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3 things I want in Fallout 5 after watching Amazon’s Fallout series

Lucy enters a house in Fallout.
Amazon Prime

Fallout has been the watercooler TV show this month, an impressive feat for a video game adaptation. Although Bethesda doesn’t have any new Fallout games to release alongside it, the Amazon Prime series has reinvigorated interest in Fallout, with all its titles seeing notable player count increases. For now, we’ll have to be content with a Fallout 4 current-gen upgrade, but I’ll admit that my mind is drifting to thinking about Fallout 5.

Bethesda’s Todd Howard has teased that Fallout 5 will be the next project Bethesda Game Studios works on after Elder Scrolls 6. While that likely means its release is at least a decade away unless Bethesda fast-tracks it, I still find it fun to theorize about where a true single-player Fallout 5 could go next. These three particular things are what I want to see the most.

Set it somewhere new

The "Welcome to New Vegas" sign from Fallout: New Vegas.

Obviously, the most immediately eye-catching aspect of every new Fallout game is its setting. We’ve seen California, Nevada, Boston, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all explored in Fallout games, and the world is Bethesda’s oyster for wherever they want to go next. If they are staying in America, I’d like to see them explore the Midwest, possibly setting Fallout 5 around cities like Chicago and Milwaukee.

That setting could give Bethesda ample fodder to critique Midwestern middle-class Americana and contains plenty of iconic landmarks to reimagine in a post-apocalyptic setting. I might be a bit biased about that setting because I’ve lived in Chicago, but excluding that, I’d love to see Bethesda take a risk and leave America.

Modders are doing this with Fallout: London, an ambitious Fallout 4 mod that had to be delayed because of the current-gen update the 2015 RPG just received. I’d love to see how this nuclear war affected the rest of the world, especially if Vault-Tec had less of an influence there. Places like Russia, China, India, France, or Italy could all make for captivating backdrops for a Fallout adventure. At the very least, I’d like Fallout 5 to explore somewhere the series has never been before.

Have an old-school dialogue system

A dialogue choice in New Vegas.

One of the most controversial things Fallout 4 does is radically simplify its dialogue system. Rather than giving players full lines to choose from, it gives just four options with vague descriptors about what your character will say. This leads to some awkward moments when you don’t wholeheartedly agree with something your character said because an option wasn’t clear enough. That’s a big problem in a role-playing game.

Considering older games in the series, particularly Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, thrived as choice-driven adventures with deep and intuitive dialogue systems, this was the most disappointing aspect of Fallout 4. That means it’s also something Fallout 5 needs to change, and I’m optimistic about this hope becoming a reality. Bethesda seemed to learn from its mistake with Fallout 4, as both Starfield and Fallout 76 have more old-school dialogue systems. The success of those games, as well as dialogue-heavy games outside of Bethesda like Baldur’s Gate 3, show that Bethesda shouldn’t be afraid to get more complex with Fallout 5’s dialogue system.

Reference the television series

The cast of Fallout.
Prime Video

Fallout 5 needs to acknowledge the events of the TV show with more than just outfits based on characters from it. The Fallout TV series contains some interesting revelations about the creation of the Vault Boy mascot and Vault-Tec’s role in the nuclear war that sparked this post-apocalypse. Howard has confirmed that the TV series is canon, so even if it’s just through flavor text, audio logs, or collectibles found throughout the game’s world, I’d like to hear reference to what we’ve learned about the inner workings of Vault-Tec right before the apocalypse.

It’d also be great to see characters like The Ghoul, Maximus, and Lucy in action in game form, although I’d understand why Bethesda may not want to do that. The Fallout TV show ingrained itself into the series’ canon and fandom, and that’s something future Fallout games will definitely need to acknowledge whenever Bethesda finally decides to release one.

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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