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Opinion: Bethesda Dropped The Ball When It Comes To Fallout 4

Posted on April 23, 2017 by Broken Joysticks

Fallout 4 Nuke

Guest Editorial By: Azzuen O’Connor

Back in the winter of 2015 Bethesda released their sprawling open world RPG, Fallout 4 to critical and commercial success. Azzuen O’Connor discovered the series in the past couple of years and after playing through the likes of Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas and catching up on Bethesda’s latest has quite a few critiques about the game. Read on to find out about her journey through the world of Fallout and how the removal of item repair, some narrative flaws and an overabundance of power armor show just how far Bethesda dropped the ball with Fallout 4.

War, War Never Changes

When I first heard Ron Perlman speak these words when booting up Fallout: New Vegas on my Partner’s Xbox 360 I was hooked. Yes, the voice acting for Mister House was bad. But to be fair this was one of my first times trying out a AAA game title in a very long time. And you know what? I LOVED IT. The characters were memorable and you had a clear final objective – find out who shot you, get revenge on the man in the checkered suit and explore your own story along the way.

(Image source Youtube.com)

Now, this may seem odd, but I’ve always enjoyed large scale games that have featured weapon durability – allowing you to repair and maintain your weapons, armor, and equipment. It greatly adds to Fallout’s sense of immersion, allowing me to stay in the game’s world. Yes, I know I’m playing on my couch in my apartment, but still, just like in real life your weapons won’t always be in perfect condition all day every day. You need to clean them, fix them and maintain them.

Hyped To Finally Explore The Wastes On My Own PC

Now like many Fallout fans and my friends I was HYPED for Fallout 4. I thought this was going to be the best damn game out there. Now I did buy the game for myself eventually on the advice of my brother that Amazon was having a New Year’s sale.

I was so excited to start to play it but soon after opening the package, I found out that the little card that came with the disc was a retail key for steam. I nearly cried at the mandatory 40GB install. This was the first time in my 26 years of living I saw a Triple-A game being maxed out on a PC I owned, not on loan, not “borrowing a friend’s pc for a bit. “No, I owned it this was my baby to do with as I please.” I booted it up and was amazed that MY PC could run Fallout on ultra – albeit slightly disappointed they didn’t bring back Ron Perlman for the voiceover for the iconic introductions that I had grown to love since discovering the Fallout series.

Fallout 4 Modding

Modding weapons in Fallout 4 just like you can mod your own PC!  (Image credit: Youtube.com)

I started my adventure and was mildly shocked you started off in a pre- war setting. No worries after a quick Skype call with a friend and some advice from my boyfriend I worked out my stat points. Later on in the story, after I ‘woke up’ from cryosleep and got my first weapon (I think I got the baton first then the good old trusty 10mm), it was time to begin exploring the world, which would be made ever more interesting with no official governing body controlling the post-apocalyptic United States.  I figured “meh explore some chat with people loot kill etc.” My first encounter involved a few really nasty bugs (the software kind, not radroaches) – some floor tiles weren’t there, causing me to get stuck in odd areas a few times. But still, I made it into my old town where I met good old Codsworth. After some conversation with the robotic butler, I was told: “go forth and find the Minute Men”.

Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? (Image credit: Youtube.com)

I also first met the most iconic dog in recent memory, Dogmeat. Now I must say I do enjoy the fact that Dogmeat is not just a silly looking face, he can attack and he can carry stuff. Awesome! So, I go forth and find the Minutemen where they’re being attacked by raiders, standard RPG cannon fodder. Kill them rescue the good guys be the hero you know the drill by now. So afterwards I find out we’re stuck here because of one big mean and ugly Deathclaw. “Okay” I thought to myself “this is just going to be one big ugly dude kill him but find out he’s very nerfed you just started, after all, Bethesda usually doesn’t throw you to the wolves so fast.” NO you get power armor, from the get go? This is odd… I thought in most previous iterations of Fallout you worked your ass off to just get a glorified suit of medieval plate armor, maybe they’re giving you the old “here have this taste of power for mere moments before we whisk it away from you.” Nope, that was yours to keep and do your thing with.

