By Ronan Watters
Fallout: New Vegas is personally one of my favourite video games of all time. From the moment I stepped foot outside Doc Mitchell’s house and made my way across the scorched desert of the Mojave Wasteland to the neon-drenched Vegas strip, I knew that I was playing a game that was certainly going to get a second run-through, and a second run-through it got. The third and fourth were fun, and the fifth was more exciting as I bought the four DLC packs that made the experience more amazing and immersive. You get the picture, I absolutely adore this game, as do so many other people who gave it a re-evaluation in the later years after its launch in 2010. But do I want a sequel to this game? That would be a hard no.
Since Microsoft announced that they had acquired ZeniMax Media for a staggering $7.5 billion, there has been more talk and discussion surrounding the possibility of a Fallout: New Vegas 2. This is due to Microsoft now owning Bethesda Softworks, a subsidiary of ZeniMax and the owner of the Fallout license. Microsoft also own Obsidian Entertainment, the developers of Fallout: New Vegas. You can see why the games media and many Fallout fans hopped on the supposed “hype train” for a sequel to one of the most beloved Western RPGs of all time. The Fallout license has not received the same acclaim since Fallout 4, which at launch received adoration from both fans and critics, mainly due to the hype surrounding that game. But once the rose-tinted glasses were removed and the fog of fandom disappeared, it was labeled a watered-down RPG experience when compared to New Vegas and even Fallout 3. The nightmarish mess known as Fallout 76 only needs mere mention to send fear and terror into the hearts of anyone who considers themselves a fan of the license. Yes, the last few years have not been kind to the Fallout community, but does this warrant a sequel to New Vegas?
These types of rumors surrounding unreleased dream games are nothing new, the infamous Half Life 3 can attest to that. But they do absolutely no service to anybody. They raise hopes for a game project that more than likely will never happen, and if it does, it almost never reaches the insane expectations and hype set out for it by fans – and more importantly – gaming media. So why do I mention gaming media? I’m not saying they can’t provide coverage or discuss rumors relating to video games, that’s all well and good, but the amount of articles I saw popping up in my feed about “Fallout: New Vegas 2” after the acquisition was exhausting. Some titles of articles about the supposed game read like they belonged on Reddit instead of on the website of a credible gaming media source. One headline that stood out to me stated that now is the right time to make Fallout: New Vegas 2. My only question is this: why?
Articles like this do fandoms no credit when the gaming media publish them. They do nothing but fan the flames of fandom. The gaming media in general have left a lot to be desired in the past few years. Their obsequious, almost servile attitude toward the big game publishers is pathetic at best and disingenuous at worst. Sometimes, I wonder if the games industry sees these media outlets as nothing more than free advertising, as their marketing strategies certainly rely on them uploading trailers for their upcoming games onto their websites and YouTube channels and giving certain games that will always sell big numbers extensive coverage while other great games barely get a mention.
As for Fallout, we should be looking into the future. No, not the future that involves a New Vegas sequel or spin-off, but a brand-new experience. Some fans make the argument that they do not actually want a follow up to New Vegas, but a Fallout game in the style of New Vegas. But therein lies the problem: It is the use of the game’s name that will be attached to the next Fallout, almost certainly guaranteeing disappointment to the more extreme fans. Obsidian, in their marketing for their 2019 RPG, The Outer Worlds, wisely used the fact that they were the developers of New Vegas and sure enough, fans ate it up, so hungry they were for a deep Western RPG experience. New Vegas is an excellent experience that I recommend to anybody and I’ll most certainly replay it in the near future, but we don’t want to end up as the clingy ex-boyfriend or girlfriend of the game, who constantly romanticizes the past glories once-had and dreams of a future that more than likely will never happen.