Scouting the Commonwealth - The Adventures of James Stark

When we last left off in my recurring series "Scouting the Commonwealth" - where I chronicled my adventures in Fallout 4 - I had wrapped up the main questline in order to put the game aside and move on to other possible Game of the Year contenders. Since that time, Bethesda has released their first three pieces of DLC: AutomatronWasteland Workshop, and this week's Far Harbor so now seemed as good a time as any to jump back in.

Then I remembered I had designed my character to resemble my now ex-girlfriend and was less inclined to deal with that. So instead of just sucking it up and moving on, I decided to start from scratch and make a new character. Since I knew "Trevor Starkey" was a no-go on the game's pre-populated list of names, I went instead with my new Fallout alter-ego "James Stark." A day into the game and I'm making much quicker progress this time around.

I cleared out a lot of the locations up in the first northwest portion of the game. Save the people of Vault 81, helped out a few settlements for the Minutemen, and just walked into Diamond City. Since I was incredibly thorough reading through computer terminals and such on my first playthrough, a lot of the little side stories at each location are still fairly fresh in my head and I didn't need to spend nearly as much time investigating this time. I also have a much better sense of the kinds of weapons, gear, and junk I'm interested in collecting so I'm not spending nearly as much time hoarding stuff I don't need.

I'm still spending a shit-ton of time doing that, but not nearly as much as I did last time.

I'm already up to Level 15. I've found an alarming number of Grognak the Barbarian comics so far. Since I know that Fusion Cores are relatively plentiful, I'm being more liberal with my use of my Sexy Hot Rod Power Armor. And I'm really enjoying little things here and there that I missed the first time around, like Walden Pond or a random diner where I helped the owner her drug-addled son fight off the drug-dealing raiders trying to collect. I'm also coming across way more raiders trying to charge me tolls to cross their bridges...and then murdering them. I haven't delved into any of the new content yet. I figured I'd wait until I progressed a bit further along. I also haven't found Nick Valentine and I'm pretty sure the Far Harbor DLC follows a case of his. We'll see if I get to it before heading to San Francisco on Wednesday. Probably not too likely.

All in all, I'm having a great time back in the Wasteland. And one last thing I've realized this time, the music in the game is really good. I'm not talking Diamond City Radio. Since I'm a little bit over those songs, I've been wandering with my Pip-Boy on silent and just enjoying the atmospheric music that accompanies the game. Fights become appropiately epic, but even standing out in the wilderness has some beautiful underscoring that I missed the last time around when I was so insistent upon listening to the radio stations.