As the dust settles on the nuclear wasteland epic that is Fallout 4 I turn my attention to the game that is bound to follow, Fallout 5. There are no dates yet of course, it’s way too early for that but I would be very surprised if the Fallout franchise ends with Fallout 4. Anyway, just as Fallout 4 introduced plenty of new things, Fallout 5 will no doubt do the same. Although it’s important to remember that there are things in FO4 that can be even better in 5 if they just tweak things a bit.
So what would Bethesda Softworks need to do to make Fallout 5 even better than Fallout 4 was?
Building settlements was the biggest new thing to be added to Fallout 4, and although I really loved that part of the game there were still things that could be improved upon. Getting the perfect placement for some items was a nightmare (I’m looking at you border junk walls). Settlements couldn’t defend themselves without you being there. The AI could sometimes leave all your settlers standing round doing nothing. All of the bits were there, it’s just that it needed to be brought together better. A lot of people never bothered to make any settlements because it was too much of a pain, and for such a large part of the game, that’s a shame.
Settlers were, in the most part pretty useless. Sure, when you were there they could just about figure out which end of a rifle to hold, and scavenge 2 bits of wood every 6 years, but it wasn’t really worth you keeping them around, if you didn’t need them to farm food. Fallout 5 should look at making settlers useful. Maybe one could accompany you and you train them as you clear our nests and hideouts. Maybe, send them out to gather specific supplies. Have them work without you actually having to be there. Make them seem responsive, and alive. That’s all.
Fallout 4 had four endings that were all dependent on which faction you sided with. I would have preferred endings with a little more variation, based on things you’ve done throughout the game. Sure, factions should play a part in that but not everything. I think that for every quest you do, the game keeps track of tiny little scores such as democracy, tech, hope, power, money, love. Each quest will increased one or more of those values. When you reach the end of the game, it takes a look at the factions plus the top two highest category values and your ending would be based on those. Now you have many endings to the story that depend on factions and your characters activities. Although this approach does make things tricky for any post-ending DLC.
Fallout 4 didn’t really have great moral choices. From the get go you’re already placed as the lone hero desperately fighting against a new world to rescue his or her son. I’d like every (or at least most) quests to have a good spectrum of outcomes, good, neutral or evil at least. Allow the player to create and play as a character they want to play as, from a kind-hearted family man to a psychotic power-hungry dictator. Allow shades of grey, dammit. Although not the book there’s no place for that in the nuclear wasteland.
Weapon / Armour Customisation
Although Fallout 4 has a great deal of customisation, it doesn’t go far enough. I’d like, with a suitably high gun-nut / blacksmithing and science skill, to be able to highly customize or even create my own weapons. Sure you can decide which hilt, barrel and so on to use but I want to create laser-shotguns, and hand-held junkjets. I want to be able to attach a skull to my helmet, and paint my leg armour yellow. In short, I want full control over how my weapons and armour works and looks.
I’m looking at you Garvey, but not just at you. Radiant quests should be a way to back-fill your mission/quest log. They shouldn’t push their way to the front and force you to go on mission after mission. You shouldn’t get to the point where you have to add a mod to stop the radiant quests or force you to not speak to a companion just in case he asks you to rescue another settlement. So, please Bethesda, for Fallout 5 take a look at how the radiant quests work and just try to iron out some of the wrinkles for next time. Plus, why not introduce more types of radiant quests such as protecting a caravan or going on a junk runs. Maybe even a radiant quest to build certain items and/or weapons on request.
This is my short list of things I’d like to see changed for Fallout 5, it’s not an inclusive list. I’d like a few surprises as well of course. I want Fallout 5 to be spectacular, as we all do. Now we just have that trifling little detail of finding out when, or indeed if it is to be released.