4 Fallout Fan Projects To Scratch Your Single Player Itch

Fallout fans have been waiting patiently for news of a fresh single-player experience since 2015 and the release of Fallout 4 - and Bethesda's recent tease at a new entry in the Fallout series had many excited...until it was revealed to be an online multiplayer survival game, in the mold of Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved. Not that Bethesda isn't capable of delivering something uniquely Fallout-y to that genre, it's just...not really what anyone wanted. Fans of Fallout have been waiting for another meaty, thorough single player experience to fill 100+ hours of our lives with - and Fallout 76 seems like it's going in a completely different direction, and is unlikely to scratch that itch.

But where Bethesda has let us down, the fans have come to the rescue. As is common with Bethesda properties, there is an incredibly active mod community around the past 10 years of Fallout games - and the mods have evolved quite a bit further than the "make everyone nude" or "turn everyone into My Little Pony characters" (although obviously those mod communities are still THRIVING). Certain modders and groups have buckled down and developed fully-realized GAMES - filled with original stories, new dialogues, characters, assets, worlds, etc. - all using the Fallout aesthetic and engine.

While none of these projects are finished quite yet, there are several that look extremely promising - and definitely worth keeping an eye on (at least, assuming Bethesda doesn't sue them out of existence, which is always a possibility).



1. Fallout: New California

Here's something incredible - a fully-realized, massive scale modder game that HASN'T fallen apart due to time constraints, interpersonal drama, and/or legal threats from the publisher. Truly, the rarest of the rare - and while the other games on this list are promising and look incredible, none are as tantalizingly close to seeing an actual release as Fallout: New California. F:NC has been in the works for about 5 years now (and did release an initial installment YEARS ago, back when it was known as "Project Brazil"), and things are finally looking like this huge undertaking will be realized.

What Do You Need To Play It? Fallout: New Vegas on PC. It's a prequel to (what may be) the most beloved of the Bethesda-era Fallout games (and, notably, the only one not developed in-house by Bethesda)

What Makes This Special? It's heavily inspired by the Black Isle-era Fallout games (as was Obsidian's New Vegas, since it featured several original team members contributing) - and, like all mod conversion games, it's programmed and developed entirely by a small staff of volunteers doing this for the love of gaming and Fallout (since trying to actually SELL this game for money would instantly summon every Bethesda lawyer in existence). In this case, the project primarily developed by Rick Hukkanen, Brandan Lee, and Freddie Farnsworth.

When Is It Coming Out? October 23rd, 2018 is the official release date. But they're doing a beta in July!

Anything Else Worth Knowing?  You can donate to them here, if you'd like. And if you are as excited about this as we are, you might wanna consider it! In the meantime, you can follow news updates and whatnot here.



2. Fallout 4: New Vegas

Again, people still like New Vegas A LOT. It's frequently cited as the most interesting and compelling 3D Fallout experience, even if it has a few issues (horrifically buggy, load times, etc.). The faction wrangling, Obsidian-style writing and characters, and western-stylings made it feel like something special (that, and Old World Blues is easily the best DLC around). So wouldn't it be nice if you could replay New Vegas without it looking ugly as hell? Enter the New Vegas remake in the Fallout 4 engine - with all the fancy features and nicer graphics that has to offer.

What Do You Need To Play It? Well - a lot. You'll need both Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas, plus all associated DLCs for both games. Although if you're a Fallout fan on PC and have lived through recent Steam sales, odds are you probably have 'em all.

What Makes This Special? It's New Vegas - a game you love, on an engine that makes the game MUCH more playable.

When Is It Coming Out? WHO KNOWS? It's still in the early-ish stages (they've only been going since August 2017) - rebuilding an entire game in a different engine is a crazy-huge task.

Anything Else Worth Knowing? You can check out the FAQ here (it's illuminating!) and apply to contribute here.



3. Fallout: The Frontier

Okay, here's a caveat - The Frontier isn't an entirely standalone experience. The mod team involved describe it as more of an "unofficial super DLC" to Fallout: New Vegas, given it takes place during the game's timeline and has you continue your quest as the Courier to Portland, Oregon. But while it's not a full-on new game, this has some advantages - for one, the (slightly) more limited scope means this project has a much better shot at being completed. Plus, not trying to build an enormous world allows the devs to really pack in each inch of their work with detail and care.

What Do You Need To Play It? Fallout: New Vegas, plus the DLCs.

What Makes This Special? You know how you liked New Vegas? What if there was MORE New Vegas? Also, the devs really seem passionate about this project and smart about their approach. We would bet dollars to donuts it actually makes it out into the wild.

When Is It Coming Out? The team is estimating that - at the latest - by the end of 2018. Of course, videogame deadlines exist to be pushed back, so maybe keep an eye out for early 2019. Still, it's been in the works for 3 years now and it already looks pretty impressive. Right now they're estimating the overal mod status is at 80% - so do with that what you will.

Anything Else Worth Knowing? You can learn more about the project here, and you can support the team here.



4. Fallout: Cascadia

I'll say this - Cascadia easily has the most Fallout-y trailer of all the conversion mod games listed here. Retro musical score (The Frontier uses a song from 2017 in a Fallout trailer! Sacrilege!), a sudden shift from hopeful and bright to ominous and grim, and very little janky in-game action footage. In short, it looks real nice - so far. Taking place in the Pacific Northwest (although less snowy than The Frontier) around Seattle, Cascadia takes a unique path and places itself much further in the future than other Fallout games. Here's how the mod team describes it:

Fallout Cascadia is planning to deliver nearly eighty square kilometers of land centered around Seattle proper. It will contain several large settlements such as the capital of the Republic of Cascadia, Cascade. Cascadia takes places hundreds of years after the previous Fallout games, in the year 2329. To capture this time period we are making use of texture artists and asset creators to show the slow progress of the wasteland to a post-post-apocalyptic society. But make no mistake, conflict and turmoil still grips this wasteland.

What Do You Need To Play It? Fallout 4, Nuka World, Far Harbor, Vault Tec Workshop, and the Fallout 4 Script Extender.

What Makes This Special? The polish on everything around this project is intense - even their website looks great! And even more promising is how the game SOUNDS - namely, the mod team seems acutely aware of the complaints levied against Fallout 4 and are aiming to correct them (particularly the lame dialogue system and lack of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. checks). 

When Is It Coming Out? Well, they're being honest - they have no idea. It's a volunteer-based project, and there's a danger in pissing off fans PRETTY HARD if you announce too ambitious of a date and fail to hit that deadline, so the team has wisely decided to not throw out any dates until they can be absolutely certain.

Anything Else Worth Knowing? You can learn more about the project here, and you can apply to join the team here.