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By Einhander on Nov 23, 2015 at 4:01 PM
  1. Einhander

    C7 LEADER Minecraft Builders Steam Users

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    Fallout 4 has too many instances that completely rejects established lore or themes established in previous Fallout games. I attempt to present a very real down to earth review of the game without holding my punches to much.

    *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* If its red its a spoiler! You were warned!

    Ghouls.
    Ghouls in Fallout 4 are styled in a completely different way from their skin, tone, and eyes. Somehow the ghouls of the commonwealth have either survived relatively well or discovered a hidden cache of skin cream to limit the decay of their exterior appearance. The tone of their skin is also far to uniform for a ghoul simply because the epidermis needs to show signs of decay. Without this decay then there is no discernible way of distinguishing a ghoul from a wastelander with bad burns or scars.

    The eyes, the eyes are a new addition in Fallout 4 which completely changes the look of ghouls to some kind of soulless looking entity. The reason behind this “change” is beyond logic and reasoning as in previous installments of Fallout the eyes have been orange, yellow, and green while being mixed in with normal healthy human eye colors. Do the commonwealth ghouls suffer from some kind of case of extreme cataracts and are now blind? If so then how do they interact with the world so well if they are in fact blind?

    What happened to the dreaded Deathclaw?
    What happened to the Deathclaws? Seriously the player encounters them not even an hour into the game and... what? Deathclaws are no longer the giant scary spoken in hushed whispers demon beast of a creature that pierces people's hearts with fear. Now they are on par with the games mutated bears (No I won't call them that silly moniker they have) and barely put up any real fight. In previous Fallout titles Deathclaws would tear through power armor like aluminum foil and rip less armored individuals to sunder like tissue paper not to mention their incredibly high endurance to sustain such close combat fighting.

    Cats?
    Why are there cats? WHY are there CATS? WHY ARE THERE CATS?!
    Cats in the Fallout universe were eliminated from play a long time ago because of one simple fact, cats are easy food. It was established in previous games that since cats were docile and readily available that survivors of the great war devoured them for nourishment. There should not be any cats in the Fallout universe unless Vault-Tec made a vault dedicated to saving the species of cats. Sure vault dwellers could have taken their cats with them but the population of cats would be far to small to actually produce a viable population of them to survive. The only way I would accept a cat in the Fallout universe if it was mummified or fossilized. Why were cats even put into Fallout 4?!

    Synths!
    Why did this gimmick even exist? Why does this form of super tech exist in Fallout when everyone is struggling with remedial technologies? Why does this drive the plot? Why does this exist?
    I'll tell you why, because Bethesda said so... so now we have to deal with the garbage that it is. The only way I can see this being of valid use is if they piggy backed off of the Fallout Tactics events. But even then the leap of technology is far to great to allow such a super tech to exist. Sure you can go down the route that the Institute does magic with science but lets be honest the majority of us opted to completely ignore the stupidity of their introduction in Fallout 3. Also what purpose do they fulfill that a Mr. Handy or Sentry Bot can't do? I understand and love the fact that the Fallout universe is tied with science fiction but Fallout always throttled its silliness when it came to the main plot line. Synths would have been perfectly fine as a background oddity not a plot device.

    The Railroad of dumb
    The Railroad faction is by far one of the dumbest factions I have ever encountered and I have seen the Children of Atom. These robo loving civil rights activists really grind my gears as they are protecting wait for it “cookie cutter synthetic humans”. Sure the Synths can act human but they can't reproduce like we can. The synths which are built to complete the same tasks as a Mr. Handy are being protected by the bleeding heart activists. Considering how easy it was to discover their headquarters why didn't we find them already eradicated!? They aren't central to the plot and they serve no real purpose other than helping non human, human prefabs be human? Really what was the point of this if there was even one? To make player like myself feel bad for killing synths? To make me question my moral positioning? Because it completely failed to do that and only helped in frustrating me when this childish crap popped up in the game at all. Lets be honest how many of us killed them all on first contact and just analyzed the stupid chip themselves? I know I sure did and didn't even care about their now rotting or eroding corpses afterward.

    Children of Atom....again?
    Yup the D.C. cult of stupid made a return in Fallout 4 YAY. While I can sit here and postulate on how this is even possible I don't even care. I fail to see a reason on why they exist because I blew up megaton a long time ago. Sure the timeline may not reflect my evil action in Fallout 3 but lets be honest do they have a reason for being in Fallout 4 other than being a filler enemy and giving you two dialog snippets to find Virgil?

