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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Editorial: Four Potential Fallout Settings.


Editorial: Four Potential Fallout Settings.


Hello! Fallout 4 has been announced!

It's also set in Boston, which isn't surprising - rumblings of a Boston Fallout game reached my ears nearly a year ago - but is a shade disappointing, in the same way that it's always kind of disappointing when a game developer looks out over the wide world and goes 'Or, we could just have another generic American city.'

To that end, here are four Fallout settings which I think would be pretty fun - and would give us a lovely change from the parade of indistinguishable-from-each-other US cities.


Hong Kong.

Hong Kong showed up on my Pokemon regions list as well, but there is a good reason for that: It's a very interesting place, after all. But there'd be another reason to include it as a setting for a Fallout game: Located in China but not truly part of it, culturally and in many ways politically, Hong Kong would have occupied a unique position in the nuclear war that led to the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Fallout games.

As a setting, it would be easy to have Hong Kong still in that odd and precarious position, increasingly threatened by new post-apocalyptic regimes springing up in different parts of China, while trying to maintain a status as a free sanctuary of sorts. That kind of struggle - authority and safety vs freedom - has always been simmering in the background of the Fallout games, after all.

Plus, it's coastal. Mutated eldritch abomination fish beings in Kowloon Bay, anyone?


Tokyo.

Okay, look. There are giant hornets in Japan with venom strong enough to melt flesh, and in Fallout terms that means gigantic evil flesh-melting hornets, so. I think I've made my case here.

...

Oh, fine.

As any Atlus employee will tell you, with eyes a-gleam, if there's one thing Tokyo just lives for in video games, it's being a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It makes sense, too: The urban landscape of Tokyo means that when destroyed and abandoned, it can become a concrete and metal jungle, with the underground subway systems making excellent and surprisingly large shelters that can function as villages.

Not to mention that Tokyo is a cultural and mercantile centre, with towns within it priding themselves on having purveyors of almost anything you can imagine - that's a wonderful thing, but after the apocalypse, it's very easy to take that and turn it into something a whole lot darker. 

Also, Tokyo's also coastal. Eldritch abomination fish people, guys. 


London.

London isn't one of my go-to settings, but there's no denying that it's one of the more iconic cities in the world - certainly more iconic than Washington D.C. or Boston, to pick two cities which have or are going to show up in Fallout games. London combines antiquity with modernity, and that clash could only become more interesting with the addition of an apocalypse to the mix.

Like Tokyo, London's also home to a warren of subway tunnels, meaning that you could have entire underground civilisations dwelling in the remains of train tracks, abandoned stations, and maintenance areas. 

But what would make London most interesting is that it's a relatively isolated area - it is, after all, situated on an island of not tremendous size. You could very easily have a culture of people who believe they are the only survivors of the apocalypse - and then smash that perception by having people arrive from, I dunno, France. Instant conflict, just add water.

Speaking of water, London is coastal. Eldritch abomination fish people, amirite.


Moscow.

Moscow! Moscow is a lovely place. Currently under a despotic regime, riddled with organised crime, and not even remotely coastal, but you can't have everything, right? You - you can't. 

While Russia obviously is not a communist country of late, in the future-1950s-shut-up-that-makes-sense world of Fallout, it may well have been when the nuclear war struck. That alone creates an interesting conflict, when decades/centuries after the nuclear war, the people of Moscow have built up the same weird hodgepodge of societies that everywhere else has - because you just know there'd be some communist factions, both true communists and functionally-just-fascists communists, and they'd have strife both with each other and with all the people who don't want to partake of that particular ideology.

Also, Moscow's just a really beautiful city, guys. C'mon, guys. C'mon.

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