On Fast Travel (Day 19)

This will be another short post, because I’m writing it on a bus and I’m only this far into the sentence with pretty intense motion sickness.

Today’s post is on fast travel – more specifically, “non-diegetic” fast travel. Games like Fallout 3/NV/4 and Skyrim/Oblivion that let players teleport to discovered locations via their in-game map.

Like most people (I assume), I’m of two minds about the system. On the one hand it’s a fantastic convenience, and as I get busier in life I’m beginning to appreciate that immensely.

On the other, I’ve been playing Survival Mode in Fallout 4 recently and have thoroughly enjoyed my inability to fast travel.

I won’t get into whether or not the player is at fault for using optional systems like this (that’s an enormous post in itself), but I think there are benefits to each side.

Most obviously, fast travel is majorly convenient. It sucks to be given an epic quest and then be told you have to walk for four hours to start it properly.

However, that quest won’t be half as satisfying when you get there, and you’ll miss a bunch of content along the way.

I played F4 when it first released and got bored pretty quickly. I’m enjoying Survival Mode a lot more for a few reasons, but wanted to mention this because I’m finally learning my way around the world. It no longer feels like a disconnected array of theme parks.

How do you feel? Is the convenience worth sacrificing immersion? Do you love or hate fast travel, or a combination of the two? Let me know!

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