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There are all kinds of places and people to learn about morality aside from video games from. Your parents, your favorite teacher, books, movies -- every one of those things should have taught you the value of doing good way before you first picked up a controller, little lone first played a Fallout game. But, do me a favor and load up any comments section on the Internet...

...

Clearly, it's not working, is it?

Once you remove the immediate threat of physical consequences, every third person turns into a raging, emphatically null psychopath. And sadly, as is evidenced by Xbox Live, many of them are also gamers. But why? My theory: They're either not playing the right games, or else not picking up the inherent lesson in them. Because every so-called "open-world" game on the market is there to teach you one thing: Never, ever choose evil.

Fallout, despite it's (imo) latent superiority to all other "open-world" RPG games in it's class, it still serves as the prime example in this circumstance. Why? Because that's the exact issue here, why make such a glorious gem of an RPG series... and (repeatedly) make the same painfully tiresome mistakes that are, quite frankly, utterly below the people who made it.

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Mass Effect, the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, every single one of them presents the player with a "choice." You can be the hero, or you can be the villain. "It's totally up to you"...

But... it's always, always a trap. 'Good' is the only right choice. And even if it's not in your game, you can bet your ass it will be in the sequel... because that's what happened! Mass Effect was a rare exception to this... until 3's ending.

Nevertheless, the hero option in every one of those games will net you better companions, more interesting quests, and, ultimately, a more engaging story. In NV's case for example:

Good companions: Arcade Gannon, NCR Sniper Craig Boone, Caravan Trader Rose of Sharon Cassidy, Brotherhood Scribe Veronica Santangelo

Neutral Companions: Super Mutant Lily Bowen, Ghoul Mechanic Raul Tejada, Prototype Duraframe Eyebot ED-E, Cyberdog Rex

Evil Companions: Elite Lance Corporal Jack Fucking Shit.

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And even out of those "neutral" companions, all are actually pretty "good" personality-wise, and two are functionally useless besides: Lily, who is ( who was in my story) somebody's kindly old mutated grandmother, Raul is a rotting zombie ... who likes fixing toasters for individuals instead of devouring their children, and ED-E is a floating automaton that somehow still sets off landmines. If you choose the good path, you keep all of them.

If you choose the 'evil' path, you'll eventually be forced to either lose or kill the laconic uber-sniper, the sassy technophile who punches fools so hard they explode, and the rugged young doctor with the power armor. Why? Apparently, you're playing the game wrong.

Even when it's a choice, it's never a choice: 'Good' will always be better. And, ironically enough, video games such as these (because it's not like the uptight pasty shits claiming this stuff have time to distinguish difference anyway) are apparently still responsible for every single death on the planet. According to the media who won't shut the hell up on the subject for ten minutes anyway.

And no matter how much or how frequently gamers like me might protest that - complaining about just how large a scale of bullshit it truly is that so-called open-ended games always neuter the antagonists path when it could explore stories and concepts just as interesting (if not more so simply for the sake of trying a different plot than 'save the world and be nice mmmkay') as the hero's - hell, even I may have to admit that 'be nice mmmkay' is probably a fine lesson to learn...

... no, fuck that. Why do I have to risk my life to rescue every single box of lost kittens for every single coy, demanding buckwheat prying him/herself from the game world's woodwork just to get a halfway decent ending?