Why a Fallout MMO Would be Terrible

Here's another one from the ever-present rumor mill: Bethesda may or may not be kind of sort of working on a Fallout MMO. At least according to this article from Air Herald. Or, at least, according to that article, Fallout: New Vegas director Josh Sawyer claims that the Fallout franchise could eventually make for a decent MMO. This is a terrible, terrible idea.

First and foremost, let me put this out here: there is nothing about this article that actually leads any validity to the idea that there is a Fallout MMO on its way. It's all "might" and "could," most of which have no actual source, and all of which supposedly come from the director of New Vegas, which wasn't even developed by Bethesda, the company that owns the rights to the franchise.

Still, similar rumors have been floating around for a long time, and Bethesda did create an MMO out of their other big franchise, The Elder Scrolls, and in this crazy world, just about anything is possible. So let's indulge the matter temporarily and dissect why exactly a Fallout MMO would be terrible.

First of all, despite the popularity of the first two Fallout games, it's safe to say that if an MMO were to be made today, it would follow the aesthetics and gameplay set forth by Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. Unfortunately, I just don't think that would translate well into an MMO template. Actually, an MMO in the style of the first two Fallout titles probably wouldn't function very well either, but that's even less likely to happen.

Now, the most memorable aspect of these more recent games in the franchise is probably the V.A.T.S. system - a system wherein time freezes while you can select which body part on an enemy you want to attack, with varying odds of dealing damage. Now, try implementing that system into a massively multiplayer game. How the hell would that work, you ask? It wouldn't.

As much as I love Fallout 3 and New Vegas, let's be honest: without the V.A.T.S. system, the game is little more than a shoddy FPS, mechanically speaking. Sure you can factor in the RPG elements, but when it comes down to the actual running and gunning, the games fall a little flat and feel a little clunky. Not something you'd want to have to deal with while also dealing with thousands of other players.

Most Bethesda games also rely heavily on exploration. Part of the fun of games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim is that you are the dragonborn, or the lone wanderer of the wasteland. Exploring new areas in a big map, and being a hero solving other people's problems in these worlds just isn't the same when a few hundred others have beaten you to it.

The final nail in the coffin, though, is looking at what we have for an example. Despite all these potential problems, it's entirely possible that Bethesda could manage to scrape together a good MMO set in the Fallout world. Except for the fact that the only other MMo they've produced is The Elder Scrolls Online, which, according to most people, is anywhere from mediocre to bad.

Like I said before, I love Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and I'd be more than willing to give a Fallout MMO, all I really need in a Fallout 4 is a few gameplay tweaks, and maybe some updated graphics. It might be repetitive, but it's a formula that works, and I'd love to just get more quests, a new map, and maybe some new weapons. I wouldn't need much more than that.

Matt Overstreet's picture
Matt Overstreet is a writer and creator, who's been with the 8CN since the very beginning. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and enjoys watching bad Nic Cage movies, playing too many video games, and reading silly books. You can follow him on twitter, if you are so inclined: @chilidog0.
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