How to lose friends and mutate people: A Fallout retrospective

At the end of last week, Bethesda announced Fallout Anthology; a collection of all five previous Fallout games for PC. The titles are presented in a mini-nuke case that’s made complete with an “audible bomb sound”.

It drops on October 1 in Australia, retailing for around AUD$100.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Fallout is a series of role-playing games taking place in an alternate history universe where the world’s superpowers engaged in a decades-long war over resources. To quote the original Fallout’s opening cutscene, “the spoils of war were also its weapons – petroleum and uranium”. By 2077, the price of petroleum reached several thousands of dollars per gallon and in October of that year, the war came to a swift conclusion when nuclear bombs were launched by all nations capable of attack: the United States, China and the USSR. Within two hours, most of the world was reduced to cinders.

The survivors were holed up in large underground vaults manufactured around 20 years prior to the attacks; a company called Vault-Tec was contracted by the United States to design a network of bomb shelters; 122 in total.

When the bombs dropped, almost all life outside the Vaults was destroyed. Some animals remained afterwards, although they became horribly mutated as a result of the lingering radiation from the nukes. Humanoid mutants are also present, but these are due to experimentation with a virus called FEV, or Forced Evolutionary Virus. The intention was that the United States could use the virus to create super soldiers with enhanced strength, regenerative abilities and heightened intelligence, but it didn’t always work out as expected.

While the games do not occur directly after each other, they exist in the same timeline and are in chronological order. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is the one exception, and is not considered canon by Bethesda.

As a long time Fallout enthusiast, I’ve put together a brief overview of the five games included in the Anthology.  



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