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The RPG Files: My Troubled Relationship with Fallout

By Christopher Coke on June 12, 2015 | Columns | Comments

My Troubled Relationship with Fallout

With last week’s announcement of Fallout 4, it’s time that I admit something: I have a troubled relationship with the Fallout. Even though the rest of the internet seems to pine over the series like a lovesick teenager, I’ve always been the guy on the sidelines, wondering what she sees in him. If I sit with that for a little while, the answer is obvious. So, over and over again, I keep coming back, hoping for something different. It always ends the same. It’s time Fallout and I had a talk.

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Fallout

Last week, you showed yourself to the world and it was as if we’d all just seen you for the first time. I looked at your 50’s aesthetic, your loveable but oh-so-unfortunately named dog, your flashback sequences, and each new glimpse of your gloriously expounding world, and -- I’ll admit it -- my heart started to race. I watched your revelation with baited breath. It was almost enough to make me forget all of the problems we had.

You see, the rest of the world told me about you before I even knew who you were. Had I played Fallout? How many hours had I sunk into the wasteland? These were rhetorical questions, of course, because, let’s face it, you’re kind of the town bike. Everyone had played you, everyone likes to talk about you. It even kind of your thing to be talked about, if we’re being honest. I went in with high hopes.

Our introductions were good. Those Tunnel Snakes won’t be messing with any other young scientist’s kid, let me tell you. And the first time I slowed down and took in your VATS, well… that cockroach kind of exploded. Things were good, and even when my dad disappeared, I went out into your wide open spaces with the optimism of a man seeing daylight for the first time. Because, well, I was.

But then something went wrong. It was a small thing but the very first that didn’t sit right with me. I went into your first town, Megaton, and that sheriff’s head just didn’t seem to sit right on his shoulders. Then, a little later, after a shady character asked me to murder the an entire town and I refused, the entire town went nuts and tried to kill me. Okay, maybe I hit somebody, I don’t remember. What I do remember is that I couldn’t reload my save. The reason is lost, but the impact is the same: I died, repeatedly, before having to reload from some a save. Lost time, lost patience.

Remembering how much my buddies crooned over you, I kept at it. Persevered. But were you always so brown and that sickly grave-sick green? For days, it was nothing but the same sickly pallor. Your characters, many, varied, and interesting, all had the same fatal flaw. Everything was just so… depressing. I know. Radiation. Bombs. It’s a silly complaint to make. But Fallout, I have to be honest, you were taxing to be around for too long.

After I while, I stepped away but I couldn’t get you off of my mind. Everyone else still loved you. The problem was with me, and I knew it. When you came around again, this time dressed up in the redder browns of New Vegas, I had a go again.

It was better but still not great, not what I expected it to be. At least this time you were easier on the eyes. But do you know what happened? Do you? The same silly thing with me teeing off an entire town. And the same infuriating thing with my save not being able to save me. This time, my save was after they were mad, so I had to take the death. But I soldiered on.

Things were good. You remember how we hit it off, even after that unfortunate incident where I had to kill an entire prison’s worth of survivors and inadvertently locked off a quest line I desperately wanted to do after it was already too late? We got past that. I had a blast tickling your VATS and making the bugs go splat. I even turned on the perk to make the wasteland SUPER WACKY. (I won’t tell anyone about the underwear in the locker).

After a while, though… I guess we lost our way. I enjoyed exploring. I dished out karmic justice when I encountered the Legionaires’ town for the first time -- you know, the one with the crucifixes? I did too many side quests and before long everything started to feel directionless, like I was lost at sea. I didn’t even know if I wanted to find land. What I wanted was a rescue, a big pull to bring me back in. You didn’t offer any. I stayed lost.

To this day, I feel like I have been missing out. I still know the problem is with me.

But wow, your latest trailer sure is something. You have color, Fallout! You must be eating well! And those flashbacks are just full of life. We all know how it ends, but I mean, I love the new you. It may not work, but you know what? I think we’ll be seeing each other again soon. And who knows, maybe this will be the time.

Quick Hits

While we’re talking Fallout, more and more evidence is stacking up that the game will release in 2015. Originally, the Bethesda store listed the game’s ship date as “TBA 2015” which has since been altered to remove the year. A recent Amazon listing, however, lists a ship date of December 31st, 2015. While this is obviously a placeholder, it does seem to reinforce that the game may be hitting later this year. Still, let’s take Jessica’s cue and pass on pre-orders, shall we?

Sword Coast Legends has a release date! The upcoming (and quite promising!) Dungeons and Dragons RPG will release on PC on September 8th will consoles to come after. Does anyone wonder if such a very PC game would have made it to consoles last generation? Thank you modern technology!

Have you heard of The Witcher 3? Did you know there were three games? Okay, but did you know that the game sold 4 million copies in two weeks? That’s impressive, especially for a series that only came into its own one game again. Big congrats to CD Projekt Red.

In sadder news, Chris Avellone has left Obsidian Entertainment. You may remember him from his work most recently on the wonderful Pillars of Eternity, but also other classic CRPGs franchises including Fallout, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Speaking to Eurogamer, Chris confirmed that he is leaving to work on other projects but is currently unable to share what these might be. We’ll definitely be paying attention to see where he lands.

Lastly, in DLC news, Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting some new content in the Spoils of Avvar content pack. For $4.99 players can pick up five new Avvar-inspired mounts, a couple spiffy sets of armor, and some customization items for their base. On The Witcher 3 side of things, the weekly march of DLC continues, this time with a new set of Dandelion-based Gwent cards and the “Fool’s Gold” quest which sees Geralt investigate a town rumored to be inhabited entirely by pigs. Seriously.

That’s all, folks. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.