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Gigantic Fallout: New Vegas mod ‘Fallout: New California’ launches in October

Creators have put in more than five years of work on New Vegas prequel

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

After more than five years in development, Fallout: New California, a total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas, will launch on Oct. 23 (for Windows PC, of course), the mod’s makers announced yesterday.

New California’s development team observed the project’s fifth anniversary on June 1 (though some work had begun before then) with a new trailer yesterday. Their mod is a prequel story to Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas from 2010. The player character begins in Vault 18 inside ruined Los Angeles, as an adopted resident there.

Going to the surface they discover a three-way fight for control among the Survivalist Army, the New California Republic, and the Super Mutants. This presages the NCR’s invasion and control of the Mojave Desert. The story is set in 2260, well before the events of New Vegas.

You may remember this mod as something called “Project Brazil.” Back in 2015, project lead Brandan Lee said New California’s narrative would feature two main paths, two sub-paths and eight different companions, creating a spiderweb of outcomes that took the project team a long time to sort through. Originally, they had hoped to get New California out before Fallout 4. Now it looks like (launch date pending) they’ll be trying to beat Fallout 76.

The mod team says the game is feature complete, with art assets all locked in, but they’re taking another four months to thread in side quests. “You hit this story with huge replete branches 16,000 lines of dialogue long you expect some little moments with characters off to the side of the big arcs, and there just aren’t any,” Lee wrote in a message on the mod’s page. “I’d also like to take time to revise some plot holes and gaps in the open possibilities that appeared in testing.”

The Fallout: New California team will take beta sign-ups in July for those who want to test the mod, which will expose only the main quest line and areas involving it. Technically, they’re calling the Oct. 23 launch a Beta 2.00 release. In any case, this behemoth of a mod, which explores a part of the country and the canon Fallout diehards have been dying to see more of since 2010’s New Vegas, is finally coming in for a landing.