Fallout 4 Main Story
I have to say that I like Fallout 4's main story so much better than Fallout 3's. I completed Fallout 3's main quest because I felt like I should. I finished Fallout 4's because I was really excited to see what would happen. The story actually drove me to complete it, which is super rare for a Bethesda game. I still don't think I've actually seen an ending to any of their Elder Scrolls games that I've played.
Fallout 4 is my favorite Bethesda mainline story so far.
The intro to the game was super cool. I loved seeing the world of Fallout before it was destroyed. That futuristic yet 50's style is so well done. It's the first true glimpse of that world that they've ever let us see and I thought it was a big insight into the rest of the world of Fallout.
Shortly after entering the Vault and narrowly avoiding death by nuclear war you are frozen for 200 years in a cryogenic chamber, your spouse is killed, and your kid is captured. When you escape the Vault you're compelled to track him down. As someone with kids of my own this setup really worked for me. I was driven to search for the child without dawdling around.
But it's Fallout so there are diversions. Despite being interested in the main story I still spent the first two nights just wandering around and getting the lay of the land. Exploring the world is some of the most fun in the game.
Then I decided to go critical path and blast my way through the story. Eventually the main questline just kinda stops. I wasn't sure what to do so I looked it up. It turns out that the 4 different major factions in the wasteland are needed to progress the story.
All 4 of the major factions have interesting things about them and the coolest part of the main story is that eventually you'll have to pick a side an exclude one or more of the other factions. You can't finish the game and see an ending without pissing off at least one of the four factions.
At this point I've seen two endings. The Railroad ending, which is my main game and the one I'm still playing after seeing the "ending". I also had a good save state to jump back to and see the Institute ending. It was much less interesting to me, but at least I know how that one ends now.
If I ever decide to start the game over from scratch I'll most likely try to get my gamestate to a place close to the endings for the Minutemen and the Brotherhood of Steel. I think you can push both of those close to endgame together without running into too much conflict. Some day I'd be interested in seeing their endings.
I'm currently sitting at about 36 hours played in Fallout 4. I would guess that if you only did the critical path you could probably get to an ending in about 15-20 hours in your first playthrough. But you won't. You'll get distracted by something in the wasteland... and that's fun. So don't fight it.
I seriously overloaded on Fallout 4 in trying to finish it in one week. Battlefront was releasing the next Tuesday and I needed to clear my plate. So I'm stepping away from Fallout 4 for awhile. I want to dive into Battlefront and Legacy of the Void.
But there's so much more to find in the wasteland. I know I'll be back.