(I have been told that for several hours the entire post was a single, gigantic link. I did this as a radical UI concept, to maximize the surface area of the hypertext. Gabriel said it looked like a “broken link.” Pearls before swine.)
I’ve never been able to get Gabriel on board for earlier Fallout games, even the first Bethesda one, and I’ve never been able to bring him along on anything contained somewhere within an Elder Scroll, so from a nuts and bolts perspective Fallout 4 was always gonna be a rough fuckin’ climb.
There are some Fallout specific things in there, certainly - or things meant to honor its legacy - but there’s a lot of generally just sort of Bethesda stuff in there. So, so much that I tried to explain to him: “Bethesda” constitutes a coherent genre of which Skyrim and the new Fallouts are manifestations.
The main thing he had to do in order to settle into the game - by which I mean the subset of Fallout with which he, himself resonates - was to throw every idea about “proper” play in the garbage. Open-World Paralysis Syndrome (OWPS) is real, and when you aren’t super up on some of the basic laws of a system you can feel like you’re missing even more.
There is a kind of clock that starts for him the same time he starts a game, it has to roost in him by the end of it, and this timer is short. That’s not how I could do it, but it’s something I respect; he is always precisely himself, and I always assume I’m wrong. But! He had to say “no” to a few things just to maintain momentum. For example, by the time he was really getting into it, he hadn’t really set up much of a town. I don’t know if that is ever going to be a big part of the game for him, but if you ever want to feel like you’ve had a productive Tuesday, or whatever, clearing out five or six rusted cars and a big pile of tires can scoot a day over into the win column.
He’s playing it on console, which I’ve never been able to countenance; I get hives thinking about gutting a ruined grocery store with the analog stick. I will tell you that what’s he’s playing on the PS4 looks pretty Goddamned good, though. My machine at home does not fuck around and I was still impressed. We I saw him clutching the PS4’s devil-yoke on the couch, I had installed a kind of pre-smirk that I had to pivot into a sort of constipation thing; I don’t know if I sold it all the way. The trees I saw certainly looked sapped of their natural vigor.
What I saw there, graphically, I would have been perfectly happy with - which just tells me I haven’t spent enough money on this computer yet.