It’s all begun to feel like work.
When I initially started Fallout: New Vegas on Hardcore Mode it was a novel and interesting system that added some weight to the proceedings. Scavenging food became important, and barrel cactus fruit became highly prized due to its rad free source of water.
I found myself starving, thirsty and crippled in the Nevada desert, prey for quick and deadly radscorpians as I limped to a town with a doctor and some place to eat. The tension was heavy, the atmosphere oppressive.
Then I remembered quick travel.
Suddenly being crippled is no threat. I’ll just quick travel to a doc. Hungry but only have radioactive food? Don’t worry, the doc can cure that too. But surely it’s damn hard to find some clean water right? Nope, quick travel to the Goodsprings Source for some clean, thirst quenching, health restoring WATER.
Of course I could solve all this by simply not fast traveling, but here’s the problem: the game is built around it. You’ll regularly be sent across the map to fetch something, and unless you like spending an hour getting there fast travel will be your transport. Knowing that every resource, every macguffin for the plot is a few seconds of menu fiddling and a five minute walk away destroys any tension or threat brought upon by the atmosphere or mechanics.
It reeks of filing papers and stacking boxes.