Can we just talk for a second about how good Fallout 4 is? So good, am I right?

I don't have a ton of time for gaming these days -- writing deadlines never sleep, don'tcha know -- but when it comes to Bethesda's sprawling RPGs, I always carve out a little niche for fun. I've spent more hours than I care to admit inside Skyrim's snowy deeps, and still have fond memories of Daggerfall.

(Protip: do not go back and try to play Daggerfall on a modern PC. As with so many once-great, classic games, you really can't go home again. Nostalgia is a poison.)

The Fallout franchise has a special place in my heart: the original Wasteland was one of my favorite computer RPGs back in the day (yes, I'm old), and it's been fascinating watching the evolution from Wasteland, to the isometric Fallouts, to the full 3-d spectacle the series has become. I'm also a bit of a post-apocalypse fiction buff, and yes, it's odd that I've never actually written any. It's on my "stuff I really want to get around to when time permits (ha, ha)" list.

A few hours in, FO4 is pretty much everything I could have hoped for in a sequel. And that's a high standard after Fallout: New Vegas, because, well, c'mon. Vegas. FO4 is beautiful in motion, with fantastic ease-of-life upgrades (showing containers' contents on mouse-over is a tiny thing but such a timesaver), and while I know opinions are mixed on this one, I dig the stronger narrative elements and the Mass Effect-ish conversations. And while I'm hesitant to go into detail because of spoilers, the supporting cast is probably the strongest in any Bethsoft game to date. These are folks I'm genuinely interested in, and while I typically play Fallout games as a lone wanderer, I've been dragging NPCs along with me just to learn their stories.

Okay, time for me to get back to work. So I can hit my word count for the day. So I can play more Fallout. One quick tip, for those about to dive in: Charisma is actually important now. 'Nuff said.