Blogs of Rage #6 - How is This Also Not a Thing?
As I am sure anyone who is a fan of the Fallout series is well aware, there's been a lot of speculation and confusion regarding the upcoming Fallout '76 title, and more specifically, the lack of concrete information regarding its new gameplay mechanics. While I don't want to add to the already over-saturated click-bait media that currently exists in relation to this topic, I do want to briefly discuss something that's never made any sense to me regarding the Fallout franchise and its revitalized status as one of the most popular game series to-date.
With the popularity and brand-recognition that started with the release of Fallout 3, and more specifically its evolution into a real-time, hybrid 1st/3rd person perspective game, can someone please explain to me why the 2 original Fallout games (i.e. Fallout and Fallout 2) were never remade from isometric, turn-based games into the real-time format of Fallout 3, New Vegas, or Fallout 4? Maybe I am wrong, but it just seems like such a wasted opportunity to not give these older titles new relevance in a post-Fallout 3 world. I'd buy them, and I am willing to bet, regardless of the quality of the conversion, millions of other people would too.
Fallout 1 and 2 are touted as having the 'best' stories compared to the more current iterations, with the most complex, multifaceted solutions to any given obstacle/scenario. The games are also considered to have the 'best' dialogue options, especially for those looking for a more immersive role-playing experience, at least in comparison to the hot garbage of Fallout 4's overly-simplified system. I could be mistaken, but these games, and moreover the fans of these 2 original games, routinely state how the later editions of Fallout 'ruined' or 'dumbed-down' the franchise in an effort to make the games more appealing to the masses. While I personally can't comment on how accurate that sentiment is, remaking these games, and their nuanced stories, into the current real-time format would the greatest piece of evidence to confirm the validity of these statements, once and for all.
Let's be real here - most people that consider themselves Fallout fans have never played the 2 original titles, and realistically, probably never will. Truth be told, I have tried to play Fallout 1 several times, albeit years after playing 3, and I honestly could not get through it. I, like many people, just don't enjoy the turn-based format. To me, the gameplay is just too slow and disjointed for my personal tastes. Factor in how user-unfriendly the game's UI is, not to mention how poorly the game explains its own mechanics, and I am sure you could understand (but not necessarily agree with) my lack of interest in the title. Don't get me wrong, I want to like the game, and I want to experience its story, but again, I just cannot get over its numerous humps. As a fan of the latter part of the series though, at least to me, that's a real shame, as I am positive there's quite a bit to love with both original titles, assuming some of the rougher edges were adapted to fit into modern Fallout 1st/3rd person gameplay style.
Development-wise, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me remaking these 2 games in the Fallout 4 engine would be an impossible task. Considering the story, missions, solutions, characters, voice-samples, etc. are all done, it would really only be a matter of creating the world again in 3D, then programming the NPCs to mimic the behaviors of their turn-based counterparts. I am not saying the task would be easy, but any game, remake or not, would have to be created, so you'll never convince me Bethesda couldn't undertake this project, assuming it wanted to. It's also my understanding these games are much shorter than the new titles, which again only makes the games more appealing to me. I absolutely despise the artificial busywork modern games add to their formulas, in order to give the illusion of value to consumers. If Fallout 1 and 2 lack this kind of clutter, then I am all for it. In fact, you could even market that as a feature, where you could quickly replay the game under different classes and solutions, without having to re-tread hours upon hours of filler content. I can absolutely appreciate a well-crafted, tight gaming experience, even if it means a shorter run time. Slap a $40 price tag on each game to make up for the overall shorter length compared to the modern iterations, and again, you only make the sale more appealing to gamers.
So, again, I have to ask, why isn't this a thing yet? People love Fallout so we know there's already a market. There are 2 existing games in the franchise that most people, especially younger gamers, have not experienced. A decent amount of the content has already been created, so the overall cost and development time would be less than creating a new game from scratch. Even if Bethesda doesn't 100% own the rights to Fallout 1 and 2, I am sure a compromise could be achieved with those parties. All games have costs, like labor, royalties, licensing, etc., so I don't see how these hypothetical remakes would be any different. All studios have to produce content to remain financially viable, so why not remake these games under the modern 1st/3rd person model? Give these forgotten classics the recognition and visibility they deserve. Considering the backlash to Fallout '76 and its non-traditional, multiplayer mechanics, at least to me, it seems now is the time to re-ingratiate back with the fans. Let's honor the roots of this hugely popular, and profitable, franchise with some remakes. You'll never convince me Bethesda would lose money on this project. Shut up and take my money.