Fallout 4 (PS4): COMPLETED!

Crawl out through the fallout, baby
When they drop that bomb
Crawl out through the fallout, baby
With the greatest of aplomb

Crawl out through the Fallout back to me! Oh yes. Fallout is BACK and I’ve bloody loved it. Fallout 3 and New Vegas were two of my favourite games from the last generation of consoles, and two of the most played. As soon as Fallout 4 was announced, I bought a PS4 so I’d have something to play it on. I was so excited I posted about it on Twitter every single day from announcement to release. Oh god, Fallout 4.

Fallout_4_20160108224324

 

But first, some bad stuff. And spoilers – definitely read no further if you don’t want spoilers. Stopped reading? Excellent.

I didn’t like the ending. I know there are several endings, and I’ve some earlier saves ready to return to when I decide to try for the others, but I felt that the Railroad ending was looking like the “good” ending. It wasn’t. Not unless you think slaughtering dozens of innocent scientists and destroying 200 years of scientific progress (not to mention re-radiating a large chunk of the Wasteland) in order to save the “lives” of some synthetic humans is a “good” ending. Here’s a video, spoilers abound:

What I wanted, really, was for the Institute to see sense and either hide away completely (they supposedly could with their reactor) or share their advances with everyone for the good of the world. But no, that doesn’t seem to be an option.

That aside, the game itself is excellent. I’ve posted about the bugs, of which there are a lot, but they’re mostly minor. Two major ones happened (the next quest didn’t trigger), but they resolved themselves eventually after doing some sidequests for a while. There’s some annoyance with the dialogue choices, as the options on screen just give you an idea of what you’ll say rather then the exact words and intonation meaning you can end up with a totally different conversation to that you expected. These make up a small part of the game though, and the rest more than makes up for it.

I love the setting. I love the exploration. I love the 40s, 50s and 60s songs on the radio. I love the characters, especially Nick Valentine who, since meeting him about 12 hours in, has become my only companion. He’s awesome:

He has great one-liners, keeps me on the straight and narrow (he’s not a fan of stealing or being nasty to folk) and looks fantastic with his private dick outfit and half his face torn off. One day I’ll actually go and find Eddies tape for him. One day, Nick. One day.

I even love the base building, which is new to Fallout 4. It’s clunky, it’s buggy, and is a completely pointless time-sink, but for some reason I keep getting addicted to it. I’ve built towers and castles in the sky and a warehouse full of beds with a disco ball, and it’s incredible.

Besides that though, and the massively improved graphics (and palette – there are blue skies now!), it’s all still pretty much Fallout 3 again, in a new location with new things to do. In a way, you’d think that’s a little disappointing, but it’s actually exactly what I wanted. There are tweaks to improve things, like being able to tag required parts so junk items show up as needed when looting, and being able to see and take what is in a container without “opening” it, but they just improve the experience rather than vastly change it.

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I just wish there was a better ending. Maybe one of the others will surprise me. Or maybe I missed some dialogue options somewhere. I’m sure I’ll find out, as I’m going to play some more. A lot more. After all, I’ve only put 65 hours into it so far, so I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Things I’ve been playing recently

Lazy round-up time!

Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)

I think this might be in my top three most played 3DS games now, and I’ve not even touched the Mario themed option. I got stuck on a boss, then powered through a few more levels, then got stuck on the previous boss again when she cropped up later with another monster at her side. Too hard. I’ve been trying lots of dragon combinations and came close once to besting them, but then one of the two baddies almost completely healed both of them and that was it. Maybe some grinding is in order. Or some different dragons again.

Lego The Hobbit (Wii U)

We completed it, but since then we’ve been mopping up stuff. It’s pretty slow going though, and we haven’t even revisited any of the levels yet. Daddy Pig seems to voice half the characters in this, which is slightly absurd. Especially the blacksmith’s wife. With her beard. Hmm.

Ninja Usagimaru: The Gem of Blessings Demo (3DS)

A not very good puzzle game. I got bored before the demo even finished, to be honest.

Fairune Demo (3DS)

There’s a game called Witch & Hero on the 3DS which is the most ridiculous concept ever. You walk into baddies to kill them, but when you do, you take damage – meaning you’re inevitably going to die. It was rubbish.

