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The Case For Fallout 5 To Be a Fresh Start

Highlights

  • Fallout 5 will usher the franchise into the modern era, competing with other RPGs, requiring a soft reboot for a new generation.
  • Fallout saw a radical shift under Bethesda, improving graphics and mechanics but needs to offer something fresh with Fallout 5.
  • A potential soft reboot for Fallout 5 could revamp gameplay, explore new lore elements, and provide different perspectives on iconic factions.



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Fallout is one of the long-running RPG franchises out there, and Fallout 5 will usher it into the modern era. But with the next chapter in the Fallout franchise not coming until 2030 or later, it will have to not only compete against recent smash hits like Baldur’s Gate 3, but any other potentially groundbreaking RPGs that will launch in what remains of the 2020s. With that in mind, and with the game introducing Fallout to a whole new generation of players, it might be best as a sort of soft reboot.


After being acquired by Bethesda in the mid-2000s, Fallout underwent a radical transformation, pivoting from a traditional CRPG similar to something like Baldur’s Gate or Planescape: Torment to an action-oriented, full-3D adventure game befitting of the seventh console generation. This significant shift resonated with general audiences, and Fallout has since become more popular than ever. That being said, aside from noticeable improvements to things like graphics, shooting mechanics, and quality of life, not too much has changed since the release of Fallout 3, with the series’ core gameplay pillars, tone, and lore elements feeling mostly homogenous across Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, as the formula certainly works, but Fallout 5 should offer something different.

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Fallout 1 and 2 Need Remasters or Remakes Now More Than Ever

Fallout 5 is still likely years from release, and the series just got the perfect reason to release Fallout 1 and 2 remakes ahead of the next entry.

It’s Time for Fallout to Shake Things Up


Fallout 5 Is Perfectly Positioned as a Soft Reboot

While Fallout 3 isn’t perfect, and not all long-time fans of the franchise were happy with its radical shift away from the CRPG format, it ultimately proved to be a success, at least in terms of broadening the series’ appeal and visibility. Indeed, Fallout 3 was a breath of fresh air back in 2008, and even if the new perspective and approach to RPG conventions aren’t to everyone’s liking, they certainly helped make the series feel new, modern, and innovative.

But it’s been quite a while since Fallout 3—more than two decades will separate it from Fallout 5—and the franchise could use another shot in the arm. It’s not an unpopular opinion that the modern spate of Fallout games hit its peak with Fallout: New Vegas, with Fallout 4‘s reception being relatively lukewarm, and Fallout 76‘s being ice-cold. With the series arguably being over a decade removed from its strongest release, and with the Fallout brand being more popular than ever thanks to peripheral releases like the Fallout TV show, there’s no better time to introduce new players to the series through a soft reboot.


What a ‘Fresh Start’ for Fallout Could Look Like

While Bethesda’s RPG formula has helped make modern Fallout games more immersive, it’s not without its flaws. For one thing, moment-to-moment gameplay is often deprioritized, with functions like V.A.T.S. serving as a bit of a crutch for combat. A revamped gameplay system could work wonders for Fallout 5, perhaps allowing the series to make better use of features like weapon crafting through more engaging combat or movement mechanics. A soft reboot would be the perfect chance for the series to truly innovate through a complete reframing of its gameplay, adopting new genre conventions and potentially even moving away from the iconic first-person perspective.

Third-person gameplay is an option in all modern
Fallout
games, but it can be argued that the games aren’t designed with that perspective in mind.


As for story and worldbuilding, the Fallout franchise already follows a bit of a loose anthology format, so a soft reboot wouldn’t be too much of a departure in this area. Fallout 5 could offer a different take on long-running lore elements though, maybe showing a different side of iconic factions like the Raiders or Brotherhood of Steel. These wouldn’t have to be fundamental changes, just unique perspectives and tweaks, perhaps even informed by the upcoming Fallout TV show or other supplemental content released in the wake of Fallout 3.

fallout 4 box art

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is an RPG in the Fallout series, being the fourth major installment. This time around, players are in The Commonwealth, formerly Massachusetts, in the year 2287.

Released
November 10, 2015

Engine
Creation

ESRB
M FOR MATURE: BLOOD AND GORE, INTENSE VIOLENCE, STRONG LANGUAGE, USE OF DRUGS

How Long To Beat
27 Hours

X|S Enhanced
No

File Size Xbox Series
51 GB (December 2023)

Metascore
87

PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium



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