifeless biome. It's why Oasis is such a special thing. Because everywhere else, is dead, scorched earth. So those trees are the blasted husks from 200 years ago, or at least most likely. They sure don't establish any functional ecosystem that would explain it otherwise.
And that's really the problem of looking at Fallout 3 from an in-universe perspective: It doesn't make any sense. No one would be able to survive in the Capital Wasteland for 200 days, let alone 200 years. The biome is actively hostile to life, has no perquisites for any kind of agriculture or animal husbandry and proper building materials are scarce. It can only be viewed through the Doylist ("What was the writer's intention with this?") lens because it is the video game equivalent of a theme park. Trying to explain how people survived in the ruins of DC without any access to food, clean water or proper shelter from either the elements or all the hostile fauna is pointless, because Bethesda obviously didn't think to hard about it. It is what makes Fallout 3 the odd game out in the Fallout series, because Fallout 4 and 76 tries a lot more to show and explain how the different factions have survived and made their living.
 
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happyninja42

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And that's really the problem of looking at Fallout 3 from an in-universe perspective: It doesn't make any sense. No one would be able to survive in the Capital Wasteland for 200 days, let alone 200 years. The biome is actively hostile to life, has no perquisites for any kind of agriculture or animal husbandry and proper building materials are scarce. It can only be viewed through the Doylist ("What was the writer's intention with this?") lens because it is the video game equivalent of a theme park. Trying to explain how people survived in the ruins of DC without any access to food, clean water or proper shelter from either the elements or all the hostile fauna is pointless, because Bethesda obviously didn't think to hard about it. It is what makes Fallout 3 the odd game out in the Fallout series, because Fallout 4 and 76 tries a lot more to show and explain how the different factions have survived and made their living.
And how were the prior games any better? They were just as blasted wasteland as FO 3, yet I'm supposed to believe they were able to survive? It's all complete crazy, but to try and say "it only doesn't make sense once Bethesda" took the reigns is just silly.
 

Gethsemani

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And how were the prior games any better? They were just as blasted wasteland as FO 3, yet I'm supposed to believe they were able to survive? It's all complete crazy, but to try and say "it only doesn't make sense once Bethesda" took the reigns is just silly.
Drathnoxis linked to Shamus Young's Fo3 discussion and he points it out: Every town you see has some kind of agriculture. There's an entire town in Fo1, The Hub, dedicated to trade. You can talk to people about how Shady Sands, Junktown and the Boneyard sustain themselves. It is not realistic by any sense of the word, but it is internally consistent. You can ask the question "What do they eat?" and get a satisfactory answer.

Ask "What do they eat?" in Fo3 and you get very little. Rivet City has a hydroponics center, there's Republic of Dave and the overpass village that has some kind of farming. But what about Megaton? Tenpenny Towers? The BoS? The BoS Outcasts? So yeah, the other Fallouts are kind of better at this, even 4 and 76. Fallout 3 is terrible because there's no consistency to its world, it is a bunch of cool or zany locations all clumped up without any thought to how they would interact if they actually existed.
 

EvilRoy

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Drathnoxis linked to Shamus Young's Fo3 discussion and he points it out: Every town you see has some kind of agriculture. There's an entire town in Fo1, The Hub, dedicated to trade. You can talk to people about how Shady Sands, Junktown and the Boneyard sustain themselves. It is not realistic by any sense of the word, but it is internally consistent. You can ask the question "What do they eat?" and get a satisfactory answer.

Ask "What do they eat?" in Fo3 and you get very little. Rivet City has a hydroponics center, there's Republic of Dave and the overpass village that has some kind of farming. But what about Megaton? Tenpenny Towers? The BoS? The BoS Outcasts? So yeah, the other Fallouts are kind of better at this, even 4 and 76. Fallout 3 is terrible because there's no consistency to its world, it is a bunch of cool or zany locations all clumped up without any thought to how they would interact if they actually existed.
Vegas was interesting in that regard because there were a few missions that focused around how agriculture worked in the region and actually kind of went into the nuts and bolts of why it is hard and why it is critical. There's similar elements of "in no way could these ten withering plants support a population" but it was an interesting aside to see how the system was supposed to work and the politics involved.
 

Terminal Blue

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Well, the easy answer to the guns question is simply... "Murica." I posit the people most likely to survive the war depicted in Fallout... if you are looking for realism and a "coherent world," are the kind of people who would undoubtedly prioritize guns over houses and the skeleton cleaning out thereof.
Again, the war depicted in which Fallout?

