Kotaku Ranks The Fallouts

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    I disagree. Fo1 has a better driving premise, but the much more developed setting in Fo2 (especially in terms of interconnectedness) gives it the edge. Neither game has much of a story as such.

    I remember from my first playthrough of Fo1 it felt pretty much like they were ticking off a laundry list of PA standbys. It's well realized but far from all of it is brain candy.

    This is why we can't have free-roaming robots. :(
     
  2. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    Not just the driving premise, but the entire story-arc (or whatever you would prefer to call it) is way, way better in FO1. Just compare:

    FO2: The Chosen One, born in a primitive tribal village (what?), potentially proficient in everything from science (huh?) to unarmed combat, goes out to find a device which will without any technical supervision turn their village into the breadbasket of California (i.e. through magic); he finds that device in a Vault populated by talking mutated chameleons (i.e. magical creatures), after which his village is taken captive by an organization desiring to murder 99% of the world population for the lulz (very, very, unreasonable).

    FO1: The Vault Dweller, potentially proficient in everything from science to unarmed combat, heads out to find a new Water Chip (i.e. science fiction) to keep his Vault alive. He finds the Chip in ruins populated by people exposed to radiation and the FEV virus (again, science fiction), after which his Vault is endangered by a movement desiring to forcibly adapt humanity to its new living environment (potentially reasonable).

    I admit that in terms of general setting the difference is less stark, but FO1 still wins because it's less lulzy all round (I'd prefer tired PA standbys over porn studios any day). The interconnectivity is great of course, but you could still put that under the "stuff" category.
     
  3. tekhedd

    tekhedd Hoarding ammo IS gameplay

    206
    Oct 28, 2008
    On serious consideration, I realize there is only one appropriate response here: "Why am I wasting time discussing the opinion of someone who ranks Fallout 1 last among the Fallout games?"

    I realize that this is, technically, a troll because it adds nothing material to the thread, so in order to avoid wasting your time I guess I'll just say

    F1 > F2(with community patches) > New Vegas > F3

    (didn't play Tactics).

    F2 without community patches might actually tie with New Vegas because it is nearly unplayable and the "unfinishedness" of it makes it feel sort of hollow sometimes. But, no, F2 still beats NV because it's more fun to play with the ammo. In general at some point the game mechanics become more important than the writing, and that's somewhere around hour 15 in the middle of combat. Also, I got sick of NV's endlessly deep conversation trees. Don't get me wrong, I love games with conversation, but at some point they get actually kind of boring. Once I know what's going on with the plot, I'm sick of talking, and to me crafting is just a very special kind of padding pioneered in the MMO world. So, yeah, I'll stand with my ranking above.

    F1 last? *sigh*
     
  4. Goral

    Goral It Wandered In From the Wastes

    113
    May 5, 2008
    What? Junktown "gang" was on Gizmo's payroll and they were basically a cheap source of muscle for him. They were basically "raiders for the poor" that liked to do whatever they wanted.

    As for The Blades, we don't know much about them so saying that they have no grounding in reality is baseless. Personally I think it's very possible that people would like to come together and live as a small group that would have more freedom rather than being random people in some bigger community.

    In Poland (where I think you're also from) there are about 2.2 doctors per 1000 people and you have to wait years to get specialized treatment. Sure, there are almost 40 million people here but look at the percentage: it's 0.22%. So assuming that in a post-nuclear USA that percentage could be even lower (why wouldn't it be? We have many Universities and yet the number is so low, so in a post-apocalyptic world where only in the Vaults people would have that knowledge plus some few other exceptions it would not be easy to produce doctors or even paramedics) I think shihonage's assumption is correct.

    What? In Fallout 1 the only prostitutes I remember where in a hotel (in Junktown where there was also a casino) or bar/casino (in the Hub) where there was a constant influx of clients with cash. It doesn't change the fact that he was nitpicking here but on the other hand it's also clear that you don't remember F1 that well. When was the last time you played it?

