Fallout 4's Dogmeat Cannot Die

Illustration for article titled iFallout 4s/i Dogmeat Cannot Die

Save your tissues for another game.

Dogmeat, your trusty wasteland companion, was an emotional rollercoaster in Fallout 3. While he was a big help, not to mention a trusty companion, he could die! The pain! The anguish!

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Fallout 4’s pooch won’t have the same vulnerability.

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That’s not to say you get off scott free! He might take damage and faint, ala Pokemon. Or he might limp off and have to be recovered somewhere, ala the “puppies” feature in the higher levels of Fallout 3.

Or, he might leave you! Find a better man/woman/wasteland and break your heart. But that’s a pain less finite, and more manageable, than Fallout 3’s mortal consequences.

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Dogmeat could also die—sometimes horribly (in that he was reduced to a pile of bloody tissue and bone matter after a critical hit) in Fallout 2.

Games designed for an audience seeking an, “authentic, dangerous adventure,” should come with consquences. Some games should be for escapist wish fulfillment, true (I use Flower as my analog for what I hope the afterlife will be like, though I do not subscribe to organized religion), but damn—if you want gritty realism, expect gritty realism.

People die. Pets die.

Speaking as a man who was in late high school when Fallout dropped, if you really want to be able to shoot someone in the goddamn eye and watch their head explode, having an emotional meltdown over your canine companion eating it strikes me as the Marie Antoinette of First World Problems.

That’s not to say I wasn’t upset when/if Dogmeat was killed in my own games—but that was the nature of the adventure. People died—and they weren’t always the folks my barrel was lined up against.

That’s what I -loved- about Fallout.