Monday, April 20, 2009

Fallout: New Vegas

From Gamasutra:
Bethesda Softworks announced that Obsidian Entertainment is developing a brand-new Fallout game titled Fallout: New Vegas, to release next year on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

...A number of Obsidian staff are veterans of Black Isle's original Fallout games. The company's CEO, Feargus Urquhart, was instrumental in founding Black Isle, and served as its director.

Well, this announcement is jam-packed with win. The possibility of a second, possibly different interpretation of the Fallout world is something to look forward to, especially when that studio is Obsidian, given its lineage.

It's not that Fallout 3 wasn't an excellent game (it was), or that I didn't enjoy myself (I did). It's just that in games with post-apocalyptic settings, I don't think anyone has ever adequately explored the story of the world itself. Could there possibly be any richer source of backstory than a world where every single person, by definition, is a survivor?

I know I will be in the minority on this, but to me, post-apocalyptic games need to be more story-driven than in any other setting. With social constraints and support largely eliminated, the lives of individuals become far more singular than they would in a more "normal" social structure. The opportunity for larger-than-life characters to emerge is exponentially higher, and I'd like to see those characters explored in a game, see the faction building and backstabbing and diplomacy that emerge in that environment.

This is, for me, the most interesting question by far: what rules emerge after all the rules have been wiped clean?

So combat would still be a part of that kind of game world, but it would, in many ways, become secondary.

A post-apocalyptic world can evoke deep, deep feelings in all of us, partly because it's a world where all the social supports have been removed. I want to play a game that makes me confront those feelings, that makes me reconsider what it means to be human.

As I wrote that, I realized that Tarn Adams is the single best person on the planet to do this. Maybe someday.

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