    And I find it sincere. As if Poles would do otherwise. His point about robots using precious energy and materials is sound. I think that in a post-apocalyptic world (even in more advanced and civilized than the one we know from F1) there would be more important things than robots or neon signs. New Vegas is basically new New Reno.
    I have to note you're being silly because I also share this opinion and as you can see above more people agreed with him (not counting users who did so with irony). So it is shared by other users on this forum (how large is that group of people is another matter).
    lol
    When you look at a Palace of Culture and Science do you imagine it's Empire State Building? In FNV (and F3) you have everything in 3D so when I see a computer model of a house I don't have to imagine it anymore. On the other hand in Fallout 1 and F2 everything is more "sketchy" allowing imagination to work.
     
  5. tekhedd

    tekhedd Hoarding ammo IS gameplay

    206
    Oct 28, 2008
    (Yes two replies, but they're supposed to be separate thoughts!)

    For me, the one thing about Fallout 1 that is different from any other game I've played is that I didn't save and reload much (except when it crashed). :) When my character would die, and this happened a lot, I would actually go back to character creation and create someone different. It never occurred to me to use quickload every 10 seconds as is the norm in pretty much every other game. This is probably why I never was very good at stealing--facing the consequences of getting caught without reloading was really not a good career move.

    I still remember when somebody said "sad because you finished Fallout and you're looking for the next great game? Start Fallout again." In Fallout 2, you had the tedious introductory zones to navigate. Yuck. And seriously, start another playthrough of F3? No thanks: one and done!

    But now that I think of it, it's a significantly difference even between Fallout 1 and 2. I expect to die in F1. in F2, well, to be honest I expect the game to crash with save-game-killing bugs and to have to start over from the beginning because I bought the game on launch week and it was basically bugged beyond belief... But after most of the game-killing bugs were fixed I spent most of my time playing with guns and hoarding ammo. F2 is a party-based role playing game whose primary gameplay mechanics are hoarding ammo, praying for critical hits, and trying to get laid. (Did I just describe The Witcher? So sick of making potions!) All of which is entirely awesome and wonderful, but it didn't quite have the same "survival" thing going as F1.

    Stabbing rats with a crappy knife outside Vault 13 was as much fun as the entire first two *towns* in Fallout 2. I always wonder what F2 would have been like if they had finished it.
     
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Uhu! Not correct!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd-WVOQwTYU
    Titan the Robot punches drunk guy. Butlins Bognor 2010.

    you just have to teach them how to defend them self. Thats all.
     
  7. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    I think so too.

    Story, setting, theme, mood
    it's same thing that fo3 fanboys trolling about.

    writing isn't that important.
    it would be good to have better writing but actually good writing doesn't mean good game. fo3's main problem isn't about writing.
    as a Fallout most important thing is: use skill to solve problem(not just using stupid mini game) and quests that are actually connected each other and affect other quest or situation or ending.

    there's no aspect that fo3 has as a Fallout.

    I don't think it's good game as a TES or just FPS either.
    as a TES, there's only 2 town that works as a real town and too little NPC to gain information and dialog system isn't fit for TES.

    as a FPS.... I'm sure you guy know this.

    for Fo1, there are plenty of bad points that are solved at Fo2
    and setting or theme or mood isn't that important aspect for me.
    Fo2 has better job for quest, rule and mass.

    for NV, it has best aspect of choosing.
    for varios ending NV is the best among Fallout.
    and for story, NV is best.
    problem is that distractor plays too much rules for that choosing.
    and actually it was problem both Fo1 and Fo2.
    if the game doesn't give you a distractor, then you can ask about that. that's the biggest problem of whole Fallout series.
    but for Fo1 and Fo2 you can choose what skill to solve problem without distractor.
    so I rate Fo2 over NV.
     
  8. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    Huh.

    I played F1/2/3 and NV - for how long, is another story.

    Rather disappointing to see a mod resort to strawmen.

    Another strawman.

    Another strawman. It is intellectually dishonest to compare gangs to talking cowboy robots on the scale of plausibility. Especially when said robots can be made town sheriff.

    Is this a joke? The less people you have, the less proportionately doctors you have, and the less you have producers of the crucial medical supplies.

