I can still recall my unequivocal sense of hype as I sat in front of my laptop screen staring at Bethesda's notice, "Please Stand By" on an otherwise uneventful Wednesday morning in work. It was about to happen. The RPG we'd waited over 8 years for was about to receive an official announcement, and the atmosphere was palpable. I couldn't help but imagine the hundreds of thousands of gamers around the world that waited with bated breath with me. And to be honest, what Bethesda unveiled didn't disappoint. That came later.
Could any game ever live up to the hype that Fallout 4 generated? I like to think that Skyrim had a similar air of anticipation before its release date and I don't think many of us were disappointed with the (never)end(ing) results. Sadly, that wasn't the case with their follow up.
What Can DLC Expansions Do For Fallout 4?
Kotaku's Nathan Grayson put it best when he used Fallout 4 as an example in his article 'The 5 Stages Of Video Game Disappointment', in which he describes the deteriorating sense of joy that Fallout 4 elicited. I'm right there with him, and I don't think any promise of DLC expansions from Bethesda can fix that...
Last year at Bethesda's launch party for Fallout 4, Todd Howard was asked about the future of the game beyond its release and he made it clear that we'd be waiting a while in his retort:
"It's going to be well deep into next year. It's like the game is done but it's not done, because until everybody plays it, it's not really done. Because what they bring to it is really important; we're going to see what people like, what they want more of, what they want different, and we're going to do that."
Howard stated that players of Fallout 4 would determine the game's future. Features that fans enjoyed are likely to be expanded upon. Aspects that they hated, not so much. Obviously this is the perfect way for expansions to be created; in tandem with your audience. But even though I'm excited to see what Bethesda will bring to Boston, the base of the game has ultimately disappointed me. Am I alone?
I still play Skyrim. It's one of the easiest video games ever made to hop back into. Just run around the wilds of Tamriel, shout at a few people, maybe kill a dragon and then get on with your day. Fallout 4 doesn't have the same appeal. It's a decent shooter, but there are better ones. It's a decent RPG, but there are definitely better ones. The game is still riddled with glitches, dialogue is often poorly written and when the likes of Bloodborne, The Witcher 3 or even Undertale (all from the same year) offer a more enjoyable RPG experience, why return to Fallout 4?
Though I look at Fallout 4 and feel disappointed, I may still find myself returning to its DLC. After all, this is not a bad game. In fact, it's actually quite good! It's just a shame that Bethesda couldn't create something to replace Skyrim after all these years. Innovations need to start happening within their offices, and we sincerely hope it starts with Fallout 4's DLC.