“War. War never changes.”
This iconic line delivered by Ron Perlman in Fallout 3 has been the traditional introduction to each of the Fallout games in the past, and still gives me goosebumps when I re-play any of the games in the franchise.
It has been a while now since Bethesda released a new title in their post-apocalyptic franchise, and for quite a while rumours of varying believability have surfaced.
With all of this excitement as well as my own nostalgia-driven trip back to the Capital Wasteland, I began thinking of what I’d like to see in the new title.
One thing that I really love about Fallout 3, which I didn’t experience in Fallout: New Vegas, was the atmosphere that was created, and how the developers used that to their advantage. In the Capital Wasteland I really felt that I was travelling through a rough countryside that had seen devastation in a nuclear war. The perpetual grey skies and destroyed architecture really created that sense of realism that drew me into losing myself for hours.
When Obsidian Entertainment took over the reins for Fallout: New Vegas, I felt they lost that atmospheric touch, but they put in something else which I found lacking in Fallout 3. They added a lot more life to the Mojave Wasteland than I ever saw in the Capital Wasteland. There were a lot more people to interact with in the Mojave, with a greater amount of narrative for each individual character. The game included several factions, most of which had extensive backstories and several important characters one could interact with. It really felt like the Mojave Wasteland wasn’t just populated by 20 civilians and 500 bandits, like the Capital Wasteland seemed to be at times.
Another touch that Obsidian added to New Vegas was the modifications to weapons. I particularly enjoyed this feature a lot, as it was possible to see and feel how your favourite weapon became even more powerful with time. I would really like to see this feature return to Fallout 4, especially if they expand upon it.
For the next potential feature I look towards another of Bethesda’s recent releases, namely The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That game was really huge. Sure, it had a smaller world than some of the earlier Elder Scrolls games, but it included a huge amount of content, with hundreds of quests, dungeons, characters and surprises all along the way. I’ve spent countless hours exploring the plains and mountains of Skyrim, and it always seemed like there was so much more to find. The sense of scale to that world was much greater than I ever experienced in either of the last Fallout games.
Bethesda has an incredible universe to play with when it comes to Fallout, with a great history and awesome factions already existing in said universe. They should now just look at the strengths of their own previous games, build upon that and they would have a definite winner on their hands.