Because again, in Bethesda Fallout the nuclear war happened, the survivors all grabbed guns and ran around shooting each other and drinking from the toilets for 200 years. Presumably, new ammo just popped into existence to replace the ammo that was expended, and new humans grew out of the earth from dragons teeth so that the survivors would always have someone to shoot and loot. Also, despite guns in game breaking permanently after firing a few hundred rounds max, the supply of guns was so infinite that people never ran out of guns and just kept finding more guns all the time.

In West Coast Fallout, there are entire societies which either don't use guns at all, or where guns have a special status. Ceasar's Legion controls the entire state of Arizona and a big chunk of Colorado by the time of New Vegas, but most legionaries are using spears or machetes. It's not because they hate guns and threw all the guns in the bin, the elite soldiers of the legion often do use guns, it's because Arizona was mostly inhabited by tribal societies who for the most part had abandoned guns in favour of more sustainable weapons, because there wasn't a complex enough social organization that people could afford to spend their lives making powder and ammunition, refurbishing and repairing old guns or making new guns.

Again, the west coast nuclear apocalypse is stadial. Things change. People didn't just run around shooting each other for 200 years because they would have run out of people. Society declined and rose in response to changing circumstances. Guns became viable again because people started forming communities which could support them, but a lot of people stuck with spears and it makes sense that they did, beyond being an aesthetic reference to the post apocalyptic genre.

But most people screaming about how awful Bethesda was to the property, positively gush about how New Vegas was the "true sequel" and was "more faithful" to the originals. So, how rare were guns in FO: NV? Not very rare.
You know there's an actual literal working gun factory in Fallout: New Vegas? One of the missions is to break into it.

Again, in the West coast setting it is is generally explained why there are so many guns. People make guns. There are industries devoted to making new guns and refurbishing and trading old guns. There are groups and gangs, like the gun runners, the van graffs and the shi, whose entire role in the economy is to make, fix and sell guns for profit. People are not just finding an infinite supply of random ancient guns.

But, for me its a good thing I'm not looking for a coherent world. I'm looking for a fun game.
Me too.

But it doesn't sound like you're looking for an immersive roleplaying game. It sounds like you're looking for a shooter with post apocalyptic aesthetics, and you're in luck. There are a lot of those. Sadly, there are considerably less post apocalyptic immersive roleplaying games.

I'd put my money on the few survivors after the war all succumbing to suicide, the guns of the other few survivors, radiation, disease, and the final few getting picked off by mutated flora and fauna. I think simply being able to look past the almost certainty I have that there would be no survivors, kind of immunizes me against the handfull of other valid/notvalid so called "plot holes" in any of the Fallout games... Bethesda or not. Because in the "real world" we'd all be rotting, either above or below, the irradiated earth.
Honestly, that sounds like your hangup more than anything else. To me, the idea that all humans would simply kill themselves if the internet went down or mindlessly fight each other to extinction isn't realistically depressing, it's just trite anti-humanism.

The great thing is, there's a game which deals with these themes very directly. You might have heard of it, it's called Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game.

Fallout is about a human survivor travelling a world where humanity is still on the brink of annihilation, and ultimately coming up against an army of mutants lead by a being who has given up on humanity and decided they're too weak and doomed to tear themselves apart in a cycle of endless violence, and who believes that their solution, terrible as it is, is the best hope for what is left of humanity. For a game that is so dumb and edgy and hilariously dated, it still evokes emotions in me decades after I first played it, and that's ultimately why I still care about Fallout. It's not because the combat was really good and you could make people's heads explode, it's because the writing forced my tiny child self to consider what I thought, what I believed and where I stood in this conflict between hope and despair in a way that I still remember and like to think about, and that to me is as much the sign of a good game as being able to pew pew the bad men until they fall down.
 
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immortalfrieza

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Honestly, that sounds like your hangup more than anything else.
An ironic thing to say, considering that your obsession with trying to find realism in a video game series that never has been, never claimed to be, and never will be realistic seems to be your hang up. We've got:

- Scorpions the size of dogs at the smallest and only get WAY bigger and that's just the start of a number of huge and very very strong creatures that can destroy armies on their own.
- Functional power armor, laser, plasma weapons, and functional robots one of which operates off of a human brain that can somehow live for centuries.
- That run off of impossible energy sources,
- People who turn into potentially immortal but badly deformed creatures when either exposed to enough radiation or to an impossible virus that forces people to "evolve", in either case becoming immune to radiation in the process.
- Roaming gangs that somehow despite having nowhere near the number of victims to prey upon needed manage to survive off of killing anyone they come across. NOT a uniquely Bethesda thing BTW.

That's just the beginning and everything named here so far is just as true of the original Fallouts as it was any of the Bethesda Fallouts. You accept all that and what breaks your immersion is a bunch of nitpicky logistic and economical stuff that nearly any piece of fiction fails to deal with realistically either? Sounds very unreasonable to me.
 

