Home Tech Button mashing: The Fallout series not only looks good, it also looks like it was created by gamers

Button mashing: The Fallout series not only looks good, it also looks like it was created by gamers

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Button mashing: The Fallout series not only looks good, it also looks like it was created by gamers

Yo I’m just a few episodes away from the end of the Fallout series on Prime Video. It’s fun and gory, sometimes sentimental and other times ridiculous. In other words, it’s like the games, which oscillate between quiet, tragic moments exploring the vestiges of America and being chased down a hill by irradiated scorpions because you’re out of ammo.

Fallout’s cast, with Walton Goggins’ near-immortal ghoul and Ella Purnell’s wide-eyed vault dweller the standouts, allows it to cleverly compartmentalize different aspects of the games’ personality. As director Jonathan Nolan pointed out when I interviewed him last week alongside Bethesda’s game director Todd Howard, this is a common device in television storytelling, but rare in games. Grand Theft Auto V does this successfully: each of the three protagonists represented a different part of the GTA DNA (Trevor the violent chaos, Michael the prestige crime drama, Franklin the Compton realism). But in most of the games we play one character, and in the end we know them intimately, or we come to shape them and they become unique to us.

It makes it difficult to adapt games to the screen. But instead of trying to communicate the experience of playing, Fallout takes a step back to make the broken but strangely optimistic world of Fallout the star, with each of its characters showing a different side of it.

“Even if we said we were adapting Fallout 3, who are we talking about? Because the way you played that game could have been very different from the way I played that game,” Nolan told me. “That’s the beauty of this type of game. [Bethesda] ago… I’m drawn to the types of games where you make the most of the medium and decide who your character will be within that world. Obviously that doesn’t translate directly into a series.”

I was curious: how did Does Nolan play Fallout 3? “I always play boy scout first because I imagine my parents are watching,” he said. “So I make virtuous decisions, and then I go back through a second time and try to play like a total badass. But then I feel weird and apprehensive and end up in the morally compromised middle zone. “It’s a little pathetic.”

Aaron Moten, right, one of the stars of Fallout. Photography: Jojo Whilden/Prime Video

I can relate. I am a very chaotic type of player in most games that allow it: I’ll make a mess wherever I go and will happily side against any character or faction in authority, but I’ll never do anything that might hurt people. I know that games are supposed They seem like consequence-free places where you can experiment with morality, but I can’t bring myself to play the villain. This is in contrast to many players I know, who immediately start causing chaos in the game world just to see what happens. The kind of person who shoots horses in Red Dead Redemption.

“Every time you get a game and try it, you immediately think: what will this game allow me to do? No matter what we do, every time we give a player a gun, he will shoot the first person he sees,” Todd Howard says, laughing. “It could be his mother. They’ll shoot whoever he is. And then they’ll say, well, I’ll just reload.”

It must be a nightmare trying to design a choice-based game around the random whims of players, but Howard and Bethesda have decades of experience doing that. When I interviewed him over the years, he often spoke eloquently about how players and systems interact to create emergent stories, and how games can uniquely make you feel as if what you’re doing within them is real and meaningful. . Television and film can’t do that. But as the show Fallout demonstrates, if they’re made by people who really get it, can tell a story of its own that still communicates what people love about games.

The reason Fallout is good (and this also applies to other successful game-to-screen adaptations in recent years) is not that aspect True, the sets are perfect or they have hit the nail on the head with the nostalgic retro-futuristic aesthetic of the games. It’s just that Nolan and writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner really played and understood Fallout, and felt the power of its storytelling for themselves. Instead of trying to clumsily adapt a game’s story into a TV script, they’ve written brilliant, ultra-high-budget extended fanfiction about the games. I am totally in favor of this approach. Now that we have a generation of filmmakers and TV people who have grown up with games and really understand them, I hope we see more of this.

What to play

Content warning, published by Landfall. Photography: Landfall Publication

This is a game about being an influencer and a satire of influencer culture. Content warning has been popping up everywhere, in part because it was given away on April 1st. As a group of four, you descend into the underground underworld of horror movies, look for scary things to film, and return to the surface (or, more often, not, because you’ve passed away) to upload your footage for viewing. Likes and money on SpöökTube. It’s too silly to be that scary, encourage players to make things better for the camera, and naturally lends itself well to streaming: a game without much substance, but with enough unique fun in its premise to last at least a few how many rounds

Available in: windows
Estimated playing time:
A few hours, with friends.

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what to read

Baldur’s Gate 3. Photography: Larian Studios
  • The Bafta gaming awards were last week, and Baldur’s Gate 3 (above) was the biggest winner with five awards, including best game. Scottish indie game Viewfinder won two Baftas, as did Alan Wake 2; Dave the Diver won for game design and Venba won for debut game. It was a fitting celebration of one of the best years in the history of the game.

  • In a stunning tantrum, Game Studio Possibilities space it was closed last week after its director received a list of questions from a Kotaku reporter. The studio had never shipped a game and the statement sent to employees blames “internal leaks” for the sudden cancellation of its project. The article in question has not yet been published.

  • The Incredibly Disturbing Horror Fishing Game Dredge – one of my favorites from last year – is the latest game to announce a Film adaptation. In other game movie news, apparently Keanu Reeves will be Shadow the Hedgehog in the next sonic movie (?!).

What to click

Question Block

Monster slaying along with life simulator elements… Dragon Quest Builders 2. Photography: Games Press

This week Liam ask:

“My wife loves relaxed simulation games like Animal Crossing and Dreamlight Valley. However, after over 100 hours on each, she grows tired of the game cycle and struggles to pick them up. Can you recommend any similar experiences she might enjoy? Thanks in advance and I love the newsletter. That tea set was the most fun I’ve had on my desk in months!

Naturally, the daddy of all chill life simulation games is, well, The Sims, which is now so extensive that you can have your little IT guys run their own farm if they want. I’m guessing your wife has already played The Sims (and Stardew Valley), so here are some cozy life simulators that other Animal Crossing fans have enjoyed: Little witch in the foresta pixel art game whose title tells you everything you need to know; Dragon Quest 2 Builders It has a bit of a Minecraft-style block-building, monster-slaying appeal along with the life simulation elements; and Hello Kitty Island Adventure on Apple Arcade.

If you have any questions for the ask block, or anything else to say about the newsletter, hit reply or email us at pushbuttons@theguardian.com.

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