Allow me to begin this by saying that Fallout 4 is a good game, maybe even a great game. The world, the exploration, the gunplay, the weapons and weapon modifications, its all excellent and it has kept me glued to the screen for over 20 hours now.

But after that many hours of play the numerous issues it has really started bothering me because I know that if they were fixed Fallout 4 would be massively improved. Whether they can or will be fixed at this point I don't know, but its worth a try anyway.

With that said, let's begin with number 1!

Problem #1 - Dialogue System

I think everyone was expecting this one, and for good reason, the dialogue system is easily the worst part of Fallout 4 and the biggest hindrance for anyone trying to actually role play in this RPG.

Compared to previous installments in the series all you get to chose from in dialogues now is "More Info, Maybe, No, Yes" with the occasional "Sarcastic" or "Annoyed" response. Naturally the wording will change from conversation to conversation but the overall amount of control you have over the flow of a dialogue is miniscule.

But not only do you get a painfully small array of options to chose from, they don't even tell you what your character will say, and to top it off they act very inconsistently. In one conversation you might ask for more information and the other speaker will simply explain themselves better and then allow you to chose a new response while in a different conversation that same question might end up with you automatically saying yes and the conversation ending.

The same issues plague the other special responses you might get, you never know what your character will say when you click on them. If you are having a friendly chat with someone and a "Sarcastic" option pops up you might think your character will make a quip or some sort of joke, and he might, or he could just straight up insult the other person by acting like a complete twat, you never know.

And it is this lack of knowledge that ruins most dialogues for me, it feels like I have no control over my character or the story, I'm simply there to say yes to everything because otherwise I might end up having to do a reload because my character said something stupid and ruined my chance at getting to know someone.

Solution: Just make it so we can see what our character is going to say, all of the text is already in the game (in the form of subtitles) so while it would be a tedious task it wouldn't be a difficult one.

Problem #2 - Charisma

Seems like such an odd thing to complain about doesn't it? Believe me I have a good reason. The main use for Charisma throughout the story is for the extra dialogue options which can drastically change the course of a conversation or even a quest.

My grudge with it is that unlike Hacking and Lockpicking Charisma is completely based on a random number generator. The higher your Charisma the higher the chance you have to succeed but even if you invest a lot of points in it you still might fail while someone with barely any might pull through. This is a complete opposite of how the other two skills work, they require a certain level in order to open corresponding containers/terminals but aside from that its up to you whether you succeed or fail.

The random chance from Charisma would be bearable if you got anything else useful out of it. The bonus caps are pointless since you will be rolling in them come mid-game and the Charisma talents are almost universally bad or ultra specific so you will most likely never even take them despite having a lot of points sunk in to it.

So in the end you are dumping a bunch of points in to a stat that does practically nothing outside of dialogues and even there its not guaranteed that it will help you out.

Solution: Since its too late to rework the way the persuasion system functions my suggestion would be to either buff or rework some of the Charisma talents so they are more generally useful rather than just very specific.

Problem #3 - Your followers are stupid

I'm pretty sure the only reason companions are even usable is because they are invincible and only fall down to one knee when killed. They exhibit little regard for your or their own safety and will gladly charge super mutants despite carrying ranged weapons.

That same bloodlust also make them a liability if your character is focused on sneaking. They might sneak along with you but they are far more likely to be seen due to their strange choices in pathfinding which can have them stumble out in to the middle of a room at which point they will be seen and a firefight will erupt. Also if you try to disengage a fight by sneaking away your companions won't always get the memo and might just continue fighting anyway, constantly keeping you away from that juicy, juicy stealth attack bonus.

Their AI also goes hand in hand with the various bugs Fallout 4 has so you might have your followers phase through walls in order to fight enemies you can't even see let alone reach, or they might simply disappear for a few minutes before they remember they have a job to do and teleport back.

They are supposed to be your friends in the wasteland but as it stands it feels like I'm their babysitter, constantly being forced to tell them to stay put so they don't run off and get themselves shot or ruin any sneaking I might have planned to do.

Solution: A lot of the issues here can be solved through bugfixing, something I hope Bethesda plans to work on for a whole while longer. As for the sneaking part, just make your followers invisible to enemies until you open fire, it might be immersion breaking but its a small price to pay in order to make gameplay less annoying.

