Sailing to Far Harbor

Having finished off my trek through the Wolfenstein games, I decided to get back to my playthrough of the Fallout 4 DLC. I finished off Automatron last month, and was now ready to head off into the Far Harbor DLC, which is one of the larger scale content pieces added to the game. The quest to get started begins by heading to Stadium City and picking up an assignment from Valentine’s Detective Agency, where you are to meet a family who’s daughter has gone missing. Heading to their house on the edge of the map took some time, but once there the family is straight to business. He thinks someone has kidnapped his daughter, while the mother thinks that she has left. Her grandfather died and had been her closest friend, spending time with her tinkering on various projects. Listening to some of her holotapes, it seems that she has made contact with some Synths on a far off island, and it seems that she is confused about her heritage. Either way, Mr. Nakano lends us his boat so we can head to Far Harbor.

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Once there, we are greeted by one of the leaders of Far Harbor along with some of the locals. Immediately there are some big monsters that are laying siege to the town, so you jump in to help eliminate them. Afterwards, you let the people know why you are there, and you’re sent to the tavern to recruit “Longfellow” who will take you to Acadia, where Kasumi was said to have gone. Longfellow makes you buy him some whiskey before heading out, but leads you through the fog to get where you are going. It turns out this fog is radioactive and there are a couple of other factions on the island outside of the Far Harbor folk. The Children of the Atom (a name we’ve heard before) have a headquarters here, and are said to worship Atom, and this is said to be “his land,” probably due to all the radiation. Anyway, they seem a little crazy, but we only had a short interaction with one of their members. The other faction are these synths in Acadia who have fled the mainland and created a stronghold so that they can live freely. Longfellow gets you to Acadia and then takes off, and inside you find DiMA, who is the synth’s leader. He talks in riddles to a degree, and tries convincing you that Kasumi is a synth and that’s why she belongs in Acadia, while also trying to confuse you on the subject of whether or not you are a human. In the end we find Kasumi and she’s not going anywhere, but it’s hard to tell if she’s a synth or not, as most of these synths look like humans. The leadership of Far Harbor and Acadia have given me a multitude of tasks to complete, and that’s where I left off after this first session. I have a feeling it’s going to take me a while to clear Far Harbor, but I’m looking forward to the adventure!

Fallout 4 DLC: Automatron

With all of the E3 2018 hype surrounding Fallout 76, I decided that it was time to revisit Boston and finish up the DLC for the game. I hadn’t played since I beat the base game back at the end of 2015, while the DLC came out slowly over the following year I had at that time decided that I would wait until it was all released before diving in. Well, it’s been a couple years since then but I’m finally making good on this so that when Fallout 76 releases later this year I’ll be ready to move onto the new title. The first DLC that released for Fallout 4 was Automatron, an expansion that adds robotic friends that you can build and customize to use as your followers. Doing so requires you to complete a short and sweet questline which I was able to complete last night.

When I first logged into the game I was greeted by several new quests that were associated with the various DLCs. Each requires you to listen to a radio frequency on your Pip Boy, at which point you’ll then be shown where to go to get the quest started. The radio frequency for this particular quest sent me off in the direction of a distress signal, and once there I found a swarm of robots duking it out in the wasteland. After the fighting stops, we meet “Ada,” a robot that seems a bit more sentient than others we’ve seen in the commonwealth. She tells us about “The Mechanist” who is a villain of sorts for this particular questline. A person who has created robo-brains and other dastardly robots that seem intent on killing off any threats to humanity, including humans themselves. They seem to have killed off Ada’s friends, and she wants to join you in taking The Mechanist down.

We track down a radar beacon which Ada tells me that we need to locate The Mechanist. After doing so we create the new work bench for robo pals in Sanctuary, and I set about installing the beacon into Ada. At this point I took the liberty of beefing her up a bit as well, because if I’m going to have a companion follow me around they better pull their weight. Afterwards, she says we need to find a couple more. One of which is hiding inside a raider base, so that took some effort to get to.

The third and final beacon is installed in Jezebel, a robo brain that doesn’t have a body and has been “poked and prodded” by these raider scum. She pleads with me that if we take her from that place she will give us the beacon, but that there will be more necessary to confront The Mechanist. She wants me to build a body for her, and from there she will provide us with access codes that can be installed in Ada so we can proceed. I did so, and she kept her word despite Ada’s warnings about robo brains. We learn that The Mechanist is hiding in a Robco Sales & Service building, so we head there.

This dungeon of sorts was crawling with bandits and robots alike, and took some time to get through but eventually we were facing off against the Mechanist. There were a ton of robots to kill during this fight and I died several times, but eventually we had won. The Mechanist turned out to be a woman named Isabel Cruz, and she didn’t really seem to be malicious, only trying to use her robot creations to create a better world. She ended up leaving peacefully, and I ended up getting her suit which was a bit of an upgrade over the gear I had been using prior. Over the course of the DLC I gained a couple of levels, from 33-35, so I’m now ready to head into the Far Harbor DLC.

After that point, there’s Nuka World, as the other DLCs are only workshops and don’t include new quest content. I’m not as interested in the building aspects of the game so I’ll be moving on after I complete these new areas. Look for more on this soon as I intend to finish fairly quickly.

