The game opens, unlike its predecessor, with a generic introduction centered on an amnesic protagonist (namely, you) waking to an interface. Here you will define your name and facial features, followed by the allocation of points to the Bethesda attribute system (strength, endurance, et al, each governing different player factors). In a short interview with the doctor that revives you traits and special skills are selected by way of psychoanalytic interview. If none of the skills that result from your answer are to your liking, there is an immediate option to manually choose your character set.
Compared to Fallout III this introduction feels forced and uninspired, coming across as a heavy-handed push to simply get character creation out of the way and dump you into the game world. The former’s introduction began with your birth (to patriarchal Liam Neeson, no less) and subsequent rearing, brief adolescent memories, and eventual placement exam as a burgeoning adult. While it was obvious that a character generation and tutorial mechanic was unfolding it was deeply enjoyable, and further it created a sense of attachment to the protagonist. It can likely be argued that waking with amnesia is a tactical choice meant to wedge a certain separation between player and protagonist, sharing in each other’s confusion. Unfortunately it stumbles, and within minutes of waking up you find yourself walking out the door hunting the men that shot you with little to no reason or understanding.
I would feel that I were treated honestly if the tutorial instructions read, “Hurry up and go outside and wander, none of this is integral,” as I had naturally come to that feeling upon setting outdoors. Once outside I was reminded of what defines next-generation Fallout titles with a single look at the expansive, detailed, polished landscape; a war-ravaged desert that we will begin exploring in the following weeks.