New Vegas is one of my favorite videogames, and has an interesting story. I'm going to look at why it works, and compare it to Fallout 4 to make a comparison, starting with backstory.
In Fallout 4, you are a husband/wife with a preset job (Veteran for Nate, lawyer for Nora), an NPC of the opposite gender who lives in your house, and a reskinned melee weapon you call a child. You get turned into a fish stick and have your reskinned melee weapon stolen and your NPC/spouse killed.
In New Vegas, you are a courier who works for the Mojave Express. You were hired to deliver a platinum chip for a mysterious individual in New Vegas before taking eighteen millimeters of lead to the face and being kicked out of death. You may have been to a variety of places and, if you have the Lady Killer perk, may imply you had a one-night stand with a woman in Reno.
The Courier is more ambiguous, and allows the player to better empathize with the courier, which is important for the player's motivation.
In Fallout 4, you're trying to get back your child and then get stuck choosing a faction in some battle. You get to choose between generic mad science guys, Diet enclave (which is already just diet Nazis), Revolutionary War 2: Electric Boogaloo, and Underground Railroad 2: Electric Boogaloo.
In New Vegas, you're going to the Strip to get a refund on your two bullets to the head and get the platinum chip to the recipient. Due to the subtle railroading of "there's literally fucking nothing here" you'll remain focused on returning Benny's conduct in kind. You end up meeting each of the factions on your way, gaining incentives for each faction. The NCR will help bring order but is already too spread out, and the Legion offers the option of awesome evil and the sheer charisma of the leaders of the Legion. Meanwhile, Mr. House offers answers to questions such as "Why was the Chip so important?" while Yes Man offers the tempting option of personal power.
Obviously, you'll prioritize "teach the guy who shot me to dig a deeper grave next time" over "retrieve melee weapon". In addition, the factions feel more fun. The necessary antagonist faction not only feels actually evil in New Vegas, but so evil you have to respect them for not doing anything by halves.
Tell me why I'm bad and why Fallout 4 is good in the comments! I'll agree with the first part but not the second.
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© Post "Why New Vegas Works and the Commonwealth Doesn’t 1: Motivation and Backstory (copied from r/fnv)" for game Fallout.
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