    Super Mutants
    Super mutants no longer look like super ghouls from Fallout 3 so that's a plus. But I have to gripe about the limited amount of intelligent super mutants. Strong and Virgil are it as far as I have seen and even then its very limited. What Fallout 3 and 4 did wrong for the super mutants was the fact that they failed to understand how super mutants fundamentally work. Typically super mutants work in a hierarchy with the most intelligent super mutant on top. These smart mutants would then dictate the course of action the others would take. Now I understand that is based on the masters design but it makes a lot of sense when controlling a large population. These super mutants which were created by the Institute? Just run around raiding and pillaging without any real purpose much like the Vault 87 failures. What I don't understand is why no one thought to teach them anything other than Rex Goodman. Considering the super mutants are capable of speech and learning, why didn't the Institute attempt to educate them? I can firmly believe that would have been a far better en devour then just dumping them outside. And since the Institute is no longer producing super mutants how are they repopulating their ranks? Is this a case of super mutants because super mutants?

    Respawn....
    Why is it that everything respawns?! It completely makes the decision of clearing a raider stronghold superfluous and breaks from the established finite quantity of life in the wasteland. If we eliminate the entire population of 50% of the map and has no consequences then what is the point? Where are these people coming from? Why did all the loot respawn? Sure you can say for replay ability of areas but then its just failing to correct the underlying issue of negative possibility space. Kill all the raiders and wait a couple of days and then its filled with feral ghouls, I could see that. Kill all the super mutants and a settlement pops up, I can see that. Kill all the raiders and raiders show back up, no I can't see that because I literally just killed those same people. That's the thing it respawns the same darn people that the player eliminated from play. Can no one really die?! Does this mean that the entire game is pointless because even if I kill bad guy “A” he will respawn and continue doing bad guy “A” things?

    V.A.T.S.
    I don't see any reason to discuss it simply because with the current perspective of the modern Fallout games there isn't a real point to it. Those individuals who are making waves about V.A.T.S. Are focusing on the wrong details as this mechanic is merely a gimmick for those who are nostalgic to the old ways the Fallout games used to play. To be honest I don't feel V.A.T.S. is even required to make a viable Fallout game and in my observation tends to be more of a limiting factor because it requires players to stop combat (or slow combat) to make the same shots they normally take. I can understand its valid uses from the console perspective as aiming with a controller is difficult when compared to the control of a mouse and keyboard. But with the current perspective of the game PC users really don't require it.

    Additional posts will continue the review.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Comments

Discussion in 'Video Game Reviews!' started by Einhander, Nov 23, 2015.

    1. Einhander
      Einhander
      Balancing. . .?
      Why is it all the modern Fallout games play like a bullet sponge experience?
      This is an obviously poor idea of scaling difficulty with levels. And with the sudden jump of power creep the player experiences with game start power armor I guess they felt compelled to balance the game like this. Instead of bullet sponge balancing why not make it easier for both the player and enemy to be killed? Granted power armor should stave off the chilling hand of the reaper for a bit but a .50 cal bullet to the head should not just stumble and opponent but shave their head clean off their shoulders.

      The ammunition of the weaponry really serves no distinctive options to the players as they all play the same. That's right 10mm plays the same as a .50 round to the head no matter the distance it seems. Even if one round does “slightly”more damage than the other it really doesn't show to be distinctive or useful. To be honest your better off just smacking things with a club than dealing with the useless munitions in game and their insane prices at the vendors (Even with max perks).


      Weapons or the lack of.
      Weapons and weapon systems in Fallout 4 deviate considerably from established norms of the Fallout universe. While I think the ability to completely modify a weapons platform is a good idea, some of the weapons themselves are presented as if they were thrown into the game without any real thought. Lets take the combat rifle as the example and see how it plays out. The combat rifle is completely new to Fallout yet attempts to establish itself as if it has been available in existing titles. The same goes for the new 1918 assault rifle variant as I have come to call it as the design goes well back in time long before the events of the great war. Lets be honest a jacketed barrel in this time line with this technology? What happened to all the other established assault rifles and “combat” guns from previous titles? Did they all somehow magically vanish and need to be replaced with what appears to be severely low tech counterparts?
      I would love to see more heavy weapon in the game as well different types of rifles and pistols. I would have loved to turn my 10mm pistol into a rifle as well. While this game promises customization in a large scale they ultimately lie as the number of combinations feel stagnant and mostly useless.

      Another point I want to make is the pipe guns or “zip guns” that find themselves in long sealed prewar facilities. In prewar facilities there should be no reason a bunch of shoddy firearms should be resting next to their prewar owners. Did everyone during the prewar time know how to make zip guns? And even if they did, what about all the military hardware that should be readily available to them? Considering that power armor is just as common as military facilities there should be vast stockpiles of militarized weaponry laying around in disrepair to be tinkered with. But it has all vanished and was replaced with firearms that fit better in a Serious Sam game. But I do think they serve a valid role in the game as zip guns would make a valid survival alternative when real weaponry is unavailable.


