Spoilers ahead… obviously.
I wake up in a frenzy and suddenly remember, my wife was killed. SHAUN! They took him. They took my son Shaun.
This was all I could think of in my playthrough of Fallout’s campaign. Every action, every decision, fueled my desire to find my son. The Minutemen, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Railroad, Good Neighbor, all groups surviving in the bleak future that is the post-apocalyptic United States. Every one, each bound together by their common interests, yet all alike in their desire to survive in the Commonwealth. They meant nothing to me. Yeah, I helped who I could when I could, albeit, only when I thought it would benefit me. Then I got a lead. His name was Kellogg.
I find him, listen to him flap his gums about how my son is where he belongs. He’s alive. He tells me Shaun is a little older than I realize (How long was I asleep?). Before I get ready to put a bullet in his brain, he tells me that he admires my dedication to fatherhood. Why would he say that? Why has he not tried to kill me? Why does he seem ready for whats about to happen to him? These thoughts flood my mind throughout the fight with him and his robot henchmen, and settled when I killed him. I take his pistol, the weapon he most likely used to kill my wife, and I’ll use it to kill the one who took Shaun.
Fast forward to the institute.
I walk into a room and across from me is a glass chamber. In it, is my son. I call for him, and what follows breaks me. He’s not Shaun… it’s a Synth. A man walks into the room and I stand there, beginning to go numb. He tells me that he’s my son. I’m completely numb now. I lost him. I fought through the worst the Commonwealth could throw at me, only to find out that my little boy was gone. This man, may be my son. But he’s not the son I wanted.
I calm down from the shock of the recent events. I’m getting used to the fact that Shaun is an adult now, that although he may not be the son I fought for, he’s still my son. He tells me about the Institute and how important it is and is quick to send me off to prove myself to him and his people. I’ve been instructed to find a runaway Synth and make sure it’s returned to the Institute. Synths are bad? Nick Valentines not bad. The Synth I rescued from the bat-shit crazy Courser that killed his enemies after they begged for their lives, wasn’t bad. I go anyway.
Me and a Courser find and deactivate a Synth and send him home. Shaun approves and is quick to send me to kill…the members of the Railroad… teach them a lesson and destroy the runaway Synths. I agree.
I meet the Courser assigned to help me with the task and I put a bullet in it’s head. Shaun catches wind and wants to meet me, here on the surface of the Commonwealth. I find him and he tells me about he set me free from my prison in Vault 111. He not only had every intention of me walking through the dangers of the Commonwealth, but he positioned me in such a way that I would kill the man that separated us, Kellogg. I was a toy, an experiment to him. With his talk about stopping the various factions of the Commonwealth, and his revenge on the man who was only a puppet of the previous leaders of the Institute, I knew I had really lost Shaun. He was the Institute, he had grow up to become a monster. I told him I was disappointed in him, and he banished me from the Institute before vanishing in a flash of light. I won’t finish the game. I know that every end from now on only leads to the destruction of Shaun and the people he’s lead to believe that there way is the only way. So I can’t do it, he’s my son.
Fallout 4 was fantastic in every aspect, and was a testament to what games are capable of. But the mental struggle it put me through, and having to see what my son had become… I did not enjoy.