So you think you've been playing and enjoying Fallout 4 do you?
The reality is, you're likely only experiencing a fraction of the intended game experience; and I'm not talking about whatever niche of gameplay you find most enjoyable. I'm talking about the wealth of game that you're passing by without even knowing it.
Fast-Travel and the Art of Skipping Empty Worlds
Fast Travel is a beautiful thing.
It's extremely convenient, and it helps speed up the process of getting players where they want to go and doing the things they want to do.
However, it's also quite detrimental to the actual intended game experience.
As an avid MMORPG player who has been enjoying massive online worlds for nearly two decades, I can vividly recall the time that fast travel first made its way into my favorite games and how, after that addition, the world felt significantly smaller and less interesting.
The truth of the matter is that Fast-Travel as a mechanic, in all its trip-shortening glory, actually makes some games worse for the average player.
For plenty of games, Fast-Travel improves the game experience. Any game with a lack-luster world, too little to do or see while traveling, and/or any game that puts pressure on players to move through content will include Fast-Travel as a necessary component. It improves the experience in those cases, because in those situations and circumstances - you're not missing anything anyways.
When Fast-Travel Becomes a Problem
But what about games that actually have a compelling world, plenty of things to do, and lots of interesting geography, people, and places to investigate and explore filling them up?
In those instances, Fast-Travel is mostly a negative feature that detracts from the complete experience.
When you're just flying by everything (and in many games, instantly being transported and not even whizzing by you), you don't get an opportunity to explore any of those hidden wonders up close. In a lot of games, you probably will never even be aware of the really cool things that exist - unless of course you're looking them up online and then checking them out after.
But that's totally lame.
It's exponentially more fun to discover things for yourself.
Bethesda Better-Off Without
Nobody enjoys spoilers, and knowing what you're doing before you do it can make things incredibly mundane and predictable. Fast-Travel incentivizes a predictable gameplay experience by removing much of a game's hidden Easter-egg type content.
For games that have exceptionally well-crafted worlds that are full of interesting places and people and various things to do and interact with, Fast-Travel is one of the most detrimental game mechanics that players can utilize.
Fallout 4 is one such game.
Bethesda is extremely well known for the detail they include in their worlds. I've mentioned before how Daggerfall was one of my very first PC RPGs, and I can still think back and recall how some of my most memorable moments occurred when I decided to travel manually - and that game didn't have nearly as much intentional fine detail as Fallout 4 (and other modern games from the legendary RPG studio). I would argue that almost every Bethesda-made RPG experience could be dramatically improved by foregoing fast-travel.
That is why I've come up with the idea for a Fallout 4 challenge for everyone.
The Fallout 4 Fast-Travel Challenge (+ Giveaway!)
For your next gaming session, pick up a new mission or objective in an area you traditionally fast-travel to, but this time travel manually instead. Take your time and snoop around a little, and see what kind of hidden content you stumble across. Once you come across something really cool or interesting, remember to come back here and post it as a comment so that others can see what kind of things they're missing by utilizing Fast-Travel in a game, that honestly, is probably better off without it.
If you've already spent a lot of time traveling by foot and have some unique and interesting discoveries to share, feel free to share those too!
I've got a special prize I'll giving out to one lucky commentor, and all you have to do is participate to win.
So come join me in giving Fast-Travel the finger and exploring Fallout 4 in all it's apocalyptic glory!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Fallout 4 Game Page.