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What Does Fallout 4 Have To Do To Nail Down GotY 2015?

This is not a rhetorical question because I'm not all that familiar with the franchise in question. I'm wondering what the fans think Fallout 4 needs to accomplish if it's to be considered as the ultimate Game of the Year.

A lot of people believe it can compete with the stellar Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for the year's top prize, but how can Fallout 4 surpass Kojima's latest magnum opus?

I mean, in your eyes, what must Bethesda and Co. do to outstrip MGSV (or any other game you think is currently in the running for Game of the Year)? Does it need to be technically stable right out of the gate, very much unlike The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? We've heard about the possibility of 400 hours of entertainment, so it has plenty of bang for the buck. But gamers really don't like boring cut-and-paste quests, so-to-speak. We don't want a hundred hours of filler, right?

Then again, maybe it just boils down to the gameplay, as it very often does. What do you say?

Related Game(s): Fallout 4

Tags: fallout 4, fallout sequel, fallout ps4

11/2/2015 9:56:53 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (21 posts)


Temjin001
Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 10:30:39 PM
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I bet the majority of people who play FO4 wouldn't have played enough of the other contenders to even know. MGS and Fallout and Bloodborne all seem pretty differently yoked.

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Draguss
Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 10:58:15 PM
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Not half-assing the writing. If there's one weakness Bethesda seems to struggle is that a lot of the stories and characters in their games come off as a bit shallow if you ask me. If they can just nail that...well my love of fantasy over post-apoc sci-fi would probably still leave them in second place for me, but I'm pretty sure that would assure them the win.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 11:12:30 PM

They pretty much have to because that is the price of total freedom. Linear games are where you get the goods.

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Draguss
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 12:10:48 AM

I'm not asking for some epic storytelling here, just somewhat deeper characters and world story would be great. New Vegas did pretty well in that regard and it was open world. Of course, that wasn't developed by Beth.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 9:30:27 AM

oh okay i thought you meant people to care about lol

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Bio
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 9:45:05 AM

You don't have to provide shallow characters and superficial story just because your game offers choices. That's a completely asinine generalization. There are tons of open world games with amazing stories and characters, like L.A. Noire, Sleeping Dogs and Mass Effect.

That some developers who happen to make open world games are not the best storytellers out there doesn't mean it's a necessary tradeoff. You can offer both, if you're talented at both.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 11:15:48 AM

The trade-off is not in the quality of the writing but in the pacing, which is an essential part of any story. The more freedom you offer, the more disjointed any story can become at the whim of the player.

"War and Peace" wouldn't be half the masterpiece it is if the pacing sucked and was constantly broken up by trivial little sidebar blurbs and was only allowed to continue telling the story at certain times, and maybe even in certain places. And "Middlemarch" doesn't work if the reader had the freedom to control, at least to some extent, Dorothea's life and actions.

Yes, open-world freedom-based experiences can have great characters and writing. But they will never have the benefit of the cohesiveness of a single writer's vision and are always subject to changes based on interaction. The more interaction, the more messing with the story. No "Choose Your Own Adventure" book could ever in a million years have the same quality story as a masterful novel, and the reason has nothing to do with the writing.

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Bio
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 2:55:58 PM

I think that makes perfect sense in the context of novels, television and film, but if anything the open world nature of modern games provides a more true-to-life presentation. Stories in the real world aren't streamlined for the pleasure of our consumption, and sometimes (even most times) in life the key elements of our journeys are broken up by distractions, obstacles and other trivialities. Many times we're simply not ready to take the next step towards a certain life goal, for various reasons, so we "take a semester off and backpack through Europe" or what have you.

Offering that same freedom, and verisimilitude, in games is a good thing, IMO, especially since 99% of the time you can always opt to just bulldoze through the main story if that's all you care about. The times you literally cannot happen just as frequently in linear JRPGs. You're under-leveled and can't beat a boss, so you spend 2 hours running around in circles outside Mideel so Weapon won't kick your ass next time around. Or you have to get Item X by Point Y so you can ultimately obtain Equipment Z.