Fairune seems to be by the same people and has the same mechanic, only instead of protecting a static character on a single screen, it’s a flip-screen RPG of sorts. And somehow, I’ve gotten a bit hooked on it. I’ve finished the demo and now will almost certainly buy the full game. This surprised me.

Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash Demo (3DS)

Everyone loves Chibi-Robo, right? And taking pictures of real things to include in the game and collecting junk just to tidy up because he’s a cute robot that does that? Awesome, right? Then why is this a slightly crap platformer instead of any of that? How disappointing.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes Demo (3DS)

Well, I tried to play it. But it said no. I was in some sort of lobby and there were a couple of people to talk to and I found if I ran into a wall a ball fell from the sky and I could play keepy-uppies with it for a while but then that was it. I assume I needed some friends online to play with.

tumblr_nxtmcz0iec1svmpf2o1_400Badge Arcade (3DS)

No way am I giving money to this, but so far, I’ve not needed to. I’ve done well enough in the practise crane games to rack up a few free plays, and so far I’ve bagged about 12 badges. Not that I can use the badges because I’ve barely any space left on my home screen. I was hoping it would expand again, as it does when you hit about 80% full, but not this time. Boo.

Fallout 4 (PS4)

Oh yeah, this arrived.

Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road (360): COMPLETED!

That’s it! That’s the entire set of New Vegas stories completed. Sure, there are still some sidequests, and yeah, I have a few unvisited markers on my Mojave map, but that’s pretty much the game sewn up. Aces.

I was really close to the end of Lonesome Road, needing only to work through a few rooms and then meet up with the other courier. I think perhaps fighting him was on the cards, but I talked him round and now we’re friends. Or something. There was a big fight with a load of Marked Men instead, though, and then it was over.

Of course, I still have a few warheads to find and explode, but not as many as I was expecting to have left due to the huge number just lying around the “temple” at the end. And I’ve all the Gun Runners achievements (bar one) to mop up as well, so it’s not like I’m “done” yet.

Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road (360)

It would appear my time in the Mojave Wasteland is coming to an end. Lonesome Road is the final story-based DLC for New Vegas, and the two other DLC packs (Courier’s Stash and Gun Runner’s Arsenal) don’t add a great deal. I’m also now a Level 48 character, with all bar Unarmed and Melee stats at max, and SPECIAL pretty much all 8/9/10, I’m almost done.

Having said that, I’ve still the Gun Runner’s achievements to do, and I’ve got to do a Hardcore Mode runthrough for a further achievement (I’ll be following gospvg’s guide for that one, I suspect), so maybe I’ve a while yet.

Anyhoo. Back to Lonesome Road.

The story follows your trip into the Divide, a massive crack in the world created by nuclear explosions. Explosions it would appear I had something to do with. The original Courier Six – the guy who refused to deliver the Platinum Chip that forms the plot point of the main game story – knows about my past, and I’m there to find him.

I’m almost there, too, having just reached his temple. Why he has a temple, I don’t yet know.

The route was pretty hard, considering my high level. Mainly due to an abundance of Deathclaws, and loads of a new foe – Tunnellers, which the other courier says can take down a Deathclaw. And they hunt in packs. And literally come out of the walls. Nice.

I think I’m going to need to do a fair bit of back-tracking though soon – I’ve missed loads of warheads I can explode, and there’s an achievement for them all!

Fallout: New Vegas: Honest Hearts (360): COMPLETED!

Although this is, in theory, supposed to be played before Old World Blues, I played it afterwards. The main reason being, lots of people have been saying it’s terrible, and the worst of all the New Vegas DLC. I wasn’t really looking forwards to it as a result.

But guess what? Everyone is wrong except me. It was excellent. Sure, it’s shorter than some other DLC (about 6 hours or so), but I can’t really fault it. The story was good, the return of some enemies I’d not seen for aaaages in the game (Yao Guai, giant mantises, giant venus flytraps), and there was a link to the fate of the inhabitants of Vault 22 which was nice.

