Fallout Series Would Be Terrible As A Game And That’s Great

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Now that the Fallout series has proven to be an insane success (complete with a quick renewal for season two), more and more fans have been clamoring for a video game based on the show. As a game, I’ll be the first to admit that we could use another entry in the mainline series rather than spinoffs like Fallout 76 and Fallout Shelter (in the latter, you can now run into some of the characters from the show).

Bethesda has promised to work on Fallout 5 after finishing The Elder Scrolls 6, but here’s the thing: a game based on the Fallout series would be a nuke-shaped disaster.

Choosing Your Fallout Character

One of the reasons for this is that such a game would lead to bitter arguments about characters and franchise canon.

In the games, a large part of the fun is shaping your own character by making various choices that determine whether you’ll be a wasteland hero or an amoral monster and how our actions affect others.

If the game faithfully adapts the show, we’ll effectively have a title where choices don’t really matter because we generally know exactly where various characters and factions end up.

Staying With Franchise Canon?

Speaking of where things end up, one of the few aspects of the Fallout series that caused fan backlash were some tweaks to the franchise timeline.

Some fans hated the changes because they wanted everything to stay faithful to the games; others worried about the implication that the show had removed fan-favorite game Fallout: New Vegas from the franchise canon (or at least, significantly changed its story).

Any kind of creative game adaptation of the show will potentially cause even more timeline confusion, both for established game lore and the extended lore of the series. 

Drawing Selectively From The Games

Right now, the Fallout series is getting to have its cake and eat it, too (what is this, my birthday party from Fallout 3?) by drawing selectively from the different games while telling its own story.

If there was a video game adapting the series, though, the fandom would likely get mired in endless debates about whether the gameplay and faction interactions should be more like Fallout 3 or New Vegas (some might say Fallout 4, but I can only assume they’ve been drinking too much irradiated water).

Instead of appreciating a unique story unfolding, too many gamers would just bicker about how Bethesda chose to tell us a story we already know.

Patience For Fallout 5?

 fallout Series

If gamers can be patient, though, they’ll be the ones who get to have their cake and eat it, too, because it’s a sure bet that Fallout 5 is going to reference at least some of the characters and events of this game.

In all likelihood, we’ll see a reciprocal relationship where the games continue to influence the show and the show begins to influence the games. It’s the kind of synergy Vault-Tec would be proud of: one that will make Bethesda plenty of money.

Making Characters From The Series?

walton goggins  fallout Series

In the meantime, fans who are hankering for a game based on the Fallout series should do what I’m doing and just play through Fallout 3 again.

It’s not hard to make a Lucy-like character, and that game’s plot about finding your father and discovering all the secrets he keeps is not unlike what we see in the show.

If you’d rather be more like Walton Goggins’ The Ghoul, it’s easy enough to whip up a cowboy build for your character and hunt the wasteland with a big hat, bigger gun, and Dogmeat by your side.

Fallout: Great Games And Series

fallout  fallout Series

As you can probably tell, I love the Fallout games and was blown away by how great the series is. That means I can understand the desire to have a game based directly on the characters and story the fandom has fallen in love with.

But part of why the show was so amazing is that it wasn’t shackled to any one game; if you really want Fallout 5 and future spinoffs to be just as good, it’s important they, too, remain unshackled from the show, allowing us to get sequels that are way better than “okie-dokie.”