Content of the article: "A family-related story could be really good in Fallout, if done right."
I have heard a lot of criticisms over my time in the Fallout community about how Fallout 3 and 4's search for their family relatives was a boring and too personal of a story to be relatable in an RPG. However, I see it as another example of Bethesda's mishaps: A great concpet with charming potential done aboslutely wrong, because of a lack of attention for detail and focus on scope over quality.
What sparked this idea was a thought Joseph Anderson had in his analysis of Fallout 4, where he suggested a path where you would redeem your son and convince him the Institute does not work and is maleficent to the Commonwealth. This would be really great and shows an element of this that could improve Fallout's current formula:
The time we spend with relatives and family and how they are close to us actually makes them an excellent reflection of who we are in a narrative and that is a resource a writer can't waste on a role-playing game. They would be the main reactivity of the main quest: Do they agree with you, whether you are morally accepted or questioned? Or do they part their ways in the end, despising what you are and what you represented for the Wasteland?
Another problem often brought by the community is the lack of relatability and care they have towards the family relative. We have two ways of resolving this: 1- Not making it about their disappearance, rather about their upbringing or how they upbring you into the Wasteland. 2- Integrating perks into story, making it flashback sequences where you learn what you have to learn and develop a relationship with your relative.
I would also like to mention how a concept such as this would tie in with the main themes of Fallout, which I intepret as the constant pursuit of war against your own. The way I phrased leaves it self-explanatory: War blinds so much it can even bring us against our own family. A tragedic approach would be nice, I guess, show the conflict between the love and care you feel for them and the required opposition for survival. Of course, the thematic resolution would be up to the player's choices.
The final note is a little pessimistic, though: Bethesda, with its current writing staff, could never pull this off. I don't see them interested in characters nor themes, rather by world and fun little quirky situations.
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