The people won’t rest until they get Fallout 4, and with good reason. Fallout 3 was one of the best games of the last generation, but it came out in 2008 – almost seven years ago. The follow-up, Fallout: New Vegas, is a little more recent, but with the same engine and similar gameplay, it felt more like an expansion pack than a true sequel. That’s not a bad thing – any Fallout is great, and more open world RPG shenanigans still add up to a good time – but it’s been long enough. Fans are ready for something new.
With rumors about a potential Fallout 4 reveal flying fast and furious in the lead-up to Bethesda’s first-ever E3 press conference, one mod promises to breathe new life into New Vegas’ aging post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s called DUST Survival Simulator, and it replaces New Vegas’ quest-based structure with a single, seemingly insurmountable goal: just stay alive.
According to naugrim04, DUST’s author, “DUST is a Post-Apocalyptic survival simulator” that “completely overhauls nearly every aspect of the game to better represent an apocalyptic survival-horror atmosphere.” In DUST, supplies are limited, and the environment much harsher. Players will starve to death, or die due to dehydration (“Don’t go to bed thirsty,” naugrim warns. “You will die.”), while food and water are hard to find. Ammo is scare, and combat is incredibly punishing. Don’t worry too much, though: if food becomes too hard to come by, cannibalism is an option.
There is a story in DUST, but players “are not the main character,” and the story will unravel primarily via environmental clues, a la Portal or Left 4 Dead. DUST players can “win” by escaping the desert, but the exit is hidden, and reaching it isn’t easy: naugrim himself can’t finish the game without cheating via the Fallout 4 console. Don’t expect previous New Vegas playthroughs to help, either. Naugrim changed the topography, the NPCs, and some of the graphics. Not everything’s brand new in DUST, but much of it is.
No, DUST isn’t the brand-new Fallout experience that fans are clamoring for, but it certainly seems like enough to keep players busy until Fallout 4’s official unveiling – assuming that actually happens. In the meantime, good luck. It sounds like you’re going to need it.