Sequels and the Death of Novelty

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Sequels and the Death of Novelty

In the opening moments of the first Fallout game, your character is told that they must leave the vault. You have no idea what's outside. And then the sequels came.

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Yes, it's gotten a bit stale in my opinion. I'd happily go for them starting off the next one in a part of the US where the previous factions are perceived very differently from the way we're used to. Since the BoS uses airships that have been known to crash, you could have fringe groups of them who operate very differently to the way they were originally intended. A faction of power-armoured zealots who'd rather smash through an obstacle and cauterize the immediate area than employ diplomacy wouldn't come across as the good guys to a great deal of post-apocalyptic communities.

I'd miss the old factions a bit, but it's not like they'd have to struggle that hard to work in even one or two surviving Enclave or BoS veterans somewhere. It's not so far-fetched considering their vertibirds seem to have paper-thin armour. I liked that they did a bit more with the Children of Atom this time around (shame about the Followers of the Apocalypse), but the game's factions were not a strength here. So bare-bones and uncompromising, yeesh.

I like the way Xeno Clash manages to expand its lore across the sequel, in a way that doesn't needlessly rehash the first. There are the original cast of characters, but they are mostly support roles in your mission to discover a whole new world, and find out what the hell is going on in this bizarro Dali/Gaudi land of cavemen fist fighters. Playing the first game, you'd have no idea the sequel would follow up with a rainbow bridge to a pixel tower, or an actual explanation as to why you live in a world of pugilist elephants and hermaphrodite stork people.

Another reason why I like New Vegas, because you do not start in a Vault, and while there are a bunch of the same factions, they have actually developed and moved on. Most importantly, you don't have to play as a clueless idiot if you don't want to. And there are new factions like the Kings or hte Legion that are different from what has come before.

Soviet Heavy:
Another reason why I like New Vegas, because you do not start in a Vault, and while there are a bunch of the same factions, they have actually developed and moved on. Most importantly, you don't have to play as a clueless idiot if you don't want to. And there are new factions like the Kings or hte Legion that are different from what has come before.

Yes, this.
They don't have to make a completely new world. Just change the old one enough so that it's interesting. In New Vegas, the Brotherhood was very small and barely there anymore, the mutants were now more intelligent and civilized (At least some of them) and there were plenty of new factions and places to meet.
In F4, it's just same old, same old. Same old Supermutant, same old Brotherhood, same old, evil, sinister Organisation

The marketplace is the only thing that could stop this, and from all indications, it's doing the exact opposite.

PC Gaming when it grew up, or I should say turned 5 years old, decided to mimic it's older brother the movie industry.

PC Gaming just needs a better role model, say literature perhaps, or even cinema released in December rather than the comic book pablum spewed out every summer.

Agreed agreed agreed.

Fallout 3 felt amazing and new to me because it was the first one I played. Fallout 4 doesn't seem that interesting to me for the exact reason you mentioned above.

Human Revolution blew my mind, but it's the only Deus Ex game I've played; I agree that the impact would have been lessened if I'd played the others beforehand.

I love the Far Cry approach to sequels and I wish more devs would go that way.

And now, to mention something you didn't already comment on: Bioshock Infinite. It was only connected to the first in the most vague, meta-narrative, quantum mechanics sense, and it was stronger for it.

I agree. It feels like developers and publishers are concentrating on the wrong stuff. They have the NEED push more on the gameplay front (not a bad idea) but they get iterative with it. Assassin's Creed had the pesky hook thing to reach slightly higher ledges, for example. But they will just constantly rehash the same stories. I was thinking the same thing when I was fighting that first Deathclaw in fallout 4. Also... rad scorpions? I mean... there aren't any indigenous species of scorpions in the New England. I was like... they didn't even try with this. They put the same enemies in here. Not that I'm not loving the game, it's great despite this little flaw. But why aren't we seeing mutant squirrels? Why did they go with the Scorpions and not something else?

They can rehash good mechanics but they have to find new ways to use them. But constantly using the same story and enemies/NPC's is pretty damn lazy. I was also thinking that what you wrote about the Brotherhood of Steel was spot on. It's less fun since we know the Brotherhoods motives. It definitely has less impact. And them being there makes people respond the same way. Get power armor becomes the number 1 priority, though a lot less so in the FO4 than previous.

Japanese RPGs seem to get this right, far more often than Western RPGs, for some reason. Final Fantasy is the famous example, but see also Dragon Quest, the Tales series. It's something I really like about the Final Fantasy games, despite their various missteps, they've been pretty consistently good about trying new things, and not simply finding one thing that works and milking it forever.

The Souls series also got this right, aside from Dark Souls and it's sequels (that ironically are about history repeating itself, so it's kind of intentional), every game on the series has similar gameplay mechanics, but entirely different universes.

I'd like to see more of this in other games.

XCOM seems to be doing this right now with XCOM 2 having the player in charge of a resistance movement using Guerrilla tactics rather than a standing military fending off another invasion.

remnant_phoenix:

And now, to mention something you didn't already comment on: Bioshock Infinite. It was only connected to the first in the most vague, meta-narrative, quantum mechanics sense, and it was stronger for it.