Agema

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That's just the beginning and everything named here so far is just as true of the original Fallouts as it was any of the Bethesda Fallouts. You accept all that and what breaks your immersion is a bunch of nitpicky logistic and economical stuff that nearly any piece of fiction fails to deal with realistically either? Sounds very unreasonable to me.
Depends what we mean.

Most fantasy and science fiction is necessarily a departure from reality. However, and this is where immersive comes in, they normally still require a degree of logical consistency, especially internal logical inconsistency. If they want to make radioactive feral undead and robots with human brain tissue, so be it and roll with it. But if they want to create a city which has no apparent food supply, you stop and think "wait... what?" Because we all know humans need food. No amount of fantasy and SF can get past this glaring problem. This is the same reason why "plot holes" are a thing in any media: people really do notice these things and it jars them out of the experience.
 

Terminal Blue

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An ironic thing to say, considering that your obsession with trying to find realism in a video game series that never has been, never claimed to be, and never will be realistic seems to be your hang up.
I don't think I've mentioned realism.

And honestly, you've not even scratched the surface there. What about the crashed alien spaceship with a picture of Elvis? What about having your character randomly quote the Goonies? What about the thinly veiled parodies of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as porn stars shilling for an obvious scientology rip off?

Fallout isn't realistic. Even its "serious" elements are a collage of references to other pieces of media. What I'm talking about isn't realism, it's artistic direction. It's someone sitting down and thinking "okay, how is this game meant to maker people feel" "what narrative experience is the player supposed to have" "what themes is the player being drawn to think about" and then ensuring that the writers and producers and artists are all on board with the story. Constantly drawing attention to things like agriculture in Fallout 1 and 2 isn't just about making the game realistic, it's giving you an insight into the kind of world you're exploring.

Bethesda games can be a lot of fun, but the Fallout series under Bethesda really suffers from a lack of artistic direction.
 

Kyrian007

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But it doesn't sound like you're looking for an immersive roleplaying game. It sounds like you're looking for a shooter with post apocalyptic aesthetics, and you're in luck. There are a lot of those. Sadly, there are considerably less post apocalyptic immersive roleplaying games.
So immersive roleplaying games can't be fun? Because I've had a lot of fun with them. Its one of the reasons I liked Fallouts 1,2, and New Vegas. Its just I'm not such a fanboy for Black Isle and Obsidian that I have to try and justify why 3 and 4 "aren't immersive" or "aren't real Fallout games." I can just enjoy them and have fun and BE immersed in the roleplaying games they are. I know, terrible that I can enjoy something that others cannot.
 

immortalfrieza

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I don't think I've mentioned realism.
You haven't needed to outright mention realism. You keep obsessing over the unrealistic aspects of Fallout games especially the Bethesda ones in your posts here. Such as:

Again, the war depicted in which Fallout?

Because again, in Bethesda Fallout the nuclear war happened, the survivors all grabbed guns and ran around shooting each other and drinking from the toilets for 200 years. Presumably, new ammo just popped into existence to replace the ammo that was expended, and new humans grew out of the earth from dragons teeth so that the survivors would always have someone to shoot and loot. Also, despite guns in game breaking permanently after firing a few hundred rounds max, the supply of guns was so infinite that people never ran out of guns and just kept finding more guns all the time.

The issue with the east coast, and Fallout 3 in particular, is that people on one hand seem to have nothing, they seem to just roam around fighting super mutants and barely surviving, but on the other hand they have a lot of technology. Guns are ubiquitous in Fallout 3, and yet where are they coming from? Is there some group like the gun runners who are still making or refurbishing guns? If so, where did they find the time to do that given that apparently noone found the time to build houses or (and I keep stressing this because it's kind of comical) to clean out the skeletons from the places they live?

Again, the problem is that it's not a coherent world.
The closest you come to saying Bethesda Fallouts are unrealistic is calling it "not a coherent world." You're not the only one either. Again, you accept the idea of Super Mutants, Ghouls, humongous insects, and countless other entirely unrealistic things without a problem but you draw the line at arbitrary points because you think something like where the Capital Wastland gets it's guns breaks your immersion. It doesn't, you're just obsessing over something that as entirely fictional video games you should be aware that you should be willing to suspend disbelief. Also, Bethesda Fallouts aren't any worse about those elements than the Interplay ones were by a long shot. These elements that you're complaining about aren't addressed in these games because they aren't relevant to anything. Where do they get their guns? It's not important, and BTW the answer is: Trade for it or salvage them because pre-war America had an abundance since they were facing total war, especially somewhere like DC that could expect to be attacked at any time and thus had a large amount of military bases and people hoarding guns and ammo.


