Fallout 5 has been on many players’ minds for a long time. Despite this, it seems like we’ll be waiting a very, very long while before the game finally hits the shelves. Bethesda has its plate full with other projects, and the information on what Fallout 5 will be like is very limited.
We do, however, know a few things about the game that are worth discussing. Though there’s not much to go off of, we can always discuss what we want Bethesda to do with the next installment of the game. Today, we’ll be going over everything we know so far about Fallout 5 plus our wishlist for the game.
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Everything We Know So Far About Fallout 5
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get right into everything we know so far for Fallout 5!
1. It’s Coming After Elder Scrolls VI
You may recall that Todd Howard recently had a meeting with IGN. During this meeting, he stated that their plans for relating games are as follows: Starfield first, then The Elder Scrolls VI, and then Fallout 5. Currently, we don’t have a concrete date on when exactly the game will be released, but we do know it’s coming…eventually.
All we can do right now is speculate on when exactly that release date will be. Starfield will release in 2023. Elder Scrolls VI likely won’t be hitting shelves until 2026 or 2027. This means that Fallout 5 might not be released until the early 2030s, which is kind of insane to think about. I was still in high school when Fallout 4 came out, and I’ll be in my 30s when I play Fallout 5!
Although it’s taking a while for the game to come out, I’m glad that Elder Scrolls fans will be getting their game first. They’ve been waiting a terribly long time for the next game in their favorite series. And I think they’re getting tired of Skyrim re-releases…
2. Creation Engine 2 Will Likely Be Used
Okay, so this one we don’t outright know for sure, but it’s too likely to not be the case. Bethesda made some engine upgrades for the Creation Engine in preparation for Starfield, which they’re calling Creation Engine 2. This new upgrade gives several improvements over the first version, including better animations among other changes.
Given this fact, it is very likely that the Creation Engine 2 will also be used for Elder Scrolls VI as well as Fallout 5. In practical terms, this would mean that Fallout 5 will feature better animations and (hopefully) better performance on all platforms.
3. Bethesda Has a “One-Pager” For it
Another thing confirmed directly by Bethesda is that they have a “one-pager” on what they want to do for Fallout 5. On one hand, it’s great to know that Bethesda is definitely making Fallout 5 and are considering what they want the game to be like. On the other hand, one page is literally all they have right now for the next entry in the Fallout series.
Now, this is old news — we first heard about this in late 2021. Since then, we’ve gotten no updates on what exactly is on this one-pager. All we know is that Bethesda is considering what they want to do for the game. I imagine they have some basic ideas for the storyline and factions that will be in the game, as well as the location and what gameplay features they want to add.
4. It Might Be an Xbox & PC Exclusive
Alright, so I lied to you again. We don’t know this for sure, but it’s likely to be true, so we should at least talk about it. Ever since Microsoft acquired Bethesda, there have been rumors that many of their games will become exclusive to both the PC and Xbox consoles. Considering how massive of an IP Fallout is, I think it’s likely that they’ll make it an exclusive.
The game will likely release for the Xbox and on PC via Steam when it finally comes out in the distant future. But will this game stay only on Xbox and PC forever, or will it be a timed exclusive and eventually come to the PlayStation 5? Hopefully neither. I’m a PC gamer, so it won’t really affect me either way, but I know how frustrating it is to have a game be a timed-exclusive (cough cough, Epic Games, cough).
7 Things We Want From Fallout 5
With everything we know about the game out of the way, why don’t we take a second to talk about the fun stuff — what we want from this new title.
1. Returning RPG Elements
Let’s get the most obvious point out of the way first. Fallout is — and always has been — an RPG. But in recent years, many of the long-standing and expected features of a Fallout game have been shelved for the sake of broad appeal to a larger audience. This is a big step in the wrong direction, and it’s something that Bethesda seems to have realized, given their return to form with Starfield.
Fallout 5 needs to bring back the skill systems from Fallout 3. While this system wasn’t perfect, it was always very satisfying to level up your character and see them progress. It added a lot of depth to the game and gave players something to look forward to every time they leveled up. While perks are great, they just aren’t enough to satisfy that RPG itch many long-time Fallout players have.
Another feature that should return is the karma system. Yes, I know, it had plenty of flaws that need to be addressed. For example, it often shoehorned players into making a decision that should have been up to the player to interpret what was right and wrong.
But if these flaws can be overcome, we could have some really great RPG elements that the past games had. This included vigilantes tracking you down for having evil karma, certain companions refusing to follow you, and different ending slide variations.
2. Silent Protagonist
Surprisingly, this point may be very controversial among the Fallout fanbase. Most long-term and hardcore players agree that a silent protagonist is a way to go. It provides better opportunities for role-playing the specific character you had in mind. It also allows Bethesda to write significantly more dialogue options, and thus more unique ways to complete quests and solve problems.
More recent, casual players may prefer the Mass Effect style dialogue tree we got from Fallout 4. This is because it added a more high-quality, cinematic feel to it. While I can understand this sentiment, at the end of the day. I feel that RPG elements and gameplay take priority over cinematic quality. As previously mentioned, a silent protagonist gives more freedom in role-playing and how quests can be solved.