Frankly I like going at my own pace in games. Sometimes I want to barrel through the story (most JRPGs I usually do this, then go back through a second time and get/do everything) and sometimes I want to go walkabout, wander around and explore. I like that Skyrim had the flexibility to let me breeze through the main story in 15 hours my first time through, and then have enough content for me to spend 150 hours on my next playthrough. If anything, the main story in that game resonated more the second time around, because each time I progressed through the main quest, I felt more in touch with the world and people inhabiting it.

There's no objectively better method, it's all about choice. And I'd rather have that choice than not.

Last edited by Bio on 11/3/2015 2:57:24 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 7:08:42 PM

The core of good storytelling doesn't change based on medium. And just because you can blaze through Skyrim or any other open-world game without doing anything on the side doesn't seem to change the fact that these stories are always of lesser quality than the best linear tales in existence. And that's because the writers have to constantly take that freedom into account. If the player has any freedom at all to change the outcome of a story, even if it's small, that's another tangent the writers have to consider.

A script is a story, regardless of medium. It might be structured differently whether it's a TV show or a play or a movie or a video game, but it's still fiction. And the only way great fiction exists is if the CREATOR(S) have all the freedom. Once you give the viewer/participator an ounce of freedom, the entire process on the side of the creator begins to fragment.

The only evidence we need to support this is that there is no open-world story that can compete with the best linear scripts in interactive entertainment history. It's really not even close, in fact. And we will continue to see story invariably take a back seat to player control as time goes on, which will only further dilute the main story. Not surprisingly, the best storytelling I've seen in open-world games consists of the written lore we often find in books scattered about the world. And there's a reason for that: It's because it exists on its own and I can't tamper with it.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/3/2015 7:10:12 PM

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Bio
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 8:10:14 PM

Which linear stories are we talking about that are so untouchable? Because I'd put L.A. Noire up against any other game when it comes to storytelling. Same with Mass Effect.

Also, you seem to be vacillating between pacing and freedom as the problem. Is it both, or one or the other? Because with the exception of absolutely rigid games with zero content besides the main narrative, pacing is technically an issue for any game, whether players have freedom over the narrative or not. If I can stop the main story in FFVII to breed and race chocobos for 20 hours, I have power over that game's pacing, don't I?

If it's power over the narrative that's the problem, L.A. Noire is a perfect example of how you can retain the core of a story, always getting to the same place regardless of player choice while still giving the player power over how key events unfold. It's probably much more difficult to do that successfully because you have to keep winding back to core parts of the story from multiple angles in a way where every choice feels like an organic cause of the linear segments, but it can and does happen, and there are stellar examples out there of it happening.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 @ 2:31:37 PM

RPGs are generally at risk of having pacing issues. Sandbox games are also at high risk of that. Sandbox RPGs are super at risk of that.

I personally don't take issue with that. I'm comfortable with, lets say Assassin's Creed, the fact that I can decide to do all kinds of side missions, etc. instead of going to the next memory despite the fact that it's supposed to be incredibly urgent. (To be fair, Ubisoft combats this by saying we're simply accessing a memory and events in history cannot be changed, and when we do things not as what really happened, we are "desychronized" from the event and have to try again to recreate the memory. The "current day" events when we get pulled out for something important don't have that luxury, for example)

But you can't pretend that doesn't disrupt the story-telling. Sometimes by the time I get back to the main story, I've forgotten what got me to that point to begin with, and my memory of each event prior gets foggy. Compare that to an extremely linear game like Uncharted, and the storytelling is a hundred times more effective.