If I had to find fault, it would be only that navigating the map, with the big canyons and hard to reach high places was a bit of a pain, and The Burned Man wasn’t really the psycho I was expecting him to be, but really – nothing important.

Fallout: New Vegas: Old World Blues (360): COMPLETED!

What a fantastic return to the bombed out future of America this was!

I had a hankering for some more Fallout, perhaps spurred by news about the next DLC which is out soon, combined with the hype of the impending Skyrim release. I decided on this add-on rather than Honest Hearts as reviews have been more favourable for Old World Blues, and it also seemed less dreary and downbeat.

And it was AWESOME.

It’s hilarious, for a start. Dr Klein commenting on your anatomy. Other “scientists” with bizarre fetishes and neuroses. The silly feud between the two “factions”. The psychopathic toaster, jealous light switches, and other incredible inanimate objects. The dog-gun that barks. Everything is silly, humourous, and excellent. Loved it!

Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money (360): COMPLETED!

Now you see, I wasn’t going to buy the first lot of DLC for New Vegas for two reasons. One, I thought I’d give another game a chance, and two, if Oblivion and Fallout 3 are anything to go by then it’ll come down in price in a few months. Of course, since when has saying I’m not going to buy something ever meant anything? Of course I bought it the day it was available.

And today I completed it.

First, a comparison with the DLC for Fallout 3. Like Fallout 3 expansions “Into The Pitt”, “Operation Anchorage” and “Mothership Zeta”, Dead Money is essentially stand-alone – as in, once you started them you were taken out of the main game until you completed it, and all your items were confiscated for the duration. Also, each of those expansions were around 4-5 hours long, but somehow (I may have been slow) Dead Money took a good 10 hours for me to finish.

Somehow, Dead Money manages to very much change the way Fallout works. You still have VATS and weapons that degrade and stuff, but several game mechanics are essentially removed. All your caps? Gone. It’s scrounged Sierra Madre (the casino in the story) chips that you buy things from vending machines with. Hoarding everything to sell? Pretty much pointless, although some previously useless items (and some new ones) can be crafted into new items and weapons. An even bigger change is with the main enemies – the Ghost People. When they die, they ain’t dead, and reanimate in a short time to hound you again. Unless you hack them to bits when they’re down, or manage to decapitate them in combat, of course.

There are environmental complications too. The whole of the area is bathed in a strange red mist, which has two major effects: firstly, you can’t sleep anywhere even vaguely exposed to the cloud (meaning healing up is either a long trip to a safe zone, or done with the scarce rations and stimpaks), and secondly there are dense pockets of the fog around Sierra Madre that you can enter, but they’ll poison you on contact, draining your health. And no protective suits, rebreathers and goggles – ze do nothing!

Then there’s the bomb collar you wear. To ensure compliance with the guy running the show in Sierra Madre, you and your companions wear Running Man style exploding neckwear. Kill your “friends”, and it explodes. Don’t do as you’re told? It explodes. And, worst of all, stand near a still active pre-war radio or PA system for too long? Bang! As a result of the latter of these, some of the game becomes an almost Doctor Who level of running down corridors, looking for the source of the radio signal or noise, and then either destroy it or turn it off before you and your head part company. Frantic!

But then, another new game mechanic does the opposite to you! The casino and environs are protected in part by an old hologram security system. Hologram guards patrol areas, and if they see you, you’re toast – they can’t be killed. You can, sometimes, use terminals to turn them off (or on – which may be useful) or destroy their signal emitter (if you can find it – many are very well hidden). These parts of the game become stealth sneak-em-ups, which it has to be said, aren’t my favourite sort of thing.

At some points in the game, the chaos of running blind and the order of hide and seek collide, and that’s when things get tricky. The final area of the episode in particular was privy to some choice language, as my previous 100+ hours on New Vegas without a single death gave way to hundreds in a short section.

I’ve purposefully avoided mentioning the plot to prevent spoilers, but the basic premise is that you and three others have been lured to the mysterious Sierra Madre casino by a man who appears in dialogue in the main New Vegas game. He orders you to work together to pull off a grand heist of the riches of the casino. Naturally, he’s not telling the whole truth, and you can be sure of backstabbiness (either by or on you) along the way.

