On Fallout 4 and Objectivity
A reminder of the facts by allout
Over a year ago now, I wrote an article asking a simple question: What if Fallout 4 Sucks? In that piece, I imagined a world where Fallout 4 was a total disaster of a game and sent shockwaves throughout our culture. Does Fallout 4 suck? You’re free to think so, and it is by no means “disrespectful” to believe that, but objectively, it is rather hard to defend.
“But Monte” one says “If I think Fallout 4 sucks that’s my opinion, and you can’t tell me it’s not true!”
Fair enough I would say, that is your opinion. However, I am also free to have an opinion of your opinion, and criticize it using quantifiable measures. To really evaluate your opinion, we’d have to ask what other games you think “suck”? Is a game like Ride To Hell Retribution in your category of “bad” games with Fallout 4? Or is your opinion of a “bad” game more along the lines of Watch Dogs and No Man’s Sky (which both have comparable scores to Fallout 4 and sold well also)?
It is logically irresponsible to say something is “bad” without equating it to something else that you think is “bad”. People who do not do this should not be taken seriously, and their opinion should not be thought of as anything more than a meaningless quip. This is because the word “bad” by itself is vague, instead saying something along the lines of “Fallout 4 is one of the worst games in existence” is a bit more clear and can be evaluated easier. Objectively we can look, and say Ride to Hell was universally panned by critics and consumers alike while also selling poorly, by using actual data. It is therefore among the worst games in existence. By that same token, we can see that Fallout 4 while garnering lower than usual scores for a Bethesda Game Studio’s game overall, still scored in the mid to upper 80’s according to critics. Although its metacritic user score is in the 5.5-6.5 range, that is still an average score, and respectable. 80% of reviews for the game on steam are also positive. One can also look at sales, and see that Fallout 4 moved $750 million worth of copies in a few days, selling who knows how much more since. These are not the traits of something that is objectively of poor or “bad” quality. If however, you equate being “bad” to being “average or slightly below” (which is using the word “bad” quite irresponsibly) you could twist the data and cherry pick enough for your opinion to hold water. If the game was objectively bad and deserved to be placed in the category with games like Ride to Hell, it would not have good-average overall scores from critics/consumers, mostly positive reviews on steam, and have sold incredibly well.
If we couldn’t use quantifiable data to judge something’s quality, than one could say After Earth is better than The Godfather and that would be totally reasonable. One could find some dude playing piano in a restaurant somewhere and say he’s better than Beethoven and that would be fine. In this world, whether you like to admit it or not, there are things, movies, shows, and yes, games, that are better than other things, movies, shows, and games. Some are good, some are bad. One can like a bad thing, but you cannot claim that bad thing is better than a good thing based on anything but your personal opinion. On the flipside, one can not claim a good thing is bad based on anything but your own opinion. I can say the Dallas Cowboys are a bad team even though the data says they are 11-1, but I should be expected to be called out for that. I could say they are a bad 11-1 team though, just as people can claim Fallout 4 is a bad Bethesda game or bad Fallout game compared to the other games in the series and such, since that is much more subjective.
But when comparing Fallout 4 to all games, it is not of bad or poor quality by any objective measure.
This is not to say however the game wasn’t disappointing to many; something can be disappointing to a degree while still good overall. However the data clearly shows the majority of people, critics and consumers alike, have a positive feeling toward the game. People who have a negative feeling toward the game are a part of a smaller, more vocal minority. It’s that simple.
Why am I taking the time to write all of this fairly obvious stuff you ask? It’s because when people on both sides of the fence get to talking about controversial games like Fallout 4, they neglect these undeniable truths. They use words and phrases like “bad” and “most people don’t like this game” too loosely. That should be expected because this is the internet after all, but since people felt the need to drag MrMattyPlays through the mud for what he said (while making logical fallacies themselves at times in regards to objectivity) in his video , I feel it is necessary to once again lay out the ground rules that must be obeyed for people to have a reasonable discourse. No, the majority of people do not think Fallout 4 is a bad game. By all the available data, that is a false statement. It shares no qualities associated with bad games like poor critical reception, negative user reviews, low sales etc. Maybe this was one of the main points Matty was trying to get across in (I think it was personally). It’s easier to word things like this when you sit down and type it rather than rant off the cuff.
Just be aware, that if you want your opinion to be taken seriously in the public discourse, you have to accept the facts. The sky is blue. The Dallas Cowboys are 11-1. Fallout 4 has mostly positive reviews. Deal with it.
Fallout 4 - http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/fallout-4
Ride to Hell: Retribution - http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/ride-to-hell-retribution
Go here, thanks. http://sugarbombed.com/index.php?threads/state-of-the-forum.21523/