Because we all know humans need food. No amount of fantasy and SF can get past this glaring problem.
It's not a glaring problem, it's an obsession problem as a result of focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, and everybody knows that everybody needs to eat and drink, and everybody knows that consequently everybody needs to piss and shit too, but the vast majority of media never so much as acknowledge that using the bathroom is a thing and it's the same thing with food. They're not going to bring either up unless it's relevant to the plot, and it hasn't been. Even the Water Purifier in FO3 was about 2 factions fighting over it so they could use it for political gain, it had nothing to do with everybody in the Capital Wasteland actually getting water.


A very useful resource for the both of you.
 
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Agema

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It's not a glaring problem, it's an obsession problem as a result of focusing on the wrong thing.
I beg your pardon, but what?

Sorry, but no. Neither I nor anyone else on this planet has to assess the quality of a product according to someone else's rules about what we are or are not allowed to find acceptable.

* * *

There is a spectrum of how "realistic" a game is supposed to be. It's perhaps easier to use movies as a guide. At one end you have the sense-warpingly bizarre like Videodrome or Inland Empire, and at the other the cinematic realism of classic Hollywood.

The minute you have a game like Fallout (any) where people are going round doing reasonable things that make sense as part of a wider pattern of a recognisable world, you're a substantial way towards realism. You need a water purifier because people don't have clean water and humans without clean water die; it is thus also a resource and humans fight over resources because it gives them power and control. And so on. It has absurdity and comedy too, of course. Fallout might also send you to fight over a rubber duck. But even this is on the understanding that the postapocalyptic world is populated by a bunch of humorously crazy people: it is funny and absurd because underlying it we get the reality that the characters are crazy. If you are therefore in a scenario that genuinely makes no rational sense, it's not okay. Players will sit there thinking "this is stupid", and no amount of "it's just a game/film/TV show" rescues it.

The argument about toilets is not valid. Of course we don't usually see people taking a dump in films and TV. But they're in a house. Implicitly, there's a bathroom even if we don't see it, because that's a regular house and we fill in that detail. Most of their life is going on off-screen, and obviously they are implicitly going to the toilet off-screen. But you walk round a computer game house with all the rooms modelled except the bathroom, an awful lot of players will notice there's no bathroom. The implicit nature of the bathroom's existence from a TV show no longer holds in a game, because you can prove the bathroom isn't there. It's a wrongness at the core of the house design.
 

Terminal Blue

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You keep obsessing over the unrealistic aspects of Fallout games especially the Bethesda ones in your posts here. Such as:
I mean, sure, but you seem to have missed and cut out the reasons and just assumed that I'm focusing on these things because they are in and of themselves bad, which is not the point at all. In this case, the problem is that the Fallout games have traditionally been story driven. They were focused on telling a particular story, and all the little details and inclusions were part of telling that story. It gave you a really clear view of the world and helped you get immersed in the story. That's what I mean here by "immersive". It doesn't mean realistic, and pretending I'm talking about realism is disingenuous.

That bigger metaplot of the West coast setting, the way it changes and evolves between games and the way its various locations and people fit together, makes for a really interesting and compelling story, and it adds substance and meaning to the stories you do encounter. When you encounter people and towns who are struggling with food, for example, it doesn't feel like an arbitrary problem that was made up for an arbitrary quest, like collecting 20 boar tusks, because you can literally walk into almost any location and see how they get food. The game conveys to you that food matters through its basic design without having to ever actually tell you.

That is the power of environmental storytelling, and it a commitment to storytelling and really good artistic direction. Bethesda does not have those things, and does not focus on those things.

A very useful resource for the both of you.
MST3K frequently riffs films for having plot holes, immersion breaking elements or other problems which could, for an obnoxious person, be countered with the statement "it's just a film". It went on to inspire an entire genre of nitpicking, plot hole based film commentary.

The difference between MST3K and the films it riffs is one of intent and tone. The mantra is a statement of that tone, it is meant to draw attention to the fact that MST3K is a comedy show with a flimsy premise, and that the premise isn't really the point. If MST3K had been genuinely trying to convey a story in and of itself, then countering any criticism of that story by saying that "it's just a show" doesn't really work.

Like it or not, Fallout 3 was attempting to tell a story. It was attempting to make you immersed and invested in its world. It's not a joke or excuse to do something else, it's an attempt to make a roleplaying game and a successor to Fallout and Fallout 2. But as a roleplaying game and successor, it doesn't live up to the previous games because those games put a lot of work into telling their stories, right down to tiny little details. Fallout 3 (and to a lesser extent Fallout 4) doesn't really have an interesting story to tell, or really anything interesting to say at all. Which is not to say it's not fun, but it's a different and more mindless kind of fun.
 
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