I find I really do like Fallout 4, wandering my former hometown of Boston and enjoying myself in the retro-future dystopia. This is an open letter to Bethesda Softworks:
I love the idea of settlements, and that’s a fun micro game in there that I’d love to see expanded upon- Just as a game unto itself! You are trying to build a better (or worse, if possible) world by building up a rag-tag group of followers, and the game play becomes the building of Mine-craft, the trading of a railroad game, the people-management of Tropico, as well as some of the branching decision making of FTL.
Go Raider? Become a mercenary group? Run a trading empire? All possible!
All the Citizens (at least a large minority) are ‘named’ people with goals, aspirations and some ‘complex’ interactions and storylines to pursue.
And, you’ll want to do this anyway- Nearly everyone who enjoys the settlements mini-toy hates how finnicky the system is now. Simplify the building blocks. Let me build, and share my creations in a free-floating creative mode. Take a page from the Sims and let users design their own objects, and put them in the game.
This also requires the city management screens to be ‘better’ so at a glance I can tell who is assigned where, who is ‘unemployed’ and maybe what their skill sets and ‘perks’ are.
If I can participate in battles as a player, much can be gained by making the PC much more ‘mortal’ Not the best warrior on the field, often by far! Running and hiding when the bullets fall is a not terrible strategic choice for the long game, as some injuries never quite heal.
Fallout 4.5 the strategic shooter.
Yes, this should be a different game. I want complex choices with meaning. Multiple ways to complete the objectives that are all ‘accessible’ depending on build. The biggest complaint I have about Fallout 4 is how your four interactions can be summed up as:
Enthusiastic Yes/More Information?
Snarky Yes No (Not yet, or No- I mean yes)
Seriously. No major branches until the late game where you choose your faction. No path of the diplomat that you get the factions to work together. No path of the Raiders where you kill/subjugate everyone as king of the Commonwealth.
Make the four (or more?) choices mean something dammit!