So, this article claims that Bethesda killed Fallout, starting with Fallout 3. It's more accurate to say that Interplay killed Fallout and Bethesda reanimated the corpse that was sold to them, but regardless.. Here's my rebuttal of several points in the article. Please feel free to respond and discuss. >And yet from the start, there were subtle signs that something was off. Playing Fallout 3, the “Bloody Mess” perk felt a little too exuberant, zooming in on the carnage in “cinematic mode”. The carnage got zoomed in on even without the perk, because VATS was done in slow motion, and often switched the camera view to the attack target. The original Fallout games also had Blood Mess as a trait, and it was also quite gory. Not sure why the author believes 3D gore is seen as worse than isometric gore. >The narrative lines drawn between “good” and “bad” felt a smidge too sharply drawn. Off the top of my head, in the originals, the Enclave, the Super Mutants, the Khans, and Gizmo were also portrayed as unambiguously evil. Fallout 3 did have instances of moral ambiguity, like Tenpenny Tower's ghoul situation, Arefu's cannibal situation, Ashur's rule over the Pitt, Harold's request that you kill him, and how you view the Overseer (Amata's father). I'll argue that Fallout 3's version of the Enclave is actually more morally ambiguous than their incarnation in Fallout 2; in FO2, the whole organization engages in wholesale slaughter on numerous occasions, but in FO3, it's President Eden's idea to contaminate the water with FEV. Colonel Autumn revolts against him, and the Colonel clearly thinks of himself and his organization as the "good guys". >I didn’t bemoan the lack of an option to kill children in Bethesda’s Fallout games, but those who did had a point. The anti-child-killing isn't specific to Bethesda. I think the EU versions of the original games had children removed completely as a means of preventing you from killing them. >The original Fallout games were dark. ... took apart Manifest Destiny by showing the inevitable end result, leaving you to draw your own conclusions about whether or not we’re the good guys. ... In Bethesda’s Fallout, you can not only pick up where the 21st Century left off, but you can try most of its failed experiments over again ... Fallout 3 felt like a pretty bleak game too. The Pre-War era and the U.S. Government's intentions are portrayed pretty consistently between the three games, so I don't understand this part. >Bethesda has drawn the series farther and farther back into the vault, forgetting or ignoring the subtext of the original series; that the vault itself and everything it represents is what doomed mankind. Fallout 3 has many examples of nefarious Vault Experiments. The one that released the gas that made people hallucinate left a strong impression on me and was fun to explore. The portrayal of the pre-war government was also subtly sinister, scattered across various terminal entries as well as the attitude of Liberty Prime and the NPCs in the Operation Anchorage simulation. Plus...President Eden and the Enclave. >That the tech existed was a fact of post-apocalyptic life, but the real question was in whose hands it belonged, and what those hands would do with it. And the answers were not simple multiple choice. In Bethesda’s Fallout, the pre-apocalypse corporations failed only for lack of trying hard enough, and your goal, as a survivor, is not to learn from the past and make better choices, but to simply try again. In Fallout 1, the Brotherhood of Steel collected technology. The Master and his army used it for evil. Not much else in the game revolves around deciding "whose hands technology belonged". In Fallout 3, the whole main quest boils down to a conflict over who will control the technology of Project Purity. Don't know why the author believes the message of Fallout 3 is to pick up and try again. Nowhere in Fallout 3 did I encounter an endorsement of the Pre-War government or their methods. >In Fallout, you are forced out of the safety of the Vault because it is dying. In Fallout 3, you leave the vault because … I dunno. Why not? You leave the Vault in Fallout 3 because your childhood friend frantically wakes you up and tells you that your only living blood relative has just left the Vault, the Overseer has just murdered Jonas (someone close to you and your father), and that the guards are coming for you next. Fallout 1's setup is "well, our Vault will run out of water in about 5 months, so we've decided to send you out by yourself to find some spare parts to fix it because otherwise, we'll have to go outside too." If you fail, your people just have to leave the safety of the Vault 13 and live like everyone else. >And you must solve the “water problem” [in Fallout 3] once and for all using war tools created by the pre-Apocalypse civilization. The GECK is not a war tool. If this line is referring to Liberty Prime and/or Power Armor, I'm pretty sure Power Armor and energy weapons were used by many Fallout 1 players to beat the game. The water chip is pre-war technology, and the GECK in Fallout 2 is as well. >Fallout 3 suggests: “Hey, what if we could unleash another biological agent to fix the world?” And then it says go do it. And you do. And the problem is solved. The end. Nothing suggests that Project Purity releases a biological agent, or that it fixes the world. Eden wants to add FEV to the water, and this is clearly portrayed as a Bad Thing. Broken Steel shows the after effects of the main quest - the whole world's water supply isn't clean, just a bit of water coming out of the basin near the Jefferson memorial. Project Purity is just a big water purifier, and the water has to be carefully rationed out via water caravans. The rest of the wasteland is still irradiated and Project Purity is just a proof-of-concept for large scale water purification. >In the original Fallout, your success at saving your people from a self-imposed dilemma has an unintended side effect of proving humanity’s inherent problem: itself. In Fallout 3 your success proves everybody who came before you just wasn’t trying hard enough. In Fallout 3, your success proves that war never changes, and that people will always fight over available resources and ideologies. You can argue that it also proves that humanity's inherent problem is itself. The raiders, the Brotherhood, the Outcasts, Talon Company, the Enclave, Tenpenny Tower...they're all human. ... I haven't played Fallout 4 yet so I can't comment on that part of the article. ... >In Fallout 76, the ruins of the ancient world are neither ruined, nor ancient. It's set in 2102, a mere 25 years after the bombs fell. The old world isn't supposed to be ancient. The ruins do have a post-apocalyptic feel and design appropriate for the amount of time that has passed, though. >You aren’t rebuilding the world in the wake of mankind’s folly so much as returning to your beach house after a hurricane; an inconvenient, if momentary setback. That's the naive, optimistic attitude that the Responders took toward the post-apocalypse. The Responders are an extinct faction by the time the game starts. >Fallout, ... had something meaningful to say. In attempting to render the world of Fallout as a playable, purchasable, and collectible thing, Bethesda has merely succeeded in depriving it of its voice. The author seems to view Fallout 1 as a critique of the human race, an artistic masterpiece with a deep, thought-provoking message. And it is that, if you read into it enough and look past its exterior video game shell. But it's also a video game, just like Fallout 3. So maybe Fallout 3 also has something meaningful to say, if you know where to look.