Yeah, I’m back to complain some more about Fallout 4. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the game, I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing it and I have all of the DLC and have enjoyed it all, to some degree at least. But their final DLC for the series, Nuka-World, while it was fun to play through, really had a storyline that sucked big time.Now I know that I complained a little bit in my review of Fallout 4 that there isn’t really any way to be “bad” in the game. You’re stuck in the role of the hero pretty much all the way through and there aren’t any particular moral choices to be made. Nuka-World changes that, but not necessarily in a good way. Immediately, you’re forced into the role of a raider, clearing out the whole of the Nuka-World amusement park so that your raiders can run the whole show. I never wanted to be a raider in the first place, raiders are portrayed almost universally as awful, murderous people and I want no part of that. And you quickly find out that the three raider factions in Nuka-World aren’t just bad, they’re despicable. I’ll touch on that again in a moment.
You go through the whole DLC with no real option but to help them and when you get to the end, you’re expected to help them go out into the Commonwealth to destroy all of the settlements you’ve spent hour after hour setting up in the main game.
The only way to “win” is to destroy what you’ve already done. If you go that way, you permanently ostracize these settlements that you’ve spent so much time shepherding along. Yeah, that’s a good option, isn’t it?
This is where I get back to the character of the raider gangs. They are all downright evil. They are all murderous thugs who not only keep human slaves, they engage in Nazi-like medical experiments and gladatorial games. This is Bethesda’s way of saying “you want an evil choice? You can’t get much more evil than this!”
But I don’t want to be evil. So when the quest Open Season came along and said I just had to kill the raider bosses to turn Nuka-World back into a free trading post, I jumped at it. Of course, even though it says you only have to kill the bosses, the reality is that you have to kill every single raider in the park because they all become instantly mad at you, even though they couldn’t possibly know what you’re doing. So you have to kill dozens of raiders, you do free all of the slaves, and you lose most of the reason for playing the DLC.
What do I mean by that? I mean that there are tons of things you can never get in the DLC if you choose not to play murderous thug. For one, you lose Gage as a companion, you have to kill him. You lose all of the raider perks and all of the potential income that you could have had as a raider. And you lose all of the additional gameplay that could have come as a raider. I walked out of Nuka-World with a couple of sets of armor and a couple of caps, feeling like I had just wasted my time.
It wasn’t like you had any choices in Nuka-World, you either became a murderous raider or you threw it all away, including your $20 DLC purchase price. You can’t even build a settlement there, which would be cool, but it’s not part of the program. What’s the point of having this massive amusement park if you can’t do anything with it? Sure, there is one Red Rocket outside of the park grounds, but that’s not what anyone really wanted.
The whole roleplaying aspect that has made Fallout such an engaging series is really missing from Fallout 4. You can’t choose to be evil in the main game and you can’t really choose to be good in this DLC. They’re really saying you have to be a good guy, and here’s a DLC where you have to be bad, but those aren’t choices, they’re mandates. That’s why I think so many people were so disappointed by this game. It’s great as a shooter, not so much as an RPG.
If you’re going to have an open-world roleplaying game, you have to allow people to make their own decisions and have those decisions count. I ought to be able to decide if I’m going to be good or evil and suffer the consequences of that decision. There was no real karma system in Fallout 4 but there was good and evil. You were just railroaded into one side or the other if you wanted to take advantage of the content and that, I think, was just too much.