    Ok, so we are not in a post-apocalyptic world anymore. What's the point of a Fallout game, named after nuclear Fallout, if it veers far enough off course to have so little to do with post-apocalyptic vision?

    Wait... less humans per square mile means less of them get injured by wildlife between settlements?

    Actually more humans would just demolish or otherwise control the wildlife to ensure safety of passing between settlements.

    Making something "rich and respectable" on paper and completely failing to do that in terms of visual/level/human design in a first-person shooter is a complete failure.

    Isometric games can get away with abstraction, but when the view is shifted to first-person, you have a far heavier responsibility when it comes to your quasi-realism. All your abstractions start to stand out like a sore thumb.

    They had "losers" walking around and such. Given tremendous amount of abstraction isometric perspective allows, it was sufficient. The Star Trek syndrome where each planet is represented by a small village, worked quite well in Fallout.

    Doesn't work so well in first-person games which take pride in forcing player on long walks because supposedly all this space is "real".

    Any power received from an abundant source has to be put to the limit in a post-apocalyptic universe. You're not going to channel it into "neon lights", just regular streetlights, IF EVEN.

    There's never enough of it for basic stuff like generators, and hey, the retarded cowboy sheriff robots nead to eat too amirite.

    Thanks for reminding me. The game starts off in a house of a doctor who has no patients except you, has supplies for complex surgery and an infinite amount of time to spend nursing you to health.

    That was the first blow to integrity of this world. Post-post-apocalyptic or not.

    Not in New Vegas they aren't, because New Vegas population is implausible. Real people living in similar circumstances would gang up on the robot and 5 minutes later they would be happily dividing scraps.

    Aren't you getting tired of all these strawmen? I know I am.

    Clever... I guess? It does amuse me how my bashing of a game makes people go all ad hominem.

    Aand finish with another strawman for good measure. You do know that putting words in people's mouths doesn't make it so?

    Just checking.
     
  9. JimTheDinosaur

    JimTheDinosaur Vault Dweller
    Modder

    736
    Mar 17, 2013
    I was talking about myself (not you) not having played 3/Vegas/Tactics, and how even with that in mind I could recognize the validity of all your points. :monocle:
     
  10. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    I prefer Fallout 1. Fallout 2 is easier to play because of the interface improvements, and it has many nice things about it generally, but every single time I replay it there's a sad moment right about the time I hit NCR where I realize the best part of the game is over, and everything else is downhill. It might be twice as long as Fallout 1, but the second half is a disappointment.

    Also, I simply cannot stand the Enclave and the President. That whole aspect of the story is farce, and farce doesn't compliment Fallout very well. Fallout 2 would be a better game if the Enclave had never been imagined.
     
  11. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    Tim Cain is very politics-aware and doesn't like to upset people, as we can see from statements like these:

    Bolding is mine. It is the real answer to the question but it is buried under enough padding as not to stand out as inflammatory.

    Bolding, once again, mine. It is anyone's guess as to whom the word "people" stands for, but, if I understand correctly, Fargo was the overseer at that point.

    There's also this:

    Finally, the most relevant to my point - Fallout 2 is not Tim Cain's vision of Fallout.

    As you can see from these words, and many other things he said I'm not going to quote here, Fallout 1 distinctly feels like Tim Cain's baby, and when he left, the magic was gone, too.
     
  12. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
     
  13. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    The point was the lack of exposition. It's never explained or hinted at how Junktown or the Boneyard gangs sustain themselves (you can assume something, but compared to the amount of thought that went into Shady Sands, the Hub, Brotherhood, or even Adytum it stands out like a sore thumb). Pointing out the flaws in Fallout 3, but ignoring the exact same flaws in Fallout is double standards per definition.

    The key error here is comparing a non-collapsed, industrialised society (though shihonage might disagree on the subject of his own country) to a post-collapse society where a majority of the population was killed off. We have a centralised system of health care that provides a certain standard for everyone which is coupled with extensive transportation systems that allow people to reach their doctors and hospitals.

