I like Fallout 4, I really do. But if there's one aspect that I thought was a seriously missed opportunity with it, and that was kinda wasted, was the opening 10 minutes of the game, set before the war.
Look, I love the idea, that we get to experience what life was like before the nuclear apocalypse. To me, this is a part of the franchise that I would love to see further expanded on, whether it be life in America, the Resource Wars, etc. But in my opinion, the opening section of Fallout 4 does a poor job of really exploring this idea.
For one, it's just really short. Having 10 minutes before everything goes to hell and you need to rush to the Vault is not enough time to expand on the characters of Nate/Nora or to really get a sense of what life is like for people in pre-war America. Everything just goes by way too fast; you make your character, can explore the house, and then like a minute later the Vault-Tec rep is there and you're giving yourself a name and your SPECIAL and in less than five minutes the nukes are going off and you're running to the Vault (how did you and your family get access that fast when apparently you've been ignoring the rep for a while now??). I'm sorry, but this is just not enough time for what they're trying to do here.
Second, what they do explore in the opening is frankly not that interesting. I mean, it's just you, your wife, and your newborn in your house for a few minutes along with your house robot. I'm not saying that having this be the focus of the segment is inherently bad, but it's IMO the least interesting thing they could focus on pre-war. It also feels like tonal whiplash when you compare it to the opening cutscene. That cutscene talks about how things are falling apart, the hell of war that's been happening between the US and China; it's made very clear that life is becoming worse for everyone, especially in the US. And yet, when we actually go into the pre-war gameplay section, it's nothing but cheeriness and sunshine. Sure, the Vault-Tec rep makes mention of the possible nuclear war, but it's treated as more like "It definitely could happen", and almost nonchalantly. It just feels like such a strange choice, and it ties back to the issues of how short it is.
Honestly, I don't have a perfect solution for what could have been done better with the opening. But I think that how it was presented does a poor job of making me really care about my significant other/child and convey how bad the pre-war US/world has gotten until literally the exact moment the bombs fall.
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More about FalloutPost: "It continues to bother me to this day how short the pre-war opening of Fallout 4 was." specifically for the game Fallout. Other useful information about this game:
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