They took a chance with that plot, for sure. FO3 is more relate-able, everyone has a dad, but if you're not a parent IRL it's hard[er] to care about a virtual baby.
I haven't quite finished the game yet on my first playthrough, but I started another guy with whom I'm being more sneaky-sneak than barging in with power armor... Already found several meaty quests I missed the first time, even when the map had been about 75% explored. Fantastic game.