Recently, Bethesda announced new, long-awaited downloadable content (DLC) for hit RPG Fallout 4. The 3 DLC’s were met with lukewarm reception, with some branding the new content disappointing, while others said the ideas, including a Pokemon-esque catching and battling system, were just plain gimmicky and/or stupid. So, here are 5 ideas Bethesda should have considered instead!
When you run into raiders in the base game, combat is inevitable. There’s no way of interacting or trading, save for one group of raiders near Parsons State Insane Asylum, who just demand caps as a toll to cross a bridge. Why not have one group of raiders as a separate faction? Have the ability to trade with them, or even do missions with them. ‘But Gabriel’, I hear you cry in anguish ‘that would make me a terrible person, as I’m hurting innocents if I do that!’ Well, yes, but nobody’s an angel in this world. Remember all the farmers you “subtly influenced” into giving crops to the Brotherhood of Steel? Remember all the people you killed with the Railroad (who are terrorists)? Remember how the Institute are basically kidnappers with an incredibly morally dubious cause? Really, a little raiding, extortion, and gun running is nothing compared to the trail of destruction you’ve already left. Plus, the raiders could have a complex and interesting mix of characters. People who are bloodthirsty psychopaths mixing with people just trying to feed their families by any means possible? Far more interesting than the cardboard cut-out good guys of the Minutemen.
There’s an easter egg in the base game where a UFO crashes to the east of Oberland Station. Defeating its occupant gets you a special gun and…that’s it- all build up with little payoff. The alien isn’t even hard to defeat. Why not have the option to intercept communications with the alien’s home planet and discover something, like a plan to invade Earth and the final point in the questline is to use the Prydwen, or the cannons at The Castle to stop an invasion fleet, or to assist an alien plan to rebuild earth, which would fit in with the whole 50’s movie vibe of the spaceship’s existence. Just something cool and sci-fi and maybe a little bit ‘New Vegas‘ style goofy would be welcome in the almost dry and plain world of Fallout 4. Far more welcome than just a little nod, a wink to 50’s sci-fi and an Alien Blaster. Speaking of the dry world…
3. New Maps
The map in Fallout 4, while it looks very nice, is very, very ‘same-y.’ There’s not much in the way of landmarks like the Hoover Dam in New Vegas, besides the odd statue or location in Boston. While Bethesda did announce a new map, it’s set in Maine, the state that’s notable for being where nearly every Steven King book is set, and not much else. Be a little more adventurous, guys! How about a DLC taking us to Florida, where we run into different factions and enemies to the ones in Boston and the Mojave? Preferably actual new factions and not just a fourth chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel to go along with the West, East, and apparently missing Midwestern chapter. Or a DLC taking us North to what used to be Canada, to see what’s been going on there since the bombs fell? Or going to Michigan…no, wait, there wouldn’t be any difference at all there.
4. Gunner Storyline
The Gunners are high-end mercenaries and hit squads, paid to kill and fight for various factions. However, despite you having nothing to do with the targets, Gunners attack you on sight, with no adequate explanation. They’re not like raiders, Gunners are meant to be professionals, so it makes no sense for them to target you, a hapless wanderer. It would make much more sense if Gunners were almost a faction of their own, one you could do missions for and interact with but not choose to rule the Commonwealth. The missions would probably be stuff along the lines of kidnapping, drug smuggling, assassination…..what? We’ve already established you’re gonna have to kill a few people whichever way you go here, it’s not Mario Kart (though a deathclaw would be a welcome addition to everybody’s favourite Italian-plumber-based racer). An unashamedly dark side of the story would be great if added through this campaign.
5. Better Use of Locations
A prime example of Fallout 4 not using locations to full purpose is the Combat Zone. This could have been an interesting feature of the game where the player character engages in brutal one-on-one combat with another character for cap prizes. There could be online tournaments or single-player ladders, but instead, as soon as you enter, the raiders just shoot at you and it just becomes another location to clear out, another 4 year-old Skittle to sweep up from under the couch. Locations need to be made exciting, Bethesda! The Easy City Downs is an old racecourse where raiders are racing and betting on robots. Sounds awesome, right? Well, tough, because you can’t have any of the fun, you’ve got to kill everybody. There are so many missed opportunities by Bethesda in Fallout 4, it’s almost frustrating. The DLC should add more fun, no add to the frustration.
Words by Gabriel Rutherford