Prepare for a flash of neon in the apocalyptic wasteland as the long-awaited Fallout: New California is finally releasing this October. Dubbed the most ambitious Fallout mod ever, New California is effectively a prequel to 2010's acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas and it promises a whole new world for survivors to plunge into.
Gamers may be used to the card tables and Securiton robots of Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas, but prepare for a whole new story away from the Courier and his package deliver. Originally called "Project Brazil," Fallout: New California has come a long way from its humble hopes of giving New Vegas a backstory, and while it may not be perfect, the mod is finally ready to tackle a gamble in the gaming world.
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Celebrating almost seven years since work first began on New California, developers at Radian-Helix Media ushered in the milestone with a brand new trailer that also revealed the mod's release date: October 23. Writing on the New California ModDB page, project lead Brandan Lee explained why October and not now:
"Beacause something is missing - and all the testing guys noticed - is side quests. Again, not the end of the world, but you hit this story with huge replete branches 16,000 lines of dialogue deep and you expect some little moments with characters off to the side of the big arcs, and there just aren't that many of note. Again, because there was no one to code it! I'd also like to take time to revise some plot holes and gaps in the open possibilities that appeared in testing, and more streamlined opportunities for branches that aren't so hidden in past decisions that you're locked into a tunnel til the next major turn."
Side quests and character development have always been a major part of Fallout games, so it makes sense that, with so much time having already gone into New California, Lee wants to spend a little longer trying to get it right. Although the core storyline may still only be there come October, it should be enough of a tease to show the game's full potential.
Taking the action to the year 2260, Vault 18 opens on the streets of Los Angeles in a world that is anything but the Tinseltown everyone knows today. Players must pick a side as the warring factions of the New California Republic, Survivalist Army, and Super Mutants fight for territory. For those who have played Obsidian's game, they will spot the return of the New California Republic (NCR). Predating New Vegas by 21 years, New California will presumably put the pieces into play for how the NCR comes to cross paths with the Legion and the events of New Vegas.
New Vegas has grabbed headlines again only recently thanks to Bethesda's mysterious tease of something new. Instead of being a New Vegas remaster or a New Vegas sequel, Bethesda is workign on Fallout 76 instead - a reportedly online-focused prequel. Obsidian shared its disappointment over the news but also teased that the company could work on a Fallout game in the future. For the time being, though, it looks like there's more than enough to deal with when New California finally joins the unofficial ranks of the Fallout world.
Considering that New California was originally set to reach PC before Fallout 4's release, it has been a labor of love for Lee to get the game to where it is today. With a massive amount of dialogue, new characters, and a reported 12 different endings, New California is ambitious by any Fallout standard, let alone just a pet project. There is every chance that New California will go head-to-head with 76, meaning that the rest of this year is looking pretty rosy for Fallout fans. New California is offering beta testers the chance to sign up in July with the October release being called Beta 2.00. Either way, prepare to tool up and pick a side when Fallout: New California hits PCs this fall.