FULL DISCLOSURE: I love Fallout and Skyrim as well as Witcher 3
As a gamer who has eagerly anticipated just the aknowledgment of Fallout 4 from Bethesda, the reveal of the Fallout 4 trailer played on my heart strings as it did many gamers. The Inkspots introductory song titled It’s All Over signalling to fans that the wait is finally over. The vault dweller speaking to the new incarnation of Dogmeat, telling him “lets go pal” as a message to the fans that Bethesda is ready to take us on another adventure. All of it was perfect to make up for the years of teasing and second-guessing.
However following the trailers reveal, from the camps of the uninitiated feral ghouls of the internet, came the bickering and the whining over such minor details that have customarily not been a concern for Bethesda games. Instead of universal triamphant cheers, Fallout 4 was greeted by the outcome of years of negative armchair gaming wars. From those who most likely wouldn’t be playing the game, but instead scrutinzing it for views or attention because it’s the new hot thing.
The largest concern voiced came from such critics, that the game’s graphics that were showcased in the likely in game graphics trailer we’re not up to snuff for next gen gamers. Usually, Bethesda has never allocated much attention to making their games ouch the graphical edge, but instead that the gameplay, story, and atmosphere make up for this. From many’s perspective, the game showcased greater detail to scenery and draw distance than prior games, but these armchair skeptics deemed the game “trash” as it wasn’t in par with the largest CGI trailer from Ubisoft or EA.
This makes one think, so gamers like being lied to? Do they wish to constantly be shown graphics and trailers of things that will never be, that will inevitably lead them to disappointment? For example, would gamers rather have a trailer akin to the latest Star Wars Battlefront game that shows up the cagey “in game engine” caveat that blows them off their feet only to have another Watchdogs situation? Or is it time for companies to show us realistic depictions of their games as Bethesda did and pleasantly surprise us with slightly better graphics than we anticipated?
Another critique appeared over the week that set many a fallout fan aflame, an insinuation that CDProjectRed’s recent installment of the Witcher 3 had edged out ALL open world RPG’s and there was simply nothing Fallout 4 could do to compete against a title in an entirely different approach to the genre.
As a fan of Witcher 3, the game does many things oh so right, but the game has its own shortcomings too. Such as a odd control scheme, inexplicable losses of health from jumping more than 4 feet down, and bugs galore for starters. But Witcher 3 and Bethesda RPG’s are two very different approaches to the same genre.
Witcher is all about story, character development, and a complex system of political and natural orders for the player to balance. CDProjectRed frames this with a sogbualr character we see grow alongside scores of side characters we’ve seen mature and overcome obstacles. Bethesda RPGs are about giving the player FREEDOM to choose their character and poor themselves into them to explore a new land and find meaning in that world. Side missions introduce a wacky cast of characters with motivations and placed in strange situations that the player choses the outcome to.
The Witcher has a story to tell and Bethesda has a world to discover, and that’s just fine. Fallout 4 doesn’t have to prove anything more than that the wait wasn’t all for nothing. No more, no less.