Problem #4 - They also suffer from kleptomania

If you thought you had a looting problem in Fallout 4 may I suggest you look at your follower's inventory.

For me the revelation that my follower has a hoarding problem came when I wanted to give him a cool new weapon I found only to have my attempts met with a message that the companion's inventory is full and they can't carry any more. Turns out, all those bad pistols and rifles I left behind because they were simply not worth the time or effort to scrap ended up in his inventory.

And since we were in the middle of nowhere and I had no more room to carry stuff I had to go through the annoying process of taking loot from his inventory in to mine only to then be finally allowed to drop it on to the floor.

Solution: I understand why they made follower's take loot we as players might have missed but they really don't need to grab all of the bad weapons off the floor, just limit this to useful items such as ammo or building material. That way when we check our companion's inventory we might get a pleasant surprise rather than an exasperated sigh.

Problem #5 - Inconsistencies between different menus

If you've played Fallout 4 for any number of hours you will know about this one, lack of consistency. Why are different menus closed (and opened) with different keys?

Your Pip-Boy menu is opened and closed by pressing Tab which follows the standard control scheme, all good there. Your Base Building menu however is opened by holding V and closed only by pressing Escape, pressing Tab will instead prompt you to store objects in to your stash. And then finally we have the Crafting Tables which are opened with E and closed only by pressing Tab followed by Enter. The opening keys aren't much of an issue but why oh why have these wildly different ways of closing what is essentially the same menu?

They feel like they were made by 3 different teams that apparently never spoke to each other before launch. And since you tend to use them one after another you are going to end up stashing chairs far more often than you are comfortable to admit because you forgot which of the 3 keys exists that menu.

Solution: An easy one, just choose one exit button for EVERYTHING and no matter the context if you just mash that button you will leave menus/leave dialogue/cancel crafting etc.

Problem #6 - Placing objects with the Build menu

While on the topic of interfaces it is the Base Building one that needs the most help. Objects simply refuse to line up properly making any sort of wall a logistical nightmare if the game decides it doesn't like the look of that corner you're trying to round.

But it isn't just corners that are the problem, placing an object right up to a wall or next to another object is needlessly hard, the moment they come close your object's placement field will turn red and thus begins the wiggle game where you wiggle your mouse around trying to find that 1 pixel worth of space the game has deemed OK to build on. This only seems to affect certain materials but it was a nightmare for me when I was trying to build a house from scratch.

And the final Build Menu issue is how objects snap to one another. If you have multiple roof tiles you naturally want to connect them to each other. And for the most part this works great, unless you want to do anything that involves your object being near other similar tiles without connecting to them in which case your selection box will constantly zap around everywhere except the place you want it to go.

Solution: Not much I can say about this one, it all comes down to Bethesda working out the kinks in their system.

Problem #7 - Unnecessary menu scrolling

This one is a smaller issue but its a problem that didn't stop being any less annoying the further I got, what I'm talking about is how you access the various sub menus. If you simply want to check out your weapons that's easy, you press Tab and you're right there. But what if you wanted to check out how much ammo you have without rummaging carefully through your entire inventory? The only way to do that would be to scroll right through ALL of the menus until you finally got to the ammo tab.

Once you get to the ammo tab you might see that you have 300 units of flamer fuel, great! Time to grab the flamer from the stash and equip it...oh, the menu is still on the ammo tab, time to scroll through all of the menus again. As i said, this isn't a massive issue but if you go through this action multiple times in a short period of time it becomes seriously grating.

Solution: Shrink the pointlessly large cartoon representation of your character and there will be enough free room for every single menu to fit in easily. This won't solve the problem for consoles but with their limited control options I'm afraid there is no easy way to do it. Alternatively, allow us to scroll to the left as well as to the right so the trip to the last menu is less tedious.

 

And that is all 7 of them, some bigger or easier to fix than others but all of them detrimental to the game's enjoyment.

My goal here wasn't to trash talk the game, I actually really like it, rather it was to expose these issues so that they might get fixed, either by Bethesda themselves or by some talented mod developer who might not have a company's worth of overhead to fight through.

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