News of Fallout 4 reminded many fans of the series (like me) of that one Fallout series game they never finished. For me, that was Fallout: New Vegas. Yes, I'm still outside the city, but with the help of a fan-made tweak I should be on my way shortly.
For some developers out there, the announcement also reminded them of the the New Vegas mods they've left unfinished. Yes, nearly 5 years after the game came out there are still teams slaving away on big projects. Here's two to keep an eye on, and one you can play right now.
No, it's not set in South America so stop asking. Project Brazil is the working name for a massive, near total conversion of Fallout: New Vegas. It's still a work in progress, but when it's completed you'll be able to start from scratch, building a new character from one of two unique paths of stat-generating questions and short quest lines.
From their website:
Fallout: Project Brazil adds an all new story around a new player character, an adopted resident of Vault 18, embarking on a quest to a hidden complex in the ruins of Los Angeles. Along the way you'll discover a pitched battle between the Survivalist Army, the New California Republic, and The Super Mutants, which shapes the politics and events leading to the NCR's invasion of the Mojave. The story takes place in 2260 - many years before the "Courier" awakes in New Vegas, while the Enclave struggles to rise again on the West Coast.
The Mod branches off from New Vegas right from the New Game menu. The game will be released in chapters, with the first release containing 3 parts. The full campaign will contain 16 Main Quests and several side stories, all related to the player's journey through Vault 18 and the wasteland of San Bernardino. Their choices at each stage will shape the next, creating 2 playthroughs worth of unique content.
It's an ambitious endeavor, one that project lead Brandan Lee said nearly met with disaster.
"A gnarly spaghetti monster almost killed the project in 2014," Lee told Polygon, "where all the Vault 18 decisions (2 main paths, x2 sub paths, x8 possible companions) created a really complex mess of variables. ... There were so many possible outcomes that we had to find unique ways of dealing with them all creatively, and that burned us all out."
While the announcement of Fallout 4 came as a surprise to them along with everyone else, they say it hasn't spooked them at all.
"People have been commenting for years that Fallout 4 would beat us as a joke. Now it's a legit challenge.
"We were actually doing really good and were making outstanding progress after lighting out own fire in January, with a March release date in mind. When Fallout 4 was announced, it was less of a 'now we have to do it' as it was 'goddamnit, now we have no choice but to rush.'"
If everything goes according to plan, Lee says you can expect to load up Project Brazil some time around late October or early November.
Set in Portland, Oregon, The Frontier takes the modern incarnation of the role-playing series north and into far colder climates than it's ever been before. The plotline has a popular general named Blackthorne, a leader in the New California Republic, embarrassing the sitting president Kimball. His reward is de facto exile north to face an entrenched group of Legionaries.
From their website:
Blackthorne was surprised that a sizable Legion force would exist way up north from the Mojave… but Legion is Legion. The Frontier was loaded with pre-war technology and military equipment. His aim is to destroy the Legion, claim all of The Frontier’s secrets, and finally start the long journey back to the Mojave and take what’s rightfully his.
The Frontier was a harsh environment and many of his men succumbed to the extreme conditions. Blackthorne refused to bend to Mother Nature and vowed he would return to the Mojave to restore order. Fueled by pure determination to reach his goals, Blackthorne rebuilt his army.
The Frontier is a brand new world map that centers on the ruins of Portland, now the edge of civilization as the NCR knows it. But the team behind the mod isn't stopping there. The final product will also include flyable vertibirds, aerial dogfights and tank combat. You can follow their development in an ongoing series of developer diaries with YouTuber AlChestBreach.
While there is no official release date, the team writes on their FAQ that they're "pushing for a winter release." Development seems very active, as their most recent gameplay sample video (which contains spoilers, obviously) was published yesterday.
Beyond Boulder Dome
One of the most highly rated modifications for Fallout: New Vegas, Beyond Boulder Dome has been downloaded nearly 360,000 times. Set in and below the mountains of Colorado, it included three new maps, new weapons and armor as well as unique creatures with their own custom-made sounds and animations.
From their Nexus Mods page:
The Boulder Dome was constructed before the war to be a "city of the future"; a prototype for future cities on the moon and other planets. It was also an advanced scientific research facility, and an Ark of sorts, built to withstand severe nuclear attacks. And withstand it did.
Mere hours before the bombs dropped, only the elite of society, or those with specialist skills; the top of their fields, were transported to the Dome and transported two hundred years into the future. Put into a "cold sleep", they would ride out the war and the following chaos, to start a new world in the future.
When the scientists woke up, they found themselves in a nightmare. Their bodies now riddled with a strange disease of unknown origin, dubbed the Seltsam Syndrome; literally meaning "strange disease". Forced to wear advanced Bio-suits, to help slow the spread, they struggle to survive, as time is running out.
Beyond the Dome, outside the highly toxic ruins of Boulder, two factions are moving in.
The NCR has a deadly and unmerciful mission, to stop the spread of the Seltsam Syndrome by eliminating all potential carriers. They have tracked the disease to its last known vestige, The Boulder Dome itself.
The Colorado branch of the Brotherhood of Steel have also set their sights on the Dome. Its leader seeks to control the Dome for the good of the region, he claims, to bring peace to the chaos. Very close to a real, working cure for the Seltsam Syndrome, he offers a seemingly peaceful solution.
Forced into the middle of things, is a simple courier, far from home. The decisions of the courier may slide the balance in many different ways, ultimately determining the fate of the scientists of The Boulder Dome.
While the latest version, 1.2, was uploaded in April of 2013 New Vegas hasn't seen many changes itself since then, so there's every reason you should be able to get the mod up and running right now. Sadly, the Beyond Modding's blog hasn't been updated for nearly a year so it's safe to say this is as final a state as this mod is likely to get.
Polygon Video: Fallout Shelter overview