Post-Apocalyptic Brain Soup

Another week's gone by and I think it's safe to say that nothing has quite captured my attention the way the release of the brand new Fallout 4 trailer has. 

It's kind of an understatement to say that I love the Fallout series. Fallout New Vegas is the first video game that got me into gaming in a big way, and made me realise all the things that video games were capable of.

Cut to two days ago where I found myself looking at this:

I'm absolutely beside myself with anticipation for this game and it has been a long, long time coming. Hey, I'm stil subscribed to the tumblr Is Fallout 4 Out Yet and now I'm mostly subscribed to see their reaction to actually buying a copy for themselves.

In light of this good news, I thought I would dedicate this blog post to all the things that I love about the Fallout universe.

From the moment that my character, the Courier was shot in the head, I knew that I was in for something that I was going to absolutely be obsessed with. Before Fallout, I already had an affinity with post-apocalyptic media, namely Tank Girl. In fact, one of the major perks at working at a comic book store in my late teens was being able to buy trade paperbacks at a discount and even being to find the damn books in Singapore anyway.

I've tried to inspect exactly what it is about post-apocalyptia that attracts me and I've come to the conclusion that I love a very specific kind. Wacky Wasteland tropes (which coincidentally is a name of a perk in Fallout). I love humanity's weird side and randomly bizarre antics in general and media like Tank Girl, Fallout and Mad Max seem to explore this particular trait. I know that a world post major world war/zombie outbreak/natural disaster of some kind is bleak but I think the beauty in these kinds of fictions can be found in people themselves and the choices that they make. That beauty in life is something people might strive for even when faced with the choice to go completely insane, to just keep surviving or just to end it all in an instance.

One of the main gameplay elements in Fallout that attracted me to it was the fact that it was open world in every respect, especially in the way that you could shape your particular character. Your character in Fallout is faced with various difficult and landscape-changing decisions and based on these decisions, you can be on the spectrum between Nefariously Hand-Rubbing Evil or Glowing Paragon of Good.

In between accomplishing various tasks for the main storyline, I think what blew me away about both Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas was the attachment that I could feel for fictional characters who in the long run didn't have that much bearing on the overall story. I still feel strongly that if Lily Bowen was ever real, that I would adopt her as my grandma in an instant. Don't even get me started on the main storyline of F3!! Don't even!

So while there is a lot of weird in the wasteland, there is a lot of heart, and the kind of stories that definitely inspired me to look for better storytelling in the things I consume. See, before putting my paws on the PS3 controller to shakily move my Courier about, I'd only ever seen or played video games like Guitar Hero and much farther before that, owned a yellow Gameboy Colour my dad had bought for me in an airport with Donkey Kong Land.

I don't I'd ever expected to be so immersed into a world so quickly or deeply in FNV. With various conversations with NPC, I felt like I was a real person in a real place and could feel the mood in different locations within the game world. Playing Fallout made me realise the huge difference a great premise and story writing can do for video games. Then came learning how to shoot a gun in a game for the first time... One of the most curious things I've found out about myself is that I am a killer sniper in video games. Russell calls me Headshot Hope.

One of my benchmarks for how good a movie, book or video game is, is whether I can imagine other stories within the fictional world. Case in point, just take a look at how much fan fiction media can inspire. It just says to me that people love the universe so much that they want to extend it and make the experience last that much longer, and to put themselves into the world as well.

I completely feel this way about Fallout (and yes, when I can't sleep sometimes I do peruse Fallout fan fiction).

All this outpouring of love being said however, Russell did say not to hype the new game too much, so I'm going to try my best to forget the entire thing is happening, or at least until the E3 reveal. Hence, the reasons why I'm going to try NOT looking at every single frame of the trailer and speculating what the new game will have in store.

In the meantime, I've been indulging in making some Fallout fanart! It's not the first time I've made a tribute to my favourite game series of all time and definitely not the last.

While I'm here saving up all my bottlecaps, let me end this blog post with my own personal musical tribute...