Fallout 4 Almostareview…

This started out as a reply to someone in the comments section of my Steam review of Fallout 4. Due to the strict limitations imposed by Steam on the size of the review and even more so on the size of comments, I found myself forced to post this here…

@RJusto (skip to bottom for more direct answers to your questions) I think my review says it all. If you want to get a better feel of the game YouTube is the place to go, tons of playthroughs, and in-depth reviews on the game. There isn’t any point in me repeating everything that has already been stated in many other reviews about the game itself, the only point of my review is that the best way to judge if a game is good or not is by looking at the amount of hours people played it for because at the end of the day a game is about entertainment, and from an economical perspective it all boils down to how much entertainment you get out of your money. So the question is, howmuch do you pay for a 90 minutes of watching a movie in theaters, and howmuch you pay for this game vs howmuch you play it. If you pay 60 euros for a game, play it for 200 hours and then give it a negative review, then in my perspective you’re simply a d1ck, nomatter how you justify it.

MY PERSPECTIVE on reviews is to decide if a game is good or not. Period. The reviews (in my perspective) are not about if you like or dislike the game, or if you’re pissed that the game didn’t meet your expectations, whatever they are. The question is simple, is it a good game or not. And what better means to tell if a game is good or not but by play time? I mean seriously, would you play a game that you don’t like playing or don’t find interesting? Why on Earth would someone sane would spend 100 hours playing a game that they don’t like!?

As for my personal optinion of the game. There are a LOT of things I don’t like about the game. I don’t need to mention them here since everyone has already mentioned them over and over. But, there are also a LOT of things I DO like about the game. And this is the case with every game I ever played really, there’s no such thing as a game that meets ALL your expectations and has no flaws or shortcomings.

The price is a bit steep because of the season pass. If your wallet can take it, it’s worth buying in terms of the amount of entertainment you get out of it. If you don’t care much for settlement building you may just want to buy Far Harbor and Nuka World when it comes out. I think I played Far Harbor for about two whole weeks to explore everything at an in-depth pace. As strange as it may sound in my almost 600 hours of play time I STILL haven’t fully explored the standard game content YET, that playtime includes 2 different playthroughs (started a new one when survival mode came out) and at least 150 hours of those 600 hours went into playing around with settlements.

I could talk a whole day about the game but nobody would bother reading my rambling so to end this never-ending text wall. I’ll just sum some PRIMARY loves (no point covering the hates since the internet is full of them) about the game:

- An old time Fallout favorite, EXPLORATION and being surprized by discovery and simply “feeling” out places. Simply taking a break from what current objective you’re pursuing in the game, and taking a minute to take in the surroundings of wherever you are, think about the history of the place, build up a movie in your head about what happened there by analizing the “clues” around you. It’s like the game is helping you entertain yourself. You go into an abandoned home, you look around, you read some dramatic logs or notes, maybe sometimes pre-war, and then you can just picture it in your head, what happened there, what those people were doing, what they must have felt. The game packs a HUGE amount of drama into it. Which unfortunately gets completely missed by the “steam review kiddies” since being kids drama doesn’t really connect with them. Speaking of which…

- The drama. Part of the post apocaliptic genre appeal is the drama which is abundend in this game as well as it has been in previous games of the series. And out of all the previous titles, F4 has the most vibrant main story line of all that came before it and starts off with quite an emotional kick. If you’re a parent, you cannot possibly not resonate with the main character and vividly live his/her emotions throughout the story. Again, kids being emotionally premature and not having any clue what it feels to be a parent, don’t resonate with F4′s story line at all but I really felt every moment of it.

- Faction choices. Out of all F titles, this one has the toughest faction related choices you’ve ever been faced with. The game got a lot of flak from people about taking choice impactfulness away from the player but that’s simply not true. While F4 has less impactfulness in minor choices throughout the game, it has MORE impactfulness in the faction choice. You’re forced to choose between 4 factions which all have their own perspective of what’s right and wrong and they are ALL RIGHT AND WRONG at the same time. And it’s really morally tough to make a choice because once you make a choice you’re conflicting with the other faction’s goals and even though you partially agree with them you simply have to destroy them. This brings a lot of drama and realism into the game story. There’s no clear choice between good and bad like in previous games (the ones which are so praised for “choice making”). Game is a lot like life in that way, there’s no clear white and black, just a big smear of gray.

- The crafting system and the weapon and gear modding. The weapon modding itself is probably the most advanced and well done weapon modding feature ever implemented in a game to this date.

