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Bethesda, Bethesda never changes

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The next-gen update to Fallout 4 that was linked to the premiere of the Fallout TV series was quite a surprise for the players. I mean, Bethesda does not have a great track record when it comes to fixing or improving their titles after they are published. But as they say in the gaming universe, "Bethesda, Bethesda never changes".

Bethesda, Bethesda never changes

Nine years since the premiere, Fallout 4 was upgraded by Bethesda, which was quite shocking news. It was two years after the next-gen update was announced, but in the Bethesda calendar, two years is basically nothing. Perhaps it was postponed so the update would be linked to the TV series, but the fact the Bethesda published the update was surprising enough.

First of all, the next-gen update is dedicated mostly to the console users, but even the PC update is almost 15GB, which sounded promising. And after downloading it all, you will be welcomed with the starting sequence that has slightly improved graphics, which is a nice touch. Once you load your save you will be welcomed with numerous new quests to follow, which is also a nice touch, but the rest of the time you will spend on asking the same question - "it this new?". Or most likely one of those questions: "was it like that before?", "was this looking like that before?", "why I can’t tell what has changed?".

I have spent about an hour in the game just looking around and asking myself, is it me or, apart from the quests, nothing has changed? And looks like I was not the only one because quite a few PC gamers were asking the same question - what exactly was in that 15GB because I can’t really tell the difference. I guess some of the environment effects were improved (with emphasis on "I guess"), perhaps I’m just not that bright and can’t tell the difference, but with a gun put to my head I could not tell what had changed after the update.

Then I reviewed the quests and... Well, let me put it this way: I just started to replay the game, I’m still on a low level, so chasing after some psycho in the middle of nowhere did not sound like a good idea. Inspect some vault? Nah, not on my level. Check something on the other side of the map? Nope, not on my current level. Follow the mysterious signal... That sounds interesting, but raises an even more interesting question: how do I know the signal is mysterious? What is so mysterious about it? Well, I’m on a low level, so better let it be mysterious for a while. So, like many things in life, it’s nice that the new quests are there, but I have no real use for them right now.

And while wandering around and minding my own business, I stumbled upon a guy in the middle of nowhere, wearing a power armor, so had to kill him and that started a thing that I did not want to start. Spoiler alert - The Enclave will now look for me because I obtained the power armor of that guy. Actually, I picked up the parts and left them in my gas station base because I very rarely use power armors, but for some reason the Enclave marked me and I stumbled upon an ambush with more guys in power armors, which is way above my current level of what I can handle. Such fun! How do they know I have the power armor since I never even wore it? If they can set up an ambush, why can’t they just attack the gas station and take it? I think it is easier to track down a piece of hardware (I assume they have some sort of tracking devices) than send lots of people on a chance meeting in the middle of nowhere.

But why do I expect Fallout 4 to make sense? Most of the game lore makes no real sense, the TV series made it all even less probable, so of course they slapped a piece of an update on their game that makes even less sense than the original idea. I mean, a simple question breaks the whole thing apart - what do deathclaws eat? How they managed to survive 200 years when there is very little meat available anywhere in the area? How every single car was destroyed, yet the flying robots and machine gun turrets have infinite energy?

Also, the next-gen update, as gamers report, broke their save files if they were using mods, some of the new quests provide you with equipment that is broken (or have resources missing in game files), the support for ultra-wide monitors does not really work, the high FPS rates are still unobtainable, there are no visible graphical improvements, so... what the heck was in those 15GB? To be fair, they managed to fix one bug (literally ONE) regarding settlements, so not bad after 9 years since the premiere... No wonder one of the most searched mods for Fallout 4 is one that would reverse the next-gen update.

All of this reminds me of a scene in an old British sitcom "Are you being served?", which took place in a department store and in one of the episodes there was a renovation going on that disrupted everything for a while and when they finally revealed effect of that renovation a following dialogue took place:
employee: - But... it looks exactly the same as before!
store owner: - Yes, but it’s all new wood!

"Bethesda, Bethesda never changes".


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