    Fallout has neither. You have isolated medical practices and small hospitals scattered throughout the land and few people can afford transportation. Population is, likewise, distributed in settlements throughout the wasteland. Due to that, there's little risk of overcrowded clinics barely able to provide the most basic of services, since there's very few clients at any one given time (Razlo, Morbid, CoC hospitals, pretty much any medical place in Fallout 2 and Fallout: NV). Except, of course, if you set up shop in a more populated area with the intent on healing the poor and the sick asking for little, if anything in return (the Mormon fort). Unsurprisingly, if after the collapse you're in a populated area and don't charge for your services, you're overcrowded.

    shih's point was that prostitutes were standing on empty corners with no clients passing them by. Neither Fallout nor Fallout 2 ever showed clients passing by prostitutes or picking them up. You have static prostitutes standing on empty streets and static clients in casinos. You're connecting the dots in Fallout 2, but refuse to do so in New Vegas. That's the very definition of double standards.

    Yes, we would do otherwise, as would do Russians and any other nation. People are not rational, but they aren't entirely instinct-driven either. This ties in into another problem: you are consistently treating the Fallout wold as a post-nuclear one and the people as survivors. This is erroneous. Do you consider modern Europeans to be post-Napoleonic survivors? If not, then why are you considering people over six generations later to be post-nuclear survivors?

    The nuclear war is the foundation of the Fallout world, yes, but it was a singular event two centuries earlier by the time of Fallout: New Vegas. Since then, people established new societies, new civilizations, and started building a new world. People are meeting their basic needs are are moving forward, needing circuses on top of their daily bread. This is a perfectly normal development, one that has been witnessed throughout history. Sure, there might be more important things objectively, but subjectively, people like shiny things and entertainment.

    Side point: what does the robot have that the people need? People scavenge what they need and want. Destroying a robot and picking it apart fulfills none of that, unless you like robot innards decorating your house.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall you or a majority of other users on this forum (apart from singular examples) ranting about how everything post-Fallout 1 is garbage.

    Suspension of disbelief, bro. And technically, everything you see in Fallout 1/2 is a computer model too, the only difference being that it was pre-rendered and stored as sprites.

    How about you reply with something substantial? Like demonstrating how you're not elevating Fallout 1 to an unreachable plateau of perfection.

    No, it really isn't. You're talking about "theme park" design, which is related to the consistency and versimilitude of a presented world. I point out that Fallout 1 has these problems in the same aspect, and your response is to move the goal posts. You made a point about theme park design exemplified by Primm Slimm, not exclusively about cowboy robots. Yet now you deny that.

    For the record, Protectrons were established as one of the primary security models used before the war, so you're using pre-existing functionality. And if you don't like him as a security enforcer, uh, don't make him the sheriff? You'd have a point if the game forced you into picking him, but as it stands, you have three options. Meyers or the NCR are perfectly plausible alternatives to Primm Slimm. Don't blame Obsidian for choice sof your own.

    No, it is a simple understanding of the fact that the amount of doctors isn't tied linearly to the amount of population. With a much smaller population you have much smaller demand for medicine. Sure, advanced surgery and medical care might be hard to come by, but the basic needs can be met by anyone with a first aid handbook and some tools. That's the key point. While the overall standard of medical care is going to be much, much lower, the knowledge is there and can be learned and/or taught. As exemplified by pretty much any local sawbones starting with Fallout 1.

    Sure, medical care's availability might have been kicked down a few notches, but the difference between the 18th/19th century and the world of Fallout is that the latter has already developed its medical sciences. It was fragmented by the nuclear war, but not erased. Which is, y'know, shown in every Fallout game sans Fallout 3.

    To be honest, only Fallout 3 fits the bill for a post-apocalyptic game. Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout: New Vegas, are all games that use nuclear war as a backdrop, yes, but it isn't the primary focus of the games. The focus is always on the development of communities and exploring the themes of persistent conflict between humans even in the face of apocalypse, directions in which societies may develop if the preceding society crumbles, the adoption or rejection of the pre-War legacy, and so on and so forth.

