If you have any pieces-of-eight left over from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Steam's Autumn Sale, Green Monday, and every other shopping occasion this holiday season, you can dump what's left of your pockets at GOG for its 2013 DRM-free winter sale. While you're there, be sure to collect Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics for the tantalizing low, low price of absolutely free!
Our beloved Fallout grew from the barren seeds of Wasteland, a post-apocalyptic RPG created by Interplay in 1988. But while Fallout may be the unofficial successor to the stand-alone Wasteland, an official successor is now waiting in the wings. Brian Fargo, Interplay founder and executive producer for both Fallout and Wasteland, has raised over $1 million in KickStarter funding for Wasteland 2 -- and he's bringing his old design friends along for the ride.
What happened to you, The Apocalypse? You used to be so fresh and fun. You'd tear everything I knew and loved to pieces and rearrange it into some hideous tapestry of my greatest fears, and I'd be like “Oh, you. You're such a prankster.” Or you'd spew zombies into all kinds of zany places (The mall! The circus! Outer space!), and I'd beat them to death while screaming and crying. We had such good times. Now, though, it's old hat. Your abandoned landscapes – once ripe with the pungent odor of adventure – have grown gray and same-y. I used to mow down your menagerie of mutants, robots, and zombies with all the glee of a Hollywood director at a Beloved (And Infinitely Ruinable) Childhood Memories convention, but now each one is just another bump in the road.
We've grown apart, is what I'm saying. But that doesn't mean we can't have a horrifying, dystopic future together. A couple recent games have given me hope that this whole “fiery end to all normal life” thing isn't just a passing fad.
It all started with a recent oft-repeated quote from id Software's Tim Willits. Addressing the issue of precisely why fans won't mind RAGE's vehicle-heavy shift away from id's typical fare, he said, "I think that they will find that it's a refreshing change from anything we've done in the past, and honestly I think that people have modern combat fatigue." Which is certainly a valid point, Pay attention to comment threads involving his game, though, and you'll unearth a second ticking time bomb nearly as large as the first.
War. War never changes.” OK, actually, that’s not entirely true. If Fallout’s gravelly voiced narrator were really a stickler for accuracy, he’d probably amend his catchphrase to read: “War. War changes slightly.” Make no mistake: Fallout: New Vegas is not Fallout 4. And in that respect, its greatest strength is also its most crippling weakness. See, everything you loved about Fallout 3 is still present in New Vegas—and some of it’s better than it’s ever been. Unfortunately, tiny flaws that plagued Fallout 3 also stuck around for New Vegas, and they’ve festered to become ugly scars on an otherwise excellent experience.
Trying to track down a list of “five game mods you must download right now” is a lot like trying to choose your five top games of all time. Sure, your list might be impressive—maybe even awesome—but you’re still going to get a heap of contenders sobbing in the corner at your refusal to acknowledge their almost-noteworthy existences. And nobody likes bawling boxed titles.
So let that be a warning to you, fun-loving gamer who continues to read this article. I’m covering freeware game modifications this time around—freeware, obviously, because I doubt your average enthusiast is going to risk the wrath of a developer’s fury because he or she is selling blood, sweat, and tears in the form of a $5 game add-on. As well, I’m not just looking at maps, or other whip-dip little tweaks. I’m talking about huge transformations that range from, “making this game playable in the modern era” to “wow, I want to go back and revisit this title because it is now sweet.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you get the idea.
But as I mentioned, narrowing down to a list of five is near-impossible. So if you don’t have an affinity for the Infinity Engine (including Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment), Sins of a Solar Empire, Fallout 3, TIE Fighter/X-Wing Alliance, or Half-Life 2… you might want to sit this one out. Otherwise, let’s get real.
Sometimes, Fallout 3 creator Bethesda does things we like – for instance, develop excellent videogames. But other times, Bethesda does things we’re not quite so gung-ho about, like attempting to halt the development of someone else’s potentially excellent videogame. With that in mind, we bet you can’t guess how we felt about the Bethesda’s lawsuit against Interplay, which aimed to nip the struggling publisher’s Fallout MMO in the bud before it’d even taken its first steps.
An overjoyed Interplay investor, however, recent let it slip that Bethesda had a change of heart for whatever reason, leading the publisher to drop its lawsuit altogether. Hooray!
“Bethesda dropped their appeal of the lawsuit with Interplay and a secret deal was struck (maybe they will release the terms of the deal soon, probably so). Anyways, this is awesome news for Interplay stock. The appeal by Bethesda was dropped yesterday. I'm assuming part of the deal was that Interplay drop their countersuit against Bethesda,” said the investor.
