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Showing posts from November, 2015

Nitpicking My Post-Apocalyptic Honeymoon

Two weeks have passed since my last entry.  An entry about Fallout 4.  What has happened since then?  More Fallout 4, of course.  It's a damn big game, and I wish I had more time to play it.

At about 89 hours of play time, I find my old Bethesda Software Gamebryo Engine pattern of gameplay still applies to Fallout 4:
I start by gearing my character towards stealth.  This is partly so I can take fights on my own terms, but it carries the bonus of allowing me to witness the behavior and flavor text of the various NPCs that have yet to be alerted to my presence.  To many players of open-world Bethesda games, it may seem as though all the enemy NPCs can do is rage and try to kill you, but the players of stealth characters know of the whole other world of their idle activities.  Fallout 4 introduces a slew of new settlement-mechanic idling activities to an NPC regimen that was previously limited to wandering around at random and spouting one-liners.   In this way, I find playing a sne…

Fall Out For Fallout Four

I took four days off to play Fallout 4... and, well, versus Fallout 3 it is basically just an all around increment with a few new features.  Turns out that it's basically a sequel.  Who knew?
In combat, the gameplay in Fallout 4 feels different because it has been rebalanced to feel more like a good first person shooter.  This has reduced the importance of leaning on the V.A.T.S. mode, and it feels like a slippery slope considering the original two games of the series were entirely about turn-based combat.  At this rate, I wonder if the fifth game will eliminate V.A.T.S. completely?  I, for one, would be sorry to see it go.

I like how power armor is handled differently in Fallout 4.  Instead of just being another kind of armor to stick on your character, it's treated more like a human-sized vehicle you can customize and tromp around in.  You can't wear them constantly because they consume fusion cells, essentially fuel, when you are using them.  In practice, I found ret…

The Right Kind Of Sandbox

Last week, I had some realizations that the kind of game I really wanted to play was a sandbox, but "sandbox" is not specific enough to describe it:
Start with the definition of a virtual environment where the player is allowed greater-than-usual freedom in doing whatever they want.  This is, roughly, what "sandboxes" have come to mean among the mainstream; this is how everything from Minecraft to Transport Tycoon can be called sandboxes.Add to that definition that the player should have significant means to creatively express themselves.  This somewhat eliminates "virtual world" games derived from Grand Theft Auto 3 from the definition because they are significantly limited versus something like Minecraft.Add further to the definition that there needs to be satisfying in-game ramifications to the changes the player makes.  This is where my complaint from Minecraft arises: building a castle is initially quite satisfying, and you've created a safe haven…