- Settlement building. Although I feel there’s no actual end-point to it, no actual grand scheme for it besides role play, I do spend a ton of time building settlements and I’m a hoarder too. I get a kick out of looting everything, and stockpiling it for settlement building and trading. Wished there was some higher goal to settlements and wealth generation (more in-depth game economy) but then again you can’t have everything, and maybe at some point someone will make some mod for it.

- Gunplay & VATS balance. F4 solves the main issue of F3 and F3 NV, which was the really shitty real-time combat which kinda forced everyone into the time-stopping VATS, at least until you got OP and then you didn’t really care anymore. F4 brings a perfect balance between using both real time combat and vats and you never feel you’re forced into either of them and use them more according to your preferences and/or situational.

- Reimagined Power Armor. I just love the new mechanic of PA. I do hate the fact that the game is basically throwing tons of PA at you making getting one feel trivial. But, if you truly want to fix that you can use mods that remove PA from the game to make it more rare. I’m more of a vanila person so I just have to live with it and I just RP a post-apocalyptic Jay Leno that’s collecting PA suits for his PA garage instead of cars…

That’s it, I did my best to avoid writing text walls, but you asked for it! Probably could spend a few more hours talking about the game, but I feel if you’re bringing any useful additions to what’s already been said about the game, then there’s not much sense in saying it.

Windows 10!?

After viewing this presentation, think I’ll stick to Windows 7. Besides a slick new interface there’s absolutely nothing that W10 has to offer me.

The hello thing is plain stupid and terribly insecure, the cortana thing is like having an assistant that can’t really do anything but you can’t fire her cause she looks hot.

The xbox thing is a marketing stunt which achieves two things (for the company not for the user), it draws from the xbox market to add an extra kick to w10 sales, and then it also boosts xbox sales through the fact that w10 comes with xbox live included and people that don’t have xbox but do get a w10 may be inclined to buy an xbox instead of a ps or something else… (SCORE for M$, 0 for users) oh and the backwards-streaming thing?? WTF is that? Why on Earth would anyone want to stream from a console to a PC and play the games that they could comfortably play on a sofa, in front of a big screen TV, uncomfortably at a desk on a small display… and in much lower graphics than it would be if the game was a PC game… just dumb… but hey, a good marketeer is one that knows how to turn a bug/turd into an “innovative feature” (yes u programmers out there know this joke already!). P.S. Hey Microsoft, Valve already did this… THE RIGHT WAY! (MS hint: is backwards from the way you’re trying to do it…)

As for Office… I hate to break it to you M$ but there’s something called google docs which already does all that your Office does, it does it online accessible from any device without having to install any app, and it does it for FREE (I know you hate that word). Oh and gmail is just too epic to replace… (I know you agree, a couple of years ago you got rid of Outlook and made it into an online version which pretty much tries to be Gmail).

Soooo… for non-casual users out there that are actually looking for an operating system focused on getting shit done and not being bothered by a lot of extra cap which isn’t really useful but rather an annoying distraction… Can you guys please make a bare-bone W10 version without all that crap, just give me the nice new interface (no stupid animations and fade ins and fade outs and trans-opacity shit that waste microseconds of my life every time I switch/open windows), no craptana, no fancy office (oh wait I think I need to buy this as an extra if I want it so nevermind…) no stupid “tiles” opening in my start menu (I know! It’s silly! But there actually are people out there that when they open a PC they know exactly what they want to do and do not need “most used” or “favorite” apps shoved in their face all the time to distract them from their actual work.).

I guess what I’m trying to say is… HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPE!

P.P.S. Why does this guy act like he’s talking to 5 year olds. I feel like I’m in kindergarden again and my teacher is trying to explain to me how it’s not nice to throw poo… I know most people out there are not the brightest but… come on… look at this guy… “Danny put the piece of poo down. NO DON’T, it’s not a snowball!!!!!” I’m surprised they didn’t go for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a background music… though the one they picked is close enough…

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S P85D and The Future of Autopilot Cars

The acceleration on that thing is insane, however “with great power comes great responsibility”… (I just had to say that)

Now regardless of Elon’s “Look Ma, No Hands!” (great opportunity missed) moment, what do car autopilots mean for the world we live in? We know the technology is there, but will we ever get to experience a world, or at least cities or countries with fully automated traffic grids? How realistic is this goal, and will it happen in our lifetime?

