Fallout 5 hasn’t been announced and isn’t expected to be announced for some time to come. However, there is nonetheless considerable interest from a wide range of parties who want the game to be as pleasing as possible. Fortunately, while there isn’t a great deal of information, there are nonetheless some factors that interested individuals can see as cause for a moderate degree of optimism. Here are 10 reasons why Fallout 5 still has potential:
1. Fallout Is a Key Franchise
First and foremost, Fallout is one of Bethesda’s most important franchises. Sure, there is The Elder Scrolls, which remains the single most important franchise that can be found under the same corporate umbrella. Furthermore, there might come a time when Bethesda will release something that is even better-received than Fallout, with one potential candidate being a hypothetical series springing up because of the upcoming Starfield. However, for the time being, there can be no doubt that Fallout occupies a place of prominence in Bethesda’s plans for the foreseeable future.
As such, it seems safe to say that Bethesda doesn’t just want Fallout 5 to be a success, it is willing to commit considerable amounts of time, money, and other resources to ensuring that said title will become a success. After all, its success will be the success of the Fallout franchise as a whole, which in turn, promises to continue being one of the most important factors for Bethesda’s success as a whole. Of course, it is perfectly possible for a video game developer to botch a video game even if it decides to go all-out with the resources available to one of the biggest video game companies that can be found in the entire world. However, the chances of that happening should become lower because of the increased investment.
2. The Fallout Franchise Has Come Under Considerable Criticism
Speaking of which, it should be mentioned that the Fallout franchise under Bethesda’s ownership has come under considerable criticism. The exact nature of the criticism is complicated, not least because there is a wide range of disgruntled fans with a wide range of complaints on the matter. For example, there are some people who dislike the current incarnation of the Fallout franchise because it is too different from the first two installments made by Black Isle Studios. In contrast, there are other people who dislike the Fallout titles made by Bethesda because of various narrative choices, with complaints ranging from an excessive emphasis on style over substance to the choice to cling onto a post-apocalyptic presentation rather than a post-post-apocalyptic presentation even though the new titles are set so far into the future. In particular, it is worth mentioning that there are a lot of people who feel that Bethesda’s efforts have been less impressive than Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas, which is particularly strong because the video game developer was forced to release its creation even receiving enough time to complete it to its satisfaction.
In any case, this is important because criticism can have some very different effects on people. On the one hand, it is common for criticism to crush people beneath its weight; on the other hand, it is common for criticism to spur people to prove their detractors wrong. Given that the new Fallout titles have met with a more positive response from a fair number of people out there, it seems unlikely that Bethesda will be crushed beneath the criticism anytime soon, meaning that it is possible that its team will be spurred on to greater heights than otherwise possible.
3. Fallout 76 Stumbled At the Starting Line
On a related note, there is one more spur in the form of Fallout 76. Simply put, while Bethesda is still pouring resources into the project in an effort to improve on its issues, there can be no doubt about the fact that Fallout 76 stumbled at the starting line. Those who are curious about what happened can look it up on their own initiative, but suffice to say that the title suffered from issues that included but were not limited to bugs, poor implementation, and a removal of the colorful NPCs that the Fallout series is famous for. On the whole, it would be a serious exaggeration to say that Fallout 76 was even close to being a mortal wound for the Fallout franchise as a whole. However, it seems safe to say that it was a wound that was felt.
Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to assume that Bethesda will have extra incentive to make sure that Fallout 5 won’t have the same kinds of launch issues as Fallout 76. Granted, the Fallout franchise is big enough that a Fallout 5 with serious issues at the start could sell well anyways, but at the end of the day, consumer goodwill is a finite resource that can be eroded by damaging incidents over time, meaning that most companies have a very understandable interest in cushioning it as well as cultivating it.
4. Fallout 5 Won’t Be a Spinoff
People who are familiar with the Fallout franchise as a whole will be familiar with the fact that it has seen a pretty significant change in its gameplay. After all, Fallout and Fallout 2 bear little gameplay resemblance to Fallout 3 and its successors, who bear a much greater resemblance to The Elder Scrolls series instead. Examples of the changes include both a transition from 2D isometric graphics to 3D graphics and a transition from turn-based combat to real-time combat. As such, it would be inaccurate to say that the main installments in the Fallout series have never seen any revolutionary changes.
However, there is no reason to believe that there will be a change of the same scale for Fallout 5. Instead, chances are good that while it will have changes from its predecessors, it will retain the core gameplay for the most part. Something that should come as welcome news for fans of Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. After all, Fallout 5 isn’t a spinoff but rather a main installment, which is relevant because spinoffs tend to incorporate a great deal more experimentation when it comes to their gameplay. Something that can prove either well or not so well depending on the exact circumstances behind them. In contrast, main installments tend to be more reliable because of their increased predictability.