How Far Did They Drop The Ball?

Previous Fallout games encouraged you to explore, to do your own thing and to try different types of character builds. The issue was, through, in my eyes, Fallout 4 HEVELY encouraged you to go with the power armor – even so far as providing you a functional power armor set early in the campaign. Another glaring issue is that the main campaign revolves around your character’s quest to save Shawn, your kid. But yet you didn’t really develop a connection with him. You saw him for maybe at most two minutes in the pre-war introduction sequence.

This is when I asked myself: “But why do I need to save Shaun?”

To which the game’s narrative responds:  “Well, he’s your kid.”

Finally, I ask myself (and by extension the game): “Kay. But I didn’t really know him, shouldn’t I focus more on finding out who killed my wife?”

I get where they were going with all of this, Bethesda wants the narrative to appeal to your parental instincts to save your child. Your child is the future, in contrast, your wife is dead, game over, period end of statement.

So many power armor suits (Image source gosunoob.com)

Coming back to the power armor there are more suits of power armor that are readily found throughout the Wastes. This kind of pushes your play-style towards power armor rather than the number of other options available. In previous entries I liked having to repair my items, needing to maintain them in the best possible condition, to make them as effective as possible. In my opinion, Bethesda focused more on making Fallout 4 an FPS-RPG (First Person Shooter Role Playing Game) or to be more specific, an FPS with RPG-like elements. They seemed to want you to focus more on the main quest to find Shaun, to be amazed at the shiny power armor and let me not forget to mention the settlement system where you build up your various bases and maintain them. With settlements, you need to populate them with NPC characters whose only purpose is to be maintained and possibly give you the odd uncommon item.

Fallout 4 Perk Screen

Pick your favorite perk in Fallout 4’s Perk Screen (Image source: Youtube.com)

I mean sure all of this can get annoying at times, but when the developers remove key mechanics from the game at start; then modders step in and fix things up. Why did we all start to play video games? Just to have fun and get the best possible score? Or to get that one super rare item before any of your other friends did?  Was it to feel a deep sense of immersion in impossible worlds? So, how did Bethesda drop the ball on Fallout 4? A faltering narrative that focuses on the wrong major hook, giving players the power armor too soon,  forgettable settlements system and the removal of the durability system show that Bethesda dropped the ball pretty far on Fallout 4.


Bethesda Reveals Hi Res Texture Pack For Fallout 4, Lists Unannounced AMD Graphics Card In Requirements

Posted on January 30, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bethesda has announced that both a high resolution texture pack for Fallout 4 on PC and support for the PlayStation Pro will be coming next week to the Boston wastes. The most interesting thing from their announcement has actually been pulled – the recommended requirement of a AMD 490 graphics card , a card which up as of right now does not exist.

Perhaps the 490 listing was an error, or perhaps it really was a slip-up as AMD has not launched a new GPU since this past summer when they released the RX 480,  470 and 460. To utilize the high resolution texture pack PC players will have to make sure they have an addition 58 GBs of available storage – that is larger than the base installation of the game!

Here is how Bethesda described the new high res pack:

“We’re excited to announce the release of the game’s High-Resolution Texture Pack. Consider this free download a love letter to our amazing PC fans that have supported us – not just with Fallout 4, but across multiple decades and games.”

Kotaku was able to copy the minimum requirements listing the unannounced AMD card before the page was changed. Interestingly neither set of requirements recommend that you use an AMD CPU for playing with the high resolution pack, again not surprising since the Ryzen line of processes is expected to be released next month and the aging Bulldozer successors probably aren’t up to the task.

Delisted Minimum Specs:

  • Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • Intel Core i7-5820K or better
  • GTX 1080 8GB/AMD Radeon RX 490 8GB
  • 8GB+ Ram

Also coming next week will be added mod support for PlayStation 4, with more information on that coming soon, as well as PlayStation 4 Pro support that adds much requested features like enhanced draw distance.

