With E3 (the world’s premier trade show for computer, video and mobile games and related products) around the corner and the hype for Fallout 4 gaining fever pitch, we can’t wait until Bethesda finally announces the long awaited sequel to Fallout 3. Maybe it’s time for us to remember the story of Fallout 3:
In 1997 a video game was released that changed the face of Post Apocalyptic RPG’s forever – that game was Fallout. From the mind of Brian Fargo and Tim Cain came Fallout: The Post Nuclear Role-playing game. Fallout was considered the spiritual successor of 1988’s Wasteland, another entry in the Post Apocalyptic RPG Genre.
In Fallout you’re a lone survivor from Vault 13 tasked to find and replace the water chip from your vault. You only have 150 days left to do this with time running out and the Vault’s water supply is dimming.
A year later (1998) Fallout 2 was released. The game takes place 80 years after the events of Fallout and tells the story of the original hero’s descendant and his or her quest to save their tribe from starvation by finding an ancient environmental restoration machine known as the Garden of Eden Creation Kit or GECK in short.
And now the story of Fallout 3 and what could be called: The Big Wait.
After the release of Fallout 2 the hype for the next version of the game was high and with the quick turnaround time for the sequel to Fallout (within a year) it was hoped that Fallout 3 would get released soon. Fallout 3 or Van Buren was going to be using the engine originally created for Baldur’s Gate 3, more commonly referenced as the Jefferson Engine.
It was originally planned that the game would have both turn based combat such as Fallout 1 and 2 and a real time combat engine such as Fallout Tactics. Unfortunately the game was never finished and was officially cancelled in 2003. Interplay, the long standing publisher of the Fallout series laid off the entire Black Isle studio staff in 2003 who was working on the game at that time.
At the time of the lay-offs at Black Isle’s version of Fallout 3 was almost complete – about 75% of the dialogue was done and at least 50% of the Maps. In 2007 facing bankruptcy again, Interplay was forced to alter their licensing agreement with Bethesda Software and sold the Fallout IP to Bethesda Softworks in 2007, although Interplay still held the rights for Fallout Online and the right to sell the original Fallout games. Since 31 December 2013 Bethesda took over the rights for Fallout Online and the original Fallout games.
On the 3rd of May 2007 a tech demo of the now cancelled Fallout 3, also known as Van Buren was leaked onto the Internet. It really pains me to say this , but I didn’t like it. It felt like Fallout but something was missing. I think the low res polygon models didn’t really age as well as the sprite based animations from the original games.
And so, 9 years since the last release of Fallout 2 most of us have given up hope of ever seeing a proper sequel to the game we knew and loved. Then on 5 June ___ (JAAR) Bethesda released a teaser trailer for Fallout 3, citing a release for fall 2008.
Ten years since the release of Fallout 2 we finally had our Fallout 3. It might have been vastly different in playing style since the original Fallout games, but the change to a first person RPG shooter seems to fit the world of Fallout.
In October 2010 we had a new Fallout game released known as Fallout: New Vegas. For some this is the best 3D version of the Fallout games and for me personally, it’s the one I tend to go back to the most. The story of Fallout New Vegas has some elements from the cancelled Van Buren story, including Caesars Legion and the war between the NCR and the Brotherhood of Steel.
And so with the last Fallout game released (at the time of this article) 5 years ago and Fallout 3 being released 7 years ago, I know the pain many of you are feeling right now with the hoaxes of Fallout 4 floating around and hoping that Bethesda announces Fallout 4 at this year’s E3.
And so with this article nearing its end, let us all remember.
Waiting never changes…