Fallout for PC came out way back in the Dark Ages: 1997. I was just twelve years old when a deep gruff voice first told me that war…war never changes.
Fallout Intro Video – 1997
To me, Fallout wasn’t just a game – it was a masterpiece of fiction, art, and philosophy. It opened my mind. And it was damn fun to play as well.
Without Fallout, I seriously doubt that PostApocalypticMedia.com would exist at all.
So, you know… I’m clearly biased. But believe me when I tell you that:
If you like the Post-Apocalyptic genre and console gaming, then you MUST PLAY FALLOUT 4.
Why? Because you liked it when you were a kid?
Ok, fair enough. My taste was objectively terrible as a kid. Ask anyone. I liked Family Matters and Step By Step and Carman the white christian rapper. The 90’s were a weird time for me.
So don’t just take my word for it. Here are three solid reasons you should give this game a shot:
Reason 1: Fallout 4 May Be the Biggest Post-Apocalyptic Game in History
In 2008, Bethesda (who had acquired the rights in 2007) released Fallout 3, and boldly re-introduced the Fallout franchise to the world. The game was true to the original art, score, and script in ways that even fanboys found hard to criticize. And the formula worked. No franchise nostalgia needed. But even I was surprised when:
Fallout 3 was named Game of the Year by IGN and made $300 million in one week.
And every Fallout fan the world over felt vindicated for Googling “Fallout” twice a year like some desperate spurned lover.
Also vindicated: Bethesda. Who spent just 5.75 million to acquire rights to the entire franchise just one year before. Seen as a very risk move at the time.
And those dollar signs speak louder than any strongly written letter to the CEO of Syfy. We vote with our money, so when Fallout wins, the Post-Apocalyptic genre wins.
What Bethesda accomplished when they turned a dying franchise into the Game of the Year was no small feat. So it seemed strange to me when Bethesda didn’t ride that momentum right into Fallout 4. Instead, they allowed another studio to produce the next installment, Fallout: New Vegas. And while many of us still enjoyed the game immensely, it hardly felt like an upgrade.
For years Bethesda seemed perfectly content to let the franchise cool while they focused on their fantasy genre titles. But now we know the truth: Production of Fallout 4 began shortly after Fallout 3 was released. You heard that right. Bethesda immediately doubled-down on Fallout and has been planning this game in secret for more than four years.
From the release video, Todd Howard @ 3:00:
“You know we started, we’ve worked on Fallout for over ten years now. And we started designing this one, actually right after Fallout 3. In 2009. Um, we were busy with the Skyrim game, uh, but for the last four years we have been working very very hard to create something really special.”
So Fallout 4 is backed by huge money, huge success, and several years of development.
Can it surpass Gears of War and Halo? Left 4 Dead and Portal and Bioshock? I don’t know. But it sure makes me happy to be asking that question.
And while the above-named classics are set in a post-apocalyptic world, Fallout sets itself apart by being 1. About Post Thermo-Nuclear War and 2. An RPG. And I don’t mean RPG in the Zelda way, either. You choose your own path, your choices have unforeseen consequences, and stats like intelligence, charisma, and luck truly affect things – conversation options, for example.
Fallout 4 Trailer
Reason #2: You’ll see TONS of references to classic Post-Apocalyptic genre hits.
A long-standing Fallout tradition is to hide pop culture references as easter eggs within the story. Often paying homage to the Post-Apocalyptic genre, quest storylines often seem eerily familiar. Then it hits you – this is just like in that movie!
Now I know how it sounds, but this isn’t some lazy ripoff. The references are subtle but clear if you know what to look for – and usually well done. Here is a partial list of cultural references found in Fallout 3 alone:
- A Boy and His Dog
- Apocalypse Now
- Beneath the Planet of the Apes
- Cool Hand Luke
- Guy Fawkes
- Mad Max
- Monty Python
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- Paradise Lost
- The Princess Bride
- The Road
- The Simpsons
- Starship Troopers
- Star Trek
- The Shining
Fallout 2 Intro Video – 1998
Reason 3: The Little Things
One of the most subtle, yet powerful, Fallout game features is
an Apple Watch a Pip-Boy, which is a small computer you wear on your wrist and includes, among other things, a radio. As you travel around, turn on your radio and you might pick up no signal at all. At other times, all you can find on the airwaves is heavy-handed government propaganda playing on repeat – running on some backup system long forgotten by her creators.
But there are still people out there broadcasting good ole’ fashioned music. And if you keep it on those stations, you’re in for a good time. What you get is usually a hodgepodge of classic tunes from Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Crosby and the like, mixed with lesser known but equally great titles from the 1920’s-1960’s.
Side note: I own a Victrola, and it is entirely mechanical – no power needed except your arm to crank a lever. It plays records (78 RPM) that hold about one song per side – and are several times as heavy as a modern record. These 78s are nearly a hundred years old.
But oddly enough, the records are also in terrific shape. As I play Fallout, I like to imagine that without electricity, our world’s music would revert to whatever was available. Live music, obviously, plus whatever old records you can play by hand-crank, like my old 78s from before the Great Depression.
You’re exploring the wasteland, jamming some tunes while you rummage through an abandoned shack. The radio DJ cuts the music, as he sometimes does, to make a few comments about life in the wasteland.
You’ve just started to tune him out when you hear him comment about, “This guy from the Vaults”. Wait. He’s probably talking about you.
You begin to listen more closely.
Depending on what you do in the game, the DJ might be praising your heroism or calling for your head on a spike.
Ahhhh, he doesn’t like my methods.
But, you think, things are really more complicated than he knows.
Go find that DJ and have a chat. I did. He ended up lying face down in a pool of his own blood. I’m afraid we couldn’t come to an agreement. Sometimes it just happens that way in Fallout. I enjoyed the same radio station minus the his commentary for the rest of the game.
And this kind of “anything-goes” gameplay is what fans of this series have come to expect from Fallout.
So do yourself a favor and pre-order Fallout 4 on Amazon for PS4, Xbox One or PC. It’s going to be epic.
Oh and, by the way, you won’t have to wait long.
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Nine-minute game play demo: