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Gameplay And Story Segregation / Fallout

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    Fallout 3 
  • Fallout 3:
    • Many sequences in the game assume that the player is the low-level, relatively-inexperienced teenager with some combat skill that the game's story says they are, rather than the high-level murder machine with a kill count approaching the Doom Marine's, as they probably would be in actual gameplay by the time you get to those sequences.
      • A notable example from the main plot is the first mission at Project Purity: the game assumes, via your father's dialogue, that a dozen-odd scattered basic Super Mutants with hunting rifles, sledgehammers, and the occasional assault rifle are a huge challenge and apologizes profusely for the necessity of sending you to fight them. He also assumes that you'd be helpless against three Enclave Elite Mooks. This is why he sacrifices himself to take out Colonel Autumn and his two bodyguards, and why the end of the mission is framed as a chase sequence with you desperately avoiding Enclave soldiers and never having to fight them back at any point. The problem is, unless you're deliberately rushing through the game, your character could almost certainly take out at least a squad of Enclave soldiers at this point, and an arbitrary number of basic Super Mutants (Masters and Overlords are another matter).
      • The Pitt DLC has you knocked out by four raiders in an ambush at the very beginning, and having to side with one of the factions in the Pitt to gain control and break out. The stronger of the two factions consists of a few dozen unarmored barely-trained raiders armed with low-level weapons like 10mm pistols, 9mm submachine guns, double-barrel shotguns, .32 snubnose revolvers, hunting rifles, and the occasional mid-level weapon like assault rifles. That your character could be wearing Powered Armor and toting a Gauss Rifle, giving them the ability to easily wipe out either army alone even if they weren't an absurdly skilled ace with a 100% rating in every combat stat, is never accounted for.
      • Speaking of which, at the end of the main story, Owen Lyons gives you a suit of T-45d power armor and the opportunity to become a Brotherhood Knight, which is treated as an enormous reward. The squad you're assigned to even says not to be too nervous about the post, sure that you'll do well, but also say that they won't immediately throw you into tasks that only veterans like them could reasonably handle. This is utterly nonsensical for most players who are probably carrying top-level Enclave gear superior to anything the Brotherhood could give them and could butcher the whole squad in moments without breaking a sweat. The ending slideshow depicts your character in light armor and wielding a hunting rifle at an ambiguous period of the game implying that's how you were meant to be going for most of the story. Even though the player likely would have found combat armor and a light machine gun a few hours in.
    • In the ending Project Purity must be activated but the person who does so will receive a lethal dose of radiation. This completely ignores the fact that players, at this point in the game, have enough items/perks to render themselves nearly completely resistant to radiation. Oh and your super mutant and robotic party members (who are completely immune to radiation) and your ghoul party member (who is healed by radiation) won't step in to save the day either. To accommodate the Broken Steel DLC's extended main quest, this was changed such that the radiation only puts you in a coma from which you wake up two weeks later. You can also ask your radiation-immune followers to step in for you, though for whatever reason this still gives you the "cowardly" ending cutscene.
    • The main path to Vault 87 is impassible due to incredibly high levels of radiation and a jammed door beyond that. However, the Enclave is able to enter when they capture you after you retrieve the GECK.
    • The Brotherhood often note that Enclave power armor is super-advanced and better than even their T-45 armor. It really isn't; it's at most a tradeoff and it's no better as protective gear except for a slight boost to rad resistance. And the T-51b, which should be far outdated in comparison, makes the Enclave armor look like a joke. This is because, due to Villain Decay, you fight Enclave soldiers all the dang time and therefore you have tons of corpses to loot Enclave armor off of, while the T-51b armor is unique and only found in one spot (two with DLC). In Fallout 2 and New Vegas, where a different suit of Enclave armor is present, it is indeed a step up from even the best Brotherhood armors (balanced out by being rather uncommon) - even funnier because the Enclave armor in those games also happens to be the Mark 1, while the weaker one's described as the Mark 2. In fact, the comparatively crappy T-45d in New Vegas is the same suit as the generic Brotherhood Power Armor from Fallout 3 (the one that has nigh-identical stats to the Mark 2 Enclave armor in 3). It's possible the Mark 2 was designed for ease of mass-production, given that the Enclave in 3 clearly have more soldiers to equip than the Enclave in 2, but that's a post-hoc rationalization at best.

