Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout 4. Like, a lot. An unhealthy amount, even. Despite the random crashes and glitches (seriously, how do you get the mayor’s elevator back down?) it’s still a fantastic game. One of the really cool features is the ability to customize your weapons, and for those wandering in the Commonwealth as well, I want to give you one word of advice about that: don’t bite off more scope than you can chew . . .
Just about every gun in this game can be scoped, from a 44 magnum handgun to a proper sniper rifle. For some guns it makes sense to have a bit more magnification, but wanderers should be wary of throwing scopes on everything.
There are moments were a scoped weapon makes sense. When assaulting the Saugus Ironworks, I was able to whip out my suppressed .50 cal hunting rifle and pick off the Forged on the roof with ease. That’s a good use of the tech, but it can also be a bit dangerous. For example, my focus on clearing the rooftop with my scoped rifle meant that I was completely oblivious to the three Forged coming at me with flamers on the ground. Needless to say things did not end well.
Fallout 4’s generous draw distance (on my nice gaming PC, at least) means that the scoped weapons are indeed useful, but that doesn’t mean that I whip them out at every opportunity. My go-to guns are a combat rifle and combat shotgun, both fitted with simple red dot sights. For most combat in the Commonwealth I’ve found that this is more than enough even for longer distance engagements, and the lack of magnification means that I can keep an eye on what’s going on around me while trying to take down that pesky Super Mutant.
I think you can see where I’m going with this, and why this is on a gun blog and not a gaming blog.
The same concept applies to firearms in the real world. For most engagements you’ll ever possibly find yourself, a red dot is sufficient. It will allow you to get rounds on target quickly and accurately, but most important it will allow you to keep your situational awareness. It doesn’t matter if you can hit the guy shooting at you from 500 yards away if it means you lose track of the guy trying to stab you from five feet. There’s a balance to everything, and red dots do a great job of maintaining that balance.
Then again, there are going to be times where magnification helps. Like I said — balance.
In short, don’t go crazy when it comes to scopes either in real life or Fallout 4. There’s definitely a time and a place for some extra magnification, but when you’re roaming around with a .38 caliber pipe pistol and a scope that makes you think “I CAN SEE GOD FROM HERE” you might be doing something wrong. With the way the maps are constructed in Fallout 4 (and life in general) you’ll probably be best served by a red dot or a holo sight on 90% of your guns.