I was one of the types that badmouthed Fallout 4. Fanboyism aside, can you blame me?
Let’s look at the details – I held tightly the factors that most seemed to ride on about FO4 that didn’t quite sit with me right. First, it was the story – it felt like it was sold to me. Like the main audience who had played FO3 years before might have grown out of a story line that had the player chasing daddy and, with many of those original gamers now daddies themselves, what better plot than chasing a baby this time around?
After the story, there were parts of the game that were awesome, but added together, they all somehow subtracted from the whole for me. Yes, I was on the hype train. I had a ticket back in the Survivor 2299 days. I skipped work for a week when it was released. I took breaks specifically to watch the e3 conference release. I was all in.
When I played the game at length, 50 hours in, I just wasn’t as hooked as I was with FO3. Maybe it was the hype, maybe it was me as a more mature, expectant gamer. We’ve been spoiled by AAA titles in the last few years, but that’s a subject for another post altogether.
I came back to Fallout 4 not out of spite but out of necessity. The weather that comes with Canadian fall is cold and bitter, naturally driving us back into our gaming caves. I reinstalled Fallout 4 on a day off to give it another try, hoping that some late-game patch would correct my feelings toward the beautiful but lacking game I had remembered. Just then, it hit me – the Nexus!
Shortly after the game was installed, I loaded up the Nexus Mod Manager and pawed through some of the mods. I searched through curated lists from PC Gamer and IGN and bloated my browser with download requests. Among the top of the list are the two mods I’m most excited for – Alternate Start and True Storms.
I’ll start off by saying that if you don’t want to read anything else in this post, read this – reinstall Fallout 4 and load up some mods. It’s worth your time.
Alternate Start is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of putting you on pace with the main storyline, you can select one of a great handful of alternate personalities to play as. It always felt strange to me that a ‘regular guy’ like the main character was for me could become a murderous savage, just because he’s in the Commonwealth. I understand that he was placed in some pretty crazy circumstances, but it just never connected for me – like we were supposed to tow the line and be the ‘lost dad’ in the story. Alternate Start allows you to be Joe Raider or Jennifer Survivor, just a random person trying to make it in the commonwealth. Alongside survival mode, this works wonders to freshen up the game from a gaming point of view. It feels more like a survival sim and less like a sideways RPG.
True Storms is another self-explanitory mod. It redoes the weather system in a big way. Fantastic fog, rain and stormy effects give a brand new urgency to being outside. Alongside some other graphical mods to extend the life of the game against whatever the next gen brings along, I’m happy to explore the wasteland once again under cloudy, green overcast or bright and lonely sunny days.
All in all, FO4 is worth it with some mods to clear up what left you feeling stung, if you did, the first time around. Make sure to search out the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch too. It’s a shame that major development firms sometimes pull in millions while the community produces the fixes, but that’s certainly not always the case. Browse the Nexus and grab some mods, say goodbye to your Sunday afternoon and thank me later.