TLDR: Opinion piece, Fallout 5 should be dark and gritty, not campy and 50's i.e The 50's retrofuturism should be the backdrop, but it shouldn't be the highlight, you should see that height but be living in hell to survive.
So I'm certain Fallout 5 has been beaten to death but I'm gonna double..quadruple…"wait how many…oh..okay its dead…okay".
So, first let me start off by saying that I did enjoy Fo4 and never did take the plunge on 76' because my friends all talked me out of it at the time. That being said, I like most of you here have thousands of hours in Fo3, NV, Fo4 and a playthrough or two of Fo1 and Fo2.
Fallout 4 isn't a bad game, it's actually quite an enjoyable game and compared to most of the other games that released right before or after, it was still leagues above other games, I think we can all agree that had it not carried the Fallout title to its name that for any other franchise, thats a blockbuster all day long, but that's just it. It didn't feel like Fallout to me.
So what did Fallout 4 feel like to me? Well, to be honest it was to campy, to light-hearted, to much 50's retro-nostalgia and gimmicky tropes with a sprinkling of bright happy colors. Again, great game, just not a great Fallout game.
Fallout should be dark, it should be cruel, it should kick you when you're down. It should have you duck-taped behind a bin getting kicked in the stomach while your buddy gets clapped right next to you. Fallout should tackle the horrors of mankind. Fallout isn't about Jukeboxes and Pompadours and Leather Jackets, or let me rephrase, it was that high, it was that enlightened lets go go atmosphere but you're not supposed to revel in that high.
So what does that mean, am I saying you shouldn't enjoy retrofuturism of the 50's? No, it is in a way essential to the Fallout universe, but there is a difference in reveling in that atmosphere, and then exploring that atmosphere. See to me, Fallout has with every game under Bethesdas care strayed further and further away from what Fallout is, Fallout is a re-configuring, it's taking that retrofuturism high and tearing it apart, pulling back the blinds that hid its corrupt roots, then nuking all the good from the world, and then digging even further below. If Retrofuturism of any age, say what we believe 2100 or 2200 will look like is to us a an Absolute golden age, then reflect upon the anti-thesis to that Golden Age, and that is what Fallout is.
We should have dilapidated, disgusting, ancient, grime and disease filled 50's dinners, they shouldn't be manned by some Dapper Dan Grease Lightning look alikes cut from a Movie-Cloth talking in 50's lingo. It should be filled with uncivil, barbaric, hate and drug addled brutes, carving up a kid for dinner on the dilapidated counter. That's Fallout. Dark, twisted, brutal. Apocalyptic.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly enjoy comedy and feel no game can just be a dark kick in the balls 24/7, hell I liked the Detective for his humorous moments, even those his backstory was a bit fucked.
But for every Doowap-Beebop "do the twist" 50's moment of campy silly 50's jingle moment derived as a byproduct of the games foundation, I'd have much rather seen that broken down, gutted, destroyed, burning, disease and dust filled, and then have some of the darkest, coldest Sci-Fi Apocalyptic shit injected straight into it.
I want a Fallout that makes me question my humanity, I want a Fallout that gives me the spooks to go into a old basement, I want Fallout that makes my stomach churn at the thought.
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