      Power Armor....
      Power armor in Fallout 4 completely defeats the purpose of power armor. In previous titles power armor was that high tier item players would have to fight to get so they could establish themselves as a truly powerful entity in the wasteland. With power armor being insanely common and readily available it completely defeats the purpose for which it was initially designed. Can anyone of us figure out if all the previous titles of Fallout gave the player a set of power armor from their respective games from the very beginning? I would have to say about 50% of the build up of the game would be completely wasted and pointless. The power armor also requires fuel cells now that only last a second compared to what they used to be. In all previous titles of Fallout the power cell that fueled the walking fortress that is power armor was stated to be able to run for hundreds of years under constant use. I sincerely doubt that 100% of the power cells at this time have been spent to such a degree that they only have .5% of their charge left. But I must admit the addition of being able to modify power armor components is actually a good and welcomed idea, but not at the expense of established facts from the previous games. I strongly believe that if power armor in Fallout 4 was harder to initially obtain it would make the experience of the armor far more satisfying rather than a cheat given to the players by the developers at the beginning of the game.


      Ammo?
      How is everyone shooting off rounds like crazy without establishing some way of producing them? Seriously were is all the ammo coming from? You can't say that it was from vast stockpiles of military surplus because we all know that is false considering the weapons that should be there are missing. And the fact that decades of constant warfare easily ran through any and all stockpiles of munitions long ago. Who is doing the reloading? Who is casting brass? Who is mixing loads and making primers? Who is making energy cells and charging them? We can't say the Gun Runners as they are in the west so what unknown entity is producing all this portable death?

      Did anyone notice how all the ammo is default cookie cutter rounds? Even in the first Fallout there were special munitions like the special flamer ammo or different rockets. But in Fallout 4 after Fallout:New Vegas there is no chance of finding specialized 10mm JHP or AP any were nor the ability to fabricate them yourself. This massive oversight completely destroys immersion to the point that players come to the realization that they aren't actually playing a game where the player's character is trying to survive. This of course factors into the strategy of combat for the game as players cannot control how their rounds may impact their enemy.

      I'm sure everyone noticed the borderlands mechanics leaking through the seems of this game. From “legendary” creatures to “buffed” weapons that completely detracts from Fallout game play. I honestly think that specialized ammunition was thrown out because they wanted to implement a rip off of another franchise. While unique enemies are common and difficult in previous Fallout titles, in Fallout 4 they are more of a nuisance and barely merit a cursory look while failing to produce any form of intrigue previous titles commanded. If I want to enjoy a game with gimmicky weapons and creatures I would play Borderlands not Fallout. In a game like Fallout logic is supposed to reign supreme not a gun that can magically make bullets explode or do superior damage to bugs.

      Standard armor customization was actually a fitting mechanic to implement into the game as it gave players more control over their character. The more control you give players over their character and surroundings the better the immersion will be. Detract from that and the wall of fantasy erodes like sugar cubes in the rain.
    2. Einhander
      Einhander
      Companions...
      What is wrong with all of the companions? None of them are relatively useful in any fashion and only serve to point out tin cans and stand in front of the player during combat or block the traversal of terrain. In the recent previous titles companions were not as remotely bad as this. While I played Fallout 4 I actually missed Boone, Veronica, or any other of the New Vegas companions because while they were not the “best” companions they were actually useful and engaging compared to the limp wet sock that is the Fallout 4 companions. If at anytime you were frustrated with a companion from Fallout 4 raise your hand.

