Since the Fallout franchise began in 1997, it’s been defined by its use of kitschy 50’s Americana. It’s a quirky mix of paranoia, nostalgia, and optimism that makes Fallout’s distinct retro-future. The games show us a world frozen in time. It’s a world that somehow still runs on Nuka-Cola despite the fact that when Fallout 4 begins, Nuka-Cola hasn’t been bottled in over 200 years.
Fallout 4 delivered on the promises of the previous two entries, refining the gameplay and the series’ unique look. The series has never been better than it is right now — but where does it go from here? The canon is deep, but its unexplored sections offer the best opportunities for the series growth. In short, I think it’s time Fallout left the US.
But if the next game in the series were to explore another country, where should it take us? Here are five locations that I think would suit Fallout 5 beautifully.
In the lore, it’s not currently known if Communist China annexed Taiwan in the Resource Wars. It’s likely that they would’ve been annexed, but wouldn’t it be fascinating to explore a Taiwan that resisted the Communists in the face of nuclear annihilation? Northern Taiwan is not only the home of the country’s capital city (Taipei) but the home of beautiful mountains and forests. How amazing would it be to climb Taipei 101, look out across the lights of the city below, and turn to see the mountains? The huge urban environment of Taipei City, the forested mountains and valleys, and rocky coastlines could bring an unprecedented freshness to series.
The USSR‘s role in the Great War is largely undefined. We know that after the divergence (where Fallout‘s history splits from our history), the Cold War did not happen and the Soviet Union was not dissolved. In fact, the lore suggests that US-Soviet relations weren’t strained by the time the Great War started in 2077. But what happened with one of the world’s great powers in the time before and after the bombs fell? Setting a Fallout game in St. Petersburg would allow the series to fill in that sizable gap, while allowing players to explore the more classical European architecture of this beautiful coastal city.
This might seem like a more obvious choice, but I think London might be the best jumping-off point for expanding Fallout outside of the US. There’s lots of room to have fun with the lore here — what if Britain had developed a secret space program, for instance? What if their culture had shifted into a different kind of futurism that wasn’t so influenced by nuclear power or nuclear threat? What might they use as currency after the global collapse? Do they drink Nuka-Cola? What if you could fly off the top of The Shard in power armor, or fight raider flotillas on the Thames? Having an American experience post-nuke Britain would be a thrilling way to expand the scope of Fallout universe.
Hostile wildlife? Check. Unforgiving and beautiful terrain? Check. Australia has barely been mentioned in the Fallout lore, and bringing the series to Melbourne and the adjacent Australian Alps could offer the wildest and most immersive environments in the series yet. This would also be a great time to mention that I want proper vehicles introduced to the wasteland. Who wouldn’t want a dash of Mad Max in the Fallout experience? Boats could even bring the player to the island of Tasmania, where who-knows-what has happened to the local Tasmanian Devil population.
Japan’s fate in the Great War is still unknown. But what if Tokyo survived the Great War mostly intact? In 2300, Tokyo is a scavenger’s paradise, attracting groups that will stop at nothing to recover resources and technology from the city. Of course, the mountainous areas around Tokyo would make for a great surrounding wasteland, but what if the Shibuya ward (pictured) still remained a bustling, bright home for the remaining population? The story could concern the struggle to rebuild the metro system and branch out into the more dangerous parts of the city, where scavenger gangs still rule.
What do you think? Could drastic moves like these be the future of Fallout? I certainly hope so. In the meantime, we’ll still be playing and loving Fallout 4.