As if casually talking about the weather outside, Bethesda Game Studios dropped a pretty big bomb (no pun intended) on Fallout fans a couple of hours ago on their Twitter account. Check out the tweet below:
Initially, this sounds like totally good news, right? Who wouldn’t want to wander the wasteland with their favorite vault dweller in perpetuity? You could just run around forever, as you progressively reaching god-level proportions of power, until every settler in the Commonwealth bows at your feet in equal parts awe and humility. That sounds good on paper, sure…but is this for sure good news? Let’s unpack this a little bit.
As Matt from MrMattyPlays on YouTube mentions, we do all have our main character that we take throughout our experiences in the wasteland. Sure, we’ll make more characters to mess around with, but ultimately we have a major one we try and do everything with.
The same is true with Skyrim. With Khavarri, my Khajiit jack-of-all-trades, I scoured nearly every square inch of the harsh country of the Nords, or at least as much as I could squeeze into a month’s time. I got every achievement, found every artifact, did every side quest I could find, then that was it. By the time I was level 80, nothing could touch me on the hardest difficulty setting. I would flick the mightiest of foes, and they would explode with the power of a dying star. Forget about the obscenely overpowered alchemy exploits — I didn’t even need those. I was a doom upon my foes.
This isn’t exactly a bad thing. Players should be rewarded for putting a ton of time into their games, but by the time I was done with that one character, I had no desire to play Skyrim ever again. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game. There was just nothing really left for me to experience. No real replay value to motivate me to play. After I finished the Dragonborn DLC, I never played it again. I understand that I’m probably a huge exception compared to other Bethesda fans. Hell, my mom is STILL playing Skyrim after four years of exploring it. It still is a potential issue that comes with an unlimited level cap and freedom of play after the main story.
Here is what I’m interested in, as a fan of RPGs. Player agency. Freedom of choice. I want to feel like my decisions have weight, and my choices won’t exactly be the same as any other player in the room. Having freedom of choice naturally encourages you to play the game over again. What happens if I side with this faction? Can I kill that guy this time around? Things like that. Pair player agency with a good story, and you have something magical you would want to experience again and again. You don’t really need an unlimited level cap if you have that.
I’m not saying that Fallout 4 won’t have those things, in fact all of the things I’ve heard or seen about the game suggests the contrary. I just want Fallout 4 to make me want to play it more than just once, and to actually have a meaningful impact in the world it is presenting. I have every confidence that Fallout 4 is going to be amazing, and that I will spend way too much of my life devoted to playing it — I just hope that it can manage to keep things interesting every time I play.
I have no intention of playing one character to infinity and beyond. Thanks to Bethesda’s new approach to storytelling they’re trying this time around, I’m excited to try things in different ways than usual.
Are you excited about the lack of a level cap? Or do you think it could be a crutch that holds it back? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
Find out more information about Fallout 4, and other Bethesda titles on their website below: