pop culture | no politics
Don't worry, no spoilers here.
I'm less than two hours into Fallout 4 and the thing that has impressed me the most hasn't been the graphics, story, or gameplay. It's the game's stability, which has so far proven to be a refreshing change from the past open world RPGs from Bethesda. I played the PS3 versions of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Skyrim, and all they all have well-earned reputations of being buggy and unstable. Now some of the glitches are harmless and quirky, actually adding to the charm of the games and making them uniquely Bethesda. I can live with the occasional flying horse while wandering the mountains of Skyrim as long as the game itself consistently works and I'm not having to reload and replay the same sequences over and over again. Not only is this repetition annoying, it complete takes the player out of being immersed in the beautiful and unique worlds that these games are set in. I know my personal experiences in the early days of Fallout 3 was particularly frustrating, hours of progress being lost on multiple occasions for no apparent reason. Many times I became so frustrated with the game that I thought there was no chance I would ever see it through to completion, but luckily we live in a time when the software that arrives in the box is rarely the software in it's final form.
Make so mistake, I hate that contemporary games almost always get released half-baked. But like it or not, day one patches are the standard now, and at least Fallout 4's comes in at a completely reasonable 500mb. While it was a nice surprise to not have to wait the hours I expected to spend downloading and installing the patch before I got to play, I was immediately skeptical that such a small update file could make the game run trouble-free right out of the gate. But if there's any problems I haven't seen them in the two story mission I've completed. Granted it's early and I haven't experienced anything that would really stress the system out but I've gotten consistent frame rates and haven't lost any saves yet. It says a lot that this is a big deal to me, that's how bad the Fallout 3 experience was in the game's infancy.
A well-performing game was at the top of my wish list when Fallout 4 was announced last year and it's off to a really good start. The game's aesthetics and story are great and certainly on par with today's triple-A releases, and if the performance can maintain it's current quality Fallout 4 will definitely be on most people's short list for Game of the Year.