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Always outnumbered. Probably always outgunned, too.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Phantasm 4

358 Posts

Note: There will be spoilers later in the post. They will be clearly marked, and below the cutoff for the front page, so you'll have to hit "Read all" to see them.

37 days since release.
156 hours on one single character.
Level 82.
All pre-ending quests completed.
All map locations discovered.
All bobbleheads.
All skill magazines.
All endings (each ending is only about an hour of different quests after the point where you start alienating the others).
All settlements unlocked, populated, and supplied. A few built up to over 20 settlers with a ton for them to do.
All companions at maximum affinity.
50/50 achievements.

You might say I kinda like the game.

I'm not even done with this character. There are more quests that unlock after the endings, which I plan to do. I just felt comfortable actually writing a review now.

I'll give my summary up top since there will be spoilers toward the end: In brief, Fallout 4 is incredible. What it lacks in player choice, it makes up for with great mechanics, the amazing world to explore that you'll be expecting from a Bethesda game, ramped up significantly thanks to the better graphics, and far fewer bugs. The world they've build is their best ever. Everything just melds together in ways Bethesda has yet to achieve, and the world tells its own story. It's a bit of a bummer that you aren't making the biggest choices in the world anymore, and the endings all kinda suck a big, but the actual experience may be better than previous games. It isn't perfect, but it stands with the rest as a great entry to the series, and improves on things in so many ways that it may be hard to play the older entries in the series.

First, let's address a few complaints. People were complaining around launch about the graphics. Sure, this doesn't look as amazing as some current-gen games, but for a massive, open-world RPG, they're honestly pretty good. And most people really don't play this kind of game for the graphics. Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and even Skyrim didn't look as good as the games that came out around the same time, but that didn't change the enjoyment at all. I thought the graphics were nice, anyway.

People have also been complaining about the lack of real choices in the game's dialogue. And on this point, they're spot on. When someone asks you to do a quest for example, you can choose a positive yes, a sarcastic yes, a "yes but what is that" option, or "no," but they give you the quest anyway. There are barely any quests that affect others until the final hours of the main faction quests. The ability to play it how you want it has been dialed way back for Fallout 4. I'm not necessarily saying that's objectively bad, but it is what it is.

But for me, Bethesda games are fun because of the world you're in, and on this point the game truly shines. The radio is back with some old favorites from Fallout 3 and some new era-appropriate tracks, and the radio helps set the mood for the game better than most other factors, BUT you should also turn the radio off and listen to the score from time to time. The tracks for different locations are amazing.

Because it's Bethesda, you'll see things spread throughout the world that tell stories without telling them. Like a hole in the side of a bank with two skeletons, a sack full of money, and some scattered pre-war money on the ground-- you can see from this little scene that some people tried to loot the bank in the aftermath of the bombs dropping, and failed. They also, of course, have little funny things spread about. This time the running gag was teddy bears. You can find a teddy bear on the toilet who is wearing glasses and reading the Boston Bugle, one's wearing a driver's cap and sitting behind the wheel of a bus, and so on. The attention to detail in the world design is what I love most about these games. They feel lived in, destroyed, and lived in again. 156 hours and I still haven't seen it all. I've visited every marked location, sure, but there's so much to see in between the map markers.

In short, player choice may be dialed back significantly, but the sheer amount of things to see makes the replay value high, and makes the game as fun as it is.

The big new mechanic in Fallout 4 is settlement building. In Fallout 3, it was common to see something and think "I wish I could fix this place up and live here." Well, now you can, to a point. There are 30 settlements you can unlock to build up, populate, and defend. I picked Red Rocket as the base for me and all my companions (as seen in the pic above). The building mechanic is fun, but often frustrating, and I hope Bethesda patches some of the annoyances.

(for more funny things in the world and more Red Rocket building pics: https://imgur.com/a/PkGBo)

You're ostensibly unlocking these settlements for the Minutemen. Preston Garvey gives you quests to unlock settlements and go help out when they have issues. And he just. doesn't. stop. This is one of my biggest complaints. If you're in earshot of Preston, you're going to get these quests, and you only have so long to do them before they auto-fail. A mod to shut him up would be nice.

