I’m still playing Fallout 4 and so I’m going to carry on writing this log of my re-adventures. Last time I talked about my return and left my new character – Brando – well established in the post-apocalypse on the brink of interacting with some of the bigger factions of the region. My feeling is that he may not be the sort of man who always plays well with others, well, unless playing nice serves his self-interest.
He’d already blundered his way into an introduction with the Railroad, but couldn’t help feeling a little judgement from one of their field agents – Deacon – towards Brando’s rather liberal attitude towards drug use.
Which led him to Goodneighbour.
It is the place for down and outs. Users. Schemers. Robots with overtly sexual personality traits. It is where Brando belongs, and so he entered and began to engage with its population, seeking work and possible companionship. He and Dogmeat could always use an extra pair of hands working another gun.
They had already come across Curie in the Vault west of Diamond City, recovering the research robot from her finished project between the walls of the experimental shelter, but Goodneighbour didn’t seem like the place for her to be so she was left back at the growing hub of what Brando perceived to be the heart of his inevitable wasteland Empire – Sanctuary.
In Goodneighbour Brando came across Macready, a gun for hire, and since Brando had the caps to go, two became one for a while. Macready seemed to enjoy Brando’s disregard for personal property and ignored his increasing propensity towards narcotic stimulation. A skinny, smart boy like Brando out in the wastes sometimes needs a little boost, and Buffout certainly does the trick in a pinch. Wash it down with some bourbon, perhaps a dash of Jet to slow things down, it’s all good. And when Macready asked for some help taking out some Gunners who were holding an axe over his head, Brando did the right thing.
Did he do it for the right reasons?
To help a friend…perhaps, but he walked out of that firefight weighed down by loot in either case.
Goodneighbour was a good hub to find some work. Starting in the bar, of course, Brando was quick to take on employment clearing out some warehouses for cheeky chappie Whitechapel Charlie.
He then had to check out a nearby gallery which was causing local raider groups to go suspiciously quiet, on behalf of the Mayor of the town. Turned out a serial killer was letting loose on raiders, using their blood to create disturbing, if not admittedly inventive paintings. The raiders were out for revenge, so Brando shot them down. Then he shot the killer down too, after he had given him a reward for assisting him. There’s only room for so many maniacs in this post-apocalypse.
And after that moral boosting misadventure he took on a big job, assisting Bobbi-No-Nose in the robbery of a strong room belonging to the Mayor of Diamond City, except as it turned out it was never about Diamond City. It turned out to be a con, the robbery was really on the Mayor of Goodneighbour – Hancock. Bobbi knew no one would take a job against the equally ghoulish Mayor, and so lied.
And so Brando killed her dead.
Macready liked that.
But that opened up another opportunity. Hancock, grateful for Brando’s turn, admitted he wanted to leave his cushy office in the state house and travel the ruined world once more, and so Macready temporarily returned to the Third Rail as Brando and the Mayor hit the road, Dogmeat still in tow (blessed be the mods).
With a more amicable companion Brando returned to the Railroad and started to put in some work, doing some good even, he’s still a sarcastic arse with selfish ends in mind, but he did some good for the synths. It turns out helped people are gracious people. This suited Brando. And so he re-assessed the Minutemen…would it really be so bad to have an army of gracious settlers and traders and soldiers at his back?
And with the skills he had been accruing, and the allies by his side, the work isn’t so tough anyway.
The companion system is far from perfect in Fallout 4, but it does do a good job of retaining an element of consequence out of the all-too-binary morality system from the previous entries in the franchise. Having already been through the game a couple of times it is fun to allow Brando the freedom to only really align himself with those who fit with his interests without the fear of missing out on anything. Really a game like this gets better the more you play it, you see the flaws, the nuts and bolts, but you can really focus in and fine tune your experience exactly how you want to play it, and this time around as I guide Brando through his questionable journey through the radiated wastes, I am most certainly playing it my way, and I am most certainly looking forward to continuing playing for many hours more.
Brando has an empire to build, and next time we check-in it’ll be interesting to see how much progress he has made…