The Fallout franchise has always had various factions within the game that squabble with each other, leaving you, the player, to decide which ones you favor and which ones you hate, especially since you invariably end up running every single one of them. This is a Bethesda thing, the same is true of the Elder Scrolls series, where you wind up leading every group in the world, even if they all hate each other.
Usually though, it isn’t hard to decide which factions you like and which ones you hate. That just wasn’t the case this time.The problem is that none of the factions really ended up mattering to me. The Brotherhood of Steel, past a couple of mission lines, never really meant much in the game. Oh sure, you’d see some Vertibirds flying around, you’d see some Knights and Paladins doing their own thing, but I never felt like part of the group. Then you get the Minutemen. Sure, they have a decent enough mission, to protect the people of the Commonwealth, but Preston was such a thorough douchebag with all of the idiotic missions, I just wanted to beat his head in most of the time. The Railroad also had a decent enough mission, to smuggle human Synths out of the Commonwealth, but because none of the other factions, except maybe the Institute, directly or even indirectly opposed that mission, there was no real reason why siding with them was all that important to me. The only faction that I ever felt any empathy toward was the Institute, and only because they were the only group dedicated to restoring technology to the wasteland, which I view as a positive thing. I never got the paranoia of hating Synths, especially since robots are everywhere and are a normal part of life. You got some paranoid stories about Synths gone wrong, but you never actually saw that happen in the game.
It would be one thing if the factions all had diametrically opposed goals, say if the Railroad wanted to save the Synths and the Minutemen wanted to wipe them out. You’d have to choose one because the two groups cannot coexist. But as it stood, I found nothing particularly compelling about any of the groups and would have been perfectly content to let all of them survive. The game just doesn’t let that happen.
At best, you can destroy the Institute and the other three can live in relative peace, but since I wanted the Institute to survive, there simply was no other way than to destroy the Railroad and the Brotherhood of Steel. And frankly, I didn’t care at all.
Come on Bethesda. Give us some actual moral choices between the various factions. And stop pretending that your players all want to be good people all the time. I’d be happier if you had the choice to join the Raiders or the Gunners. At least they finally gave you that option in the Nuka World DLC but it should have been there throughout the whole game. And don’t even get me started on the whole Shaun storyline, which I found to be completely idiotic. Maybe I’ll do a separate post on that one.