Again, it doesn't mean each type of game doesn't have as good of a narrative (although it often does). It just means that it's very difficult to employ effective pacing... and as a tool used in storytelling, it's definitely an advantage something linear like Uncharted will always have over a sandbox game. There's no way around that.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 11/4/2015 2:33:45 PM

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Bio
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 @ 3:24:27 PM

I agree, Underdog, that giving players power over the pacing of a game can mean players who opt to explore more might get less out of the story, but it doesn't change the quality or structure of the story itself. A great example is the tombs in Tomb Raider. You're going along in the game and Lara instinctively realizes there's a tomb around. You can go off the beaten path a bit and explore the tomb, or just keep going, but the story itself doesn't change if you do. The effect of the story on the player might, if they end up spending a lot of time spelunking, but that's there choice. If the story isn't as important to them as exploring, why not give them the option?

Granted, some developers set up their optional content such that it does change the story structure, but it's not necessary to do that, it's a conscious design decision.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 11:13:40 PM
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All it has to do is show up.

I'm going to be busy all day Tuesday and will likely be too tired to even begin a campaign cuz I wanna get into it. One more day is gonna be tough.

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Jalex
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 1:12:36 AM
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For me, it's really a matter of technical merit. Bethesda have been refining their 'Morrowind' formula for over a decade now, and their last two games were very impressive steps forward. If they can not only expand their formula but continue to polish it, I think it will be tough to beat.
That being said, 'The Phantom Pain' is the most polished open world game I've yet played. Even the super-refined 'Grand Theft Auto V' had more glitches. So if 'Fallout 4' really does have even more content than 'The Phantom Pain' (the latter already being one of the absolute longest games I've ever played, rivaling any of Bethesda's previous titles), then it will need to be just as expertly crafted.
Quality over quantity wins it for me. And balancing both is even more impressive.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 1:41:29 AM

It's amazing how well MGS5 plays consistently with minor to no hang ups or glitches. Only the very rare guy stuck in an object. It's a gorgeous game that runs at a consistent 60fps. This level of Polish is what I miss in games gese days. It's rare nowadays.

How many hours have you invested so far?

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/3/2015 1:43:21 AM

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Jalex
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 6:12:07 AM

I've put most of my free time into 'The Phantom Pain', which is about a few hours a day. Last I checked, I was coming up on 200 hours as I inch closer to 100% completion. You?

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Jawknee
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 12:12:59 PM

Same here. The Phantom Pain hasn't left my PS4 since I bought it. I'm over 400 hours. XD

I spent a lot of time farming resources to complete two FOB's and build some nukes. I've also spent some significant time with the FOB events. I'm at the 87% mark. Just need to complete all the mission tasks, a few more S ranks and the animal and key item collections.

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slow and smart
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 3:51:53 AM
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Fallout 4:I hope for less glitches then Fallout 3,but it's not VERY important for me.

I'm guessing that if Bethesda did make F4 in the spirit of F3[atmosphere/exploring/all kind of drama] then this will be GOTY.Also that you can build your own house and even settlements are big improvements allready plus the improved shooting so yes,i believe in F4.

Til now the witcher 3 is the GOTY for me,even the side quests where fun and the world is beautiful and i liked the main story also,and the many different opponents was something i really liked.

Last edited by slow and smart on 11/3/2015 3:55:42 AM

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Aerifale
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 7:37:01 AM
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Interesting world and characters

Engaging storyline (quality over quantity gentlemen)

Immersive open world (that's basically a given)

Polished gameplay mechanics (which they seem to have accompished)

They had a winning formula with Fallout 3 (and New vegas), they just need to stick it up a gear.

Come on Bethesda. I'm in this for the long Haul! ;)

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Bio
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 9:46:39 AM
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A game that isn't riddled with bugs would be nice. Bethesda's Fallout games are better than New Vegas was in this regard, but if I'm going to play Fallout 4 at all it's going to be months after release, once I'm sure the game won't crash during fast travel or have NPCs with free floating limbs and shit.

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, November 03, 2015 @ 10:23:13 AM
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For Fallout 4 to win game of the year it must include Solid Snake as the main character and be completely directed by Kojima and Kojima productions.

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