I'm big into wastelands, all kinds really, but I prefer the post-apocalyptic variety.
A little about me: I enjoy using bottlecaps as currency, spending time in a busted-to-hell shanty town built around an undetonated nuclear warhead (don't worry, it's probably fine) and searching the Capital Wastes for near-mint condition bobbleheads that really enhance my being. Now, I realize that there may be some communication issues with a select few of you as that whole "Super Mutant" epidemic is real thing but, please, be civil. They may be mutants but they're also human and even a Super Mutant needs a hug sometimes.
In 2008, 4 years after acquiring the license from Interplay, Bethesda Softworks released Fallout 3.
Now, a mere 7 years later, Bethesda has officially announced Fallout 4.
Bethesda's first foray into the Wastelands was, for all intents and purposes, a home-run. Starting off in the depths of Vault 101, the RPG took hold as you began to create your character (keep that Intelligence skill low to directly affect response options!) and get a basic feel for how things worked in this post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. From your first choice in the dialogue tree to your first run-in with the Tunnel Snakes (if you were unaware, they rule), Fallout 3 worked tirelessly to keep you engaged in the familiar-yet-alien world.
The Fallout series began in 1997 as an isometric-view game with turn-based combat. Both the original and it's sequel, 1998's Fallout 2, were set in a future built around an aesthetic that was a throwback to the McCarthy-era "Red Scare" menace from the 1950's. While the original game was a bit more self-serious, Fallout 2 is where the series really started to shine. Taking a more humorous and anachronistic approach to the world itself while keeping the same 1950's feel. With more pop-culture references and self-referential dialogue, Fallout 2 would kind of be the "gold standard" that all other sequels in the franchise would be held to.
Fallout 3 kept the humor, kept much of the aesthetic, and of course they kept Vault Boy (you can't have Fallout without Vault Boy) but Bethesda also chose to take the gameplay in a totally new direction. Stepping away from the original isometric views, Fallout 3 was the first in the franchise to be a 3D, Free-roaming, Open-world sequel with real-time combat. The story involves you, the Vault Dweller, being forced to leave the only home you'd ever known, the completely enclosed community of Vault 101, in search of your father as you explore the Capital Wasteland. Throughout your adventures you'd meet Humans, Mutants, Rad Roaches (RADiated), Deathclaws (genetically created bi-pedal lizard folk who dislike all things you), and a variety of other denizens looking to either help, hurt or hinder you in some way.
I know a large part of why I love the series has to do with the artwork and humor. While the gameplay has always been fun, enjoyable and worthy of my time, it's the world itself that keeps me coming back. I love a good post-apocalyptic/post-nuclear setting, it's easily one of my favorites and Fallout is exactly that. It doesn't matter the exact location, be it the Mid-West; California; Las Vegas; or Washington D.C., because the Wasteland is a harsh mistress that provides gorgeous views littered with irradiated homes, gardens, schools, stores and monsters.
With Bethesda officially putting a countdown clock on the Fallout 4 website, the thrill of re-visiting the Wasteland (and possibly in a new part of the world) has got me all atwitter with what may be announced in the next few days and going into E3. I have no real idea of what I even want from a Fallout game other than the excellent iconography that is so effectively put to use within the world itself. I'm looking forward to seeing the Enclave and Brotherhood of Steel roaming the wastes, hating each other. I'm looking forward to finding new bobbleheads, seeing how the V.A.T.S. system is updated, spending time with Dogmeat and just so many other things.
I know what I'm getting myself into. I know that I'm building myself up and I could be let down but goddammit, this is Fallout. I have to build myself up for this. I have to hope for the best. Because I, like so many others, have been clamoring for a new Fallout for 7 years now. It's time to head back and explore the ruination of that nuclear war.
It's a funny thing, war.
War Never Changes.