What the F—allout (4)

Aside from a truly epic playthrough of Super Mario Galaxy 2 on my parents’ Wii when I was in college, I’m pretty new to video games. I talked about that more in depth in my Dragon Age: Kissquisition post (all credit for that joke goes to Reed, by the way), but we recently acquired more video games, so I decided to branch out.

I veered away from Dragon Age: Inquisition and straight into Fallout 4, which was… a mistake. I think. Possibly? I’m still not sure.

Here’s what happened after I designed my characters in Fallout 4, then started playing:

  • I got really fucking motion sick playing in first person, so I switched to third — which was somehow worse — then switched back and forced myself to adjust. Yikes.
  • I definitely played through the tutorial but somehow didn’t learn anything useful other than how to run and how to talk to my metal husband.
  • I died as soon as I got to Concord because giant bugs attacked me and I didn’t have any ammo.
  • The game took me all the way back to the bunker and I quit for the day because I didn’t have time to try to figure out where I went wrong with my Fallout life.

You’re laughing at me, reader. I can hear you all the way from my couch. But listen: I’m a baby gamer. I don’t know how to do basic shit and I’m really impatient, so I don’t always take the time to learn. I didn’t know how to give my characters special abilities in DA:I until like 36 hours into my first playthrough. It’s fine.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I realized I should probably take another crack at Fallout 4 before I just wrote a few hundred words about how I fucking suck at it. So I did. This is what happened:

  • ONCE AGAIN, I left the bunker and Reed (watching me from the couch) immediately said, “Why don’t you have any HP? Didn’t you drink water in the bunker?”
  • I said, “I was supposed to drink water?”
  • We moved on. I once again headed toward Concord, this time stopping at the gas station. I acquired a dog which was truly a magical moment and then, even with the dog’s help, I was almost killed by the same bugs.
  • Then I was actually killed by bandits, because I heard gunfire and thought, I should head toward that!
  • The game again put me back in the bunker and Reed said, “Go run around and find shit.”
  • I did. I found guns, a ton of ammo, useful things like bobby pins and food, and a working sink! I drank water until all the damage I’d sustained during my poorly-executed first attempt to play was reversed, then I left the bunker and tried again.
  • Seriously, adopting that dog is thus far the best moment in the whole game. I don’t suspect anything will be better than that. A dog! He pants really happily when I strip dead people of their clothes and he rips out throats for me. I love him.
  • (Reed named the dog Chomps McGee.)
  • THE THIRD TIME WAS THE CHARM. I learned how to aim/shoot from a friend who’s actually really good at this game and once Reed told me this game cares about things like food and water, it was a lot easier to stay on top of my shit and succeed.

I’m not super far (at all), and I’m sure I’m going to keep doing stupid things as I play, but I’m feeling pretty confident in my grasp of the basics at least. What I’ve learned from this experience is that I have to actually pay attention to tutorial notifications rather than just glancing at them and continuing to button mash.

I’m also not sure if I like Fallout 4, primarily because of how motion sick it makes me to play. I have to really focus to not throw up in the first few minutes every time I turn it on, and then I have a funky headache for at least an hour afterward. A co-worker tells me it’s because I’m playing on a PS4 and not a PC, so the images aren’t as smooth, which sounds techy enough to be true. But it still sucks. I’m not going to let it stop me from playing because I enjoy suffering, but. Whatever.

Reed has been talking about the Fallout games for over a year, so I was semi-familiar with the concept going into the game. I also spoiled myself with “Monster Factory”. I think the story is actually pretty interesting and I like the overall idea behind how you play. I just wish it wasn’t so disorienting/nauseating to run around and shoot things with Chomps McGee ripping out throats at my side.

TL;DR, I probably really suck at Fallout 4 but I’m a determined little shit.

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