You wouldn’t think that post-apocalyptic nuclear wastelands would make for fun worlds to explore, but Bethesda’s Fallout series has provided compelling and extraordinarily crafted worlds to explore on a consistent basis. Even when the series has stumbled elsewhere – looking at you Fallout 76 – the world design has been impeccable. Whether it be because of Bethesda’s extremely finely honed knack for crafting great worlds, or the excellent Americana lens the series looks at its locations through, Fallout is consistently delivering excellent settings that you can lose completely yourselves in with each new game. And on that note, here, we’ll be talking about five we hope to see the series tackle in the future.
This is probably on top (or at least close to the top) on most Fallout fans’ wishlists for future settings. New Orleans would, simply put, be the perfect setting for a new Fallout game. There’s the obvious fact that this is a series that relies a great deal on world-building with lore and backstory and building the setting’s unique personality. New Orleans, a place with so much culture of its own, would be a perfect fit for the series.
Meanwhile, New Orleans’ topography is another important point worth considering. Fallout games generally tend to be dominated by dry, barren apocalyptic wastelands, but a game set in New Orleans with radioactive swamplands would be the perfect way to shake things up. A location such as that would also be a great foil for all the times Fallout veers into horror territory with spooky locations and unsettling stories and quests. Oh, and think of all the different kinds of mutated freaks and monsters you could run into out in the swamps. That’d be a great bonus.
San Francisco is a setting that Fallout as a series has plenty of familiarity with. Back before the Bethesda days, Fallout 2 was set in the region called the New California Republic, of which San Francisco was a part. Meanwhile, even though we haven’t really visited the location since then, it continues to be an important part of the universe. Bethesda’s take on the setting in a modern Fallout game could be a fascinating thing to experience.
Obviously, a fully fleshed-out San Francisco in a large-scale modern-day open world game would be an exciting prospect, and there’d be other ways Bethesda could do a lot with that setting as well. From a narrative perspective, from instance, the New California Republic being at the forefront of the story would bring about some interesting storytelling opportunities. Presumably, the game would have to be set earlier in the timeline, which would probably work as a solid refresh in its own right. And of course, it goes without saying that getting to see landmarks such as the Golden Gate bridge would be a great bonus.
NEW YORK CITY
It’s a little surprising, honestly, that in all the time Fallout has been around, it’s never once taken us to New York City. Arguably, that makes sense from a lore perspective- New York City might be practically all but wiped out the map, since it could potentially have been affected greatly by the nukes. Even so, it’s hard not be intrigued by the prospect of a Fallout game that would let you explore the remains of New York City, perhaps see even more dilapidated and broken-down environments than in previous games. Seeing a city that was hit much harder than most other places would not only make for a nice change of pace, it would also allow for some pretty interesting and potentially creative design opportunities. Verticality, for instance, could be much more emphasized than it’s ever been in a Fallout game before.
Interestingly enough, as revealed in a NoClip documentary from 2018, Bethesda initially considered setting Fallout 4 in New York, and even had design documents drawn up for it, which means that the idea for making a Fallout game in New York has at least floated around at Bethesda before. They did end up going with Boston as Fallout 4’s setting, but there’s every chance that they consider revisiting New York as a potential setting in the future. We certainly hope they do.
While speaking about New Orleans as a potential setting for Fallout 5, we briefly mentioned how it would also serve as a nice change of pace from the dry, barren places the series is usually set in. A setting like Alaska would work for pretty much the same reason. A Fallout game set in a frozen wasteland? That would certainly be worth experiencing. Seeing such a different kind of environment would be a huge point in the setting’s favour, and given how different it is from typical Fallout settings, it could also potentially give Bethesda room for a lot of creativity from a design and worldbuilding perspective.
We have, of course, been to Anchorage in the Fallout 3 DLC. That was set in the very, very early days of the Fallout chronology though, and a honestly, had a much different flavour than what we’re hoping we would find in a hypothetical Fallout 5 set in Alaska.
Again, just like Alaska, Hawaii would be a great way for Bethesda to introduce some visual variety to a Fallout setting. Locations could potentially be less devastated by bombs, with more tropical environments like radioactive jungles or beaches. The game could also explore so many ideas in terms of local mutated wildlife and factions. Just in terms of pure design and variety, if nothing else, a hypothetical Fallout 5 set in Hawaii sounds like an exciting prospect.
Even from a storytelling perspective though, Hawaii would make for a great setting, because Bethesda would then have the chance to combine the unique culture of place with the lore and worldbuilding strengths of Fallout as a series. It’s hard not to get excited about such a Fallout setting when you think about all the different kinds of factions, vignettes, characters, and questlines you could potentially discover in that world.
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