Fallout

A response to a point made by Many a True Nerd: Exploration.

fallout 5 - A response to a point made by Many a True Nerd: Exploration.
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I love Many a True Nerd's videos. I think he's a smart guy in general and I think the video I'm responding to,


is generally a well reasoned and entertaining video, typical of Jon. But I have a couple of points I want to respond to.

First he criticizes Come Fly With Me for its lack of reward and mentions that the El Dorado substation quest is linear. Its funny that he mentions these two quests here when it suits his point and not earlier when he was listing instances of spectacle and set pieces in New Vegas which he argued there were few of. El Dorado and Come Fly With Me both reward you with spectacle, the latter spectacularly with a rocketship launch set to Ride of the Valkyries. He also forgets to mention surfacing the plane for the Boomers and running through the bombing fields to get to the Boomers. Or blowing up the Hidden Valley BOS Bunker. Ok maybe that last one is a stretch. And no one set piece in Fallout 3 equals the splendor of the titular New Vegas itself. Fallout 3 can only compete in its totality. New Vegas has more of its awesome concentrated in one location than Fallout 3 does.

But onto my main point. MATN makes a point which I find a bit specious about main stories of the two games via the maps. Rather than compare the quality of the two stories based on their writing or their flexibility, he evaluates them based on where the quests take you on the map. That's problematic in and of itself. But lets look at his point.

His point is that FO3's main quest only takes you to part of the map whereas FO3's most interesting story sidequests are well away from the parts of the map you explore in the main plot. Thus the game rewards exploration. New Vegas takes you all over the map with its main plot and it makes sure most of its major side quests are near spots you've visited and that there are quests that take you there.

Who explores though? Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you hopped in your car, picked random roads to drive down, stopped at a random building and explored it?

"But I'm a modern person not a wasteland survivor" you might be saying.

No I think you're thinking like a player. If you want to play the game like a player, then sure exploration is fun. There's no risk to the real you, you control an avatar that runs around shooting video game monsters and looting video game loot in a video game setting. Its fun.

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But that's not your character, especially in Fallout 3. Your character is a scared young man who just got kicked out of his Vault, thrust from the comforts and security he's accustomed to into a dangerous wasteland. Your character is barely scraping by with his wits to get to his dad and slowly adapts to life in the wastes.

Even once he gets to the point where his survival and badass skills are developed he's not going to be thinking "Why don't I just go kick out into the wastes for the fun of it? Just run off in a random direction for no reason and see whats out there." He's going to do stuff when he's got a reason to do stuff and go where he's got a specific destination in mind.

And that's what Fallout New Vegas supplies in spades. It gives you reasons to go everywhere. Because that's how people work, they don't just pick a random direction and stop at the first place that interests them, they have a task they want to accomplish and it involves travelling to a specific place and doing specific things. That's how we live our lives.

Sure you can decide that your character is curious and has wanderlust but there's nothing in the game to support that. That's a decision you're making on your own. That's where the story breaks down.

And again none of the above gets into the fact that MATN side steps comparing the writing of the main quests and inexplicably compares their map presences to try to gain a favorable comparison for Fallout 3.

Other than that, I do enjoy the video and I do agree with most of his points, aside from the ones about exploration.

Like he points out that complaints about lack of dialog options are in part due to the fact that some dialog options are unlocked through exploration. But frankly that's often random. Like one example he gives is the Mechanist vs Atom Ant and a dialog option that can be unlocked if you explore Hubris Comics and read a terminal. He himself admits that you're not likely to find Hubris Comics. So while this randomly rewards exploration it doesn't reward thought. When you stumble across this situation, you have no way of knowing about the comic shop.

Situations like this don't reward roleplay or thinking.

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