For most gamers, it's a no-brainer. 2015 is easily the year of Fallout. As a matter of fact, ever since Bethesda showed up at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo and formally showcased Fallout 4 during their first-ever press conference, fans of the franchise have been trawling practically every source possible to find even the tiniest scrap of news related to the title.
Excitement for Fallout 4 is certainly no surprise. With so many refinements and fresh additions to the game, such as the ability to craft and customize weapons, armor, and settlements, as well as the genre-defying inclusion of voice acting being provided for the main character, there's no doubt that the latest entry in the post-apocalyptic RPG series will turn plenty of heads upon release.
However, taking the aforementioned changes into consideration, it's thought-provoking to ponder if the Fallout series could have thrived for as long as it has if all of the titles remained true to their top-down isometric roots while continuing to improve upon gameplay mechanics. Interestingly enough, Chris Bischoff, the artist and developer of the point-and-click sci-fi horror release known as STASIS, gives us a glimpse into that notion by creating some concept art for Fallout 4 that re-imagines it as a game reminiscent of Fallout 1 and 2.
Citing the first two Fallout games as inspiration for the isometric style of STASIS, Bischoff decided to pay homage to them by giving the forthcoming release in Bethesda's Wasteland saga the top-down treatment. Not only is the above artwork downright beautiful, but it also perfectly expresses the role-playing game's silly, yet sardonic sense of humor. For instance, the top screenshot shows a Super Mutant attempting to trade a person's flesh with a human being, and the bottom still depicts a character quoting Scarface while unloading a mini-gun into a Radscorpion.
Doubling back to the question of whether or not a completely isometric Fallout franchise could mimic the current success of the series, all of the sequels would more than likely have accomplished dominance on the PC alone, for the gameplay style best suits the input of a mouse and keyboard. Nevertheless, Diablo 3's console reviews were positive for the most part, even though many believed the game developed by Blizzard Entertainment to work exclusively as a point-and-click title. So, who knows? Maybe Fallout would have mushroomed into present-day prosperity regardless of a top-down perspective.
At any rate, the form in which Fallout 4 resides at the moment is sure to nuke its competition once it's available. For what it's worth, Bethesda is definitely confident about its chances. The developer's Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, says that projected sales could make it their "biggest release ever". We'll have to wait and find out if fans pony up enough bottle caps upon release to make that happen.
Fallout 4 is set to climb out of the Vault on November 10, 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.