      Settlements of stupidity.
      The settlements as you can surmise I did not find particularly engaging if at all. The settlements themselves revolve around busy work quests that don't ever seem to end and require the player to painstakingly search and recover what should be items completely useless to them. The vast amounts required to build and secure one settlement is understandable but when those settlers themselves never produce anything worthwhile it defeats the purpose. Honestly is there any purpose to supporting the lazy layabouts of the Fallout wasteland? The reason the Fallout universe is so enthralling is it allows players to break from the chains of monotony of just surviving in the world and take up a great cause to see though to the end. Sure its great that the players can directly influence how many couches and TV's the npcs get to use but building them do not influence the state of the world to a large degree. You get to ensure the survival of your settlers? You don't know and I don't know because the player never finds out whether or not all that effort really amounted to anything of value. All you get out of helping these misbegotten fools is the excess food and water they have? Honestly the settlements don't really provide anything of real or substantial use. Sure you can trade off the extra for some caps but the economy in the game is so broken that it isn't even worth the players time to do that as well. Do you get a pat on the head when you help people? No, you just don't get to deal with all the angry voiced dialog. Sure you can tell settlers to be vendors at one of the stands that you fronted caps for, but all that does is provide almost identical inventory other vendors have or less. I would like to think if this idea was given more time to be fleshed out it would have been wildly different and much more engaging. What if for example the player only had a handful of settlements and building them up actually changed the landscape of the wasteland. Those settlements could clear out and pacify the surrounding land making those areas much more safe to traverse. That at least would have an actual impact on the world as a whole instead of a collection of horrible settlement locations linked only by a unguarded caravan of supplies. Which surprisingly the caravans never get attacked by anything so the requirement of caravan guards is unneeded. Have I driven home the fact that interaction with these settlements is completely useless? The interface in which players “build” settlements leaves nothing to be desired as it is overly difficult to place structures or “props” often being hindered by the amount of space available at any given settlement. Anyone else notice how sometimes the limited space is also taken up by an invisible object you can never find?

      Did he just say ported to PC? Why yes he did.
      It is painfully obvious that Fallout 4 was made exclusively with consoles on their minds. How else do you get all these bizarre issues in the PC? I'm sure you console owners are wholeheartedly enjoying your slurry of Fallout 4 detritus but us PC users are not remotely as easy to excuse such lazy workmanship. I can understand taking a PC title and putting it on console but developing a PC title for the console is unforgivable due to the control required to play the game. Of course players like myself saw a massive hit to what players could actually influence and control because Bethesda opted to put consoles first.


      Modders delight
      I can see Fallout 4 being a modders delight simply to fix all the stuff that's jacked up. The only way I can see Fallout 4 getting back to its roots is if a dedicated modder decided to fix this mess. It really looks like they wanted modders to fix their mistakes because they chose not to do it themselves. I have to say that a developer relying on a modder to fix their game is unsavory and embarrassing. I'm not saying modding is a negative activity but a developer releasing a game that requires modder help to fix all of its broken content and mistakes is unforgivable. Having said that, modders please help and fix this pool of detritus because I don't believe they are going to.
      (Please fix the console port crap on the pc version, that crap is annoying and useless to us. And if you could just do a total conversion that actually makes the game consistent that would be great.)


      Protagonist with a voice...
      Fallout 4 is the first Fallout title to incorporate a voiced male/female protagonist and has created a bit of a schism in how the game is received. To be frank I can't see any reason to put the effort in to voice a character that the player should wholeheartedly be able to use as a surrogate as themselves. The reason I say this is because in the previous installments of Fallout the “character” never required such a gimmick to forward progress or get the players to feel and rationalize the data on the screen.

      In the previous games was the impact of your choices greater or less when your character remained silent?
      Did you find yourself distracted by the drivel your now voiced character was drooling out?

      Coupled with the fact that players have no idea what their character is actually going to say from the options presented and the limited dialog choices that severely limits game play for what? To cater to some overly vocal individuals who wanted to hear what their character sounded like? If that is all it takes to get Bethesda to change an established theme in a game maybe people like myself should write a bunch of strongly worded letters to forward progress in the right direction. But lets be honest here, while this incorporation is interesting at first the gimmick wears thin very quickly and suddenly the player finds themselves waiting for their character to finish their dialog before continuing a discussion with the npc they are interacting with. Why did they purposely incorporate an obvious time wasting mechanic that serves to only distance players from their character?
    3. Einhander
      Einhander
      Oh god the negative possibility space is growing and it wont stop!
      Surprisingly a lot of people have failed to identify all the areas that fail to have some form of interaction while others have found literally all of it. There are an uncountable amount of areas in this game that just fail to provide closure, or reward. Lets take Piper as a quick example who was very interested in the player characters origins. What happens if you take her to Vault 111? Nothing, no dialog at all. What about the Salem Witch Museum? You return the Deathclaw egg back to its nest... and then what? Nothing, not even a simple dialog to tell the player they did something. Fallout 4 doesn't expect players to connect dots from characters, quests, dialog, and even terrain. There is absolutely no reward in exploring areas you thought the developers didn't think of because well they just didn't. So don't be surprised when you think your being cunning to find it all backfire on you because the developers couldn't be bothered.


      The story...?
      Fallout 4 chases Fallout 3's tail by following the same failed story line idea that is “family”. How do you get players to unconditionally bond with characters presented in game? Not the way Bethesda does it because their idea of “working” doesn't at all. The connection needs to be forged though game play and influenced by the world as a whole. The best way to create such a bond is by presenting a mutual relationship that the two characters (the player and npc) can grow together on.

