I won’t go into details of the ending, suffice to say the Fallout 4 universe is like New Vegas in that you can choose any one faction in the game (or none) to continue the “future of the wasteland” (or in this case “The Commonwealth”). Like New Vegas, you have 4 factions that seemingly have differing views on how to move the post-apocalyptic Commonwealth forward.
In the game, you have The Institute, The Minutemen, The Brotherhood of Steel, and the Railroad as the factions. (Recall, New Vegas had “House”, the NCR, the Great Khans, and Caesar’s Legion). I don’t think Fallout 4 lets you pick “none of the above”… or I’ve not figured out how (without looking at a Wiki or Game Guide). This is just me playing the game like you would in the old days where hints cost $0.99 a minute. 🙂
In the game ending I chose: I chose to side with the Institute. I won’t say why (it would spoil the story), but it sort of aligned with any of the other factions in Fallout 4. By that I mean it got one faction angry with you right off the bat, and the others were either indifferent or instrumental in the completion of your storyline (dealing with them rather than letting them be indifferent or ignorant of your alliance with the Institute.)
What bothered me about this ending was how “meh” it was compared to the ending of New Vegas. Each selection you made in the “future” of The Nevada Wasteland was a unique, and sometimes cringe-worthy exercise in post-game critique. 🙂 You could even make it so none of the factions had any true hold on the ending, which was the one I picked when I first played through New Vegas. I couldn’t help myself. I thought each and every faction was dickish in some way. HOWEVER, the writers of New Vegas scolded my solution as being bad and uncertain for the future of the wasteland, and I had somehow shirked my duties by choosing “none of the above” (typical statist sci-fi writers. Oh, won’t the benevolent blob of bureaucracy save us!)
In terms of the Fallout 4 ending. I think the choice didn’t matter all that much. Sure some things were done, some factions were moved out of the Commonwealth, and in one instance, the dang writers rehashed a stinking item from Fallout 3 to complete a section. (C’mon, guys!) But all in all, I found the ending to be rather pedestrian. Without spoiling it, I think the Institute ending is the quasi-easiest to accomplish, given the events in the game itself.
Perhaps I’m giving game writers too much credit (some games have had masterfully crafted endings, and others had great stories with simple “you won” endings in my 40-year career of playing games of all types: board, card, computer, console). But I think the Institute ending is the most intellectually lazy one of the bunch. Each person who pledged undying loyalty to you for helping them in intermediate or side quests suddenly look at you with suspicion, and the enemies still hate you (the Gunners are particularly pissed at me perpetually… heh.) And forget the settlements… they amounted to a hill of cheap XP after a while, and I generally “failed” to help them against attack even though each settlement had enough automatic turrets and minefields to make a WW1 veteran go “that’s just too much, man.”
It makes me wonder if I want to try the other endings. Because instead of “Moobs” Perlman giving the ending speech, it’s your “lone survivor” voice. (And it’s cringeworthy as anything I hear him say throughout the game.)
Oh, and I feel like the quest to find your son is a Rube-Goldberg machine making exercise. THAT was tedious. 🙂