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Bethesda continues to celebrate Fallout's 25th anniversary with this article that invites us to pick up Fallout 3 for free on the Epic Games Store, buy some merch, check out this interview with their senior character artist Christiane Meister and this Fallout timeline.
Here's the latter:
With all that history, one may think that getting into Fallout would require years of background research, but fear not!
The universe of Fallout is rich and rewarding for those who love to dig deep into the lore, but any Fallout game can be your first! For those curious to learn a little bit more about their Fallout history, however, here’s a quick ‘n’ dirty rundown of the series (and mainline games’) timeline. Don’t worry, no plot spoilers!
FALLOUT 76 (2018, BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS)
While Fallout’s canonical history dates back well before the forming of Pre-War America, the games’ timeline formally kicks off with Fallout 76. 25 years after the Great War of 2077 that scorched the earth in nuclear flame, the fortunate few to take shelter in the Vaults of Appalachia emerge to find a wild new world to explore, one where Fallout fans could enjoy online with friends - a first for the franchise!
FALLOUT (1997, INTERPLAY ENTERTAINMENT)
Ahh, the one that started it all. Set half a century later during 2161 in the wastes of Southern California, the original Fallout centers around a lone Vault Dweller tasked with finding a functioning water chip for their Vault before it runs out of life-sustaining water. Fallout didn’t just introduce the setting for the franchise, however. 25 years later, many of the series’ staples are still present today, including the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats system, companions, the Brotherhood of Steel and even many of the wasteland’s now-iconic residents such as ghouls, deathclaws, radscorpions and Super Mutants.
FALLOUT 2 (1998, INTERPLAY ENTERTAINMENT)
The story enters a new century in 2241 as Fallout 2 starts in the struggling village of Arroyo. A far cry from the high-tech, relative comfort of Vaults, Arroyo is plagued by a drought that’s sure to doom the village without the help of a powerful terraforming tool known as a G.E.C.K. As the Chosen One of your village, players encounter a new threat that will stick with the series for years to come: a shadowy remnant of the Pre-War American government, known as The Enclave.
FALLOUT 3 (2008, BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS)
The year is 2277 as the Lone Wanderer steps out of Vault 101 in search of their missing father, kicking off a new adventure not just for the player, but the Fallout series itself. Fallout 3 marked the first mainline Fallout on consoles, introducing new mechanics that have been part of the series since, including the reimagined Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S.
FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS (2010, OBSIDIAN ENTERTAINMENT)
Just a few years later, both in our world and Fallout’s, players got quite a kick in the head with the release of Fallout: New Vegas. It’s a rough night in 2281 as the Courier, en route to the glitzy bastion of New Vegas, is intercepted and shot in the head over a mysterious package they were carrying. After a miraculous revival, players seek the truth behind their sought-after cargo amidst a massive power struggle involving the entire Mojave Wasteland.
FALLOUT 4 (2015, BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS)
Fallout returns to the East Coast for Fallout 4, bringing the series to its latest point thus far, chronologically, in the year 2287. Players take on the role of the a Pre-War character put in cryogenic stasis right as the bombs fell in the year 2077. Waking up two centuries into the future, the sole survivor must search the ruins of Boston, now known as The Commonwealth, for the last family they have left. Among the features introduced in Fallout 4, one particular addition went on to become a favorite among you lovingly tinkering your C.A.M.P.S. in Fallout 76: crafting and constructing your own personal settlements.
WE’RE NOT DONE YET!
While we’re through with the mainline games, the Fallout series has even more entries to explore from its past and present:
FALLOUT TACTICS: BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL (2001, Micro Forté)
Fallout Tactics adds its own spin on the series with a mix of real-time and turn-based combat where players aren’t just in charge of their character, but an entire squad as they make a foothold in the dangerous wastes of the American Midwest.
FALLOUT: BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL (2004, Interplay Entertainment)
Not to be confused with its similarly named, tactics-focused twin, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel marks the first appearance of a Fallout title on home consoles. Taking things in a more action-oriented direction, the game follows an Initiate (and potentially a co-op ally) as they face both the external threats and internal squabbling that plagues the Brotherhood of Steel.
FALLOUT SHELTER (2015, Bethesda Game Studios)
Players become the Overseer of their very own Vault in this spin-off, bringing the Fallout franchise to mobile – and bringing millions of mobile players into the world of Fallout!
FALLOUT PINBALL (2016, Zen Studios)
Trade that laser rifle for a pair of flippers – Fallout pinball exists! In collaboration with Zen Studios, a special Fallout-themed virtual pinball board was created for their Pinball FX series, bringing some wasteland flavor to the arcade standby. (And yes, even the pinball version of Fallout uses S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats.)