    The point of a post-apocalyptic setting is to give the author(s) the possibility to freely explore themes without being bound by earlier history and circumstances. Nuclear war creates a blank slate, but it's not the slate that's important, but what's written on it. Focusing on the blank slate gives you Fallout 3. Which, I'm sure, is not your intention.

    A lower population density means less opportunity for people to clash with the local wildlife. Of course, assuming that the local wildlife would aggro 100% of the time, which simply doesn't happen.

    Oh hey, I'm not sure if you forgot about it, but you didn't actually address my point. Point out how Novac's location design doesn't support what's stated in the game, please. As it is, you're asking me to believe you on your word. I don't do that, at all.

    Except you raised a point about prostitutes picking up people and merchants being visited by clients. You're constantly moving goal posts.

    Funny how I have no problem suspending my disbelief in this aspect. Or maybe I'm a retard, is that what you're implying?

    I guess you missed the large, spinning neon for Gizmo's casino, then? Power is channeled where people want it, not where it's actually needed. You're working on some weird assumption that people in the world of Fallout are perfectly rational in contrast to our own reality, which doesn't follow and is completely untrue.

    Totally. It's completely incomphrehensible how a former Vault physician living in a quiet town where the worst injuries are Gecko bites and basic injuries would take his time to nurse a survivor of a gunshot wound to the head to health. I'm not sure what standards you are using, but making sure that you have the right tools for the job is just common sense for any profession, particularly doctors (and judging by Mitchell's age, he had plenty of time to do so).

    It's funny how you point that out as a supposed flaw, yet conveniently ignore the fact that aside from the CoC hospital and Razlo, no clinic in Fallout/Fallout 2 is ever portrayed as having patients. With the exception of two (Andrew's and Fung's), non-Vault medical facilities are also portrayed as generally pretty spartan and underequipped. Hell, Painless Doc Johnson can outfit you with subdermal armour implants in a Redding clinic, with only a basic operating table and no Auto-Doc.

    But, of course, you are going to handwave that as "off screen" supplies and gear, while hammering against e.g. Mitchell. Which is, by the way, the definition of double standards.

    Why? What does Victor posess that Goodsprings doesn't have already? He doesn't supply spare parts, fuel for generators, fission batteries, water, or food. What amenity could scrapping him provide that the people of Goodsprings couldn't get in an easier, less troublesome way?

    You're dodging the point.

    Only going by what you post. And so far, it's a pretty constant stream of "Fallout 1 is King/Everything else SUCKS". Peppered with dodging the point, moving goal posts, and a general lack of intellectual honesty.
     
  14. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    At first I saw "Tagaziel" and thought, nah, not worth the time and energy. He's just going to ignore everything, repeat himself, and dump a bucket of strawmen on my head.

    Then I thought, hey, why am I being so jaded. I gotta give this guy a chance, assume the best for once.

    Sigh.

    You stretch plausibility to extreme lengths to try and close holes of New Vegas, which is definitely assisted by your general inability to interpolate how poverty, scarcity and general survival works in the real world.

    Most tellingly, the fact that you don't admit to a single one of my arguments being valid, really does foreshadow that this exchange is merely the competition of who has the most time to waste.

    You need to take a serious look at the definition of strawman.

    It works like this:

    "When did you stop beating your wife?"
    "I was never married and I'm paralyzed!"
    "STOP DODGING THE POINT!"

    Protip: when you put words in someone's mouth and when called on it, continue to disingeniously push for a response, don't be surprised if they stop wasting time on you.

    Protip#2: that is the case here.
     
  15. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    If you were not interested in an honest discussion in the first place, then why react? You're making points scattered all over the place. Now I'm devoting time to addressing them, no matter how ridiculous they seem to me, and you don't even have the courtesy to respond to them.

    Fact is, I don't find your argument valid, since there is very little there to validate. You're making very broad strokes and plenty of generalizations, without narrowing your point down and explaining what, exactly, are you addressing.

    This makes it particularly amusing when you are dodging my points and moving the goalposts, then accusing me of intellectual dishonesty in the same post.
     