Fallout 4: Main Story Complete

I’ve “completed” Fallout 4. That is, I played though the entirety of the main story and I saw the ending trailer. I’m by no means finished with the game, as I know there are further quests in my journal and plenty of map that I could still scour. There’s leveling to 50 and attempting to collect all of the goodies that I’ve missed to this point. There’s also DLC on the way, within the next month or two I’d wager, so I will definitely be back for more adventures in the wasteland. Oh yeah, and that’s not even mentioning all of the mods that are out or being worked on. I’ll have plenty of fun with this title for a long time to come. It’s just going to go on the back burner for a while.

For those of you who aren’t interested in my further discussion about the game, which will include some SPOILERS, feel free to see your way out. The game released almost two months ago, so most people who were early adopters are likely done with the game by now. I know I’ve read plenty of posts stating that the authors had finished the game, but there hasn’t been too much open discussion about it. I just have a few things I want to get off my chest, and then I’ve got a video to share. Again, SPOILERS beyond this point.

The general consensus seems to be as follows:

You either
a) didn’t play The Witcher 3 so you think Fallout 4 was the best game of the year or
b) you played The Witcher 3 so you think it was the best game of the year

I’m not sure why this has to be a competition, but that seems to be the way of things. I can compare the two games in that they’re both open-world RPGs but that’s where the similarities stop. I could make comparisons between The Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V as well, but I won’t because I know that people will just focus on that and miss the point. Mostly, I just don’t want to compare them because I haven’t played The Witcher 3 yet and though I already know I’m likely to enjoy it and it’s on my wish list, at this point I’m waiting for a GOTY edition to drop before bothering with it. I’m also likely to give a better score to Dragon Age Inquisition than many people did just because I’m a fan of that series and I think the things people complained about with that title are things that won’t bother me so much. But that’s a story for another day.

So the fact that this shouldn’t really be a competition doesn’t change the fact that it is. I nominated Fallout 4 as my GOTY for 2015 on a recent episode of the podcast, but Eri went the way of The Witcher 3 and we both gave our reasons why we liked each. I had another conversation with a fellow blogger and guildmate who basically called me stupid for thinking Fallout 4 was worthy of that GOTY title when a game like The Witcher 3 simply exists. It was like I had committed cardinal sin. No, not really, but that sounded pretty dramatic 🙂 Seriously though, the biggest complaint he had was that Fallout 4 had a sub par storyline and when compared to The Witcher 3 it really stood out. I think that complaint would be thrown out the window if these two titles released during separate years. Either way, I’m not trying to demean The Witcher 3, but I honestly think Fallout 4 was a fantastic title and is worth your time.

The main point I think that was missed was the fact that Bethesda games have never really been about the story. I mean yes, the story and lore drives the overall narrative, but that’s not what these games are about. These games are about just seeing what’s over that hill, finding hidden paths, secret caverns and treasures and killing mass amounts of enemies while doing it. You sort of piece together your own narrative, and sometimes that means skipping the main questline for a while or experiencing it in parts. Perhaps you’ll blow through it but then explore the rest of the world at  your own pace once it’s complete. Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas; they’ve all had their share of piecing together the storyline in your own way at your own pace. I can’t speak for The Witcher series here, but I’m willing to wager that it has a better written storyline because there is something lacking in another area. I won’t know for sure until I play it, but I’ll get to the bottom of this sooner or later. Perhaps it is just the better game, but I reserve that judgement for a later date. For now, check out my final epic moments video below:

State of the Game: Holiday Haul Edition

sotg

It’s been quite a while since I had so many titles to talk about at once that it warranted a SotG post, having had bigger games to sink my teeth into as of late. Still, between my birthday last month, Christmas in a little under a day and having a few bucks to spend of my own, I’ve come out with a bunch of new (to me) games to play. Not like I didn’t already have a massive backlog and plenty that I’m currently playing, but that’s okay, the more the merrier! Right? Well… I guess the jury’s still out on that one.

So I’ve been plugging away at Fallout 4 since its release back in mid-November. I really like the game, it is my GOTY after all, but I noticed after I played it consistently for about a week, I started to taper off and experimented with other games. I’ve got about 40 hours into the game, and that’s a small amount compared to people on my friends list, so I know that I’m not the quickest out of the gate, but I have started to push the storyline further to the point where I’ve hit the “twist” part of the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but I think I’m starting to push towards the latter portion of the main questline. However, I have done quite a few of the side missions and various activities along the way, so I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what the wasteland has to offer. At this point I’m ready to finish up the main quest and then perhaps load up a bunch of mods and see what other fun I can have with it while we all wait for DLC packs to come down the pipeline. Here’s some various shots from recent adventures:

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There’s a few new videos relating to Fallout 4 on my YouTube channel as well. The other game I’ve been playing pretty regularly for most of the past month is The Crew Wild Run. I am still enjoying this one as well for when I want to progress in a different fashion, and sometimes you just need a racing game. It’s nothing that breaks the mold too much but I have enjoyed progressing through the world and upgrading my cars. There hasn’t been much in the way of a challenge thus far, though I haven’t done much PvP just yet. Looking forward to being able to unlock all specs and a bunch of cars to mess around with. Here’s some more shots from fictional USA:

