Games Are Now Renewable Resources

It’s been a couple of years since the release of the latest entry in the Fallout series, and some fans, myself included, are looking anything wasteland-y and soaked with rads to take up our time until Fallout: 76 comes out this fall. Well, I’ve got good news! Thanks to the stellar modding community, there is a ton of fusion core-fueled action in the months to come. I'm not talking about simple reskins either, but interesting new stories.

A Post Apocalyptic Prequel

First on my list is Fallout: New California, which is a prequel to Fallout: New Vegas. It takes the shape of an episodic story, with the first episode having been released in 2013, under the name Project Brazil. Fans of the mod have been waiting quite a while for the next episode, but thankfully a release for the public beta of the mod has been announced, October 23, the same day of the great war in the Fallout universe.

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The screenshot alone gives us a good look at a new UI, and whoever that is in the background.

The mod puts you in the shoes of a dweller in Vault 18, and sets you along a path that somehow ends with the platinum chip falling into the hands of the courier from New Vegas; it's a neat way to link the two stories, while also not trying to jump into the main lore. In between the vault and the sands of Nevada lie the untamed wilds of California, stripped into parts by competing factions. The plot starts much like Fallout 2 if you’re familiar with it, with the Enclave attacking your vault and you leading a group of survivors hopefully somewhere safe.

Fallout: New California offers something that we rarely get, which is a real prequel to an existing part of the franchise. While it’s not being made by Obsidian or Bethesda, this video makes it look like the modding team at Radian Helix Media know what they’re doing.

Unexplored Territory

The next mod takes players to the maybe-no-longer-great Pacific northwest, specifically Seattle. The emerald city (Should that be capitalized? It’s a nickname, so I’m not sure.) is being brought to the post apocalypse in Fallout: Cascadia.

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What could be behind THE WALL?

Little has been released about the mod so far, but in an FAQ, the modding team has described the project as “a new entry into the Fallout franchise.” The in game world is planned to be about the same size as Fallout 4’s, complete with a new branching storyline, factions, weapons, armor and a new protagonist.

The modding team at Project Cascadia have a few things in mind while they’re making this new world for us to play in. They want to build off of Fallout 4 by correcting some of its shortcomings and bringing back features from previous games, such as S.P.E.C.I.A.L checks. While it’s still not clear what direction they aim to take story-wise, fans looking for a more classic experience should keep an eye out for this mod.

Of course, the east coast is getting some nuclear love too. Another modding team is working on an adventure in the opposite corner of America with Fallout: Miami.

The sun soaked beaches of Florida get the full treatment in this mod, though you can only tell by the multiple in-game screenshots and monthly blogs posted by its creator. Nothing has been released lore-wise as of now, but there are descriptions of multiple different factions and characters that players meet throughout their adventures. To me, it’s the mod with the most heart and soul poured straight into building a fantastic world to explore, and that’s enough to get me excited.

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200 years later and some skeletons are STILL trying to get a tan!

A Second Round For Vegas

Full disclosure, this mod has me hyped. Ever since hearing about it two years ago, I’ve been watching it develop. Of course, I’m talking about Fallout 4: New Vegas, the mod that’s aiming to bring the entirety of Fallout: New Vegas into the current generation by replicating the entire game on Fallout 4’s engine.

That means a prettier Mojave wasteland, smoother gunplay and according to the devs, a 25 percent bigger worldspace! All plenty to be excited about, but there’s plenty more. The modding team wants to make more than a re-release. Instead, they want to build further off of the game, fixing the problems it did have while keeping the gameplay similar to New Vegas itself. That means lighting changes to give items such as cateye, a drug that gives players night vision, more utility, and other similar changes.

While there isn’t any news of a release date, and it’s extremely likely there won’t be one for months if not years, Fallout 4: New Vegas is offering fans of the series to experience one of its best entries to date the way it was meant to be experienced; on an updated engine, with gameplay changes and enough time to be sure there aren’t any game breaking bugs.

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The caravan shotgun looks even more badass in HD

A Show Of Potential

It needs to be acknowledged that none of these mods are going to cost anything to players. Zip, nada, bupkis. The mod teams are asking for absolutely nothing in return for years of hard work. These are groups of talented programmers, game developers, 3D model designers, and many many more that simply love the Fallout franchise and want to become a part of it in a sense greater than posting about the games on blogs. These modders and the projects they are working on, the experiences they’re creating, are the result of a developer truly letting players have full access to a game. Given the same tools as the developers, these fans are breathing more life into something they love, and if that’s not downright amazing I don’t know what is.