“At any rate, this will likely mean that V13 will be moving full steam ahead, terms of the new deal not yet known but the fact that the game will be made is nothing but good news for Interplay.”
Shame, though, that steam engines are still pretty darn slow. Oh well. At least we’ll have Fallout: New Vegas to keep us company while we wait.
Mark your calendars, folks, because… wait, do they even make calendars for 2012 yet? Well, regardless, that’s how long you’ll be waiting to have a go at Interplay’s already long-in-development Fallout MMO, codenamed “Project: V13.”
"Masthead's technology is impressive and perfect for our Project: V13. Its team is passionate to bring our vision and game play to the market," said Interplay Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Herve Caen. "This MMOG will have many unique features that we will disclose before launch of the public Beta in 2012."
Well, you know, take your time with that. No rush or anything.
If you just dropped a massive chunk of change on Doom creator id Software, what would you do next? Huh? Did you just say “Buy Valve”? No? No takers? Yeah, we’re not exactly waving our hands about and shouting “called it” on this one either. But, according to the latest stink-raising piece of scuttlebutt over at Eurogamer, Bethesda could very well be in the market for the house that Gordon Freeman built.
“However, it's also worth watching closely what happens to Steam in the coming months. Unconfirmed industry scuttlebutt suggests that Zenimax - the parent company of Bethesda, which made headlines back in June when it acquired legendary PC studio id Software - is still on the acquisition trail, and has been making eyes at Half-Life creators Valve across the bar,” reads the article.
We’ve contacted both Valve and Bethesda for comment, but so far, our questions remain unanswered. We’ll be sure to let you know if we hear more.
Another day, another videogame-related legal battle. This time, it’s Bethesda that’s putting on its hockey mask and revving up the litigation machine while Interplay attempts to avoid paying an arm and a leg in return for what Bethesda calls “willful infringement.”
The gist of it goes like this: Current Fallout publisher Bethesda says that Interplay never acquired the proper rights to re-release earlier Fallout games digitally or in any other form. Interplay, who sold the Fallout series to Bethesda back in 2007, has been distributing Fallouts 1, 2, and Tactics for quite a while now – apparently against Bethesda’s will.
Bethesda’s also taking aim at Interplay’s still-unconfirmed Fallout MMO, supposedly codenamed “Project V13.” As part of an agreement, Interplay was supposed to have raised $30 million and entered “full-scale development” on the game by April 4, 2009. Bethesda contends that Interplay failed to reach this milestone, thereby terminating the agreement.
Interplay, however, claims that everything’s fine and dandy as far as the agreement’s concerned, and that Bethesda had no reason to terminate. Bethesda, meanwhile, also takes issue with Interplay’s unapproved Project V13 funding agreement with Masthead Studios. To this, Interplay simply replied that V13 is a different project, separate from its Fallout MMO.
And that’s only the short version of this extremely convoluted tale. If you’d like to know more and have nothing better to do for, oh, the next 4,234 years, you can read all about it here.
A giant world of post-apocalyptic intrigue – bombed and obliterated to perfection by Fallout lead designer Chris Taylor, no less – seems like an excellent setting for an MMO, no? So it’s with a heavy heart that we bring you word of said MMO’s potential cancellation, courtesy of the dream-destroyers over at Bethesda – who may or may not be within their rights to drop the axe.
See, back when Bethesda first nabbed the Fallout property from Interplay’s hobbling, not-quite-dead-yet form, Interplay retained the right to develop a Fallout MMO – but only under the condition that it somehow amass $30 million and enter full scale development within two years. That agreement was made two years ago. Unfortunately, Bethesda’s calendars seem to be in working order.
“Interplay recently received notice that Bethesda Softworks, LLC (‘Bethesda’) intends to terminate the trademark license agreement between Bethesda and Interplay which was entered into April 4, 2007 for the development of FALLOUT MMOG. Despite the fact that no formal action is currently pending, Bethesda claims that Interplay is in breach of the trademark license agreement for failure to commence full scale development of same by April 4, 2009 and to secure certain funding for the MMOG,” reads an Interplay performance report.
“Interplay adamantly disputes these claims. Although the potential damages are currently unknown, if Bethesda ultimately prevails and cancels the trademark license agreement, Interplay would lose its license back of the ‘Fallout’ MMOG and any damages resulting therefrom are unknown at this time.”
According to a recent SEC filing, Interplay entered 2009 with little more than tumbleweeds in its bank account, so things aren’t exactly looking good. Then again, the potentially penniless publisher recently entered into a partnership with Masthead Studios, so at least something’s brewing over there.
Here’s hoping – and really, this is about the only time we’ll ever come to our deity of choice with this particular wish – this terrifying vision of the nuclear apocalypse eventually sees the disheartening, gray light of day.