      Lets take Boone from Fallout: New Vegas and the player's character. At first many players were apprehensive at first but once they realized that the character Boone was a competent individual with goals and principles of their own, they grew to understand him. The back and forth of the individuals helped form a foil that could be understood by players and allowed players to eventually want to help Boone eliminate the Legion and conduct various character quests around Boone as a character.

      What would be a viable way to present the Fallout 4 story line that allowed such a bond? Let the player interact with the character in question for a good while so that when they disappear their presence would actually be missed by the player without it being forced onto them. Let me map out a scenario for you: The player and the character start out the game and mutually rely on each other for various tasks. Over time the two identify that their competent presence enhances the other. Suddenly you have two characters that foil each other and this allows a bond to begin forming. Next you test the bond of the characters, if the bond breaks you ditch the story line ahead and go in another direction. If the bond doesn't break then you can continue down the path initially projected.

      Mind you this is a very simple outline but the formula works extremely well when trying to get players to actually care about a character. If you don't take the time to establish a solid bond then there isn't any point in accounting for one.
      But, and this is a big but; none of this should even matter. Fallout doesn't work at all with a family driven plot because when family is included suddenly you have to many variables to account for.

      Lets take the plot structure from previous Fallout titles and see how they drove the plot.
      Fallout 1: get water chip, return water chip, kill mutant factory, kill master done.
      Fallout 2: get G.E.C.K., return G.E.C.K., discover Enclave outpost, destroy Enclave oil rig done. Fallout Tactics: complete missions to pacify region, learn of the calculator and complete missions to secure positions and resources, kill calculator done.

      At any point in time of those plots did anyone see the incorporation of family or a story line that revolved around finding only one character? A very good reason for this is the fact that “family” matters are on the micro scale of the Fallout universe. Fallout 3 and 4 rely on a story line in the micro realm where the older and better tested Fallout's opted for the macro approach. It is this fact that prevents the modern Fallout's from amounting to any real form of a climax or resolution.

      Fallout 3 and 4: find family do busy work and done. Nothing in the world really is effected or changes the long term variables outside of their natural course. Its a lot like if in the first Fallout the master didn't exist and the player character was on just the journey to find the water chip. Nothing is changed in the wasteland that wouldn't have happened naturally and the story is a bust.


      *SPOILER* *SPOILER* *SPOILER*
      Now we have the “twist” In Fallout 4 your child is shown to you and is revealed to be a synth and your actual child is a 60 year old man with no agenda other than conducting science. Then the player is forced to make a choice by siding with 1 of the factions to force the conclusion of what? None of the conclusions amount to anything of real value or change other than one faction is eliminated from the region. All of which would have easily resolved itself over time without the players characters input or actions. Sure the player might be able to influence characters in the world in the micro level but that won't effect the world landscape that is Fallout as a whole.


      I honestly feel that Bethesda is too afraid of actually writing a good plot line for some unknown reason or they could just honestly be hopelessly bad at writing all together. If tasked with the option of writing a Fallout story line I can promise a majority of fans could come up with far better stories and resolutions than what is provided in the modern Fallout games.


      What do I think would have made the story better in Fallout 4? First throw out the current story line and replace it with something that would actually influence the whole of the Fallout world. Lets say on the east coast a massive swath of land is being subjugated by a malicious raider warlord and the entire initial purpose for the player is to hunt and kill this foe. The player could start out in a small settlement at the start of the game and just play they game and during the end of a quest they return to their village to find it destroyed. Then after knocking over strongholds and fortresses they finally meet the warlord and information is revealed to the player that the warlord wasn't the big bad guy of the wastes but was actually holding off something far more evil and without the warlord and its defenses which the player just knocked over, nothing can stop it from terrorizing the wasteland. Then the player has to prepare for its arrival (this allows the incorporation of the silly settlement mechanic) and get the bickering settlements to unite to eliminate this massive threat. Then once the player manages to get or force peace on the settlements, the evil thing that has only been hinted at finally reveals itself and the player must contend with that or life as they know it in the Fallout wasteland is gone forever. Doesn't that sound more interesting than chasing your missing kid around the wasteland like a bad parent. Writing a compelling story line or outline of one is simple, for unknown reasons Bethesda felt compelled to utilize a story that players cannot connect with that doesn't advance the Fallout established motif.


      To be absolutely honest this game had more in common with Command & Conquer 4 or Ultima 9. As in it is a franchise killer.
    4. CoZmicShReddeR
      CoZmicShReddeR
      Wow execellent review!
    5. THEDARK1
      THEDARK1
      I've got a PIP BOY yea babyies
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