Where does Bethesda take its post apocalyptic RPG franchise next?
Fallout 4, in the end, may have had its merits and qualities (and almost a year after its release, even I have begun to come around on the game somewhat), but it still was a disappointment. Bethesda dumbed down far too many of the RPG aspects of the game, making most things – such as dialog choices, leveling up, and entire playstyles -irrelevant and redundant.
The trend over the last few Bethesda games, ever since Oblivion released ten years ago, and through to Fallout 4 last year, has been one of constant streamlining and outright dumbing down of major elements, in an attempt to chase an ever broader audience. And while sometimes Bethesda manage to strike the balance between depth and accessibility right – 2011’s Skyrim was arguably the zenith of this juggling act – at this point, they’re tipped too far on the accessibility side of the scale.
So I guess the fear with the next game in the Fallout franchise would be that Bethesda make it even more dumbed down than Fallout 4 was, while the hope is that they reverse some of the decisions that they took in the game (some of which they have openly admitted didn’t go down as well as they had hoped). The more pessimistic among us would hope that Bethesda at least go back to Skyrim levels of complexity, while the most optimistic ones will probably hope that Obsidian – the studio that originally created the Fallout franchise, and was then brought back on board to create New Vegas, often considered to be the best game in the franchise – get to make the next game in the series. And indeed, rumors of a Fallout: New Orleans trademark registration will fuel those hopes.
But no matter whether the next Fallout game is New Orleans or Fallout 5, no matter what form your hope takes, I feel reasonably confident in suggesting that most people will want some more complexity in the next Fallout game than what Bethesda offered in Fallout 4.