Nothing But Fallout 4…Until Monday.

Howdy folks,

How’s everyone? Things have been pretty good here; I start work on Monday (after being informed earlier this week that the background check would take until 4th December, I then received a call yesterday letting me know that it was done), we have new furniture to make the first floor of our apartment a hospitable area (I’m typing this up on the recliner sofa right now), Vanna has been exploring her artsy side, and I have, rather predictably, become addicted to Fallout 4.

We all saw it coming. To say my life for the past week and a half has been food, sleep and Fallout 4 is no exaggeration. In many ways, even eating and sleeping haven’t been that important to me (reduced appetite, irregular and erratic sleep patterns) since the 10th. Tis rather shameful; I can’t tell how many hours I’ve spent gaming in the past nine days, nor am I willing to say the times I’ve gone to bed this week. All I will disclose is that I’ve already played roughly the same amount of time on Fallout 4 as I did on its two predecessors (which were completed over a few months)…and that I have climbed into bed with the sun shining in my eyes on more than occasion (never a good sign, especially not when it is November). So yeah…addicted is probably the right word to use. Going to be rough changing my schedule for Monday, isn’t it? Urgh.

Thankfully I have a very understanding wife who hasn’t complained once about my current obsession, even when I try to engage her in conversations about the settlements I have saved (the fact she can use my laptop – which is so rarely out of my hands – has probably made my overexcitement easier to handle). Of course we’ve still had “couple” time; last week we went to Zorbaz (a great bar/restaurant ruined by their decision to replace every single use of ‘s’ – only one of the most common letters in the English language – with a fricking ‘z’, a choice which gives me an aneurysm every time I try to read the menu…honestly, it is the worst thing ever), and we always make sure to eat and watch television together too. We’ve actually gone through a few Netflix shows* in recent weeks, despite my Fallout 4 cravings and Vanna’s hectic work schedule. Regardless, I appreciate her for being so forgiving about my many hours up in the attic. Sadly it appears that my binging going to end before I am ready to move on. How am I going to cope?!

*sigh*

You may think I’m being dramatic – to an extent I am – but there is a level of seriousness to that asterixed (tis a word!) sigh. I have become attached to Fallout 4, and it will be tricky for me to not play it. Why? Well because Fallout 4 is a fantastic games, even better than I expected it would be. I’m enjoying it a great deal, and there are a lot of things I love about it. The new settlement feature is addictive, the Boston Commonwealth is a rich and diverse wasteland, and the combat is challenging yet satisfying. The only thing I can’t praise is the story…as I’ve barely started it (told you building settlements was fun). As a consequence, I feel like I can only give a brief impression of the game so far, despite the many hours I’ve already racked up. What can I say? It’s an impressive game.

Having said that, I can’t say Fallout 4 is perfect. There are some flaws; the opening story is weak in some aspects, doing anything other than the main campaign gives me a disconnected feeling**, the settlements sometime glitch and cause me problems (I wasted over an hour last night trying to figure out where people had gone), the dialogue, though a step in the right direction, is somewhat simplistic and flawed, and the lack of a manual*** to help with all the new features is bloody frustrating. I’m still in agreement with the 9+/10 reviews so far, but I’m not going to worship it as the best game ever just yet.

Of course, my opinion might change once I’ve completed Fallout 4. I’m sure there are a lot of surprises still in store. Who knows what I’ll think when I’ve finished the campaign? Maybe the good will be better, or the bad will be worse. Perhaps I’ll share a more in-depth analysis once I’ve reached that point. For now though, I just wanted to provide a brief summary of my thoughts so far, which essentially boils down to Fallout 4 being a very, very good, arguably amazing game, with some minor issues. There! Now I can go back to playing rather than writing, and you can rest easy knowing I haven’t wasted away in my chair.

Right then. I guess that’s it for the moment. Unless you, uh, want to hear about my settlements?!

…you don’t? Oh. Well then. I’ll be back next week for a job/ Fallout 4 update (providing I have the time…should probably sleep and eat between my working and gaming).

Take care,

Alex

P.S. If I’ve made any grammatical errors, I apologize. WordPress has changed the format and I can’t find the little check button which usually flags up my biggest mistakes.

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*After finishing season 2 of The 100 (very good, a definite recommend), we watched Happy Valley (grim but good), before then moving onto iZombie (name aside, a surprisingly good show). No promises – I’ve made that error in the past – but I’ll try to talk about these and more sometime in the future.

** This is hard to explain as I probably sound insane, but I tend to obsess about my actions within expansive games, and have to logically reason out everything I do. Essentially if my character has this huge, super important mission, and needs to get from A to B, I need to mentally explain why I’ve decided to detour to C, D, E, and F first. This happened a little bit during the Mass Effect trilogy (I guess I found this urge easier to pacify with those games), and was bad in Fallout 3 (even though my side-tracking happened after I completed the campaign!) but is especially problematic now I’m playing Fallout 4 (given the context of the plot, it seems wrong to do anything other than search for Shaun). I don’t want to go into too much detail right now as I think this could make for a good blog post, but yeah…my own brain is causing problems with my immersion in the story. Grr.

*** Embarrassingly, after complaining non-stop about having to figure out the settlement builder by myself, I’ve discovered there is a little help page in the pause menu. Ooops. I still think the system could do with improvement (especially with assigning settlers to different tasks) but my criticism has wavered now I realize the answer, or at least something of an answer, was staring me in the face this whole time.

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