I’ve been having a splendid old time in Fallout 4 for the past month, the first game that’s grabbed me for multi-hour sessions for a while. I haven’t finished it yet (no spoilers!), but I do find my attitude and play style evolve somewhat over the course of an RPG; with apologies to a certain obscure playwright:
All the world’s an RPG and all the men and women merely NPCs, and the player in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
At first, the infant, mewling and puking, grateful even for a rusty pistol or a single shotgun shell, picking clean the ruins of every tin can and plastic fork.
Then, the innocent, faced with new people, talking even to generic townsperson, exploring every branch of the dialogue tree, listening to every reply.
And then the lover, taking care to select only the actions that your companion Likes, whether hacking terminals, helping the Minutemen, or necking every bottle of vodka you find.
Then a soldier, furnished now with weapons and armour, though not so fine to ignore fallen opponents who yield useful ammunition and occasional upgrades, willing to use an occasional Stimpack or jolt of Psycho in a fierce fight.
And then the justice, quick now to judge, with subtitles turned on to skip through conversation faster; place the square upon the map, quick now, the reasons matter not as long as there’s XP at the end of it.
The sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered Powered Armour pantaloon, and the side quests fall by the wayside, careful tending of each settlement no longer a concern, loot an encumbrance; “A silver watch with mere emeralds? Pshaw, I stoop only for gold and diamonds.”
Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, a final rush through the final story missions popping Stimpacks like Tic Tacs, sans caution, sans pause, sans everything to oblivion… until the DLC hits.