Content of the article: "Why I love the Railroad. (I joined the BOS and felt like a terrible person)."
For my first playthrough of Fallout 4 I sided with the Railroad and it just really felt like I was doing the right thing when I did it. I personally think they're the best faction to go with for your first playthrough of the game, like sure the Minutemen are good but they're not really connected to the Institute and they haven't really got anything to do with synths (two huge elements of the game), also there's like two members so they're not very interesting to me.
Speaking of which, I think the Railroad have got some of the best characters in the game, I mean Deacon, Glory, Tinker Tom and Desdemona are all really charming to me, even if we didn't get to see a whole lot of some of them. Sidenote, I really wish we'd got to see more of Glory. It's surprising to me how much enjoyed her character based on how little time we spent with her. I really felt like I'd connected with the all the main characters there, especially Deacon. I mean, I think his backstory is really boring (oh wow, another dead spouse) but I'd like to believe that it was just another lie and his real backstory is a lot more interesting lol. He may not have that emotional depth of Nick Valentine or even Hancock, but I still love having him around. The shit he comes out with makes me laugh and characters with a sense of humour are always a win tbf. Honestly I feel like i'd have missed out on a lot if I'd chosen another faction on my first playthrough, the Brotherhood felt so cold and lifeless in comparison. That's just my opinion though.
People argue that all the Railroad does is help synths, that they don't benefit the Commonwealth in any other way and to that I say, that's the whole point… They exist to help the most oppressed group of people in the Commonwealth, the people most humans wouldn't give the time of day, and that's if they don't straight up kill them. Humanity is in a shitty situation sure, but most of them have eachother, and even the ghouls have eachother but the escapee synths have no chance of surviving without the Railroad. And why shouldn't SOMEONE try and help synths anyway? They're trying to escape slavery and persecution. It's not a waste of time because they're people too and deserve as much of a chance at life as anyone else. Also, it's not like Railroad are there to take over the Commonwealth with a synth army at their backs, they're there to help the synths that already exist, they don't want more to exist.
For my current playthough I decided to try out the Brotherhood of Steel for a bit, at least until I got to Blind Betrayal as I didn't bother with them at all in my first playthrough. (I'm going for the Minutemen ending where I leave all the factions alive.) And I've got to say, for me, the Brotherhood's only selling points were Danse and the Prydwen. In fact, I only joined them to see what Danse was like as a companion. But the rest of their story… felt cold. I mean I guess that's the point really but still. Danse and Haylen were the only characters I liked, and I use the term 'like' very loosely because if these people existed in real life I'd probably hate them. I mean they're working for a group of racist bigots lol. And don't even get me started on Maxson. Honestly if it didn't mean I'd lose Danse as a companion, I'd have shot him by now, he's such a miserable character. Again I'm sure that's the point, but damn, the game REALLY wants you to feel bad about siding with the Brotherhood. Desdemona isn't the most interesting character in the world but you can tell she's got a good heart and she makes you feel like you're actually a part of something important. Maxson on the other hand treats you like shit. He's got a cool coat though.
The Brotherhood are already pretty powerful so I didn't feel like I made much of a difference in joining them, aside from infiltratrating the Institute I guess. With the Railroad, entering the Institute felt a lot more important, because EVERYTHING about these guys is related to the Institute. The Brotherhood want to take the Institute down, yeah, but to me, it didn't feel as though they were taking as big of a risk in sending me there. The Institute could take down the Railroad so easily if they found them, and they show you how this is the case by taking you to the Switchboard. The Railroad are tiny, and they have to be secretive to survive and I just found that so much more engaging because you know that their entire existence hinges on your choices, it's not like that with any other faction. I suppose except for the Institute…but those guys are really powerful as well, so it doesn't really feel as rewarding when you're fighting for them. You're just beating up the little guy. I think that's a lot of what it boils down to for me, it felt a lot more rewarding to win as the smallest faction. Sneaking around the Prydwen and then blowing it up felt a lot more rewarding than just kicking down the Railroad's door with a small army decked out in suits of power armor. The Railroad stood no chance in that situation because of their size and lack of resources. I felt like a shitty person when I did it. I don't know why it hurt as much as it did to see all their names on that list, especially Deacon's. Idk why im so invested in them all aha. Usually when I side with the factions I see as 'evil' in videogames I don't come out feeling like a bad person irl but in this case I did, oops. By the way, I'm still doing the Minutemen ending where nobody is destroyed so I loaded an older save after I did it, I just wanted to see what would happen.
To be honest, I think I've spent too much time travelling with Nick Valentine and Deacon to really give an unbiased perspective on this whole thing, but I guess that wasn't really the point of this post anyway. I just really like the Railroad. Sure, maybe some of their methods are flawed but you can tell they're good people. To me, The Minutemen are alright, the Brotherhood of Steel are racist bigots and the Insitute are straight up supervillains. But it's all just my opinion ofc. If you prefer another faction I'd like to hear why. Sorry this whole thing is a mess, I'm just typing out my thoughts as they come to me.
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