I think the main problem with car autopilot systems is that the current traffic networks are not enclosed systems, which means that at any time, anything unexpected, outside of the normal driving parameters can occur. This is where a human driver makes the difference.

A human which is paying attention to the environment, can observe things that are likely about to happen. A human can spot other drivers that are driving erratically, they can spot pedestrians on the ground which are not paying attention or are about to jump in front of the car, and so on. A human, through instinct, can predict other humans’ actions or intentions, and they can adjust their own behavior and plan ahead to prevent a potential accident.

An autopilot can do a better job at actual driving than a human.  An autopilot will be fully aware of its environment 100% of the time, it will never make mistakes, it will never be tired, its reaction time will be many times faster than a human’s, and its maneuvers will always be perfectly optimized. However, the autopilot will never have an instinct, it will never be able to predict what other traffic participants are going to do, it will never be able to “read” intentions, and anticipate things that may happen in the near future. And that is the biggest problem with fully implementing autopilots in the near future, at least within the current traffic grid.

Practically, the only way we’ll be able to fully trust autopilots with driving would be on a traffic grid specifically created for auto-piloted vehicles. Think Minority Report. You need two things, you need the roadway to be fully enclosed so that nothing except cars will ever be on the road, and the second condition is for all cars which drive on that roadway to be autopilot driven. Basically in order for a fully automated driving environment to function safely, you need to fully remove the human element from it. No pedestrians, no human drivers, no unexpected variables.

Obviously meeting these two essential conditions is pretty hard. I guess we can start by building dedicated highways for autopilot only driving. Since highways are already relatively enclosed, it would be easiest just to consolidate a highway’s enclosure (make it more restrictive and secure), and then only allow autopilot cars on them. That would be the easiest and most impactful short term solution, the best first step.

Then as time passes and transition to EC progresses, at some point all highways will be autopilot only, which will greatly speed up long distance traffic. However, in order for all this traffic to be absorbed you’ll also need to have autopilot traffic grids inside cities too, otherwise all that traffic from the highways will get choked up at city entrances. This problem already exists with normal traffic right now, so it will only get worse.

The problem with cities is that they are already built… and they are built badly. Well I guess people in the 18th and 19th centuries had much more important things to worry about than how will electric cars autopilot themselves safely at a hundred kilometers per hour on those narrow cramped intersecting roads…

Nevertheless, here we are, with our modern day challenges… it would be impossible to convert current city traffic infrastructure to the conditions required by the autopilot grid without compromising safety. So what to do then?

Well one solution would be to convert the existing infrastructure into parks and pedestrian walkways (environmentally friendly, ideal approach) and then you create a layer of suspended roads high above the ground (this will go well with the future urban development since as time passes we build taller and taller buildings, so instead of driving the car to the ground level and then going 200 floors up, you’ll drive it at level 100 and then only have to go 100 floors up or down). But this is already very high-tech and very expensive stuff, maybe this will happen sometime in the future (if we don’t switch to flying cars entirely), but at this time, it’s safe to say it’s just fiction.

A cheaper and much more realistic approach would be to just double up all roads by building another road above them. Then, instead of having two lanes cramped up next to each other, you’ll have two one-way dedicated lanes, on top of each other. This will give you the space needed to fully enclose the lanes and since they will be one-way and autopilot only, it will allow for high traffic speeds without compromising safety. Obviously doing this would also allow for more pedestrian space around the new stacked one-lane roads, which can be used as green space or wider sidewalks, which will benefit and enable future individual transport technologies like electric bikes, segways, hoverboards, cyberdonkeys or whatever the future brings.

This is not hard to imagine and it is within economical possibility, in fact the cost/benefit factor should be a driving force behind such dream becoming reality. Just imagine the increase in productivity, life style and efficiency which such fully automated electric car traffic grids will bring.

You would literally travel across Europe within a couple of hours of driving, in the comfort of your own car, while enjoying the scenery, taking a nap, doing your work or whatever else you want to do with your time. This will likely even give birth to a new era in tourism. Just  plan your road trip, make the necessary reservations, set your autopilot and enjoy the ride. Travel from a country to another, stop at restaurants, visit landmarks, have everything ready for you when you get there, as you get there, within minutes of scheduled time.  Just imagine driving 400 km and then stopping for lunch at a restaurant, getting out of your car and having your food warm and waiting to be served right away, after booking it online. The possibilities are endless…

The future looks promising, all we have to do is allow it to happen!

"Life's just a game with permadeath… so what's your score?"