Fallout 4 is one of those games that’s going to wind up going down in history. Its huge sprawling world, engaging story (at least at the start if you’re anything like me you spent around 100 hours of gameplay faffing about) and interesting gameplay cement it as a triumph.
Bethesda, however, still falls into its usual mistakes and habbits. Their issue of not being very good at dealing with “choice” rears its head again. Rather than give you actual decisions that shape the world around you and have in-game consequences you can live through, Bethesda has instead opted to give the illusion of choice, which is sorta like the bootleg version of choice.
This leads to a lot of disappointment down the road with many of your decisions amounting to jack squat, either they don’t have satisfying in-game rewards or punishments or they wind up being irrelevant to the story as a whole and turn out to have been a colossal waste of your time. It can be pretty bad because in a few cases you’ll have wound up investing tons of hours into agonizing over whichever decision you wound up making and only after making it found out it wouldn’t have mattered which option you picked because the game always has the end result the same.
We’ve collected the 20 most annoying times Fallout 4 pulled a fast one on you, the player, by making you think for a moment that maybe, just maybe, you actually mattered.
21. Attacked Marriage
If you’re like me, then you spent hours in the character creator, tweaking every pixel of your avatars cheekbones in order to make absolutely certain they were a perfect replica of yourself down to the weird and slightly off-putting gaze you treat everyone with.
Only to then find out you could also customize your partner and then spend even longer making your beautiful wife look like Emma Stone.
After getting out of the character creator and getting a moment to play house in a perfect world with your perfect wife, everything comes to an abrupt halt. SPOILERS.
She then, suddenly, gets shot and dies, shattering your dreams and making you realize that although you just wasted six hours creating Emma Stone, you’re never actually going to spend any time with her.
20. Settling Down
We’re going to talk about how settlements are one big waste of time later, but first, there’s actually something related to property in the game that is an even big misadventure in pointless.
For some reason the game lets you buy a house in several locations. Man I just spent eight hours building the perfect settlement of cross-dressing buff men wielding crowbars as weapons (I named it the Crossbar), the heck am I going to want to buy a HOUSE for, I already have like eighty of them, seriously the game hands out property like they’re skittles so why anyone would ever choose to pay money for a house in Fallout 4 baffles me.
19. Karma Karma Karma Chameleon
Bethesda has given Fallout 4 the Skyrim treatment when it comes to wanting to play a villainous character, in the regard that there’s just no point. No matter what you do you sorta wind up helping people out regardless and even when you do intentionally pick the most jerkish dialogue options or go on periodic chaos sprees. There are just no consequences.
Actually, come to think of it, it’s even easier to be a jerk in Fallout than it was in Skyrim since there’s no policing force to ask you if you’ve lost your sweet roll.
18. Mmmm Whatcha Say
The dialogue system in Fallout 4 got a lot of flak. Honestly, it certainly deserves it. The whole thing is a mess, and sadly not enough work was really put into it to make it immersive and engaging with most options boiling down to “Yes, No, Sarcastic Yes, TELL ME MORE, or Charisma.” Ultimately, this ends with you rolling your eyes at everything your character says as every option except the Sarcastic ones suck. And it was a low bar to beat. Heck, even on the rare chances that you can actually get a good conversation running with an NPC, sometimes the answers are all the same.
17. Wazer Wifle
When I found my first gamma-ray gun I was stoked, “What the heck is this crazy contraption?” thought I as I picked it up and gave it a few test fires, gleefully I giggled as I rushed outside and quickly engaged in glorious battle with a few super mutants only to start wondering why they weren’t dying as quickly as they usually did.
It was then I paused and looked at the stats for the gun compared to my standard mess of metal and duct tape that I called a pipe rifle.
16. Get Away From My Map!
The first quest given to you by Preston Garvey you might laugh. “Oh hey this is the guy from the meme, well that quest wasn’t so bad. Oh I walked by him again and he’s given me a new one… and it’s essentially the same thing. Okay, I’ll go do that to clear my quest log and… he’s given me another one, can’t I say no to these? Okay I’ll just do this and… OH GOD HERE HE COMES QUICK I GOTTA RUN BEFORE… okay I guess I’ll just do this and then never return to Sanctuary.”
Choosing to do the Minutemen quests is an exercise in futility, they never end so you never feel like you’re actually getting anywhere, you just keep repeating the same quest over and over again like some Twilight Zone time loop.
15. All Things Must End
Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas had neatly tied up endings that really showed how your character changed the world you were in — either for better or for worse. While the stakes are high in Fallout 4 the end pay-off is sorta laughable, mostly because there is no end… ever.
No matter which faction you pick and which ending you get the game will continue thanks to the radiant quests system, and you’ll just go on forever doing them in a wasteland that’s barely changed at all once you’ve finished all the side quests and main quest. You really wind up needing the DLC to fix that, and even then, Nuka World is a huge letdown.
14. You Must Choose! Choose Spiderman!
So you’ve picked which faction you loved the most, betrayed the others, and seen the ending. Maybe now you wanna see how the other side lives and go through one of the other factions missions just to see how the end result differs. Maybe the relatively peaceful Railroad brokers a truth? Perhaps the Institute just wants to be left alone and so isolates themselves? Could the Brotherhood find a way to coexist with Synths?
Nope, it’s all pointless. No matter which side you pick, eventually they tell you to go take out everyone else and backstab all the people you may have been friends with — there are no chances to compromise or to discuss things.
13. Betraying Expectations
During the Battle of Bunkerhill, unless you’re siding with the Institute, you wind up betraying them big time, screwing up their plans and causing them no end of trouble… and yet they don’t care, rendering your choice useless. Even to the extent that Father, after giving you a horrid tongue lashing and punishing you, will still exclaim you’re the best option to lead the organization after his demise.
Come on Bethesda, this is an example of just cruddy writing — can’t you at least pretend the characters have some sense of agenda and our actions should be able to lock us out of certain options! We want punishments, consequences! They give weight to our choices and make our actions matter, stop rewarding us for messing up!
Perks give you the option to build your character however you’d like in order to support your playstyle, if you’re the type who likes running and gunning, crafting, sneaking, punching, hacking, there’s a perk for that.
And it probably sucks.
A good half of the perks are traps and taking them severely cripples your character as you waste that point on Goulish because the idea of healing in radiation sounded neat… apart from it’s scaling is so awful that you wind up taking more rad damage to your max health then you heal from it.
11. Who’s Your Best Friend?
While the companion system is handled much better than in Skyrim —because your friends actually have personal agendas and lives outside of your own— if you do something they don’t like you’re going to hear about it. And, ultimately, if you do things they LIKE, it’ll benefit you a great deal in the long run.
See, if you wind up hanging out with one of your buddies long enough, and doing the things they like, you’ll get a special perk related to something to do with your allies. For example, more damage to specific enemies. Which means if you want to make the most of your characters you need to keep swapping out your best friend for a new one.
10. Build Em Up, Break Em Down.
The whole settlement building mechanic is a nice side diversion for the first few hours of the game, until you realize how underdeveloped it is. Micromanaging a few named —but mostly bland/generic— settlers gets old incredibly quick. Especially once you realize there’s literally no damn point to it as it gives no mechanical or story benefits.
And then you have to defend them too, which winds up giving you more of those blasted radiant quests (which we all hate so much). It seems like your settlers can’t get anything done without you, as you need to baby their every move. Basically, you feel less like the leader of a community, and more like a parent hovering over a gaggle of mindless drones.
9. You’re Special.
Stats govern everything, stats are your friend, stats are your lord and master, you need to have good stats to get anything done, and in Fallout 4 your favourite stat build could turn out to cause you real grief later on.
A lot of the stats now are useless apart from the perks they grant, and in some cases even then you shouldn’t take them. Charisma is only good for the Mysterious Stranger perk, and a few others and strength is entirely useless if you’re not doing melee. If you don’t choose right then your choices become pointless as you wind up needing to restart the game since you expected that (like in New Vegas) you could just coast by with high speech and charisma.