Here’s Bethesda’s description of the PlayStation 4 Pro support including features:

Beginning next week, Fallout 4’s Update 1.9 on PlayStation 4 adds support for the power of the PlayStation 4 Pro console. The update provides enhanced lighting and graphic features, including:

  • Native 1440p resolution
  • Enhanced draw distance for trees, grass, objects and NPCs
  • Enhanced Godray effects”



Nuka-World Official Trailer Released Today

Posted on August 15, 2016 by Les Major

Nuka-World DLC

On August 30th, Fallout 4 fans will get to take on last summer vacation before we get into September. Bethesda Softworks’s last DLC entry in the post apocalyptic RPG adventure takes players to a theme park based on the Nuka Cola brand! Nuka-World seems to be a Disney parody sort of park with quite a lot to do. I mean, there’s even a Space Mountain like ride! Plus there’s Skee ball! Check out the trailer below for the latest on this new location being added to the game.

I have to give Bethesda credit. In a world where there are a ton of locations and side quests to explore, they do keep DLC coming that does encourage players to diverge off the beaten path for awhile and seek out something new.


Parker Quinn’s Charge Card Actually Has A Use In Fallout 4’s New DLC

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

When Fallout 4 launched last November players quickly came across an NPC named Parker Quinn who offered to sell the player a “charge card” in exchange for caps. That is all well & good but the damn thing didn’t really do much, as one of our former editor’s found out in his lengthy impressions of the game.

As Kotaku pointed out on their YouTube channel – Bethesda’s open world add-on to Fallout 4, Far Harbor contains a hidden quest that is only available if you in possession of Parker Quinn’s charge card.

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Fallout 4 DLC detailed!

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Tamsin Heineman


Bethesda revealed today on their official site details on the upcoming expansion packs for Fallout 4.  The first DLC, titled “Automatron” arriving at $9.99 USD offers a new story line and the ability to build and repair your own robotic companions just as you would with a set of power armor. Here’s the official description. “The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions. Choose from hundreds of mods; mixing limbs, armor, abilities, and weapons like the all-new lightning chain gun. Even customize their paint schemes and choose their voices!”

The second bit of DLC is named “Wasteland Workshop” coming in at a mere $4.99 USD. This DLC adds a slew of new build-able items to your settlement workshop as well as cool new “cages” that allow you to trap everything from raiders to deathclaws. Build your own arena! Here’s the official description. “With the Wasteland Workshop, design and set cages to capture live creatures – from raiders to Deathclaws! Tame them or have them face off in battle, even against your fellow settlers. The Wasteland Workshop also includes a suite of new design options for your settlements like nixie tube lighting, letter kits, taxidermy and more!”

The third and most meaty DLC so far is “Far Harbor” listed at $24.99 USD.  A case comes in at the Valentine detective agency and of course your character has to check it out for themselves. The DLC leads you on a quest to find some woman among an island full of synthetics named “Far Harbor” off the coast of Maine. The official description is as thus. “A new case from Valentine’s Detective Agency leads you on a search for a young woman and a secret colony of synths. Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world. Navigate through the growing conflict between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Will you work towards bringing peace to Far Harbor, and at what cost? Far Harbor features the largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created, filled with new faction quests, settlements, lethal creatures and dungeons. Become more powerful with new, higher-level armor and weapons. The choices are all yours.”

It is of note that the season pass will increase in price from the current $29.99 to $49.99 USD on March 1, 2016. Of course if you have already purchased the season pass for $29.99 nothing changes.

All of it looks very exciting and I certainly hope they offer all the fans have been asking for, which looks like it might be the case.


Fallout 4 DLC Confirmed For Near Future

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

Fallout 4 DLC

Today Bethesda took to twitter to let us know Fallout 4 DLC is in the pipelines. While this is not a major surprise to anyone, it is still interesting to hear about it now after a relatively long period of time since release. Fallout 4 has been out for three months now and is still waiting for it’s first major piece of DLC to be officially announced. By comparison, Fallout 3’s Operation Anchorage was released only about two months after the game’s release. It is unknown whether the longer wait this time around has to do with more ambitious plans for the DLC , or other factors.

In a second tweet Bethesda also talked about an overhaul to survival mode.  No specifics were given other than that it would involve “food, sleep, diseases, danger and more”. As of time of writing, it is not known exactly how much worse this overhaul will be than the myriad of mods that add the same features.


