Fallout 4: How She Should’ve Been A Soldier

Fallout 4 LogoIn my last piece I confronted Fallout 4’s unfortunate bout of sexism. Part of why this is so problematic has to do with how Bethesda billed the piece as, essentially, a ‘gender aware’ game. Part of why this is so problematic is about how incredibly easy it would have been for them to avoid that gaffe. There are so many other ways Bethesda could have handled character creation and prologue that DON’T make the egregious error of stripping a female main character of the soldier’s identity.  I’m not a published fiction author or game dev, but I can write three superior openings, in one sitting, in a couple of hours in front of my desktop machine at home.  Continue reading Fallout 4: How She Should’ve Been A Soldier

Fallout 4: Why Can’t I Be a Soldier?!

Fallout 4 LogoBethesda made a big deal about how romances wouldn’t differ in Fallout 4 based on your character’s gender. I was intrigued enough by the claim, and fresh enough from my 2nd playthrough of Mass Effect (this time as FemShep, who I agree delivers a better experience), that I decided my first playthrough of Fallout 4 would be with a female Sole Survivor. The character-creation experience was encouraging at first. The banter of a married couple in front of the mirror reminded me of the banter between the Lone Wanderer’s mom and dad during the birth sequence in Fallout 3. After modeling my Sole Survivor after my FemShep, I settled into the prologue ready to relive my Mass Effect glory days, only this time with more power armor and ghouls, and less Krogan and Asari.

I saw a uniform on a closet shelf and while the dress you wear by default was okay, I was keen to get the fatigue-action on. Mouse-over, click…

“I’m so proud of him.”

Wait. What?  Continue reading Fallout 4: Why Can’t I Be a Soldier?!

Star Wars ep. 7: The Continuum of Force Awakens

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens promotional poster imageMuch ink has been spilled on the matter of The Force Awakens, and while I have strong feelings about most of the film, I don’t want to re-hash ideas covered elsewhere. So this piece about violence in Star Wars is especially about Rey, and in particular Rey towards the end of the film. As such…

SPOILER WARNING: No judgement if you haven’t seen the movie, but if you keep reading below this cut, you will be spoiled on some stuff. So, you know, click away if you desire…  Continue reading Star Wars ep. 7: The Continuum of Force Awakens

Fallout 4: Town Building Should’ve Been Awesome

Fallout 4 LogoI talked before about how game mechanics need to support the themes of the game, the same as story, visuals, and all the other pieces do. When I heard you could build settlements in Fallout 4, I was very excited. Fallout games of yore featured settlements that had cropped up, towns made of junk that became important oases for travelers and merchant caravans in an otherwise desolate waste full of violence and danger. Being able to take a hand in building one? That’s a genuinely new gameplay experience, and an entirely new role never before seen in a Fallout game. The potential to explore the same themes from a fresh perspective is incredible.

When I first started working with Sturges to improve Sanctuary? I was, again, super stoked. I spent about an hour running around on my own initiative, clearing debris. Then all my work was swiftly undone by a crash. That’s right: I was so excited by the possibilities that I’d forgotten to nervously quicksave every few minutes, even though I was playing a Bethesda game in launch-condition. The potential for town building was that amazing, that engaging.

Continue reading Fallout 4: Town Building Should’ve Been Awesome