Fallout is a series of many things; a deconstruction of classic science fiction, a direct homage to said classic science fiction, a now long running franchise that’s practically 2 decades old and so much more. Above all, it’s a beloved series with an amazing and devoted fanbase. Sure, there is much division over older and newer generations of games (which I myself will admit to taking part in); but we’ve had more than enough proof that fans have kept the spirit of Fallout alive. Archive sites like the Nexus contain thousands upon thousands of mods, adding new features to the game or rewriting it in its entirety. You may wonder what this has to do with Fallout 4? While others have focused on traversing the world of the wastelands and following a story, this one allows you to customize the weird wastes ahead. So, why do I praise it as a great game, but comdemn it as a poor Fallout title? More ahead. (Warning: Spoilers)
Fallout 4’s confirmation brought waves of excitement all across the internet. People active in the fandom and even people outside of it cheered upon hearing the new title being teased just a couple of days ago. As for myself? I had a mix of cautious optimism and the kind of cynicism a curmudgeonly old fart would have, but none the less a renewed interest in Fallout, if not the post-apocalyptic genre. Granted, the newest entry in the Mad Max franchise helped too. And while I’d love to focus on Fallout games more than I already have, I just want to ponder about the genre as a whole; metaphors, cautionary tales, and tropes of course. While this started as a rambling rant (much like my chaotic “review” of HATRED), this became another longwinded look into some aspect of speculative fiction and the media by yours truly. So, let’s ride into the atomic sunset and soak in some healthy radiation once more!
For those who remember, a couple of my reviews have had somewhat subtle digs at Fallout 3, Bethesda’s reboot of the Fallout series. This game helped to bring the series back into public eye with a different setting, an advancement of the timeline, and new mechanics to play with. Instead of continuing plotlines taking place on the west coast United States, focus was shifted towards developments on the east coast, particularly the “Capital Wasteland.” But, as I’ve mentioned, I have been rather critical about parts of it. And for a while, I even hated the game. Admittedly, it’s on the bottom of my Fallout list (next to those spin-off games shoved into the strictly non-canon section.) However, after returning the the game, I can’t say I really hate it anymore. Of course, there’s much more to it than just that.
While the rumors about Fallout 4 have persisted for a couple years now, I recently went back to the most recent entry in the Fallout series! Thanks to youtubers like ShoddyCast and their “Fallout Lore” series, I’ve been more than excited for getting back to the wastelands! While I could easily write endless pages about the entire series, I want to focus New Vegas since I replayed it very recently. Let’s ride into the sunset with Fallout New Vegas!