As far as new games go, I had some extra money burning a hole in my pocket and as soon as the Steam Holiday Sale got started I knew there’d be something I could pick up on the cheap. I ended up buying Windward, which is a sandbox trade/pirate simulator, that has been on my wishlist for quite some time. There isn’t a whole lot there when it comes to depth, but it has various elements you’d find in other RPG and Indie games. The worlds are procedural or hand made by you, along with some other various factors that you can set up such as factions and whatnot. There’s “gear” in that you can upgrade you ship (buy new ships altogether too), there’s “quests” but most of them become repetitive after a time. There’s a bit of city building, there’s exploration, and best of all you get to blow shit up with your cannons. I played it for a few hours, and recorded some video but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the recording just yet. Overall it’s worth the asking price, and even better on sale. If any of you have this one, let me know so maybe we can do some co-op stuff. Multiplayer seems relatively dead on the hosted servers.

I also picked up the latest Humble Bundle, due to some prodding by Eri. Episode One of Life is Strange was a part of the $1 tier, and she has been pushing me to try it. So now I can, though I haven’t yet. Also included at that tier was The Last Remnant, which is a JRPG that is sort of old but looks rather interesting nonetheless. The first three Tomb Raider games, all of which I played way back when but haven’t touched since were ported to PC at some point and were also part of the package. Lastly, a game that looks neat but I know nothing about is Murdered: Soul Suspect. They all look like their worth spending some time on, but I haven’t gotten around to any of these just yet.

Today I was surprised by my sister and brother-in-law, who gifted me a couple of games off of my wishlist for Christmas. One was the Legend of Grimrock sequel. Simcha actually gifted me the first game last year around this time, but I never beat it — I got stuck on a difficult puzzle and never went back. I was just going to let the sequel collect dust for a while and try to go beat the original before playing it, but I had to check it out, so I did a while earlier. It’s very much the same sort of game but there is a combination of outdoor and indoor zones that makes it feel better. The combat and semi-action oriented way in which you can dodge and move around feels better than the original as well. The first boss I came across kicked my ass though, so I think I’m going to customize my party when I get back to playing it. The other game they gifted me was The Evil Within, which is the game that came out last year from the creator of the original Resident Evil. One of my buddies raved about this game so I’m glad I’ll finally get a chance to play it.

Apparently the pattern of being unable to wait to give me gifts persisted, because my Dad ended up sending me a copy of Grim Dawn, which is a new-ish ARPG that is just about to full release next month. They are calling it “feature complete” at this point, but it is still tagged as Early Access for now. So far it reminds me of older D&D inspired games, Diablo II and Path of Exile. It has that dark and gritty aesthetic, but it feels faster paced than PoE. It feels more on par with Diablo II and III. Either way I played for a couple of hours, hit level 15 and called it a night, but I’m liking what I see so far. There is a system of upgrading your weapons and a devotion tree that remind me of systems from PoE. Then there’s the skill tree that is more reminiscent of an MMO really. There’s also the ability to dual-class, and that is pretty neat if you ask me. I rolled a Demolitionist, and the went with a secondary of Occultist. Basically I’m a pyromancer mixed with a marksman that has a crow for a pet. It’s weird, but cool. Here’s some screens from that title as well:

So at this point, I’m really trying to divide up my time as best I can, but there simply isn’t enough time in the day for all of this. Add in the fact that I’ve been playing League of Legends semi-regularly, Diablo III has a new patch + new zone coming, there are betas/alphas I’ve been participating in, and I have no time. That’s just going to get compounded as time goes on. But hey, that should mean plenty of content to share with you guys, right? See you soon. Oh, and I probably won’t post for a couple days, so Merry Christmas everyone!

The Wasteland Has Me

If you follow my other blog you’ll note that from the moment I had my hands on Fallout 4, it’s been nothing but pictures from that game. I also haven’t had any guest submissions for a while, so my own screenshots were the only thing to keep the site going, and I’m not playing any MMOs, or many other games for that matter as of late. However, that site is just dedicated to pictures — landscapes specifically — so you don’t get to see some of the other cool screenshots I’ve stored up that tell little parts of the story on their own but still remain mostly spoiler-free. The game has been out for nearly a month now, and I know several bloggers have recounted their adventures in a spoiler-free fashion as well, but everyone tends to approach a game of this scope differently. Some people pushed through the main story and beat the game already. Others avoided quests like the plague and got caught up with base-building or exploring. People like me have done a little bit of everything, but still haven’t seen all this game has to offer and still intend on putting hours into it. As such, there’s some screens I’m going to share that might be spoiler-y but that’s doubtful. You’ve probably already seen much of it. The shots are in order of my taking them, so it sort of tells my own personal story, and how I’ve bounced around between all of the activities the game has to offer. I would give a more in-depth account of my experiences, but I think the pictures do a good job of conveying little tidbits in interesting ways.

So without further comment, here’s a bunch of screens for your viewing pleasure (click for full-screen gallery):