Preston is also one of many companions you can have on your journey, and the antiquated karma system has been replaced by companion affinity. If you're with a shady mercenary, they'll like it when you steal, but an upstanding reporter may not. This also helps you feel more attached to the companions. The more they like you, the more they'll confide in you, and they each give you a unique perk for maxing out their affinity. Cait, McCready, Curie, and Nick all have quests to complete before you max their affinity, and they are some of the best quests in the game, especially Nick's.

And Nick is a great example of how much improved the characters in this game are. You won't hear things over and over again, at least not as much as "Patrolling the Mojave," and "Arrow to the knee" in previous games on Bethesda's engine. The voice actors are more varied, and better, and make the world gel together. Lynda Carter (yes, Wonder Woman herself) is back, of course, since she's married to Robert Altman, the president of Zenimax. And she's come a long way since Mazoga the Orc in Oblivion. She plays Magnolia, a lounge singer in Goodneighbor, and she can really sing! You'll hear a few of her songs on the radio after you've visited Goodneighbor and spoken with her.

Here come the spoilers
My biggest problems with the game came toward the end of the story. None of the endings feel incredibly impactful. You find that the Institute not only took your child, but that he's now in his 60's, running the Institute, and wants you to take over. You may have already been doing things for the Minutemen, the Brotherhood of Steel, and the Railroad before this, and it's no surprise that these are the four factions you can finish the game with. So your choices:
  • Keep working with the Institute, who's pretty obviously doing terrible things to people, while claiming it's for the greater good. To do this you have to wipe out the Brotherhood and Railroad who are trying to take the Institute down.

  • Go to the Brotherhood, who wants to wipe out every synth (the Institute) and anyone who would help synths (the Railroad), even though that means killing hundreds of innocents. No, ladies and gents, this is not the same Brotherhood you knew from Fallout 3. This is old-school, purify the world Brotherhood. Elder Lyons is long dead, and his influence has ended. But you get to re-use Liberty Prime from Fallout 3, and in this ending I realized that no faction should ever possess anything like Liberty Prime.

  • Go to the Railroad, who wants you to wipe out the Brotherhood for being bigots and the Institute for imprisoning synths, even though that means killing hundreds of innocents.

  • Go to the Minutemen, who want as many innocents to be freed as possible while you take down the Institute. You can also free some synths this way, and keep working with everyone but the Institute after the game is over. But the Minutemen have NO character whatsoever. They're the most boring faction in any of the Fallout games.

So ultimately there's no satisfying ending. All the factions are flawed to the point of being unlikeable, some more than others. I'd say I prefer the Railroad to the others, for various reasons, but their ending needlessly wipes out a faction that could be helped to turn around.

And this comes back to the player choice issue-- in Fallout: New Vegas, for instance, there were many warring factions, and you could negotiate alliances between some of them. Not so in Fallout 4. There are four paths you must take, with no variance.


Still, complaints aside, this game is one of my favorites of all time. I'll play it again, and love it even with its flaws. Anyone who likes massive open-world RPGs should check it out, but be prepared for some of the RPG feel to have been taken out.

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Shadow Complex, released back in August of 2009 for the XBox 360, has been remastered for it's re-release on modern consoles, and you can get it for free on PC for the next few weeks.

And you should. This is the best Metroidvania game I've played that isn't Metroid or Castlevania, and it's written by Orson Scott Card.


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Here it is, the big one!

This one gives a lot of plot information that we haven't gotten before. It looks like everyone's speculations have been proven right, and a large portion of the main plot will revolve around The Institute (MIT, most likely) and their synthetic people.

Fallout 3 had a questline that introduced us to the Institute and we met a synth, and depending on our characters we helped or harmed their mission. A year or two later, people spotted some Bethesda employees taking pictures around Boston and assumed that Fallout 4 would heavily involve The Institute, and boy were they right!

It's a common sci-fi trope to have a new class of people who are mistrusted and misunderstood be a metaphor for racism, homophobia, or other prejudices, but it's common because it's powerful.