And to add to this absolute case in point, Bioshock 2: a game that followed directly from Bioshock 1, included the same familiar elements (Splicers, adam, Big Daddies, Little Sisters etc), and, in the courts of both public and critical opinion, suffered massively for it. Yet the same brand name, with an all new story and setting, was an absolute critical darling. And, from a business perspective (the perspective that is most likely to drive creative decisions in the industry, sadly), the decision to use a new setting also seems to have worked out. Looking at the steam user stats, infinite has almost double the number of owners as Bioshock 2.

http://steamspy.com/search.php?s=bioshock

Pseudo edit: Although, after almost posting, then deciding to check console version sales, it does appear to be more mixed. With Bioshock 2 beating infinite on the 360, and infinite just beating 2 on the PS3. Though, maybe this just says something about the effect of critical success and positive public opinion on sales figures, with pre-orders and early sales being more based in brand recognition (and presuming that most console sales are in that period, as later adopters are more likely to be buying used copies on console) and positive opinion making more of a long term difference (particularly when steam sales enter the equation, people will probably part with a fiver to grab the game to see what all the fuss is about, less so if they doubt they'd enjoy it). That said, this is all conjecture on my part, with any number of other possible explanations behind the numbers (audience preferences differing by platform, incomplete and inaccurate sales data etc.), and more research would be required to say anything worth listening to. Research that I'm not gonna bother with. I don't even know why you're still reading this, I just felt the need to add a disclaimer, after realising my initial claim could be misleading and/or flat-out incorrect.

http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=bioshock

Baresark:
I was thinking the same thing when I was fighting that first Deathclaw in fallout 4. Also... rad scorpions? I mean... there aren't any indigenous species of scorpions in the New England. I was like... they didn't even try with this. They put the same enemies in here. Not that I'm not loving the game, it's great despite this little flaw. But why aren't we seeing mutant squirrels? Why did they go with the Scorpions and not something else?

They can rehash good mechanics but they have to find new ways to use them. But constantly using the same story and enemies/NPC's is pretty damn lazy. I was also thinking that what you wrote about the Brotherhood of Steel was spot on. It's less fun since we know the Brotherhoods motives. It definitely has less impact. And them being there makes people respond the same way. Get power armor becomes the number 1 priority, though a lot less so in the FO4 than previous.

Yeah, the enemies is what really seems to generate the fatigue. BoS wasn't new, but at the same time, they got different (or at least more detailed) presentation then they had as the "Barely there at the end, random allies to give you power armor" in 3, or side-quest fodder in New Vegas (again mostly to give you power armor). The Minutemen, Railroad, and Institute (although sort of Enclavey) were all new ideas, just kind of fell flat.

Enemy wise though
-Radscorpions - Shouldn't really exist in New England.
-Deathclaws - Prettysure also shouldn't be in New England, aren't they a desert lizard evolved?
-Super Mutants - Hypothetically, yeah, could be there. The farther and farther you get out the gate timewise though, the more the Super Mutants numbers should be dwindling, since they're all sterile, and supply of FEV to make new ones is limited at best.

Raiders aren't really going anywhere, but it'd be interesting to see more subgroupings of them. The Forged were interesting for their whole single side-mission, and I'd rather see more stuff like that then the generic merc group (Gunners, in Fallout 4. Black Talon(IIRC?) in 3) spammed to death for higher level human enemies. Even the Triggermen at least had a gimmick.

It'd be kind of interesting if their were Ghouls that embraced their whole immortality thing and rolled with it as a faction. Its again barely flirted with in Fallout 4, as thats where the "mafia" style enemies originate, is pre-war Ghouls who were members. Its never really used much though.

The forced time progression does hurt the series though, as you get farther and farther out, and it makes less and less sense how civilization seems to have gotten frozen, or unlooted ruins still exist.

I wonder if Bethesda employees will ever read this article? I always thought the strength of Fallout was the opportunity to open the vault at any time, anywhere. Yeah, you'll see your Nuka Cola and the pre-war staples but the post-war communities, clans, raiders, mutants? Pick a part of the USA or Canada that never saw the spread of those things.

I would love an alternate scenario, like a Fallout that happens to be in a different universe (not STALKER either). Maybe change up the entire setting, different reasons for the mass near-extinction of humans. Maybe the "Fallout" was an asteroid crashing to Earth... or an alien invasion. Post-apocalypse doesn't have to mean post-nuclear war. Hell it could even be something as simple as a failed experiment that caused humanity to flee to the old defunct bunkers from the pre-cold war era and hope that they're still functional. Some died and some lived, and some were changed by the failed experiment. Those on the surface who "survived" may also be changed... subtly or physically as did the entirety of the world's flora and fauna.
Instead of exiting to a Wasteland scenario, maybe exit into a world 100+ years post humanity. Overgrowth, animals have "taken over" even have some accelerated evolution. Societies of sentient pre-technology creatures, not necessarily instantly hostile... curious and cautious yes.
I would get behind that completely.

I don't know enough about Fallout lore to know if it's even a feasible idea, but what if they did a Fallout game that examined the remains of the other half of the coin - as in a Fallout game set in Asia or China or what have you?

I have to strongly disagree with you on this, Shamus.

