To be a voice actor in the current Fallout games, you’ve got to be able to emote, to speak clearly, and simulate the noise made by someone who has just experienced having a live plasma grenade put in their pants. Yes, in a move that should surprise no one given how much money Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have made, the call is going out for those who want to bring combat taunts to the wasteland.
The current buzz is that this game will be set in or around Boston and involve “The Institute,” which is the game’s version of MIT. Based on the events in Fallout 3, we can look for humanoid androids to be a part of the SCIENCE! going on there, which sounds cool at first, but it makes me wonder if they’re trying to save money on character models a bit.
I love these games, and I’ll be the first to admit they’re not without problems. The main plot in Fallout 3 wasn’t exactly riveting and often didn’t make much sense (for example, why waste the GECK on a water purifier instead of using it to make a habitable place, like Vault City, especially when robots can supply you with purified water on command?), and the DLCs for both games usually managed to break the challenge of the games with overpowered weapons, but they were still loads of fun. New Vegas wins in the plot and character department for me, but Fallout 3 had more fun side quests, dungeon crawls, and some really good atmosphere.
Which brings us to the game publisher: Bethesda. Unless they listened to fan reaction, I’m not holding out too much hope that the main quest will involve player choices that matter or affect the game’s outcome too much. I’d also hope they avoid things like Operation Anchorage which removed pretty much all RPG elements in favor of a straight FPS, all to open a door that I’d assume the Brotherhood of Steel should’ve been capable of opening. Still, for those who don’t care for the Bethesda version of Fallout, one can take comfort that they’re keeping their efforts on the East Coast, leaving the West Coast to (hopefully) Obsidian for whatever the game after number four is. Still, the optional content has been reliably good, and the Wasteland Survival Guide quest chain was loads of fun, so if I can get things like that, I’ll be happy (as if I wouldn’t buy it anyway).
On to what would make me even happier, given the setting:
1. A Car Talk reference or three. It’s not Boston without Click and Clack, and radio stations are now a staple of your Pipboy, some old robots programmed to fix cars dispensing advice might be a fun choice for your listening pleasure while you shoot at stuff.
2. MIT pranks. Okay, they’re called “hacks,” and it’s not like Fallout games have steered clear of being silly, so why not a tribute or two to the student-created jocularity that’s often an event of note.
3. The “Cheers” pub. You know, the one where everybody knows your character’s name and they’re always glad you came (armed)? It could be a quest hub (what tavern isn’t?) or just be one giant riff on the TV show. Adding a version of “Norm” might finally get us a body model that isn’t “male #1″ or “female #2,” though they’d probably just make him a Super Mutant.
Now I just need to set my cryo-tube for the release date and I’ll be set. I think I have to tie it into Bethesda’s Twitter feed and keep my fingers crossed that I’m not roused by another game-related hoax.