Hey look, Fallout 4 got “upgraded!”

I had another review planned for this week, a positive one at that. But then I remembered that after the launch of the highly enjoyable Fallout on Amazon Prime, Bethesda promised an update to Fallout 4 with the bait, quote, “bug fixes.” That update arrived, and like a noob, I downloaded it hoping for the best.

Some of you might be new to my blog and don’t know that I don’t care much for Bethesda, but I also rather liked Fallout 4 because it was the most stable of the 3D Fallout games. (Okay, also because I like the music. I’ve actually played sometimes just to listen to Diamond City Radio a few hours before erasing my save file.) Granted, it always has been buggier than an ant farm, but it rarely crashed on my PS4 (RIP) or on my PC with the settings all locked to Medium.

So “bug fixes” called me back because I wondered, could I finally recruit Tina DeLuca to join me at Sanctuary Hills? Would I finally get Sanctuary to 100 percent happiness even if I recruited The Concord Five? Could I convince Marcy and Jun to work for more than one day on farming instead of watching them pound a hammer on a rusted metal wall?

But of course, nothing got fixed, and Bethesda went and Bethesda’d so hard that no one besides Mr. Matty is happy.

Before I get to my own gripes, let me mention a couple of spectacular fuck-ups. First, this anniversary update was meant to include Steam Deck compatibility. Welp, that didn’t work out because the Steam Deck version does away with the popup that lets players decide on their graphics settings. Bethesda came up with a default graphics setting that crashes most Steam Decks frequently. (Sarcastic Gasp!)

And for those of you debunking every Bethesda complaint with “Duh, there’s a mod for that,” Bethesda broke a lot of mods with this update, just like they did with the introduction of Creation Club in Fallout 4, and with the Special Edition and Anniversary Edition of Skyrim. There are guides on Steam on how to roll back the game and turn off auto-updates just to get back to playing your saved modded games. Yes, eventually you can mod to fix anything in the new version, but you can also count on Bethesda to routinely drop by and break your game with another update. And, you’re welcome.

But let’s set that aside. I last played Fallout 4 four months ago because Steam had a sale on all the DLCs, which meant I could finally get them all and try out the unofficial patch and add a few minor mods and graphical improvements. But even going to the barest minimum of mods, they broke the game so hard I frequently ended up with the ground and buildings all in black with a sky all in white. So I got rid of the mods and played the whole game vanilla with my standard settings. It was mostly a good time, with the usual assortment of bugs.

I deleted the game, and then deleted the folder to get rid of old save files, and I moved on. Cue this announcement that a new update will offer bug fixes, and my dumb ass ignored the maxim “Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.” No, all I cared about was fixing specific bugs. But since it promised graphical enhancements, I also downloaded it to see if it could get the kind of glow up that Skyrim had moving from the launch game to the Anniversary Edition.

Let’s set aside the fact that not one bug I hoped got fixed was addressed. Let’s just take that as a given. With a fresh install and nothing modded, my game crashed five times just trying to get to the vault. Worse, despite the character creator looking great, every single model looked atrocious. I went back to the settings and returned to my standard settings, the ones I’ve been using since buying the game on Steam ages ago. I crashed every twenty to thirty minutes. The only way to avoid that nonsense was to downgrade my setting to the lowest possible values for every setting: lowered resolution, lower draw distances, lower debris, no decals, no reflections, no nothing special. Folks, even then I could expect a crash every hour or so. They took the one Fallout game I praised for its stability and made it crash as frequently as Fallout: New Vegas.

What. The. Fuck.

I don’t even know why I’m surprised anymore. But I just figured, with two mediocre releases in recent memory, Bethesda might take this opportunity to bring fans back on board with the last game to come out that sucked less than their usual efforts.

Even before I went to post this, Bethesda has announced another update that’s meant to both fix the graphics problems they created, but also to add in “bug fixes.” Because we know how much they’ve historically worked to polish all their games, right?

That’s really what boggles my mind. This is a company that has consistently released updates that further break their already broken games. They promise to fix their stuff, and six months later, they issue a patch that breaks even more stuff. But somehow, they’re still in business.

It’s like if I set up a lemonade stand, but I just peed in the cups. Then some people up the street grabbed the cups and diluted the pee with sugar, lemon, and a lot of water. So then I saw the success of my lemonade stand, and so I shit in all the cups. That’s Bethesda, all day and every day.