8. Villainous Scum
RPGs have had a major trend ever since Fable came out, allowing players to be more than morally questionable and downright evil. The Fallout series, however, was doing this before it became cool.
You could play a jerk in any of the games until this one, now the only bit of admonishment you get is from your companions, and even then in a lot of cases they just sorta shrug it off and keep helping you be a jerk to everyone.
And you can only be a jerk during small side missions since you always wind up having to help people for some contrived reason or another, the result is literally always the same, it’s absolutely maddening. I wanna be a jerk dangit!
7. Who Do You Work For?
We talked about how no matter which faction you pick the ending is the same and impacts nothing, but what about before that? Surely there’s a reason and a point to picking a faction to side with right?
While the rewards for supporting the other factions admittedly can be nice, they don’t hold you to any accountability and you can join all of them up until the end, flaunting or supporting their tenants as you see fit and wiping your bum with their flag and ideals when you get bored of that.
6. Red Means It Goes Faster
Being able to customize your weapons was an exciting addition to Fallout 4, I like adding mods and scrounging for the parts I need to make that better receiver. There’s something extremely lacking from the customizations however that just nearly ruin the whole experience for me and render the entire experience a wash.
Why the heck can’t you change the skins on your guns?
My pipe rifle looked like a train wreck crashed into a sinking cargo ship transporting planes once I’d thrown on all the scopes and weapon upgrades I liked.
5. C’mon Shoot Faster
Should you choose to have your weapons be fully-automatic, you are in for one heck of a disappointing surprise if you do any sort of math to calculate your DPS compared to single or semi-automatic weapons.
As it turns out, fully automatic guns have the exact same DPS as their single shot counterparts, the only difference is that they use up about five times the ammo doing so, resulting in constant ammunition issues. This, of course, makes your decision to be a fully automatic Rambo a huge and quite literal waste of time and money.
Even your choice of what areas to clear out wind up being absolutely pointless because Bethesda included the ability for enemies to respawn, which means wiping out an area that you like to travel through in order to make getting around a little easier is a waste of time. You’ll have to re-clear out the area again in thirty days of in-game time. It’s incredibly annoying, as it emphasizes how little you impact you have on the world around you. If enemies you painstakingly cleared are just going to respawn, what’s the point of wiping them out in the first place?
3. Love Isn’t The Real Thing
Love is a beautiful thing, and romancing the companion of your choice has long been a staple of RPGs, but it can be hard to pick just one. Normally, there’s a lot of agonizing over who’s your favourite — it can be a major choice in a game.
In Fallout 4, however, it doesn’t matter who you pick, because you can romance everyone that’s even remotely into your character. Moreover, because your companions never interact with one another or mention the others, you’re gonna get away with your cheating scot-free. None of them seem to care about your promiscuity, and will still be in a loving happy relationship with you while you cheat on them.
Trying to spec a fully melee focused character in Fallout 4 is a nightmare, honestly, why would you even choose to do it? You have to spend so much on perks and stats geared to making meleeing things even slightly worthwhile and even then you’re one Super Mutant Suicider (the worst enemy ever freaking conceived) from a stain on the Commonwealth.
Trying to go melee is pointless, in a world with so many interesting guns and enemies that always seem to be just slightly better armed than yourself choosing to do so feels like you’re permanently crippling yourself.
1. Dressed To Impress
Your outfit is going to disappoint you. There’s simply no way around this. Eventually, you’re going to find armour pieces or helmets or hats that simply have better stats then what you prefer aesthetically, and you’re going to wind up looking like a mess.
At least most of the game is first person meaning you’re only going to get jarring glimpses of your character when you’re talking to someone and it cuts to show your hideous outfit and sense of style of an army helmet, aviators, and skull bandana.
It’s the apocalypse, however, so try not to let it bother you too much! Everyone sorta looks like crap these days and at least your cage armour is going to stop a few bullets for you!
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