Like many other folks, I’ve been playing Fallout 4 this week. By now you’re probably sick to death of blog posts about it. Never let it be said that I shy away from annoying people, so here’s another.
I want to talk about nights in Fallout 4. I’m still early in the game. Level 4 or 5. (I didn’t play Wednesday night so I’m behind everyone.) At my level damn near everything is a danger. There’s an alpha wild mongrel out there that has killed me 3 times already (pro tip: you need to save your game…it’s been so long since I played a game that I needed to save in that I keep forgetting!)
Last night I was working on an early quest, traveling back and forth cross-country. By day the land seems dead aside from the odd killer bug or wild dog or pack of mole rats. But while I was in a building, night fell. Now I had to hike back to Sanctuary in the dark.
I have to say, Bethesda NAILED the night time. It’s not realistically dark, which would be no fun at all. But it’s dark enough that you’ll, for example. see a tree stump in the distance and for a second think it’s a raider. In real-life terms it’s like late dusk, that time when shadows play tricks on your eyes. (In my typically disorganized fashion, I neglected to capture any nighttime screenshots, sorry!)
But even better than the darkness are the lights. If you get up to a high spot during the night and look out over the wilderness you’ll see lots of lights. What are they? I find myself really torn between curiosity and fear. Of course in many cases curiosity won out. Some of the lights are abandoned camp fires (though I’ve been jumped while pawing through these sites looking for valuables when the owner returned from wherever NPCs go), some are camps of raiders. Some are camps of friendlies. And some are just glowing fungus.
I find it really eerie traveling by night in Fallout 4, which seems to be how it should feel.
Of course you can use an “exploit” if you don’t like that feeling. Tapping your VATS button gives you the equivalent of night vision since it’ll highlight any potential targets nearby. I try to resist the urge to use it, but at the same time I’m glad its there for when it’s getting late (in real life) and I just want to finish a quest before bed.
So far I’m really enjoying Fallout 4, which is a nice surprise because I never got very far in Fallout 3, which felt kind of tedious to me. So far Fallout 4 feels a lot more streamlined when it comes to stuff like searching for loot, inventory management and conversations.
Now I just need to find my dog. We were headed for home last night when we stumbled into a camp of raiders. I never even saw them until they started shooting. I had to run, finding enough cover to take a shot every now and then. I killed three or four of them but I was nearly finished myself. I found good cover and ate some food which made me feel better. I started back towards the raiders when a mole rat jumped me, and it wasn’t alone. There were three or four of those ugly creatures and by the time I killed them, I was so turned around I wasn’t sure where the raider camp was. And then I noticed my dog was missing.
I stumbled around in the dark, hoping to find the dog, or the raider camp, or even one of the corpses, but found nothing. Eventually I headed back to Sanctuary, sad and alone. Tomorrow I’ll go searching for my dog. Maybe he returned to the Red Rocket gas station where I first found him.