  16. Sobboth

    Sobboth It Wandered In From the Wastes

    177
    Aug 29, 2010
    F1 story was 10/10 for me, everything was a surprise, the setting was new and story very well paced.
    I like better F2 than F1 though because it's much bigger and nothing shocked me as incoherent or stupid, except San Francisco, the initial dungeon and the GECK thing .
    Sure New Reno is not realistic when you think about it but the location was very well implemented IMO and had his place in the gameworld (NCR/Redding/Vault City).

    Fallout 3, i have fun with the game, it's a "good" game because the exploration and atmosphere is awesome. Problem is that you discover the content is awful.
    I remember when i was playing F3 that i was so disgusted by the content that i replayed f2 in the same time.
    Problem was i already replayed F2 so many time that i knew everything and at one time wanted to discover something new so i was going back to play some F3.
    When i could not stand F3 dumbness i switched to replay some more F2.
    And so on.
    But Fallout 3 doesn't feel at all like a Fallout game. Not talking about the quality or even the gameplay but atmosphere and setting. It's like a new setting with elements of Fallout 1/2. It feels really weird.

    FNV main story is quite good but nothing fantastic, the content is good too. Lot of people say dialogues are very good but i disagree, i find it coherent and intelligent but also bland and lacking personality, especially your main character. Only memorable character for me was Cassidy's daughter (and not because she is Cassidy daughter, her character is just very well written)
    Otherwise very different from Fallout 1/2 dialogue wise, not the same feeling.
    And the timeline has progressed so much that it is like it is not the same setting anymore.
    Add the fact that it is not isometric and you can't say it feels like a fallout game too. It's a good game though, very solid but in the end nothing really impress me. I enjoyed it a lot but i did not have any WTF moment of F1/F2. I think it's because nothing surprise me.
     
  17. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    People find it "very good" after having Fallout 3 lower their expectations of writing to abysmal, barely-put-words-together, levels.

    In reality of course, FO:NV writing and world consistency is on the same level as a modern Bioware game(which is a level superior to Fallout 3). It doesn't mean a whole lot, just that the language is legible and there's no town standing on a nuclear bomb.
     
  18. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    and people like you is same level as fo3 fanboys.

    I really annoyed when you guys blame fo3 for only bad writing.
    actually Fo1,2's writing isn't masterpiece or briliant. it's just good.
    NV also good too for writing NV is far better than Fo1,2.
    but that doesn't mean NV is better than Fo2.

    the most important thing of Fallouts isn't about writing or mood or other bullshit. they are just decoration. it is same thing to say throw away treasure and just take empty treasure box.
    important thing is how to solve the situation and how does that solution affects the world.

    I rate NV lower than 2 even I like more than 1,2 because in NV the solution to solve the situation is given in distractor. but rate higher than Fo1 because it gives lots of interesting situation and that limitaion comes from distractor was solved by various solutions and various incomes.
    and I rate Fo1 low because except for motivation, there's nothings left to superior than Fo2, NV, even Wasteland.
    lots of bad points are fixed at Fo2 and Fo2's quality of quests are same or better than Fo1.

    mood? theme?
    doesn't it fo3 fanboys' trolling method?
     
  19. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    I don't understand your English well, but you're clearly the type of player who values raw mechanics over storytelling and world cohesiveness.

    To me, the writing and world design are inseparable from the game's fabric when it comes to RPGs. Otherwise, why not just play X-COM?

    That said, I respect your point of view, and I cannot dictate how you enjoy your games.

    However you also have to admit that your compromised English, combined with your general lack of caring about writing, may prevent you from noticing the difference in writing quality between various games.

    Fallout 1 didn't have writing that stood out as particularly flowery or used fancy words, and yet it was compact, relevant and effective. That is where many other games stumble, because they think good writing must involve waxing poetic or have long paragraphs of description.

    Often in games the most information is relayed through a very compact sentence, and there's skill involved in composing that sentence.
     
  20. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Hm, I haven't played F3 yet and still the writting in FNV looks pretty good to me. There's a lot of interesting texts hidden in corporate terminals, most of the NPCs can talk with you about different topics, your companions have even their very own story-wise history and so on. Such a shame they ruined dialogues with that ridiculous [Science 60] skill check tags!