If you want to play a new IP, then go for it. I am not against new games. The problem with your article is that when you start removing elements of a setting, what is left? Radscorpions, Death Claws, Super Mutants, Ghouls, the Brotherhood of Steel, each of these elements have been developed over the course of several games. They are part of the lore, part of the setting of the Fallout universe.

What do you remove? What do you leave in? At the end of the day, you either end up with "Post Apocalyptic Game with Fallout title" or you arbitrarily remove elements based on personal taste. How does that expand or improve future games?

Fallout 4 keeps what is familiar (radscorpions, super mutants, etc) and EXPANDS the universe. The synths are given lore and history and even a faction. I think even you would admit that THIS faction of the Brotherhood of Steel has it's own identity, separate from the BoS factions introduced in other games.

I understand that you want the wonder of exploring a brand new IP. You are not going to get that in a sequel.

I feel that, while I agree immensely with a lot of the points here, the problem is that the writers shot themselves in the foot by introducing these factions or characters that have such a huge impact on the world around them that if they weren't present, it would alienate the fans that they had up to that point. I mean, the Brotherhood of Steel is one of the biggest and most ambitious factions in the Wasteland. They are basically what remains of the US military attempting to reestablish control over the entire country. Not one tiny bit of it. The ENTIRE country. And it's not like some small treehouse of 5 or 6 people with power armor. It's an entire branch of the military with the Old World Tech to back that up. They can go literally wherever they want within a few days. They have air transportation, something that no other force in the Fallout universe possesses. Anything less than moving the game outside of the US would be forced to have the BoS ingame, else they risk breaking their own lore. The reason why the NCR and the Legion aren't mentioned in Fallout 4 is because they have to walk everywhere. The Brotherhood doesn't.

Deus Ex suffers from the exact same problem, except that it's an even worse and farther stretching concept. The Illuminati are bigger than just a fuckton of people with helicopters in a world where walking to the other side of town without being mauled to death is an accomplishment. These people pull the strings of every political power in the world, twisting them to their own ends. They are funded and kept alive by their own actions, actions that like 3 or 4 outside of the organization know of. In this world, nothing short of a straight up apocalypse and rebuilding of society up to that point will be enough to remove them as a presence in the series. Asking to remove them is like asking Mario to remove the concept of the monarchy from the series canon. It's just not going to be done.

Interestingly this has, for many, many years, been one of the strongest points of the Final Fantasy series.

Sure there's still some shared elements. Chocobos and magic and moogles and stuff like that. Plus someone called "Cid". But the story and world tends to change rather dramatically between games. None of them are connected in any meaningful way, there's always new and fresh stuff to be seen. Or at least that was the case until they started getting really, REALLY into the whole spin-off thing.

Sadly they've really gone completely off the rails now as far as "maintaining the gameplay elements but changing the world, setting and story" goes. Its been godawful since (and including) Final Fantasy 12 because they've got this absolutely fetishistic obsession with screwing with the traditional turn based formula that fans liked.

Let's just get the reason for sequals out of the way:
It's an established brand and market - This is why developers and film studios make sequals, because it's guaranteed money riding on the success of previous work. If No One Lives Forever (old shooter) had the same success of COD, we'd see a yearly release of a singleplayer campaign spy shooter, with stealth segments and exploration.

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Sequals do not have to kill novelty, it's just the way developers handle them and I have to wonder why you picked Fallout, if it's in the face of criticism and you're trying to explain away some of it by saying that the novelty is gone or even unachievable.

One of the brilliant ideas of Fallout was the slow reveal of Vaults being experiments. This little bit alone would allow a lot of sequals to start in a vault, with a unique premise each time.
Being a genuine RPG, the main quest does not have to make much sense or invoke the emotion of the player - it's the steps they have to, or choose to take in order to complete their mission that makes the story and invests them in it.
This is where Fallout 4 fails spectacularly, because while the story invokes a sense of urgency, it throws the story out the window almost immediately.
I remember rushing it halfway to Diamond City and thinking "this is fucking stupid" because no one gave a shit about my situation. Here the storyline substitutes the urgency of your quest with a conspiracy theory that no one should give two fucks about (synths). It's just a mess of poor storytelling that fails to compel you to be interested, mostly because of the inane dialogue system replaced by voice-over content... yaddayadda, it's been moaned about to death.

Spoilers regarding your son:

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Games today are lazily made toyboxes for you to piss around in and spend a few minutes at a time with. They do not require you to invest yourself, pay attention or think about what you're doing.

Do you want the novelty and mysteries of the past? I think that's the wrong way to approach the problem.
The underlying question of novelty is "how do we relive the nostalgia?" and that's a bad premise to start from.
The easiest and worst path to doing so is to ask "what was cool" and then you throw in some Deathclaws and the Brotherhood of Steel, but that wasn't what made Fallout good!
What you have to do is remake the atmosphere of the game and the point of each element of the game.
Deathclaws were cool, sure, but it was the trepidation of meeting one that was important.

"The Deathclaw is the most evil thing to rise out of the ashes after the war. Some say it's a powerful ghost from the war that haunts the land. It's no ghost, it's as real as you and me. It's 20 feet tall with teeth as big as your arm. It's some kind of demon that found its way here when the world was engulfed in fire."