Kenny’s Fallout 4 Log – Almost Two Months

Posted on January 6, 2016 by Kenny Keelan


It’s about five or six days short of two months owning the game and I’ve still been playing it, off and on, to pass the time when I’m bored with other games. There’s always downtime with Final Fantasy XIV, too, as my server has some pretty well defined times when it’s better off you just log off if you don’t want to solo quest. I’ve found that in playing it for as long as I have, I’ve pretty much done all that I can do, short of starting again or waiting until Bethesda patches the multitude of issues the game has, so I really have to prioritize what I do with my first playthrough character if I don’t want to play the waiting game with Bethesda: I’ve turned my attention to the fact that I really am only 11 trophies away from getting my very first platinum trophy and that will be my next goal for this game before I can dedicate to a new playthrough when Bethesda decides to really fix this game.

You have to understand, though, that wanting to go platinum for a game is kind of an unusual thing for me: I play for the fun of it and trophies, to me, are just a way to show off. I’m not interested in showing off my accomplishments in that way and if I want to show you how good I am, what I have in-game, or how far I’ve gotten, I’d rather just stream and show everyone, first-hand. Getting a platinum trophy, to me, in this game, would be like getting all the items in the game, bringing them to life, and showing them on a shelf – it’s not a point of arrogance but rather a kind of collector’s pride; a measure of how much I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the game. I love playing Fallout 4 but there’s been some serious thorns in my side and they’ll continue to be so long as I’m playing with this one character.Read More


UK Sales Charts For The Week of Jan 2nd Dominated By Black Ops III

Posted on January 4, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Black Ops III

Our first games sales numbers to include the post holiday discount period have arrived thanks to the weekly UK software charts. Not surprising several AAA franchise compose the top ten including EA’s Star Wars Battlefront, Activision’s Call of Duty and Bethesda softwork’s Fallout 4.

What is a little surprising is to see Just Cause 3 crack into the top ten – currently occupying the 8th place. Considering that game was released so late in the pre-holiday season (early December) it is encouraging to see it ahead of Forza Motorsport 6 and just behind the latest Assassin’s Creed.

Here are top ten titles from the UK for the week ending Jan 2nd:

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BrokenCast Episode #8: Game of the Year 2015

Posted on December 21, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

It’s that time of the year – the time when we reflect on all of the great games that have been released over the last twelve months. The year kicked off with major releases like The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne. By mid-year we saw the release of Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm and CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. By the end of the year we finally got several games that fans have been waiting years for – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and almost out of nowhere Bethesda’s Fallout 4.

Joining the discussion for our last podcast of the year is:

Rae Michelle Richards on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/Kitsune86
Fionna Fox on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/Just_Fionna
Renee Gittins On Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/RikuKat
Kenny Keelan On Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/ourwindsong

We’ll be back with more podcasts in the new year!


Underrail leaves Early Access next week

Posted on December 13, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

Disappointed by Fallout 4? I cant imagine why, but if you are and your jonesing for something that resembles old school fall out you might want to check out Underrail. The isometric RPG feel extremely similar to early fallout titles, mixed in with the tough and gritty world of Metro 2033. The game has a bit of sordid history first appearing over three years ago and since then appearing and reappearing in and out of early access and the media. Now the game will officially leave early access on December the 18th. The game is currently on steam, and its basically free at $9.99 but there is speculation that the price may go up when full release comes around.

check out the launch trailer right here

[youtube id=h-kefd0cFWs]



BrokenCast Episode #7 – The FPS Rundown

Posted on December 12, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Broken Cast is back once again with Episode 7 –The FPS Rundown. This week on the show we talk about three major First Person Shooters that have all hit the market or had closed betas in the last few weeks.

First up we venture through the wastes with Fallout 4, quite a few people on our staff have been playing the game since it was released a month ago and we recount our early hours exploring the burnt out city of Boston. If you haven’t heard of it by now, Fallout 4 is one hell of a game.

