Fallout 4’s brilliantly realized wasteland is gorgeous. From its dilapidated shanty towns to its picturesque nuclear hellscapes, the Boston Commonwealth is a treat to explore. What better way to navigate the Fallout landscape than with friends? With that in mind, here are five reasons why Fallout 4 would be better with multiplayer.
For all its atomized beauty and stunning vistas, the Commonwealth is also a lonely place. I recently decided to leave Sanctuary on a journey across the entire border of Fallout 4‘s map. I love bumping into strange micro-stories and weird outposts, but even with an NPC companion, the long trek can get a little stale. If I had a fellow player by my side, I could wile away the hours in conversation about mirelurks and their tasty, tasty innards.
Importantly, the NPC companions in Fallout 4 have great banter, so it’s clear Bethesda approves of some wasteland cameraderie. I’d be happy if an online friend could simply jump into my single-player campaign and take on the role of Piper, Codsworth, or even Dogmeat. Man’s best friend would be even better as my actual best friend.
2. Wasteland Economies
Despite my best efforts, I’ve spent way too much time building custom weapons, power armor and settlement. Many of us are tinkerers at heart, crafting for the love of it. What if Bethesda incentivized this behavior by letting us sell our goods to other players? In a multiplayer ecosystem, the player who loves to venture into the Commonwealth to salvage junk could pass those goods onto players like myself, who could build and sell weapons and armor to other adventurers. Even more exciting, all the Fallout 4 builders out there could create prefabricated custom buildings to sell, letting even impatient survivors decorate their settlement like professionals.
3. Living Settlements
Speaking of your home-sweet-home, why settle for NPCs who wander around your encampment like lost puppies. In a multiplayer environment, other players could be your neighbors. Watch as your tiny settlement becomes a city. Return from your own treks into the Commonwealth to discover your fellow town resident just built a rooftop bar, complete with a disco-ball dance floor. Enjoy decorating for the holidays? Now people can finally appreciate your exterior decorating. The towns of Fallout 4 will really come to life when they’re inhabited by other creative players.
4. Heightened Strategy
There’s a desperation to the fights I have in Fallout 4. My companion runs in without my permission, blasting away at some unseen foe. I go into VATS, frantically shooting at the closest target, already thinking about where I should throw a nuke grenade. I die a lot in Fallout… a lot. With a player companion by my side, I like to think I’d approach combat more tactically. Doing reconnaissance and flanking your enemies is far more effective when working closely together with a real human being. Even VATS could improve multiplayer combat by requiring coordination and timing. Sometimes I just need another person to have my back.
5. Survival Mode
Sometimes, I also just need another person to shoot me in the back. Games like Day-Z, H1Z1 and Rust have popularized competitive survival gameplay. These open world games are thrilling because you know that just over the hill or just around the corner, you could bump into another survivor desperate enough to kill you on sight. Fallout 4‘s wasteland is so well-realized it’s begging for a brutal survival experience, where the raiders you encounter are just other players scavenging the Commonwealth for supplies.
I know this is a pipe dream. The amount of work it would take Bethesda to add a multiplayer component to the game is staggering. Todd Howard, Director on Fallout 4, said so himself: “That’s an awesome idea that is way too distracting from the main thing we want to do, which is single player.”
I’d never want my dream of Fallout 4 multiplayer to ruin the single player experience. For now I’ll continue to explore the wastes with only Dogmeat by my side… at least until the modders show up.
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