You've already seen Scorpions the size of a small car, so there's little question that this is probably something real and dangerous. So how do you make the player feel the same trepidation? Exactly the same way as the first game, you have people talking about it in a hushed voice and scared shitless. You litter the area before the encounter with bones and debris. You put claw marks on the cave wall and script a low rumbling sound of something very large and very dangerous as you enter its lair. Then you make it a hard fight that requires a bit of thinking and has multiple solutions (combat, stealth, using terrain to your advantage, enlisting the helps of others, doing chems, etc).
You respect the fact that this is something special and don't litter the fucking wasteland with them and you especially don't put it into the first twenty minutes of the game!

There you go, there's your novelty.
Novelty is just novelty, the word itself implies it: Something new, original or unusual. You can maintain it for a bit by using it sparingly and that's the only way to do so. You don't lament the loss of it because you've seen it before, you lament the horrible way that Bethesda does it by just putting excessive amounts of it in a game for you to look at and destroying everything that was special about it.

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Fallout - come for the BOS enlistment, but stay for the intricacies.

All it takes is for the game to do a 180 and ask you the question "What do you think?" and then take it from there. All of a sudden it seems like you're the one in charge and responsible for the lives and well being of a large group of people - You have instant investment and have to think about your choices as you go.

This is far more important to get you to play another Fallout game than just adding Nuka Cola and power armor.

Let's take the original Fallout as an example, where you have to get a waterchip for your vault, in order for them to keep living hidden away. You meet water merchants in the biggest town you've seen in the wastes (The Hub), they have a large water processing plant and they can help you get water to your people.
Do you remedy the immediate and desperate situation of your people by risking their lives in the process (because you reveal the location) or do you try to find another way, but have less time to do so?

This little thing is what makes the game what it is - Choice and consequence through your actions and words and being smart about it.
The choice matters in terms of game mechanics (you had more time to find a chip, but less time to deal with the supermutant threat), but it was also an important choice in terms of your experience with the game. Either you felt smart for discovering this option and negotiating a temporary solution, or you felt smart because you thought ahead by not revealing the location. Both are valid choices and both made you feel something worthwhile.

Layered content like divergence and changing the game according to player choices is often scoffed at because it's "hard". I call bullshit on this mentality, it's not hard, it's just tedious work that takes time.
Once you have a competent solution for designing the wasteland and putting in entities and scripts, it's just a matter of details and provided your solution is easy to use, you can have anyone do it.

I have to call anyone who thinks this is presumptuous an idiot, because it's been done over ten years ago - Neverwinter Nights being a prime example.
I can't stress this enough, if you're going to make a game that relies on a sandbox, then make damn sure that you make the tools as deep and easy to use as possible! The rest will follow.

The video I've linked below explains the importance of narrative and attention to detail and is well worth the 15 minutes it lasts. Youtube Link

Then watch this one for more on choice and consequence and replayability (and also the water merchant example).
Youtube Link

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I like where Shamus is coming from on this, it's interesting and it's not a bad point - New and original games are too rare today.
But I also think it's a step backwards in the discussion of games, because it doesn't reflect the issues we're having in an industry that has gone from works of art from the love of the medium to a conveyor belt product.
We're no longer gamers or players, we're consumers. This is sad, because games used to be a hell of a lot more special.

There are a lot of deep discussions and debates to be had on games, but all too often I see people coming to the defence of what are really subpar and oversimplified games.
When I wrote that Fallout 4 is a great game, I mean that it's brilliantly designed to look as if it's worthwhile of your time, but really all it does is make you grind materials and do fetch quests. It does what it's supposed to very well.

So can we please have fewer articles disguised as advertisements and instead have some actual criticism of the industry?
Can we please just have a single article that calls the Bethesda team out for what it is - a bunch of amateurs without vision?
That would be great.

Dunno... this sounds like complaining that there are still lightsabers and stormtroopers in star wars movies beyond the first one.

Sure the surprise isnt there anymore but that doesnt mean you cant discover new and before unknown things about all the stuff in fallout...

IF BETHESDA ACTUALLY WAS GOOD AT WRITING!

Take new vegas and caesars legion for example... or heck MR House and his robot army. The BOS was a miniscule faction in that one and showed just how out of date a relic they had become while everyone around them just simply moved on with the times.

Just to go back to fallout 4 and somehow making it the strongest military faction to date again.... in a wasteland that hasnt shown any progress in 200 years after the bombs fell... where you still can find edible food in fridges in ruined build... i better stop here

I dunno about anyone else, but I like the mix of old and new.

Fallout 2 had the Enclave, who brought the Brotherhood of Steel into stark contrast and revealed them to not be the biggest fish in the pond. Sure the Brotherhood were still there, but they took a visible back seat in both power and importance to the story.
That said, while I'm all for powerarmour, make us work for it - if I'm going to find it in half an hour, I want that to be because I re-started and knew exactly where to go and what to do, not because that was practically the end of the tutorial.
In any case, while Fallout 4 still has the BoS, it also keeps introducing new players on the power-and-politics scene, so it's nice to see a familiar face once in a while, even if it's the face of an organisation.

As for Deus Ex, it doesn't so much have the same conspiracy of it as a much earlier (and simpler) version of it. It's no news to anyone that the original Deus Ex didn't have so much a conspiracy as every conspiracy - Illuminati, Area 51, aliens, mutant clones and genetic manipulation, perpetuated endless war, "stuff" in the water, etc etc etc ad nauseum.
DXHR brought it all down to one shadowy organisation quite different from the one it shared a name with in Deus Ex, played up the political ties and influence more. Rather than 'they control everything' it showed us more specific examples of the kinds of things they were doing and how this affected the world at large. Then there are the Tyrants, who may work for the Illuminati but are a far cry from the shadowy figures hidden behind screens. We also get corporate back-door dealing, the anti-aug movement, that smug asshole I punched in the face in the last level... plenty of other players who were either unseen or completely non-existent in the original game.

Other than that, I do agree with a fair few of his points.

Karadalis:
where you still can find edible food in fridges in ruined build... i better stop here

The food's still edible because the food's all irradiated so the bacteria can't survive :D

Seth Carter:

(snip)
Deathclaws - Prettysure also shouldn't be in New England, aren't they a desert lizard evolved?
(snip)
The forced time progression does hurt the series though, as you get farther and farther out, and it makes less and less sense how civilization seems to have gotten frozen, or unlooted ruins still exist.

Spoiler alert, Deathclaws are aliens. I can't remember if that's from Fallout 1 or 2, but I do remember killing the queen at one stage and there were plenty of logs and lore sources to imply they came down on an asteroid or something. The smart ones were an Enclave experiment but I don't know if any showed up after Fallout 2. That said, maybe Fallout 3 shed some new light on the subject.

As for civilisation, it hasn't been frozen - humanity was effectively nuked back to the stone age, with a few places with more advanced tech and weaponry surviving and slowly spreading out. In any case, it takes ages to see any notable advances and they have taken ages - but if you compare a place like New Washington or Boston to anywhere outside a vault or Brotherhood bunker, you'll see a marked difference. To memory, The Hub was the biggest, fanciest, most up-to-date surface city in Fallout 1, and it looked like a shanty town out of Mad Max. Anywhere with better tech tended to be pre-war, so either a vault or a hidden military installation. 70 years later, Fallout 2 had people slowly re-converting the ruined cities back to habitable zones. New Washington from Fallout 3 is comparatively modern and all this wide-spread tech in Fallout 4 is showing some remarkable progress - even if the tech is often being hoarded.

Kinda with you on the un-looted ruins, though aside from the BoS and other tech-hoarders most people still can't travel all that far/fast.

ExileNZ:

Karadalis:
where you still can find edible food in fridges in ruined build... i better stop here

The food's still edible because the food's all irradiated so the bacteria can't survive :D

I guess no one got the idea to check all the nuka cola vending machines and all those ruined houses for food and supplies... in over 200 years...

ExileNZ:

Seth Carter:

(snip)
Deathclaws - Prettysure also shouldn't be in New England, aren't they a desert lizard evolved?
(snip)
The forced time progression does hurt the series though, as you get farther and farther out, and it makes less and less sense how civilization seems to have gotten frozen, or unlooted ruins still exist.

Spoiler alert, Deathclaws are aliens. I can't remember if that's from Fallout 1 or 2, but I do remember killing the queen at one stage and there were plenty of logs and lore sources to imply they came down on an asteroid or something. The smart ones were an Enclave experiment but I don't know if any showed up after Fallout 2. That said, maybe Fallout 3 shed some new light on the subject.

nope nope nope... deathclaws are NOT aliens. They are chameleons that where exposed to the FEV virus mixed with DNA from alot of other animals according to official fallout canon.

What you killed where the Gyger esque aliens in the mines of redding (i think thats the name of the mining town where you can join caravans as a guard) and the lower decks of the tanker you used to get to the enclave base oil rig platform.

However it was possible and prolly canon that the local INTELLIGENT deathclaw population was completly whiped out by the enclave during fallout 2. However there where still plenty of non intelligent deathclaws to be found around the wasteland.

Bethesda, specifically, are a bit wierd in regards to the Fallout franchise and the sequel problem. They've shown that they don't have any trouble coming up with new ideas within the bounds of canon but then they sort of hide that behind layers of the type of sad retreading this article was about. Fallout 3 is a great example. There's a ton of creative vaults, settlements and movements that touch on a lot of stuff the previous games didn't. So what's the story about?

(Sproiler varhnung!)
The Enclave trying to commit megagenocide by killing everyone even slightly mutated (ie. anyone not them)... again. Didn't we already blow these guys up for this in the last game? So they try to do it via water and not air now, but what the hell? And once you start noticing _one_ thing that's suspiciously similar you'll start to notice other things... Like, for example, what the hell is the BoS even doing here, it's like they just showed up because they heard a Fallout game was on? And isn't Rivet City essentially the San Fran tanker again, only with a weaker plot point to make the player go there?

