Content of the article: "Bethesda’s writing problem isn’t with their lack of ideas; it’s their lack of expansion ON these ideas"
Many fans have been making the claim that more modern Fallout games, especially ones like Fallout 4, have suffered a degradation in writing. I would tend to agree, however, I would add the caveat that the premises of these games, including Fallout 4, are EXTREMELY good, but haven’t had their full potential met (except in one case).
The idea that there is a shadowy organisation running society by replacing people in power with AI-synths is actually an AMAZING Fallout idea. There are so many places you could take this idea; does this society have the right to rule civilisation? Perhaps a society run by A.I. would actually be better, but then, what gives the A.I. the right to command humans? What exactly would an artificial entity want? Could they have free will?
The problem is, the main quest doesn’t do anything with these ideas. The story is just about finding your son, and when that’s done it’s just about blowing up factions. The whole A.I.-synth thing is glorified background decoration,or flavouring, with these ethical questions barely playing into the story at all. I would argue this has been an issue for many Bethesda games; in Skyrim, the idea that you have to stop a time-devouring dragon who can alter the fabric of reality is really cool, but again, this is just background lore rather than the story.
However, here is the exception I was talking about earlier: Far Harbour. Except for Dead Money and Old World Blues, Far Harbour is easily my favourite DLC in all of Fallout, mostly because the ideas that should have been the focus of the game are in full force here. In this DLC, it could be argued that putting AI in control of society is the best possible outcome…or the worst. We get to see, finally, how an A.I. sees humanity; through cold, impartial and utilitarian eyes. But even here there’s room for disagreement. Is it his programming that’s causing the AI to think this way, and is the AI no more sentient than a calculator? Or is there a spark of genuine feeling, even love, behind its plans to try and save as many people as possible? Or is it just a power trip, seeing humans as no more than cogs in a machine…a means to an end?
I don’t think the current head writer is as unimaginative and uncreative as a lot of people make him out to be; I think his base ideas are really clever and interesting. However, I don’t think he’s necessarily the best person to execute these ideas all on his own, and perhaps there ought to be one or two more head writers to help him with that.
- Ideas for the next/future fallout games.
- If they made a Fallout 5 and asked you to give them ideas for features in game, what would they be?
- I hate how Bethesda just completely ignores everything Obsidian has done and refuses to progress the series
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