Bethesda’s Fallout 4: A Collection of Essays, Part 0.5


Bethesda’s Fallout 4 was released November 10, 2015, with much praise from gamers and critics; despite some fans being unhappy with the player's ability to "speak". However, I did not experience this masterpiece from Bethesda Softworks until the winter and spring of 2019. In fairness, my experience with the aforementioned Fallout 4 was prolonged because from April to June of 2019, I was absent from work due to sustaining a physical injury, (not work related). Keeping that in mind, I had a large amount of extra time on my hands and ended up spending hours playing this role playing video game for several months. Despite sustaining a physical injury, my biggest issue was the effect the injury had on my mental health; which still continues at the time of writing this collection of essays. Although I am healthy, and no longer experience pain, sustaining a broken ankle and torn ligaments allowed me to change my outlook on life for the better. Furthermore, the very much living world of Fallout 4 was able to capture my time and attention, which helped me manage my own mental health issues during that time period in my life. I was going through a lot emotionally, and Fallout played a role in helping me overcome my frustration.

According to Wikipedia.org, (article on Fallout 4), “Fallout 4 received positive reviews from critics with many praising the world depth, player freedom, overall amount of content, crafting, and soundtrack.” With respect of this statement praising 2015’s Fallout 4, I was consumed by the narrative Todd Howard and his friends at Bethesda conveyed to us players. I fell in love with characters that did not exist in the real world, I just fell in love with the depth and complicated nature in which each character was portrayed throughout the course of the game's narrative. For instance, the player’s choices shapes the world around them. When the player makes specific decisions, each character will respond differently based on context and even timing of that decision. The character of Cait was complicated, and I was drawn to her because of her equally complicated story.

Depending on the player’s choices, Cait’s personality changes throughout the game and this demonstrates how people must make decisions in life to ensure their best future; while essentially turning their life around, (I will specifically talk about Cait throughout this essay collection). Fallout 4 offers a large amount of player experiences and choices, such that I have not even experienced everything the game has to offer , (which is never the same event twice). Keep in mind, I have played fourteen days’ worth of gameplay while I was injured, and there are still locations within the game’s world, (The Commonwealth) that I have not explored due to the size of the in-game map. In some cases players did not enjoy this game. However, it was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have had since I started gaming in 2003. Despite the dark atmosphere surrounding the concept of “nuclear fallout”, getting lost in a world constructed by Bethesda helped me with my own real world anxiety and depression. As a man with an English degree, there are a vast majority of narrative motifs and plot devices that allowed me to enjoy the game even further. Thus, the publication of this three-essay collection will discuss aspects of 2015’s Fallout 4 that caught my attention the most.

Thank you for taking the time to read the preliminary notes of this essay collection. Stay tuned, "Part One: Good Neighbor, the Story of Cait and How She Redeems Herself" will be published August 26, 2020.

(c) The Modernist Son, 2020.

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