Judging by what we’ve seen from both Starfield leaks and gameplay, Bethesda has realized their mistake and is going the way of the silent protagonist for all future games. But even if they do ship Fallout 5 with a voiced protagonist, they should at least give us an option to turn it off and use the classic dialogue box.
3. Please, No More Brotherhood of Steel
This next one is also controversial, but this time I’m not so surprised about it. The Brotherhood of Steel is a militaristic faction dedicated to scouring the wasteland to capture and preserve technology. They do this to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands and to preserve it for future generations. This faction has been in the game since the very beginning, all the way back to Fallout 1 in 1997.
And they have returned in literally every single game since then. They’ve even got their own spinoff title called Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (but we don’t talk about that game). Bethesda has re-interpreted this faction and its ideology several times, giving us different versions of them in each game. While it’s nice that there’s some variation between chapters, we shouldn’t be seeing them so much to begin with.
I want us to explore new factions and new groups of people. I don’t want to see the same faction again and again and again — it gets boring, and the more you do it, the harder it is to justify in the lore. Fallout: New Vegas delegated the Brotherhood to a minor faction, and it put a bigger focus on fleshing out new groups like Ceasar’s Legion. Let’s do that again and get a faction that’s more unique.
4. Lots of Endings + Ending Slides
Many people were disappointed by the lack of choices that you could make in Fallout 4. While having four different factions to side with was nice, there was almost no variation if you sided with the same faction twice. There was supposed to be an ending for the Brotherhood where you helped Danse challenge Elder Maxon to become the Elder himself, but this was cut from the game.
That isn’t even considering all of the side quests that had little choice. When doing Cait’s companion quest, you couldn’t convince her to keep taking chems, and her quest only had one ending. It’s a shame that Bethesda didn’t put much emphasis on player choice and deciding how they want things to end. One of the biggest selling points of open-world RPGs is choice, yet it lacked that severely.
Bethesda should right this wrong by giving us loads of different endings, both for side quests and main quests. There should also be variations for the different major endings. When siding with a faction, maybe we could choose between wiping out all the other factions or making peace with them? We also need ending slides to return, as that made all of our choices feel so much more consequential.
5. Joinable Enclave Faction
Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking here. “Didn’t you just say you don’t want the Brotherhood to return? Why should the Enclave come back, then?” Simply put, we’ve been able to join the Brotherhood in every single recent game. Yet, despite the Enclave being a faction in several games, we’ve never actually been able to side with them (the remnants in Fallout: New Vegas don’t count).
Bethesda should finally give us the option to join up with them. They should flesh them out to be a full-on faction with loads of interesting, likable characters in the same way the NCR was fleshed out more fully in Fallout: New Vegas. I want them to have an interesting and compelling reason for why they would make the wasteland a better place, and why we should join up with them.
It would open up a lot of unique role-playing for our characters. Many players have been asking for a joinable Enclave faction for a while, so it only makes sense that we should get that next game. According to the lore, there is a rumored outpost of the Enclave located in Chicago. If the next Fallout game were to take place there, it would be a no-brainer to make them a joinable, major faction.
6. Old-School Art Style & Tone
This next one is something I haven’t seen very many people discuss, but I hope that it is something Bethesda will consider. The modern art style and tone of modern Fallout is very different from the originals made in the 90s. A YouTuber named Shamus Young made an excellent video essay explaining how Bethesda’s interpretation of Fallout is all wrong. You can watch that video by clicking here.
In the video, he explains how Fallout is “…not the 1950s, [but] the year 2077 as the people of the 1950s would have imagined it,” which is completely different. There is an overreliance on the 1950s aesthetics in newer Fallout games, which is reflected by both the tone and music, as well as the art direction itself. And why is the classic art style and tone superior to Bethesda’s vision?
It was much darker and more menacing. The 1950s tone is too bright and happy, and it lessens the impact that a grimdark apocalypse could bring to players. Additionally, the music of Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 reflected the dark and depressing atmosphere, using air raid sirens and tribalistic instruments to tell the player, “The apocalypse is here and now. The good old days are long gone. This is what remains.”
Fallout 3 felt much more similar to the 90s games, and I’d like to see something like that in a future game. The art direction should be dark and grim, with no blue skies or colorful buildings. The 1950s radio music can stay, but use songs that are more melancholic and less optimistic. For the ambiance, use less orchestral music and take inspiration from the classic games’ soundtracks instead.
7. Lots of Side Factions
Another really great thing about Bethesda-style open-world RPGs is joinable side-factions, something recent games in the series have lacked. Side factions are a great way to not only flesh out the world and lore, but give players opportunities for role-playing their characters. Joining a faction you like, doing missions for them, and gaining a reputation has always been very fun and satisfying.
Yet in Fallout 4, there were so many missed opportunities for joinable factions. You couldn’t be a mercenary for the gunners. You couldn’t fight as a gangster for the Triggermen. And you couldn’t even be a raider until the last DLC for the game. But even then, there was no real progression. You just joined them and were immediately made the over boss. How does that make sense?
I would absolutely love it if Fallout 5 had lots of joinable factions with unique quests and opportunities for role-playing. Maybe you could join a confederation of independent merchants who would sell you a brahmin for hauling around supplies and role-playing as a trader? There could join a tribe of animal whisperers who would give you unique perks centered around making animals fight for you?
Join the High Ground
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