I can't wait to get my hands on this!

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Blizzard is hiring a new Senior Software Engineer for classic games. Starcraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II will be optimized for new operating systems! Unfortunately, the even older titles aren't included in the list, but these three are amazing to see.


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We recently finished up another Cheerful Ghost Terraria server, and here's the bounty.

First, we did the fifth server in a normal world.

Then, we created a new world to try out Expert. Unfortunately I think we were getting burnt out on Terraria by then, so you can see that not much has been done in this world, but here it is if you'd like to play with it :D

But wait, there's more! For a limited time (by which I mean, however long this website exists) you can catch up on all the worlds you've missed with the Cheerful Ghost Terraria Server Megapack! If you've missed out on previous worlds, here they are in one zip file. They have all been updated to 1.3 compatibility so there shouldn't be any issues there. It's amazing to see how far we've come.

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Finally, we get to hear how much we need to pay to upgrade our rigs for Fallout 4!

And really, it's not that bad:

Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
30 GB free HDD space
NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent

Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Intel Core i7 4790 3.6 GHz/AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz or equivalent
30 GB free HDD space
NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB/AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB or equivalent

I'm finally nearing the "minimum" on new games, but at least I got this one!


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Andrew Spinks did an interview with PC Gamer recently and details what's to come for our favorite terrarium simulator. Even though he won't be directly involved from this point forward, as he's moving onto a new project and eventually Terraria 2, the future looks exciting.

First up, he shared that updates would come more frequently, and in smaller chunks, possibly including new mechanics and alternate biomes. This could be good or bad, depending on your preference, but it will keep the community more active for sure and add tons of replay value (as if there isn't already infinite replay value).

In addition, he said that in the future they'd like to add mod support and creative mode, but didn't confirm them as definite future additions to the game. Mod support would ensure the game could go on past what the developers want to put into the game.

When you consider that development ceased at one point, but then kicked back up with 1.2 and everything we've gotten since, it's really amazing to think that there could be this much coming in the future.

Read the full interview here: http://www.pcgamer.com/mod-support-and-more-frequent-updates-are-coming-to-terraria/

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I'm playing it again, I'm about 2 hours in. I need something else to play besides Terraria. This will be my third time starting it. Anything I should know going in? Anything you wish you knew when you started?

I'm playing as the female Shepherd and that's really helping. She's much better performed than the male Shep.

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I've been following this waiting for some news source I could properly cite before posting it, but there was a Steam exploit that messed with a lot of people, slowly trickling the last week, but coming to a head yesterday. Using a fake password recovery page, nefarious folks could get into your account and change your password, without ever sending you an email. If you had Steam Guard or Steam Mobile Authentication enabled, it would send you the email like it should, and the malicious users wouldn't get access to your account, but they WOULD lock you out of trading on your account for five days. In fact, I have no indication in my email about anyone trying to sign into my account, but I have a 5 day trade ban due to suspicious activity, so it seems I got bit myself.

It seems the biggest target was famous streamers on Twitch, but others got compromised or locked out as well.

Valve has fixed the exploit so it no longer works. It seems it was caused by some dev code being left in when moved to production.

This is a reminder that no security is perfect, humans are always the weak point, and you should always take any available security measures to protect your accounts. If you don't have Steam Guard enabled, or two-factor auth on your GMail account, etc, you're playing with fire. But even those aren't perfect. If some of the dev code in this case was related to what happens post-steam-guard, for instance, it's possible that they could have accessed accounts that use Steam Guard too. Thankfully, that didn't happen this time!


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The open beta for Linux and OSX is (almost) ready to go! Steam hasn't quite caught up, it seems some people are still having trouble installing it, but it's there.

For full info: http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/terraria-1-3-0-7-mac-linux-open-beta.27418/

And to report bugs or provide feedback: http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?social-forums/official-terraria-mac-linux-open-beta-testing-feedback-group.690/

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In a MASSIVE update today, Aspyr has brought Knights of the Old Republic II to Mac and Linux, along with giving all versions a slew of features. It will support Steam Cloud, Achievements, and Steam Workshop mods, and the Restored Content mod will be available day 1; It comes with native widescreen support in resolutions up to 5k; and the big one... CONTROLLER SUPPORT. The keyboard/mouse controls really turned me off of these games, so it's good to see controller support, and from what I've heard the Restored Content mod makes the game infinitely better.

