Ain’t No Party Like An Apocalyptic Party
Rarely have I waffled on a game purchase to the extent as I am waffling on Fallout 4. Sometimes I hesitate on a purchase because the cost-to-engagement profile is calculated to be too low, and of course there are times when the “awwww yissss!” coefficient is so high that my wallet literally (meaning that it has actually happened to me) jumps out of my pocket and slaps me in the face for considering holding off. It’s not often that I find myself at a crossroads, stuck in between the couch cushions of “should I?” and “I really shouldn’t”.
I loved Skyrim. Many people have. I completed that game, in as much as one can “complete” a game that contains content enough for an average human life-span. I liked Fallout 3, but it didn’t grab me the same way that Skyrim did. I talked about my feelings on the whole “post-nuclear holocaust” setting…somewhere. It creeps me out. It’s bright and sunny in the game world, but the gravity of the implications are really depressing (especially as someone who grew up under the threat of nuclear annihilation and the spate of TV miniseries like “The Day After”).
Then again, it’s a massive, open world. It’s supposedly got all of these cool systems, like being able to build your own fortification. Going almost anywhere, doing almost anything…and it’s set outside of Boston, which is a little more than a half hour drive from my house.
Of course, it’s mostly the people around me that are keeping this at the forefront of my mind. I feel like that one unwilling participant who finds himself at the front of an angry mob: as soon as I realize what I’m about to face, I try and turn and run, only to find my way blocked by an impenetrable wall of humanity that is slowly but steadily bulldozing me towards the event. I mean, I can withstand The Crowd just fine under most circumstances (for one unsolicited and unnecessary example, I don’t really care one bit about Overwatch or Blizzcon), but I really, really want to want Fallout 4. I am asking myself if there’s any way I can accept the dismal implications behind the setting, like if there’s so much other “wheeeee!” kind of things I can do to minimize the setting’s conceit that billions of people have died, and there are creepy-ass-beings-formerly-known-as-people who want to eat me.
My brother is a massive Fallout fan, and has already pre-ordered for the XB1. I think if I went with it, I’d also go for the XB1 version, but with an asterisk. I have had great success recently using XB1 home streaming to my first gen Surface Pro over the past few days, and that would allow me to sit in the living room with the family when they desire my presence (if not my interaction). I can also hang out at the PC and stream the game that way. Of course, I could always slum it and sit on the couch to play. That asterisk comes from the fact that while Fallout 4 will have mod support on the console, the pipeline between the mod creators (on PC, no doubt) and the console is ill-defined, as far as I know (which I admit is not much, since I haven’t been keeping up on the situation). Also, I sometimes like to just put the training wheels on and go into “god mode” to just plow through content. I’m old-school like that; heavy on the old.
Beyond all of this, do I want to commit the massive amount of time that Fallout 4 will demand? My desire to spend a lot of time with a single game has been at an all time low, especially single player or solo-play games. I do want a game where I can kick back and just play through without all of the number crunching and inventory juggling that’s usually involved in MMOs or RPGs — and I know that Fallout 4 will have those elements in spades.
I suspect, then, that I’ll eventually pick it up because A) everyone else will be/will have, and B) I’m close enough to wanting it, and I’m not very good at abstaining from a purchase when the “nay” excuses seem to be logic-based (aka, the “why the hell not?” defense).