Fallout could benefit so much from the A-Life system ala S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

fallout 5 - Fallout could benefit so much from the A-Life system ala S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

If you aren't familiar with the STALKER series (which I highly reccomend to any Fallout fans), here's a rundown of what I'm talking about:


(Ignore the buzz terms like Emergent Gameplay, the article is actually really insightful)

It's regarded as one of the best open-world AI systems around, and it's a miracle it exists or functions. The games went through absolute development hell, as vanilla launches they're riddled with bugs, and the X-Ray engine can get pretty unstable. However, it leads to so many believably natural encounters with other STALKERS, the wildlife, anomalies, the environment itself, and every other combination, even when the player isn't neccecarily present or involved.

This could work so well for the Fallout games. I am very aware that Fallout 3/4 have random events/encounters, and that Fallout NV will sometimes spawn squads of opposing factions to fight each other, approach the player, or attack the player; none of this really fits what I mean. The 3D Fallout's random encounters/battles are scripted, even if the outcome solely depends on the AI and player interference.


A-Life (or a potential system like it) would mean roaming packs of scorpions that may come across roaming traders, resulting in firefights. Not a set piece that is randomly generated to benefit the player, mind you, but what is almost a natural random encounter between the two groups. This would work so well in New Vegas in particular, due to the multitude of factions, their relationships with eachother, and their relationships with the player (which are all mostly variable).

Imagine coming across 3-way fights between the Legion, NCR, and Brotherhood from squads that were spawned at their faction's bases, and happend across eachother while they were attempting to accomplish individual goals. The Brotherhood were looting an old factory, but the Legion had tracked them there and attempted to ambush them. However, none realized an NCR patrol happened to be walking the nearby road before the shooting started.

Obviously this is all just a dream of mine, the engine and developers wouldn't work with such a system. I play almost as much STALKER as I do Fallout titles, and often wish that each franchise borrowed more from the other, as different at heart as they are.

What do you guys think about an A-Life type system in Fallout? What systems from the STALKER or other games would you like to see implimented in a Fallout game, new or old?

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