I Was an Adventurer Like You Once, Then I Took a Mr Handy to the Face

Skyrim is outstanding.

Out-bloody-standing!

The scale of it. The scope of it. The beauty of it. Nearly 200 hours of game time and I’m still finding new nooks and crannies, dungeons I missed first time round. Quests I’d ignored or never even seen keep presenting them self.

It’s as close to a 10 out of 10 game for this gamer as there has probably ever been. But it doesn’t rule my heart. That belongs to another, because, well, war – war never changes.

I think it’s pretty clear I love Bethesda’s work. It’s a fondness which has only increased as I have gotten older, as I have appreciated the scale and vision of their work all the more.

And for me Fallout 3 is the physical manifestation of everything I love about what that studio has done recently in the RPG world.

It was the first game that didn’t contain the words ‘Football Manager’ or ‘NHL’ in the title that also took days, literally days, worth of my life. Days I gladly gave. Exploring the Capitol Wasteland, diving in to dark, dank tunnels.

Fallout: New Vegas was the extension to all that. The conservatory to add to my dream home.

Again the chance to explore, to immerse myself, in a world ravaged by war. A story I wanted to see to the end and universe all of its own that I wanted to learn more about.

Booting it up again after a break (i.e. slotting in other games, mainly the previously mentioned Skyrim) I’m quickly reminded why I loved it so much. The scale of Fallout 3 has grabbed me by the proverbials all over again.

No doubt many will pick fault with the games, perhaps justifiably given the bugs and glitches which are well known in the gaming community. But you know what they say – true perfection has to be imperfect.

This is all pretty throw away stuff. One gamer sharing his own enjoyment of a particular game and franchise. This isn’t new to the gaming world, heck you could even go as far as saying this is ‘filler’. But the reason I am writing this is the excitement I have for the franchise moving forward.

Do they wait and take advantage of the impending next generation of consoles? Do they take what they learned from Skyrim and grace my 360 once again? How good can they make The Waste look on the current system? Because Skyrim looked pretty damn special!

Beyond the hardware, where do they situate it? Boston seems to have been ‘revealed’as the new location after Bethesda bods were seen scoping out MIT and the surrounding area. But what is the core storyline going to be? ‘The Institute’ (or MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology as it is in the real world) has been mentioned in previous editions of the series; surely such a mecca for technology screams Brotherhood of Steel and some funk weaponry? And on that note, what ridiculous new weapons and satirical slices will they come up with? Mr Useful? Little Boy to replace Fat Man? More aliens? Giant Chinese super mutants?

You could go on and on; especially given Boston’s geographical location and what DLC might be attached as a result, as well as any potential setup for Fallout’s 5, 6 and so on – Escape from New York anyone?

There is a tremendous amount of potential for Fallout 4 and the franchise – and I relish each and every drip that is fed from the studio.

Even looking back, Fallout and Fallout 2 provide their own slice of nostalgia for both the series and classic gaming. I hope the day comes when we see both (and Fallout Tactics) land on the Xbox Live Arcade in the way other classics like Doom and Speedball have.

It’s not unusual for gamers to become attached to a series. You only need to look at the millions who have ‘bought in to’ the Halo and Gears of War universes. Fallout is my tipple of choice. And boy it tastes good.

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