It’s official: Fallout 4 is coming, and it looks spectacular. Set in a bombed out Boston, the game will return gamers to the retro-inspired post-apocalypse we all know and love. The trailer showed off plenty of robots, power suits, and mysterious figures, all of which has left fans wanting more.
But with Fallout 4 not coming out for a while, there are plenty of fans looking to fill the Fallout 4 hole left in their lives.
There is a way to fight these “waiting for Fallout 4” blues: trying out other post-apocalyptic games. Gaming is filled with plenty of games set after the bombs fall, and many of them are great. They may not be Fallout 4, but these 5 games will do in a pinch:
Itching for an irradiated wasteland to poke around filled to the brim with plenty of creepy creatures to contend with? Look no further than the game with the super annoying to type title S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Set in an alternate universe where a second nuclear disaster has befallen the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, players are tasked with surviving the hellish landscape while contending the locals and finding pre-disaster artifacts.
Like Fallout, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. places an emphasis on non-linearity. Players are turned loose on Chernobyl, given a basic story to follow, and are then free to do whatever. Talk to NPC’s, hunt mutated wildlife, search for artifacts, trade with the locals; it’s possible to spend hours doing anything but following the story. As an added bonus, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was followed by both a prequel and a sequel, so there is plenty of content to keep fans busy until Fallout 4.
Playing like the mutant offspring of Mad Max and Fallout, Rage was Doom developers id Software’s contribution to the world of post-apocalyptic games. Rage is a game that wears its inspirations on it’ sleeves, so Fallout fans will feel right at home in the bombed out world of Rage. Like the Vaults from Fallout, Rage features ‘Arks,’ bunkers buried deep under the Earth to protect humanity from nuclear annihilation. However, these Arks malfunction, killing most of the inhabitants, leaving the lone Ark Survivor to wander the wasteland, killing mutants and racing souped-up muscle cars.
While Rage has some flaws, it’s easy to overlook the hiccups and enjoy the game for what it is: a love letter to the post-apocalypse. Players are free to race, shoot, collect, stab, and loot their way across the decimated planet. Like Fallout, Rage features a massive open-world to poke around in, but unlike Fallout, it has John Goodman in it! So while it may not be Fallout 4, it’s a good placeholder. And it features way more John Goodmans than Fallout 4.
3. The Last of Us
For gamers looking for a moody story of morality and what a man will do to adapt to his surroundings, look no further than The Last of Us. While the game is far from open world, the story of The Last of Us is so utterly absorbing that Fallout fans won’t mind the linearity. The fact that it’s considered one of the best games of all time won’t hurt, either. Jumping into the shoes of loving father turned grizzled survivor Joel, players will have to team up with teenage Ellie to make it through the plant-zombie infested wasteland the world has become. While most post-apocalyptic games feel like escapism, The Last of Us feels very grounded in reality, forcing players to makes morally questionable choices and fight tooth and nail against other humans that are simply trying to survive.
Make no mistake; The Last of Us is no walk in the park. The story is emotionally draining, and gamers will inevitably find themselves debating aspects of the game weeks after it’s finished. All this introspection will make time just fly by, so while gamers stay busy debating the needs of the many versus the needs of the few, Fallout 4 will be out in no time!
2. Wasteland 2
Before Fallout was the first person exploration game we all know and love, it was an isometric turn-based RPG. But Fallout wasn’t the first post-apocalyptic game to capture gamer’s imaginations. That honor goes to 1987’s Wasteland. Casting gamers as a party of survivors traveling through America after a nuclear holocaust, the game was the first of it’s kind to truly put players into a post-apocalyptic world.
Fallout developer Interplay attempted to acquire the Wasteland franchise in 1997, but was turned down by EA. Not to be discouraged, the team rebranded its intended Wasteland reboot to Fallout and the rest is history.
Now, 27 years later, Wasteland 2 has been released, and it brings gamers back to the bombed out world established in 1987. Set 15 years after the original Wasteland, players are tasked with taking on Texas Ranger-inspired lawmen and crazed looters in a quest for survival. The game features the same tactical party-based RPG gameplay found in the original Fallout, so gamers looking to relive Fallout’s formative years will feel right at home.
1. Fallout 3
There’s no better way to scratch that Fallout itch than with more Fallout! The game that revitalized the post-apocalyptic genre, Fallout 3 is a game with unlimited possibilities. Recruit party members, meet interesting denizens of the wasteland, see the sights, learn to hate Super Mutants, and get as close as possible to experiencing the post-apocalypse without waiting for the bombs to fall.
Fallout 3 and its spin-off, Fallout: New Vegas, are not light on content, with plenty to see in the main story and plenty of DLC to dig through after finishing the main game. Fallout 4 is bound to bring plenty of elements from Fallout 3 and New Vegas back, so get a taste of what’s to come and enjoy these two great games in the interim.