So, I’ve been a bit busy as of late and perhaps a little slow on updating the blog. Some updates:
- New kitten (Dorian) is settling in and playing with existing cat (Loki) like they’re brothers. (Yay)
- The new final chapter of Emma & The Banderwigh is done and the ebook should be updated.
- About halfway done with the first edit pass on Division Zero 4 (Guardian) and it will likely be ready for some beta readers within a few days.
- Heir Ascendant seems to have gone over well with Curiosity Quills and I anticipate a contract offer soon.
- Daughter of Mars 1 – The Hand of Raziel should be coming back from first round publisher edits any day now.
Somewhere in the middle of all of that I managed to sneak in a few hours of Fallout 4. I’ve been a major fan of that franchise since it started, from the first day of Wasteland back in 1984. I can’t say I’m big on the first person shooter feel of Fallout 3 and 4… Perhaps I’m an old stodge, but I like the top-down turn based RPG-feel of 1 and 2. Wasteland 2 was awesome… Fallout 4, no so much.
Now, before the torches and pitchforks come out, I’m not saying F04 is a bad game. One glaring thing I’ve noticed early on is that the sense wry humor that infused everything about Fallout 1 and 2 is notably absent. If not for the use of the ubiquitous Vault Boy, power armor, and the quasi atomic-1950s styling of things, this could’ve been any generic post-nuke apoc game. The “feel” of the fallout universe is thin at best. The original creative team (Black Isle Studios I believe) who did Fallout 1 and 2 lent the game a unique atmosphere which F04 utterly lacks.
Second, I could’ve done without the “build a village” mini-game. It’s cumbersome to try and place/arrange buildings from a first person view, and having to assign individual people to single plants to farm is testicle-smashingly tedious.
As far as the story is concerned, I haven’t had a whole lot of time in yet – but the main character’s baby is abducted in the opening sequence by parties unknown, and the game seems to expect the character to set this aside and run around doing miscellaneous crap for total strangers, set up a village, help this person and that person, and be content NOT to focus all effort on finding the missing infant immediately. To me that feels a bit odd to set up such a high-emotion storyline and then fall into the typical RPG trope of random quests.
I suspect there is a way to ignore everything and chase down the missing baby, but the dialogue options are pretty thin and short of guessing where to go, the character isn’t given much story options/agency in trying to find their kid as priority 1.
Grenades – I’m not sure why they even bothered adding grenades and moltovs to this game. The handling of them is so clumsy they seem to exist only to show off the game’s dismemberment animations when you blow yourself up with them. If there’s even a single blade of grass between you and a target, the grenade will find a way to bounce off it and come back to you. (Forget taking cover, the character is incapable of throwing the grenade over/around anything and it will bounce off the wall/car/chair/desk/table whatever and hit you in the face. (Also, never, under any circumstances give explosive weapons to companions. They will kill you.)
Still, I am looking forward to having some time to set aside for the game when I can, but the pull to edit/write is stronger than the pull to play video games.
Maybe I am getting old.