Riding the RF
This coming Saturday it is the intention to record the Fallout 4 show for AggroChat since we ultimately put it off until after the Holidays. As a result I am back on the mission of trying to finish up the main storyline so that I can discuss it. I have to tell you… focusing on the storyline has killed a lot of my enjoyment of this game, and even then I find myself having a hard time of not following my instincts and letting myself get lost in the rabbit holes that are the weird side events going on around the commonwealth. However I really really need to focus so I can finish up and be read to discuss the path I took. Tam, Kodra and probably a few others will have likely beaten the game multiple times by the show happens… but so much of my enjoyment has nothing to do with the storyline that I am going to be hard pressed to finish this game once. I’ve logged hundreds upon hundreds of hours in the other Fallout and Elder Scrolls games… and started playing each of them numerous times… and to be honest… I think I have maybe beat the main story exactly once per game. Beating them is just not part of what I find crucial to the enjoyment, but instead roaming around and inhabiting the world is what makes them special. That said I am going to talk a bit about the storyline so if you don’t want to have any plot details spoiled… please just skip the rest of this post.
Firstly… I love the Railroad. I’ve loved everything about the quest sequence so far, from the having to follow the freedom trail to find their base, to the extracting and guarding of runaway synths. One of my favorite missions was when I had to pick up a synth and guard him while waiting on someone else to help ferry him along to his new home. I realized by following the path of the Railroad I would ultimately come into conflict with both the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute, and more or less I am perfectly fine with both of these choices. The Minutemen however, I am hoping I can retain my position with them, because I really like the concept of them as the unsung heroes of the commonwealth. The only frustration so far has been that working on the main story, and also the railroad story… has forced me to follow at least to a point the institute story. Everything about the institute creeps me the fuck out. They keep trying to tell me that they are no where near the bogeymen that they are acclaimed to be…. but then they want me to go abduct a scientist, and act like they weren’t going to give him a choice in the matter. They also really wanted me to create a radio broadcast threatening the commonwealth that if they messed with the institute they would destroy them. Again there is the whole Synth thing as well… if you create life you have to respect it… and they very much seem to treat synths the same way we would treat a toaster.
You would think that by working with the Institute I would come to respect and understand them, but instead it has only served to make me more creeped out by their actions. The only real positive of the institute is the fact that the Courser outfit looks amazing, and I am more than happy to wear it around everywhere. Basically the Institute reminds me of the Vault, magnified to the extreme. Everything is cold and sterile, and I believe you are supposed to sympathize with your son…. aka “Father” but he seems just as twisted and misguided as the Overseers from the various vaults. There is a point where you have this conversation with him, where he basically writes off everything that is happening in the commonwealth as nothing worth salvaging, but instead I feel like I’ve seen so much good already in the people of the commonwealth. What is killing me is how long it is taking for me to get to the point where I can stop playing nice… and help the synths escape from the Institute. There are a few of the scientists that I like, but it feels very much like running around in a creepy 1980s police state science fiction film. Having every single item in the Institute look like 1970s era “high tech” concepts isn’t helping either. I keep having flashbacks in my mind to movies like Logan’s Run or books like Brave New World. Basically the whole experience with the Institute is a whole lot of nope.
So much of me wants to just open fire and take out everyone down there…. then give the tech they have to people who will actually put it to use for the benefit of everyone. They claim that they are the last hope of humanity…. but they seem to be doing nothing at all to benefit anyone other than themselves. They are a bunch of scientists high on the act of doing science…. and seem go give zero shits about the practical application of the tech they are building when it comes to actually improving the world for anyone other than their cloistered society. Basically the Institute is against everything that makes me really love Fallout 4, the feeling of honestly saving the world a little bit at a time. Both the Insititute and The Brotherhood of Steel are these paternal forces, trying to gather power and resources for themselves at the cost of the common folk. So all of that said… I am going to be damned happy when I can finally open fire and leave the Institute behind me. Tam kept alluding to the Railroad not being what they seem…. but I just have not seen it yet. I don’t see the Institute as the noble force worth committing myself to… instead I see a group that causes a lot of harm and ends up thinking of it as “minor collateral damage”. The hubris is strong with them… and I am really hoping I am getting close to ending the story arc and leaving them behind.