The game is 25% off in celebration of the new stuff.

Info here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/208580/

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Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has sadly passed away today at age 55 due to bile duct complications. He's had heath issues over the past few years, but his death was still a surprise, as it didn't seem this bad to anyone.

Iwata gave Nintendo some of its best years, with the Wii and DS lines, and also some rocky ones with the Game Cube and Wii U, but his dedication to the company and his contribution to the industry is obvious.

Iwata started at Nintendo in the 80s, developing games like Earthbound, before becoming the fourth president of Nintendo in 2002.

A sad day indeed.

Nintendo press release: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2015/150713e.pdf

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OneDrop Yoyos, a high-end yoyo company out of Eugene, Oregon, is making a yoyo called The Terrarian, and it will match the look of the in-game yoyo by the same name. The Terrarian is the most badass of all the yoyos in the game, dropping from the final boss, and you can have it on your desk soon, or learn to do tricks with it. :)


If that wasn't cool enough, check out the catalog: http://onedropyoyos.com/yoyos/

So many of the yoyos in game are OneDrop yoyos. Greg asked me in-game the other day what the little icon on most of the yoyos' tooltips was, and I had no idea, but I do now. It's the OneDrop logo!

For example, this yoyo is the one I'm currently using. It drops at a pretty high rate in the Underworld, and I think there are a few back at the home base for anyone to grab.

Real life: http://onedropyoyos.com/yoyos/cascade
In game: http://terraria.gamepedia.com/Cascade

How cool is that? Re-Logic has a nice habit of teaming up with other gaming companies for cross-promotion, but this is my favorite so far. Terraria has made me want to buy a real yoyo, so maybe I'll get one from OneDrop when the time is right. Maybe even the Terrarian if the price is right (the Cascade is well over $100, for an example of their prices, but you can get other models for $40).

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The update is rolling out on Steam!

Get hype!

1.3 brings a host of changes, which you can find here: http://forums.terraria.org/index.php?threads/1-3-changelog.20617/

We're (of course) doing a Cheerful Ghost server. Join up here and play with us! http://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/79/terraria-1-3-server

The server will be launching soon, hopefully when TShock updates. If that takes a while we'll roll without it at first.

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Bethesda talked for quite a while about Fallout 4 last night. The gameplay demo is embedded above. And how amazing it is!

The game starts you out before the nukes dropped. The tutorial takes place before you enter the vault. We don't know the circumstances immediately following that, but you wake up 200 years later. In Fallout lore, the nukes dropped in 2077, and Fallout 3 takes place in 2277, so this game takes place in the same year. As for whether it's a sequel or a prequel to Fallout 3, we don't know, but the speculation about Fallout 4 taking place in Boston started due to a quest line in Fallout 3 that mentions the Institute (MIT) so the two games should at least be tangentially connected, though nothing is certain.

There's going to be a companion app for iOS and Android that lets you use your Pip Boy on your mobile device while you play. The collectors edition will even come with a pip boy arm attachment for that extra level of immersion. Cosplayers rejoice!

One huge thing for me was building your settlements. It seems like a seamless process to add new structures and customize/fortify your settlement. There will be raider attacks you have to defend, and you can bring in merchants and other NPCs. Crafting weapon attachments is improved immensely over Fallout: New Vegas.

In addition, Fallout Shelter is a new game on iOS and Android and it's out now for iOS. An Android release will come later. It's kinda like the Sims meets FTL meets Progress Quest (apparently, I've never played PQ) meets XCom. You are the overseer and have to build your vault and keep your residents healthy and happy. I've played a couple hours of it and it's a fun time-waster.

There are a ton of details I didn't mention, just hitting the most interesting ones, but the video will give you all you need to know and this reddit post has you covered for all the details if you don't want to watch the game in action for some reason.

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