The main plot and actors seem like they belong in a game where the developer is desperately out of ideas, which Fallout 3 really wasn't. For some, this won't be a problem. Either the repetition doesn't get to them (or register) or they just went out into the wilderness and experience anything but the main story, avoiding it like the plauge. Many argue that's how Bethesda games are "Supposed" to be played

Compare this with the diffrence between Fallout 1 and 2. In F1, the bad guy was a dude who had been turned into psychic snot on a monitor who wanted to evolve humanity to thrive in a post-nuclear environment. He accomplished this by wrapping an apparently amicable and largely oblivious missionary cult around itself so that he could "Trancend" it's inner circle into his super-mutants. In F2 there isn't even really an obvious bad guy until out of (almost) nowhere your primitive tribe gets abducted for reasons unknown, and after that it's the aforementioned mutaphobic Enclave/You-Ess-Ay. Say what you will about the plots but you couldn't figure out F2 based on having played F1.

Good sequel examples.... hm...

Pokemon Gold/Silver was perfect. You could revisit the Kanto region, but only after exploring the whole new area and even the Kanto region has changed a lot since you were there before. Team Rocket had even gone through lots of changes since the previous games (sadly). And it's debatable about the later games as well. They don't build on the existing lore the first two games made, but go to all knew regions to establish new lore. Granted, some of it connects like how Diamond/Pearl talk about the origin of the species (god Pokemon and stuff).

Portal 2 actually did a good job with its sequel work as well. Same labs, same hero, and same villain (for a little bit). But things go inevitably wrong for everyone at a certain point and you're left to explore abandoned parts of the Aperture labs and learn the history of the horrible place and the origin of GlaDOS herself. And this is on top of new mechanics and puzzles (though the puzzles felt easier this time around than in the previous game).

After reading the article and thinking of Skyrim... yeah, Bethesda has a relatively crap record of repeating themselves and their set-ups so that the stories kind of feel a little uninspired. I think the Elder Scrolls series gets away with it better than the Fallout series just on the grounds that the fantasy setting can be more easily varied than nuclear wastelands where everything looks destroyed. But from a narrative perspective, yeah, both have kind of the same problems to some extent.

Sequels are fine and fun. We still get new IPs at roughly the same rate as we did in the 90's so I'm really not concerned. That's without counting the well established indie market too.

Sequels have their place, new IPs have theirs too.

Besides, you didn't really know what was in the world of Fallout 4. The enemies may have been similar but the world was really different. And there were new enemies and surprises. Each environment still has all the elements of exploration and the settlement mechanic alone warranted a new game.

So I'm simply not going to cry a river over some components of a game being the same as a predecessor.

Karadalis:

ExileNZ:

Seth Carter:

(snip)
Deathclaws - Prettysure also shouldn't be in New England, aren't they a desert lizard evolved?
(snip)
The forced time progression does hurt the series though, as you get farther and farther out, and it makes less and less sense how civilization seems to have gotten frozen, or unlooted ruins still exist.

Spoiler alert, Deathclaws are aliens. I can't remember if that's from Fallout 1 or 2, but I do remember killing the queen at one stage and there were plenty of logs and lore sources to imply they came down on an asteroid or something. The smart ones were an Enclave experiment but I don't know if any showed up after Fallout 2. That said, maybe Fallout 3 shed some new light on the subject.

nope nope nope... deathclaws are NOT aliens. They are chameleons that where exposed to the FEV virus mixed with DNA from alot of other animals according to official fallout canon.

"Originally created before the Great War by the government to replace troops in battle, deathclaws are derived from mixed animal stock, primarily from the very popular Jackson Chameleon. They were then refined by the Master using genetic manipulation and the Forced Evolutionary Virus. The resulting creature is very fast and powerful" - Matt Norton, Lead Designer of Fallout 2, from Fallout 2 Official Strategies and Secrets Guide

Another fun fact, the original concept for deathclaws was a hairy mammal. Due to a technical limitation of the rendering software, the hair on deathclaws would not move properly, so they removed it and re-wrote the lore for them to be based on the Jackson Chameleon.

Lightknight:
Sequels are fine and fun. We still get new IPs at roughly the same rate as we did in the 90's so I'm really not concerned. That's without counting the well established indie market too.

Sequels have their place, new IPs have theirs too.

Besides, you didn't really know what was in the world of Fallout 4. The enemies may have been similar but the world was really different. And there were new enemies and surprises. Each environment still has all the elements of exploration and the settlement mechanic alone warranted a new game.

So I'm simply not going to cry a river over some components of a game being the same as a predecessor.

I'm doubtful of the first part. Probably some numbers would help there. For the rest, I think is a case by case scenario. Some developers are better at making sequels with reused assets, and others on making new stories like in the Final Fantasy series. I think it can get monotonous to being introduced to the same characters and mechanics in the third sequel (because that may be the first time for several people); but that's a fail in the execution. Heck, it doesn't even need to be an old IP to feel stale. For example, a lot of people like The Evil Within. But people who have played lots of games since mid-2000s (specially those who play every major release) probably will tell you that it felt like an amalgam of game cliches. "Been there, done that, and it was better the first time"

I think this is part of why I feel that New Vegas is the better game. Instead of trying to recreate that "exiting the vault for the first time" feeling that only the newest of players can possibly experience anymore (and even they can just go back and play Fallout 3), they put you in the shoes of a guy who already lives in the wasteland and give you an interesting story about a battle for Hover Damn to distract you from the fact that you're basically playing the same game that you were a few years ago.

