Don't get me wrong, I don't think Fallout 4 is a bad game. On the contrary, I think Fallout 4 is a great game. However its RPG elements are sadly lackluster.

I want to explore a world that seems alive, not one where there are barely any traces of civilization even after 200 years. Basically, I'd like to see Obsidian do to Fallout 4 what New Vegas did to Fallout 3.

With this in mind I compiled below a small list of things I'd like to see in the next Fallout game, things that might not have a big impact on gameplay but definitely have a big impact on how immersive and interesting the world is.

Making the world a safer place

One thing that bothered me greatly in Fallout 4 is that no one is actively trying to make the world a better place. No one is going around and driving out the super mutants or the bandits and no one is trying to form any type of government. The closest thing you have to a peacekeeper force are the minutemen and they are an independent group so outside of keeping everyone safe they don't really have much of a plan.

The are also two major factions but neither of them are really interested in cleaning up the wasteland in order to make it a more hospitable place for the common folk, quite the contrary, their goals usually clash with those of the people.

In New Vegas on the other hand you had 3 factions each with their own unique idea on how to run the place, but all 3 worked towards keeping the peace. The NCR was a bureaucratic and unfocused giant but its soldiers held key outposts along the Mojave and did their best to keep order while they warred with their neighbors, the Legion.

The Legion is an interesting bunch, at first glance they are bloodthirsty savages but their lands are free for merchants to travel through without worry of bandits or any wrongdoing since the law is enforced quickly and harshly. Their methods might be brutal but the results are there.

Even Mr. House who is the more aloof party in all of this wants to make the wasteland more safe by having an army of robots enforcing his will throughout the Mojave. Much like the Legion not everyone will agree with his way of doing things but he is still trying to make the world a better place.

This is what's missing in Fallout 4 for me, a faction with some principles behind them rather than just a loose ideology like the Brotherhood of Steel and their "all your technology are belong to us" mantra. As much as I like them, simply having a slogan doesn't make them interesting in the grand scheme of things

Rebuilding Efforts

You won't see a working power grid in Fallout 4

Despite Fallout 4's major factions being incredibly advanced, I mean you have the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel who both posses incredible technology, none of those advancements are used anywhere outside of their respective hideouts or during a few of the main story missions.

Again I will call back to New Vegas. One major tactical objective for each of the factions was Helios One, a broken down solar power plant that through NCR engineering got fixed up to actually provide power for the various settlements. The same goes for Mr. House and his generators which were able to keep both his robots powered as well as the entire Las Vegas strip.

We don't see commonplace applications of power usage much in New Vegas but that's mostly because its a game and at a certain point you need to draw a line at what you will depict but the important thing is that everyone is trying to have electricity, they are trying to rebuild society.

In Fallout 4 there are fusion cores everywhere that seem to be able to power generators  for 200 years yet the most common source of power people use are gas guzzling generators. Again, its been 200 years and these people know fusion cores exist yet Diamond City and all of the various farms and villages don't even bother trying to use electricity to improve their lives outside of the occasional light.

Specialized dialogue

By specialized dialogue I mean using skills other than pure charisma in order to influence how a quest goes.

In New Vegas you had a lot of different skills to chose from but they all felt like the right choice because they were all used many times over the course of the game to completely change the way a quest would play out. If there is a generator that needs to be repaired you can simply go get spare parts for it from a nearby dungeon or you can use your intelligence or your repair skill or perhaps even your energy weapons skill in order to instantly fix the generator. This would usually result in the quest branching out in a couple of different ways so repeating it in your next playthrough would be a different experience.

This is simply nonexistent in Fallout 4. I mentioned in my review that during my 50 hours of play I found one single quest where a stat other than charisma was used. Maybe there are more but even if so its nowhere near the amount there was in New Vegas.

Adding this in to Fallout 4 now would be simply impossible but ideally the next game will be made from the ground up with the idea that quests can have multiple endings depending on your character skill. This not only improves replayability but it also adds much needed role-playing elements to this RPG.

How even simple dialogues worked in New Vegas, image sourced from rpgcodex

Housekeeping

This one sounds silly on first glance but it matters a lot when you stop and think about it for a second. Why is there junk in everyone's houses? I don't mean junk as in extra chairs and such, I mean quite literally piles of rubble in houses people lived in for years.

And this isn't just a Fallout 4 issue, even New Vegas suffered from this, albeit to a smaller degree. How can I believe this city is a fully functional society if there is not just garbage everywhere but piles of rock, husks of long stripped cars and who knows what else just lying around.

Its even worse when you enter someone's house and all of their furniture is nicely positioned and well maintained, all of their food placed on shelves, their bottles in a cabinet and then you see a pile of garbage on their floor and a hole in the wall the size of a deathclaw.

I will admit this might just be me being whiny but I like to get immersed in to the games I play and seeing stuff like this, places where no sane human would live for long, really take me out of the whole experience.

 

All of these things I've listed out are missing in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 indicating that Bethesda is more interested in the gameplay side of things than the RPG side and that is completely fine. This is why I would like to see Obsidian get another crack at the Fallout series,  they make their games with the RPG elements and the story in the very forefront.

Imagine if they just took the gameplay improvements from Fallout 4 and added a much better story and world to it as well as more character customization, I wouldn't leave my house for weeks.

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