The game of the week for this week's Retro Weekly is one that is very close to my heart: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
What Fallout 4 Needs
Arguably a classic game of this generation, Fallout 3 was one of the most original and immersive RPGs ever to be released. Set in a post-apocalyptic world after the event of a nuclear fallout, the game tasked players with escaping Vault 101 and helping their father, all while trying to survive the horrors of the Capital Wasteland.
After several expansions and a half-sequel in Fallout: New Vegas, it’s been rumored that Todd Howard and company have begun working on the next romp through the wasteland in Fallout 4. So, what do we want to see return in the next sequel?
A RETURN TO VATS
Also known as Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, VATS is one of the most unique game mechanics ever to crop up in a game. At first glance, it seems like an over powered tool that makes combat all too easy for the player. But it’s VATS’ brilliant simplicity that makes it a tactical maneuver rather than a game-breaking cheat. Using VATS, you can target individual limbs, score critical damage, and plan out your assault on the enemy before it takes place (or, if you’re like me, you can use it to sort of “scan” an area as you head into it so you know where enemies are before they spot you). It’s an incredibly satisfying part of the game exclusive to the Fallout series, and it absolutely must return in Fallout 4.
Part of the immersion of Fallout 3 was simply exploring and learning more about the land, whether it’s learning about what happened, where everyone went, and what’s going on now. And part of the experience is learning about and encountering one of the many different species of creatures throughout the game. I’ll never forget the first time I started taking damage and turned around to face the nightmarish Centaur as it stalked toward me with its flailing tongues. From Mud Lurks to Super Mutants, the demented creatures of the game made it so uniquely fascinating that I was both totally creeped out and in awe while playing it. In Fallout 4, they need to not only bring back some familiar faces, but also create some new ones as well.
It’s been rumored that Fallout 4 will take place in Boston, thanks to speculation and internet leaks. While Boston sounds interesting and certainly contains some iconic landscapes, it’d be neat to see a completely different corner of the world. What about the west coast? Could we learn more about what happens with the NCR? What about Europe? Asia? Hell, I’d even love it if Fallout 4 took place in Hawaii. Radiation-poisoned coconuts, anyone?
The reality of it, though, is this; no matter where it takes place, I want the world to completely suck me in again. Iwant to be wowed like I was the first time, staring at crumbled cities and making my way across the bleak, desolate plains of the world. If the game can manage to capture the same distinct and strong personality it did in 3, it won’t matter where it actually is. Just give me a world that both frightens and intrigues me, and I’ll be happy.
RETURN OF HARDCORE MODE
No, I didn’t play Hardcore Mode. I’m not that patient, and I’m honestly not that brave. But Hardcore Mode is an awesome way to play the game and immerse yourself further in it, and it needs to make a comeback in Fallout 4.
RETURN OF NUKA-COLA
I’m not a big soda fan to begin with, and something about chugging radiation-filled cola to gain health really bothered me. Still, it’s a neat mechanic and a great way to flesh out the world and make it original. Please give me more Nuka-Cola in Fallout 4. Just don’t make me down it with a burger in real life.
The quests of Fallout 3 were interesting and connected you to the other survivors of the world. Not only did it do that, but it also allowed you to branch out and explore the world a bit. I loved the side quests of Fallout 3 for these very reasons. But there was also something deeper to the quest lines that I loved even more; it introduced some moral elements to gameplay and the choices you make. In this dark, morally ambiguous world, it’s nice to have the option of being the good guy and sticking to a set of pre-war ethics, or even abandoning all reason and just becoming an apathetic survivor with a looking-out-for-#1 mentality. Either way, it lets me adopt whichever role I feel “fits” me best, and I love it. Give me more quests and more options like this, and I’ll be happy.
THE RETURN OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL
Or, at least, a faction just like it. Kind of like the Companions and The Fighter’s Guild from Skyrim and Oblivion, give me another faction just like the Brotherhood of Steel to join up with and help as they rid the wasteland of dangers. It adds another layer to that aforementioned morality area and gives me a chance to further immerse myself in the game.
In general, what Fallout 4 really needs is just that: more Fallout. More story, more of that eerie, desolate world, and more of a opportunity to immerse myself and explore one of the most well-realized and original worlds in a game. Give me more of the feeling of discovery and surprise. And give me more of the desperate need for survival. Of all apocalypse games that get made, that whole feeling of clinging on to the last bit of hope and surviving against the odds is ultimately what matters, and it never gets old, never changes.
After all, this is the fallout from nuclear war we’re talking about. And war never changes.