CaitSeith:

Lightknight:
Sequels are fine and fun. We still get new IPs at roughly the same rate as we did in the 90's so I'm really not concerned. That's without counting the well established indie market too.

Sequels have their place, new IPs have theirs too.

Besides, you didn't really know what was in the world of Fallout 4. The enemies may have been similar but the world was really different. And there were new enemies and surprises. Each environment still has all the elements of exploration and the settlement mechanic alone warranted a new game.

So I'm simply not going to cry a river over some components of a game being the same as a predecessor.

I'm doubtful of the first part. Probably some numbers would help there. For the rest, I think is a case by case scenario. Some developers are better at making sequels with reused assets, and others on making new stories like in the Final Fantasy series. I think it can get monotonous to being introduced to the same characters and mechanics in the third sequel (because that may be the first time for several people); but that's a fail in the execution. Heck, it doesn't even need to be an old IP to feel stale. For example, a lot of people like The Evil Within. But people who have played lots of games since mid-2000s (specially those who play every major release) probably will tell you that it felt like an amalgam of game cliches. "Been there, done that, and it was better the first time"

The evolution of the market to support Indie developers alone would make my statement true. Especially with titles like Limbo, Stanley Parable, Minecraft, Banner Saga and such. But I'm assuming that we'll want to address AAA games only even though some indie games have absolutely rocked the market as though they were AAA.

Are you under the impression that there were a ton of new IPs created in the 90's? There weren't. Nintendo was in full Mario milking mode with a ton of spinoffs but not new Ips. Pokemon via a 2nd party and Kirby would be the shining exceptions and Smash Bros could be an example if you ignored it being a spinoff of multiple IPs. But even being generous we're not even talking one for every year for the undisputed heavyweight champion of that console generation and the second place studio that is Sega wasn't producing anything that could rightly be called "IPs" so much as just games centered around things. It's why except for Sonic they have such horrible brand recognition despite having produced a lot of fun games. Keep in mind that this is slightly unfair to Nintendo because they preferred to innovate with new gameplay mechanics rather than new IPs. Even so, my "less than a game per year" was being generous enough to include those drastically new mechanic games.

When Sony showed up in 97' we did see some nice new IPs but overall the decade fared worse than we fare now in five year periods. It's because the market is hugely profitable now with a lot more major development studios.

So just think, what are the big name new IPs of the last ten years compared to the big name NEW IPs of the 90's? I mean, we still have Bioshock, Portal, Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge, The Last of Us, Gears of War, Red Dead Redemption, Watchdogs, Destiny, Borderlands, Splatoon, God of War (2005), Ni No Kuni, Dead Space, Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Dark Souls, inFamous, Batman Arkham Series (Questionable about it being a new IP so feel free to disregard like you would the drastic reboot that Fallout 3 represented), Uncharted, Resistance, Dead Island, Dishonored, Rage, Deadspace, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Witcher, Metro 2033, and so many others. These are just the first titles that came to my brain jellies that I've actually played and have sold millions of copies. I literally am just stopping my list because I just went to VGCharts to look at the top games from 2005 forward that were original IPs and realized I would be here for a much longer time. I mean, the list of tremendously popular AAA games is increasing dramatically. We're entering an age in which gaming is becoming like movies to the point where we can't play all the major games that come out in a given year. Were you a gamer in the 90's? There was solid time between the release of good games. Now we can't keep up and people now complain about their backlog of great games for goodness sake. I can't keep up either and I now have more time than ever to do so. None of this go to school and then go to work to pay for games nonsense. Just big-boy work and then games.

This isn't even getting into iOS gaming. The Apple iPhone (1st generation) came out in 2007. Every title developed for smartphones is well within ten years of us now and more than likely in the last five years.

The proliferation of sequels in the market isn't a sign of a failure to produce new IPs, it's a sign of success at having produced so many successful new IPs recently.

ExileNZ:
As for civilisation, it hasn't been frozen - humanity was effectively nuked back to the stone age, with a few places with more advanced tech and weaponry surviving and slowly spreading out. In any case, it takes ages to see any notable advances and they have taken ages - but if you compare a place like New Washington or Boston to anywhere outside a vault or Brotherhood bunker, you'll see a marked difference. To memory, The Hub was the biggest, fanciest, most up-to-date surface city in Fallout 1, and it looked like a shanty town out of Mad Max. Anywhere with better tech tended to be pre-war, so either a vault or a hidden military installation. 70 years later, Fallout 2 had people slowly re-converting the ruined cities back to habitable zones. New Washington from Fallout 3 is comparatively modern and all this wide-spread tech in Fallout 4 is showing some remarkable progress - even if the tech is often being hoarded.

Kinda with you on the un-looted ruins, though aside from the BoS and other tech-hoarders most people still can't travel all that far/fast.

In the stone age though, primitive man hadn't even the basic ideas of much of the technology, nevermind the methods of their creation (theory or practical). In Fallout, the survivors are surrounded by practical models of the ideas, and even hither and thither the supplies, documentation, and means to create them. There's even pre-war entities around (preserved via Vaults, Ghouls, AIs, etc) that can definitively identify objects and their purpose (IE that a car is a car, and not some weird sleeping capsule or something). There's schools, legal systems, governments, religions, libraries, militaries, economy, long distance communications, etc. If it were a Civ game, they're clearly somewhere midway down the tech tree with only a few barriers hindering a return to the industrial age in terms of reclaiming raw resources (assuming the world wasn't completely tapped out, I don't recall if Fallout also took on Mad Max's "We consumed everything already" standpoint)

Lightknight:

CaitSeith:

Lightknight:
Sequels are fine and fun. We still get new IPs at roughly the same rate as we did in the 90's so I'm really not concerned. That's without counting the well established indie market too.

Sequels have their place, new IPs have theirs too.

Besides, you didn't really know what was in the world of Fallout 4. The enemies may have been similar but the world was really different. And there were new enemies and surprises. Each environment still has all the elements of exploration and the settlement mechanic alone warranted a new game.

So I'm simply not going to cry a river over some components of a game being the same as a predecessor.

I'm doubtful of the first part. Probably some numbers would help there. For the rest, I think is a case by case scenario. Some developers are better at making sequels with reused assets, and others on making new stories like in the Final Fantasy series. I think it can get monotonous to being introduced to the same characters and mechanics in the third sequel (because that may be the first time for several people); but that's a fail in the execution. Heck, it doesn't even need to be an old IP to feel stale. For example, a lot of people like The Evil Within. But people who have played lots of games since mid-2000s (specially those who play every major release) probably will tell you that it felt like an amalgam of game cliches. "Been there, done that, and it was better the first time"

The evolution of the market to support Indie developers alone would make my statement true. Especially with titles like Limbo, Stanley Parable, Minecraft, Banner Saga and such. But I'm assuming that we'll want to address AAA games only even though some indie games have absolutely rocked the market as though they were AAA.

Are you under the impression that there were a ton of new IPs created in the 90's? There weren't. Nintendo was in full Mario milking mode with a ton of spinoffs but not new Ips. Pokemon via a 2nd party and Kirby would be the shining exceptions and Smash Bros could be an example if you ignored it being a spinoff of multiple IPs. But even being generous we're not even talking one for every year for the undisputed heavyweight champion of that console generation and the second place studio that is Sega wasn't producing anything that could rightly be called "IPs" so much as just games centered around things. It's why except for Sonic they have such horrible brand recognition despite having produced a lot of fun games. Keep in mind that this is slightly unfair to Nintendo because they preferred to innovate with new gameplay mechanics rather than new IPs. Even so, my "less than a game per year" was being generous enough to include those drastically new mechanic games.

When Sony showed up in 97' we did see some nice new IPs but overall the decade fared worse than we fare now in five year periods. It's because the market is hugely profitable now with a lot more major development studios.

So just think, what are the big name new IPs of the last ten years compared to the big name NEW IPs of the 90's? I mean, we still have Bioshock, Portal, Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge, The Last of Us, Gears of War, Red Dead Redemption, Watchdogs, Destiny, Borderlands, Splatoon, God of War (2005), Ni No Kuni, Dead Space, Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Dark Souls, inFamous, Batman Arkham Series (Questionable about it being a new IP so feel free to disregard like you would the drastic reboot that Fallout 3 represented), Uncharted, Resistance, Dead Island, Dishonored, Rage, Deadspace, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Witcher, Metro 2033, and so many others. These are just the first titles that came to my brain jellies that I've actually played and have sold millions of copies. I literally am just stopping my list because I just went to VGCharts to look at the top games from 2005 forward that were original IPs and realized I would be here for a much longer time. I mean, the list of tremendously popular AAA games is increasing dramatically. We're entering an age in which gaming is becoming like movies to the point where we can't play all the major games that come out in a given year. Were you a gamer in the 90's? There was solid time between the release of good games. Now we can't keep up and people now complain about their backlog of great games for goodness sake. I can't keep up either and I now have more time than ever to do so. None of this go to school and then go to work to pay for games nonsense. Just big-boy work and then games.

This isn't even getting into iOS gaming. The Apple iPhone (1st generation) came out in 2007. Every title developed for smartphones is well within ten years of us now and more than likely in the last five years.

The proliferation of sequels in the market isn't a sign of a failure to produce new IPs, it's a sign of success at having produced so many successful new IPs recently.

Question: why are you focusing in the 90s and not in the PS2 era?

Lightknight:
snip

Saying that Nintendo only went Mario milking mode in the 90s is making F-Zero, Pilotwings, Super Scope 6 and Star Fox a big disservice (not to mention Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Punch-Out and SimCity). But besides that, this isn't about Nintendo. This is about the entire game generation. No matter if it was developed by Nintendo, HAL, Rare, Atlus, Sega, Capcom, Konami, Lucasarts, Maxis, Squaresoft, Activision, Bandai, Blizzard, id Software, Sierra, Broderbund, Bullfrog, Data East, EA, Infogrames, Psygnosis, Software Creations, Taito, Tecmo, Sunsoft, Zoom, Toho or Coconuts Japan. We are talking about the rate of new IPs vs. sequels.

EDIT: And if the game's name relevance is concern, let's keep it at AA games and above.

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