War never changes, but it gets a bit more saturated

FALLOUT 4. Now in Technicolor! It’s going to take place in Boston, because we don’t have enough New England as yet in the Fallout lore. *snrk*

I am so happy this is not an MMO. That would have been a monumental mistake, I think. And I really hope they don’t fragment the content the way Rocksteady just did with Batman: Arkham Knight and the pre-order bonuses.

For the uninitiated, the Fallout universe is not, actually, about an alt history with the Cold War resulting in the apocalypse, believe it or not. It sure looks that way, though, with its 1950s arrested development. Instead, in this universe, nobody invents the transistor during WW2, and instead we invest all our tech development on the vacuum tube. The Great War happens in 2077, over resources, because humanity never gets away from the larger and more resource-consumptive technologies. For some reason, culture is slowed drastically, and by the time of the Great War, America is roughly in the 1950s, only with a Mr. Handy helper robot in every kitchen. After the apocalypse — when India, China, Russia, North Korea and America all nuke the living fuck out of each other (and everyone else, for funzies) — the only survivors are those who went underground into Vaults. They emerge to a wasteland that is populated by mutants, ghouls, raiders and the very dregs of humanity.

I’m happy with this incarnation of the Wasteland. It is significantly closer to Fallout 1 and 2 in looks than 3 ever was, and at the moment, during my replay of Fallout: New Vegas, the only way I can stand to look at it for any length of time is with the Imaginator plugin that offers different colour palettes. (I am presently using the Trek Vaseline Cam palette, which makes the Mojave look a lot like that planet where Kirk fights the Gorn. You know the one.) So I’m looking forward to scavenging the wastelands with more varied landscapes, and with my dog inevitably named Dogmeat at my side.

The only way they could have made this better — at least in my mind — is to have the generic character at the end be a woman, because it’s *just* a generic character, and there’s nothing holding you to picking that specific dude they showed. Could you imagine the outrage from certain quarters? The only way I could think of to make hateful antifeminists lose their shit more than that, though, would be to force the character creation to only allow you to create women. In either case the resultant rage could power me for centuries.

War never changes, but it gets a bit more saturated

13 thoughts on “War never changes, but it gets a bit more saturated

  1. 2

    …in this universe, nobody invents the transistor during WW2…


    Correct. In the universe I live in, the transistor was invented either before WW2 (patents for the field-effect transistor were issued in 1925 and 1934) or after WW2 (the first working transistor was evidently created in 1947 at Bell Labs), depending on the value of “invent.”



  2. 3

    Heh, I messed up both our timeline AND the Fallout timeline! Mildly.

    If anyone’s interested, the full divergence timeline is available. Seems the transistor only got invented in 2067-ish, so it DID get invented ultimately, leading to the few existing PipBoys (the arm computers Fallout protagonists wear).

  3. 7

    When was fallout in the northeast? All I remember is tiny hints of “the institute” and “the commonwealth” in 3 (and maybe the eyebot from lonesome road) with the bladerunner refrence and one of Liam neeson’s friends heading off there at the end. All the other mainline games are out west, and the crap brotherhood game was in the midwest.

    also, I thought this was a resurgence at first of that rumor from 2013: http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20131213/

    How much of the problem does it fix if (you play as the dog and) that guy is an NPC?

    On a note we might be appreciative of, I remember reading the developers said they’re not comfortable doing other countries because of what amounts to some awareness of social justice.

  4. 9

    I’m from wisconsin, so maybe my perspective is different from someone who lives there, but my understading was that newengland was everything up and to the right of New York, which i guess is the definition on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England

    DC is smooshed between maryland and virginia so, south atlantic I guess. I mostly thought of “the south” starting with virginia as a kid, but whatever: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Atlantic_States

    I thought you live in Minnesota now, this wasn’t on the test? 😛

  5. 10

    Haha, there hasn’t been a test. I’m still a Canadian citizen here on a NAFTA work visa. Nobody has asked me a thing so far.

    And I suspect “does Washington, DC count as New England” and/or questions about Fallout lore is not what they’d ask about anyway. 🙂

  6. 11

    the only survivors are those who went underground into Vaults. They emerge to a wasteland that is populated by mutants, ghouls, raiders and the very dregs of humanity.

    Wouldn’t the latter groups indicate that the those who went into the vaults weren’t the only survivors?

    I’m sure I can tie this all into SJW video games journalism, but it’s lunch time.

  7. 12

    There sure as hell IS a lot to talk about from a social justice perspective, Tabby!

    So, the vaults — some of them were actually “test labs”, without consent or knowledge of the dwellers, most of whom were military folks who got priority and a few lucky families here and there. The Forced Evolution Virus — FEV — was introduced to several of them as tests to see if somehow “speeding up” evolution could produce a race of humans who were capable of surviving a post-war radioactive nightmare. Most of them resulted in abominations like Centaurs and Super-Mutants. Most Super-Mutants retained their intelligence (with high risk of early onset of senility), but a particularly twisted one (mutated into a blob with psionic powers) made another generation of them, and those were for the most part raised to be an evil army. Those ones were built to spec, so they would be significantly less intelligent and significantly more malleable to The Master’s will.

    The vaults also were opened by the inhabitants at different times, so some of the early openings — after the inhabitants went all Lord of the Flies — resulted in Raiders scavenging the wastes and prone to slavery, murder, piracy, and all sorts of other savory practices.

    And the ghouls — well, most of those are “lucky” survivors of the initial bombardment and subsequent black rain fallout, having holed themselves away in deep caves or what have you. But they didn’t escape unscathed. They became ghouls, with necrotic flesh and an indefinitely prolonged lifespan. Many of those became feral, attacking like fast zombies anything that moves, like the ones shown in the trailer. The rest — who retained their intelligence and moral codes — formed small communities of survivors, and some eventually re-integrated with the human settlements that sprang up after the less-damned vaults opened. Of course, since they look different, they are the focus of humankind’s racism. In this future, different races of humans care not one whit about each others’ skin color, and the racists’ focal point for their xenophobia is, naturally, the ghouls.

    Since the ghouls don’t need air or food or water (as far as we know) to sustain themselves, one group decides to settle on the moon during the course of Fallout: New Vegas. I wonder if they’ll be revisited.

  8. 13

    Fallout 4 might finally draw me into the world of modding for the first time. If they’re being ridiculous enough to include a purebred German shepherd some 300 years after the apocalypse, then I want to roam the wastelands with my trusty black and tan Dachshund at my side.

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