    Fallout: New Vegas 
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • The Remnants Power Armor is a fantastically-rare set that is only worn by a select few individuals within the Mojave (including the Enclave Remnants, and an explorer/prospector whose suit you can nab from the high-level Deathclaw Promontory near the southeastern corner of the map. In-universe, the NCR hates the Enclave and has a shoot-on-sight order (and in two of Arcade Gannon's endings, the character is forced to go on the run when NCR rangers recognize his Enclave armor). However, you or your companions can freely wear Enclave armor around the Mojave without anyone saying a word, even around veteran NCR rangers like Chief Hanlon. Word of God from designer J.E. Sawyer is that he had intended to give the Enclave armor an effect similar to Ezio Auditore's family cape (a Bragging Rights Reward) from Assassin's Creed II, where all factions would attack the player while wearing it, but couldn't figure out a way to balance it in gameplay.
    • Even though the Courier must receive special training to wear power armor, all humanoid companions (except Lily, who obviously wouldn't fit in it) can wear it, even though it only makes sense story-wise for Veronica and Arcade to have received power armor training.
    • Collecting any of the snowglobes found in the DLCs before you've been to New Vegas will display a pop-up revealing that they've "been added to your snowglobe collection at the Lucky 38". This is before you find out that the snowglobes you've been collecting are (a) your property, not Mr. House's, and (b) located in a special area within the Lucky 38, spoiling greater prominence than the player might have originally believed.
  • The Dead Money DLC:
    • Dean Domino describes himself as the third wheel of the group, noting that while Dog/God has brawn and Christine has brains, he doesn't have much of either. In actual gameplay, though, Dean is easily the best of the trio, as he's the only one who has a gun by default, and being a companion, it has infinite ammo.
    • The message of the DLC is to "let go", and the plot bears this out proper when you reach the vault underneath the Sierra Madre, which has dozens of gold bars with a marginal value of several hundred thousand bottle caps. The gold bars weigh 35 pounds each, despite having a visible "20 oz." symbol on each bar. Putting aside the Good Bad Bugs that allow you to exploit your way out of the vault with every single gold bar, the player is only encouraged to take a handful of bars at max, as the resulting weight will slow them down and make them unable to outrun the final countdown before the collar explodes. To note, the extravagant weight was expressly put in by the devs to stop players from absconding with the entire stash of bars, to the extent that they put in special animations and stopgaps to prevent exploits (which didn't work). Come the following game, gold bars weighed much less and had a much-lower marginal value.
  • The Lonesome Road DLC:
    • Having the DLC installed displays a message the moment the player leaves Doc Mitchell's house at the beginning of the game that a "second Courier" wants you to go to a place called The Divide to "put an ending to things". This occurs long before you get to Primm, where you find out proper that there was a Courier before you that was given the job to deliver the Platinum Chip (and refused), and long before you meet the Beef Gate requirements to get far in the DLC proper. Notably, there are mods that disable this gameplay message (and the start of the DLC) completely.
    • Also in Lonesome Road, Ulysses claims that the Tunnelers are fearsome, dangerous creatures who would overrun the Mojave if left unchecked. This is borne out by the player's first (scripted) encounter with them, when a Tunneler effortlessly rips apart a Deathclaw (who, depending on the player's level, may be able to kill them in one-to-two hits). In gameplay proper, though, they're fairly easy to take down, only requiring one or two headshots each, and the player will end up killing the Tunneler Queen late in the story anyway. Fighting a surprise invasion of them wouldn't be fun, but with sufficient warning and prep time, House's Securitrons or the NCR could make short work of them. Heck, Boone in a suitable vantage point (say, the top of the Lucky 38) with an Anti-Materiel Rifle and enough ammo could probably protect the entire Strip by himself. It's implied Ulysses was exaggerating their threat somewhat, since Ulysses essentially states that he can hold off the Tunnelers and Marked Men alone with his anti-materiel rifle and vantage point if you talk him down at the end of the DLC.
    • At the end of the Lonesome Road DLC, you have the option to nuke one or both of the NCR's and/or Legion's home territories. Narratively, this is a huge moment that should cause massive repercussions for the long-term survival of both factions (especially when in the NCR's case, it cuts off their main route into the region). In gameplay terms, while it will anger one or both factions (potentially to the point of sending hit squads after you), having max reputation with either side causes an otherwise-indifferent response, and completing the DLC early enough in the storyline results in both parties handing you a "Get out of Jail Free" Card that pardons all of your past sins once you reach New Vegas.
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    Fallout 4 
  • Fallout 4:
    • When talking to Codsworth, the protagonist is surprised that two centuries have passed, although the player is able to look at the date and time at the moment they activate the Pip-Boy. This is a Downplayed Trope example, since the situation is disorienting and nightmarish from the perspective of the player character.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel has a shoot-on-sight policy regarding ghouls, synths, and super mutants, but have no issues with you bringing Hancock, Nick, or Strong to the Prydwen or any of their bases. This is especially odd because they will shoot Danse on sight if you do the same, after discovering that he's a synth.
    • Diamond City is also incredibly anti-ghoul, but Hancock has no issues getting in. This is a far cry from Fallout 2, where you couldn't enter Vault City at all if Lenny, your ghoul companion, is in your party. You have to leave him at the gate.
    • Cait requires your help to get rid of her addiction, as she's already starting to die because of it. You, on the other hand can take all the chems in the world, suffer a paltry bonus to your stats and could immediately pay a paltry sum to take care of it.

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