5. It Will Be Years Until Fallout 5 Comes Out
Currently, there is no real indication of when Fallout 5 will be released. However, what we know so far suggests that it won’t be coming out until years into the future. This is because Bethesda is currently working on Starfield at the moment, which is supposed to be a project that is on a similar scale to both its Fallout and its Elder Scrolls franchises, meaning that it should be eating up a huge chunk of their available resources at the moment. On top of this, it should be remembered that Skyrim came out in 2011 while Fallout 4 came out in 2015, which suggests that the chances of an Elder Scrolls announcement coming out before a Fallout announcement are much higher than the reverse. Something that is particularly because the Fallout franchise had a more recent spinoff in the form of Fallout 76.
As for why this is a good thing, there are a couple of reasons. One, more time until the release means more time for the relevant individuals to come up with a good premise for the upcoming title. Two, more time until the release means more time for anticipation to build up in the Fallout fandom. Sure, pure anticipation can’t make up for other issues with a game, but it is nonetheless something that can help, meaning that it has a part to play as well.
6. It Seems Like It Will Be Single-Player
Some people have shown a concern about Fallout 5 being focused on multiplayer rather than single player. Partly, this seems to be because of Fallout 76 and partly, this seems to be because of general trends in the video game industry, which has been putting a bigger emphasis on multiplayer in recent times because of the possibilities offered by improved connectivity. However, it seems that this particular fear is unfounded because Bethesda representatives have stated that not every future Bethesda game will have a huge emphasis on multiplayer. Theoretically, that could exclude Fallout 5. However, since the Fallout series is famous for single-player games, it seems likely that it will remain so.
7. No Indication of It Being a Game As a Service
As such, there is no indication of Fallout 5 being a game as a service. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, game as a service refers to video games that generate revenue on a continuous basis by providing a continuous stream of updates, which is something that has been becoming more popular in recent years as well. Essentially, it is something that works well for some types of games, but not so much for a single-player RPG like the Fallout series is famous for. Instead, it seems safe to say that Fallout 5 will be released as a complete game, though it is bound to see DLC to add more content for interested individuals.
8. Wide Range of Potential U.S. Regions
There is no concrete information about where Fallout 5 will be set in the United States. There was a rumor from not so long ago about Obsidian Entertainment making a game set in New Orleans, which turned out to be Pillars of Eternity II. Regardless, New Orleans’s fascinating circumstances would make it a very interesting choice for an upcoming Fallout title. For that matter, even if it isn’t New Orleans, there are a lot of other U.S. regions that can make solid choices for the Fallout series, with examples ranging from Alaska to Chicago. On top of that, if the Fallout series ever decides to move from the post-apocalypse to the post-post-apocalypse for real, there is the option of revisiting California, where the NCR is supposed to have turned into a more or less functional state that would nonetheless offer its own possibilities that the wasteland lacks. Simply put, the U.S. possibilities are plentiful, which bodes well for a Fallout 5.
9. Wide Range of Potential Non-U.S. Regions
Of course, the really bold choice would be a Fallout title set somewhere outside of the United States. To some extent, this seems like something that would be more appropriate for a spinoff because the Fallout series is very much centered on a retro-futurism influenced by a satirical version of the United States of the 1950s. As such, this kind of move could rob the Fallout series of a core component that could have unfortunate consequences for how such a title would be received. However, it is worth noting that there is an excellent compromise choice in setting a future Fallout game either in Canada or on the former U.S.-Canada border.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Fallout setting’s history, the pre-war United States had turned fascistic. For example, there was a serious erosion of civil liberties in the homeland, so much so that it was very much a totalitarian regime by the end. Likewise, the pre-war United States was tossing both Chinese and Chinese-American citizens into concentration camps that were sometimes run by for-profit businesses, which perhaps unsurprisingly, resulted in the unfortunate individuals being exploited in some rather horrific manners. In particular, it is worth noting the Big Mountain R&D Center, which was conducting horrific human experimentation in case the comparison needed to be made clearer.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the places that suffered the most because of the pre-war United States was pre-war Canada, which was put under a brutal occupation by U.S. soldiers. As such, chances are good that post-war Canadians won’t see the pre-war United States in the same manner as their American counterparts, which if handled well, could make for an interesting exploration of both the incredible similarities and the incredible differences between the two neighbors.
10. Previous Experience
Finally, it should be remembered that with both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 under their collective belt, Bethesda is by no means a newbie when it comes to making Fallout games. Hopefully, this means that they will be able to take the best of the elements that they have introduced to the Fallout series and then polish them up before bringing them back for Fallout 5, though time and time along will tell whether this will be the case or not.