Fallout 4: The First 4 Hours

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I haven't been as dedicated to Fallout 4 as many of my friends have, but I've spent enough time with it now that I feel comfortable weighing in on my experience. In the four hours that I've played, I've done my best to try out as many of the new features in the game. Despite my best effort though, my research has often been overshadowed by something.. buggier.

Fallout 4 had a familiarly buggy launch. In scarcely 4 hours of game time, I've encountered at least a dozen different issues I expect will be patched soon but I knew what I was getting myself into. You see,  Bethesda is somewhat known for having day 1 bugs in their games. As far back as Morrowind, I can recall erratic NPC's, enemies clipping through objects and physics glitches with hilarious consequences. Those of you less familiar with Bethesda can probably still recall Skyrim's giants, AKA The Home Run Kings.

One of the first issues I came across was not far from the vault. I found the corpses of a raider and mutated dog. I could easily lift the person and dangle the body about like a weird marionette, but when I attempted to lift the dog's body, the game told me it was too heavy to lift (apparently the radiation dramatically changed the density of dog flesh). Now I'm stuck with this dead mongrel outside my settlement.

Speaking of settlements, mine has been the greatest source of frustration for me. Playing on console (XBox One for me) adds a whole new level of difficulty when constructing buildings. I can't begin to furnish a house unless I'm standing near an open window or door because of the way the Workshop menu is configured. Building a house has its own complications that may be my own ineptitude (judging by some of the pics I've seen on reddit) but getting all the right pieces to fit correctly is nigh impossible. I've had to stick with prefabricated buildings for the most part.

Even those prefabs have their problems. For some reason, my residents keep appearing on the roofs without any apparent path up or ability to get down. I discovered this while searching for someone to assign to a job. I spent more than 5 minutes looking through the town when I looked up. Staring blankly down at me was one of my residents, standing stiffly atop the garage building. As a precaution, I've since added stairs to every building that lead from the roof to the ground.

Don't accidentally shoot anyone near this guy. Few things are worse than an immortal enemy in your own hometown.
These glitches are the most aggravating ones I've dealt with in my short time. The majority of the others are quite hilarious. A feral ghoul attacked me and fell through the map before being regurgitated into the sky. I watched the body pinwheel in the air before coming down 50 yards from the spot the ground swallowed him. Poor guy. Also, I discovered that the dog is a member of the thieves guild.

A game the size of Fallout 4 is a huge undertaking. A few bugs are unavoidable, really. The fact that there are so few game breaking issues should be a testament to the developer. I for one, am rather fond of some of the weird little glitches in the game. I remember Fallout as an immersive RPG that never took itself too seriously. If you're one of the people that turned off Skyrim the first time a giant hit you into orbit, maybe wait until a patch or two comes through for Fallout 4.