Overall, aside from the nasty final Hour of Countless Deaths, I really enjoyed Dead Money. It didn’t really play like New Vegas proper, but that isn’t a complaint. I’m always one for story, and the backstories of your co-workers, the man in charge, and the history of the casino and why it was built were interesting and enjoyable. I was pleased when I figured out who the Ghost People are, and it’s also interesting how some of the conversations, and the ending in particular, revealed what the next DLC is going to be. And possibly the DLC after that! Exciting!

Fallout: New Vegas (360): COMPLETED YET AGAIN!

After spending an hour or two learning the rules of Caravan and then rinsing No-Bark Noonan of all his caps, I got the Win 3 and 30 Games of Caravan achievements. That left me with 4 achievements – one for getting banned from all the casinos on the strip, one for completing the game in Hardcore Mode, and the remaining two for the two final NCR quests.

So, after almost 100 hours total play, I finally completed New Vegas the way I intended to in the first place. Hurrah!

Now, about those other two achievements…

Fallout: New Vegas (360)

Achievement unlocked!

Managed to finally get 50 Star Caps today, then went and traded them in with Festus, failing the quest. Seems you need to fail the quest though, as there’s another (very short) quest afterwards that nets you the achievement. Just 5 achievements left now: two for playing Caravan, two for completing the NCR “win”, and one for a Hardcore run of the game.

Fallout: New Vegas (360)

Since last time I posted, this has been the game I’ve spent most time on. In fact, aside from Cave Story and a few iOS titles, it’s the only thing I’ve played. And I’ve played it lots. Still playing the same game, almost daily, nigh-on two months after release? That’s value for money – even if I did pay over £60 for it.

What have I done since my last Fallout post then?

Lots of things, actually. I’ve been and mopped up all the damage and health related achievements, for one (or 6) – 10,000 points of damage for each of melee, energy weapons, explosives and unarmed. Most of it was done “off save”, as in, I made a save then wandered round Camp McCarren (and Jacobstown) at night critical sneak attacking everyone, then after the achievement popped, reloaded.

For the melee one, however, I stuck to my main save proper and cleaned out Cottonwood Cove and The Fort using only a machete. Ace!

After all those, I continued on my main save looking for Star Caps. I’m up to 36 now, although I did deposit 8. I don’t know if these are now “used” or if they’re still technically in my inventory though. My exploration for new areas led me to Vault 34, which gave me a quest that I completed.

There’s new DLC for New Vegas next week. I don’t think I need it yet! My main save is 62 hours in, but I’ve spent well over 20 hours on alternate saves, and there’s still LOADS left to explore!

Fallout: New Vegas (360): COMPLETED! AGAIN! AND AGAIN!

That’s right folks – since last time I posted I’ve completed the game again. Twice. Naturally, I didn’t start again from scratch, just from a point a few hours prior to my last completion (the joys of multiple save files!). I then went off and completed it both for the Legion as well as for Mr. House.

Then, after that, I spent a merry half an hour from an even earlier save sneaking round Gomorrah with my stealth boy, pickpocketing punters and strippers (taking money from the former to slip into the pants of the latter – strangely, both gave negative karma) for the Pickpocket 50 People achievement.

Finally, I returned to my “main” save, just before starting the NCR point-of-no-return quest, to wander the Mojave Wasteland some more and explore. I took Arcade with me, because he’s hilarious, but I think I lost him somewhere near Novac. Pressed on anyway, and found a load of new locations in the bottom right of the map, including a radscorpion-infested airfield and a billion Lakelurks. Hurrah for This Machine and its One Shot Kill(TM).

Best. Game. Evar.

Fallout: New Vegas (360): COMPLETED!

With 53 hours on the clock, I stumbled into the wrong questline and completed Fallout: New Vegas.

You see, there are four main endings, one of which I disabled a fair few hours ago when I bumped off Mr. House. A second, siding with Caesar’s Legion was thrown away when I decided to get chummy with the NCR. I’d intended to carry the NCR route to the end, but I chose the wrong option somewhere and couldn’t be bothered to make reparations – so an Independent victory it was!

