Note to game designers: Having the tutorial drop helpful combat hints while a naked mole rat is chewing off my face is not an ideal learning situation:
“Huh – wha – OMG THE PAIN THE PAIN IT BURNS LIKE KUWAIT!”
In order to equip a weapon, hit left-arrow right-mouse ALT TAB EYE-OF-RA Z Z right-mouse.
“I AM BLEEDING FROM WHERE MY EYES WERE!”
I frickin’ hate naked mole rats, or, as I call them, Satan’s Lil’ Death Bringers, but not really, because usually I can’t finish that sentence before they’ve rendered my limbs into ketchup.
And in Fallout 4 they erupt from the earth like tiny volcanos, only instead of lava, they spew aggro all over the place, forcing you to take unexpected naps in abandoned drive-ins which turn out to be booby trapped because apparently hey player! You die now!
I think I was at some point supposed to learn how to combat, but since the tutorials kept popping up at awkward agony filled moments, the only real take-away was that if I equip an explosive device, it was probably best to throw it shortly thereafter … and I think I learned that one from experience, followed by a mop.
But hey – at least I made it out of the vault. And found trusty old Codsworth, where I also learned that Fallout 4 did to dialogue options what naked mole rats do to my eyes.
Seriously, 4 dialogue options, usually “Yes” “No” “Sarcastic” and “Tell me more.” Not as in a written-out option that had sarcastic overtones; the game literally has “sarcastic” as an option in every conversation.
Call me a stuck in the mud conservative old fuddy duddy whose decaying neurons automatically associate change with “bad” as a way of staving off the thought of an inevitable death if you must, but I kinda liked knowing what my character was gonna say. It’s a fine, fine, line, but if you go too deep into the meta aspects of the game, you just break immersion. Obviously, I mean, I’m an accountant – combat is not my specialty, so a lot of the fun for me was picking through dialogue options to pick the right path for the character I had in my head. Besides, I liked reading all the various dialogue options – but nobody reads anymore, dadgummit. (Cue sound of rocking chairs.)
It might not have been so bad, except they thought they’d fill the dialogue void with verbal acting. At the risk of understatement, this was not the … wisest choice?
I used to sell lightbulbs. I’m a fast talker; my characters are fast talkers. They’re salesmen and grifters trying to rekindle the faded hopes of 1950’s suburban whitebread Americana, only without the racism and Red Scares and thalidomide and secret drug use. (Open drug use, okay. But there will be no secrets in this man’s Levittown!)
This guy … talks … slooow. Like, Sam Elliot slow. And was apparently paid by the word on a limited budget, because brevity is the order of the day.
See, with the dialogue wheel, I was constrained, but I could still fill in a lot of the picture myself. Once they had to have a voice, once they had to decide on a delivery, a line was crossed, and I’m not sure it was in the right direction.
But I got over it, because I got to shoot a minigun:
HO HO HO. Now I have a machine gun too.
Of course, I was then almost immediately killed by a Holy Sweet Mother of Bokrug is that a frikkin … no … yes … oh crap – HOLY JESUS GET IN THE CAR IT’S A DEATHCLAW!
Then I died.
And reloaded. And died.
And reloaded. And died.
Still, it was fun feeling competent for the whole 5 seconds before I entered combat.
Sigh. Two hours in, the death toll stands at:
robots again, another raider, a murklurker – mukluck – crab thingy, and some radscorpions.
Not what I’ve killed … that’s what’s killed me so far. Oh, and falling. And some ghouls. A scavenger. Oh, and I fell a couple more times.
Also, this gave me some heart palpitations:
Hi ladies. Creepy, much?
Still and all, it was kind of fun when I gave up on the dialogue tree and just started having fun with conversations. There was an awesome moment where I got the General Atomics Galleria to reopen thanks to the power of the “sarcasm” option, that was worth the frustration it took to get there.
Afterward, as I was scouting around for my next place to die (turned out to be the mukluk thing) my dog companion barked (who, fortunately, is immortal) and I was informed
Dogmeat has found something.
He was barking in front of a trashcan, which turned out to contain a … carton of cigarettes? What kind of dog am I hooked up with here?