Next up we talk about the recent Overwatch Weekend Stress Test. Our EIC absolutely loved her time with the game enough that she went out and pre-purchased the game. Expect lots of gushing about the beta version of the game and hopes of the future.

Last up we talk about Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Our reviewer, Erika, gives us her impressions of the game.

You can find our podcast on Itunes or on Soundcloud.

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Kenny’s Fallout 4 Log – One Month

Posted on December 11, 2015 by Kenny Keelan


Masters of the Commonwealth

December 11th, 2015

Oh, buddy, I’ve seen some things. I’ve finally gotten through the story content and a majority of the side content that’s presently available and reachable that has been found. I’ve seen references to Cthulu mythology, I’ve battled giants by the handful, I’ve established enough settlements to say I hold command over a small army, I’ve mastered enough of the game to finally understand is actually bugged and what is intended without needing to be told, I’m one of those that now feels confident enough to walk around in aesthetic armor – the Silver Shroud outfit, if you’re wondering – and I think I’ve finally got Fallout 4 underneath my heel.

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The PIPBOY edition of Fall Out 4 is back get yours now!!!!!

Posted on December 5, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

Well, it was only a matter of time, the quickly sold out and supposodly limited pipboy edition of fallout 4 has made a re-appearance on amazon.com it hasnt even changed prices! You can get your hands on that sweet pipboy action for 120$ and half that cost is just the game! If you havent checked it out before check out the Youtuber Firefox unboxing one of these bad boys, and finding its greatest flaw

[youtube id=V7yq5IWidTw]

Head on over to Amazon right now to get yours, im sure they wont last long.



Kenny’s Fallout 4 Log – Day 14

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Kenny Keelan

Fallout 4 Vault Boy Gunner

The Obsession Sets In

November 25th, 2015

It’s starting to happen and I can slowly feel it: even though I know there’s better games out there, much less in my PlayStation 4 collection, alone, I find myself coming back to Fallout 4 every single time. There are days where, in spite of the fact that there is an autosave and dedicated saving features, I simply refuse to turn the game off. These are all signs that this game has its hooks in me, hardcore: kind of like McDonald’s, you know there’s better food out there and you’d enjoy it much, much more, you find yourself hankering for their food every so often in spite of that. This game’s like a drug. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, or not, because I’m still scared of doing certain things due to glitches that haven’t been addressed, but I keep going anyway.

Fallout 4 Perception Shot

“This Gun is the Best Gun Ever.”

So, I have to admit that building settlements and modifying weapons and armor are probably two of the best parts of this game, mostly because the materials, weapons, and armor you find out on your own are… how to put this… crap. However, though, in being rather obsessive about collecting legendary weapons and armor, I’ve been able to find and modify my daily drivers: a legendary shotgun whose bullets explode on impact, doing 15 points of AOE damage, modified to the point where it’s doing 139 base damage, has a fire rate of 181, a range of 53, and accuracy of 42, meaning this bad boy can tear up a close range battle in no time, flat; a legendary sniper rifle that boosts base damage by 25%, with a base damage of 102, a fire rate of 3, a range of 197, and an accuracy of 98, meaning unprotected and unwary enemies may be dead before they even see me; and, finally, almost a full set – I’m only missing the right arm piece – of Heavy Combat Armor modified to be deep pocketed and have the BOS paint for added radiation protection. I’ve gotten rather crazy about my modifications and, as perks allow, things will only get better. I mean, I can even use this shotgun in long range situations as each bearing in the shotgun shell explodes on impact, meaning that even if you miss by a fairly large margin, you would still do some nice damage, especially if there’s explosive barrels in the vicinity. I am blowing through the game now and taking names now that I’ve modded that shotgun.

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Does AMD’s Crimson Driver Suite Really Increase Performance By 20%?

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

As we reported earlier this week AMD has released an elaborate overhaul of both it’s Windows 10 / 8 / 7 drivers for AMD Radeon Cards that support the Graphics Card Next (GCN) architecture. In the interest of performance, I’ve decided to test the performance of the last AMD Catalyst Software / Driver versus the newly released AMD Crimson. Check out my testing methodology, suite of games and results after the jump!Read More


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