And what a lovely, deep, varied, huge, clever, open game it turned out to be. It was like Fallout 3, only with a massive web of crossthreading quests and world altering choices. And I loved it from start to finish. Of course, I’m not finished. I have loads of places left to explore and three other endings to sort out yet!

As for bugs – I didn’t get any. Well, a few graphical quirks such as levitating animals, but nothing to break, freeze or otherwise affect the actual game. So I’m very happy indeed.

Fallout: New Vegas (360)

30 hours in now.

This game just gets better and better. I expected it to be good, sure, but little did I know it’d actually be better than Fallout 3 was. There’s more variety, in both the quests and the way in which you complete them. There are fewer “shoot people” quests and more “do interesting things” quests. There are more memorable characters, even those who are incidental – Yes Man, Betsy, Keely, Old Ben, The King – all ace. There are more quests – for every one I complete I seem to open three more!

The world works better too. More of your actions have a direct effect on a wider area, and I don’t just mean your standing with various factions – what you do in small communities, in each casino, everywhere.

It’s just a fantastic game in seemingly every way. Oh, and no bugs yet, aside from a few levitating people and animals. They’re hardly game-breaking, though.

Fallout: New Vegas (360)

I’d not been this excited about a game’s release since Sonic 2 for the Megadrive was announced. I’ve been looking forward to it since it was announced two years ago. I’ve had it on pre-order for months. I even broke the £20 Rule to get the Special Edition.

But was it worth it?  By hell, yes it was.

At first glance, it seems to just been like an expansion pack for Fallout 3. It’s not, but even if it was, I’d have been more than happy with that. As it turns out, it’s much more than just a new setting with new quests – it has a new, different feel. Vegas was less affected by the war that tore apart Washington D.C., so although places are still in ruin, they’re not as badly destroyed. Vegas itself still has several fully working, pretty well furnished, casinos, complete with neon lights, shows and gambling halls. Even the wasteland is different, and not just in the orange sand compared to Fallout 3’s grey, well, everything – the sky is blue and there are plants and greenery. Not a lot of greenery, but enough so that it appears life is returning to some sort of normality in the Mojave.

It isn’t just that which makes it different, though. New game mechanics, such as the ammo, food and weapon “recipes” make New Vegas play more like Oblivion. The “karma” meter from Fallout 3 returns, but is mostly replaced by the way you are now seen as friend or foe by each of the factions across the wasteland. It’s not just the Enclave vs the Brotherhood here – many more groups are involved and at odds.

There also seems to be so much more to do this time around. Certainly, I have many more quests open to me currently than I ever had in the previous game. Many of them have multiple methods of completing them too – some obvious, some dangerous, some rewarding, some unexpected, and some just plain bizarre. In Fallout 3 you’d be lucky if there were two possible resolutions; in Primm, here, the sheriff quest has at least 4 that I can make out!

So far, I’ve played 11 hours, reached the Vegas Strip, completed mainly only story quests (but did complete a couple of side quests, and have certainly opened many more), and have done very little off-road exploring. And I’m loving it, despite my initial apprehension that I wasn’t going to come out of a vault at the start. Coming out of a grave is much more dramatic!

Fallout 3: Into The Pitt (360): COMPLETED!

And so the final DLC, and the remaining achievements, finally fall in Fallout. Into The Pitt was a bit confusing, as part way through you have to make a decision, and it isn’t obvious which is the “good” choice, and which is the “bad” choice. I ended up doing both, playing a bit to see, then reloading the save of the better of the two outcomes.

It’s a shame I’m so powered up now, as nothing – not even the fighters in The Pitt itself – came close to even scratching me. I don’t think I used more than a couple of stimpacks for the entire quest. The trogs and wildmen all took a single hit each from my rusty old Chinese assault rifle, and even the turrets only required a handful of shots on target to destroy.

The real difficulty, and it was optional if I didn’t want the final achievement, was finding the 100 Steel Ingots dotted around three locations on the map. Took a good two or three hours just to do that, as four of them just didn’t want to be found at all!

And that’s it. No more Fallout 3. Well, unless I want to visit the handful of unexplored locations on the main Wasteland map, or fancy starting again. Tempting, but New Vegas is here in a few weeks!