Entropic Crusader

Home of sci-fi and fantasy author, Benjamin Matthews

Certified Fallout-Free is part critique, part world building essay, and part depressing retrospective on a game that could have been truly brilliant, but instead only managed to be ‘mostly okay, I suppose, if a little too green’. In this 23 part series, I talk about the world of Fallout 3 and the many ways it failed to be a cohesive setting, and suggest various fixes to improve it. If you’re a fan of world building (as any sci-fi or fantasy fan probably should be), you’ll find plenty to enjoy here.

After the initial 23 parts talking about Fallout 3, I finish up with a 4 part mini-series talking about the opening of Fallout 4, and how we’ll never get another truly great Fallout game again. Fortunately, there are other options now (like the truly excellent UnderRail), so it’s not all bad. I hope you enjoy, and if you feel I’ve provided you with a valuable experience, I’m never averse to people buying me a coffee or two 👍 And if you’re interested in my own fiction? Jump onto my newsletter today and check out the prelude to a big fantasy series I’m currently writing!

Part 0: Pre-Ramble

Introducing the series and talking a little about Fallout 3 as a game.

Part 1: The Road Worrier

In this first proper part of Certified Fallout-Free, we take a look at the difference between Bethesda and Obsidian’s methods, and how their ideas of player freedom are wildly different.

Part 2: Wasted Land Potential

In this part of Certified Fallout-Free, I take a look at the Wasteland in general, radiation, and how nothing makes sense.

Part 3: Settling for Traders

In this part of Certified Fallout-free we look at Megaton and Canterbury Commons, and how they might be improved.

Part 4: In for a Penny

In today’s Certified Fallout-Free we take a thorough look at Tenpenny Tower, Roy the psychopathic ghoul, and tying this together with Canterbury Commons.

Part 5: Any Old Iron

In today’s Certified Fallout-Free, we’re taking a look at Rivet City, an interesting location that was, as usual, squandered.

Part 6: Settlements 101

Despite my general annoyance at how Fallout 3 begins, the opening Vault segment could be tweaked into a proper Fallout opening with minimal fuss.

Part 7: After Eights

Bethesda decided that twisting the Fallout lore to breaking point in order to include the Brotherhood of Steel was a good idea. I disagree, and this part of Certified Fallout-Free explores creating a NEW power armour faction instead.

Part 8: Motivated by Money

In this episode of why Fallout 3 wasn’t very good, we look at the woefully underutilised merc bands of Talon Company, Reilly’s Rangers, and the Regulators.

Part 9: Reinvigorating Old Olney

I love Old Olney as a location in Fallout 3, but like so much else in the game, it was completely squandered. Let’s fix the place up!

Part 10: Little Lampblight

*sigh* I was going to have to talk about Little Lamplight sooner or later, so let’s get it out of the way. There ARE some good bits… but only a few.

Part 11: Big Trouble In…

After talking about the horror that is Little Lamplight, in this part of Certified Fallout-Free, we look at Big Town. It’s better than Little Lamplight, at least.

Part 12: Divided Deadites

The Underworld-resident ghouls are, like most other settlements in Fallout 3, horribly squandered. Let’s fix the ol’ place up a bit.

Part 13: High Vaultage

A rather lengthy part of Certified Fallout-Free, talking about the various Vaults of the series, and how Bethesda’s, as usual, make no damn sense.

Part 14: Forbidden Fruits

A shorter post in the Certified Fallout-Free series this week, taking a quick look at the GECK, and how Bethesda even managed to screw that up.

Part 15: DLC Attacks!

In this part of Certified Fallout-Free I talk about the five DLC packs released for Fallout 3. I even praise a few of them!

Part 16: Two’s Company

There’s plenty to complain about with Fallout 3’s companions, but at least Bethesda learned some lessons from Bioware for FO4. Which they then promptly forgot again for Starfield.

Part 17: Aiding With the Raiding

Bethesda’s idea of being a raider boils down to it being something you do on the weekend, but the rest of the week you’re a goodie-two-shoes. Let’s fix that.

Part 18: Full Floral Jacket

Oasis is the only area in the game that is green for a good reason. Let’s improve it and add a horrifying monstrosity for fun.

Part 19: Wasted Space

In this part of Certified Fallout-Free, we take a look at some of the smaller, less important areas of the Capital Wasteland.

Part 20: Everclean Pills

It’s time to chat a little bit more about the less salubrious types, including supporting cannibal builds.

Part 21: Mutant Mayhem

Instead of Bethesda’s ridiculous take on super mutants, which boils down to violent orcs, let’s give these guys a proper ending based on the first two games.

Part 22: Atomic SCIENCE!

While I’m in no way a fan of the Children of Atom, there are ways they could be made less stupid and more compelling.

Part 23: Wrapping Up

This is the final part of the main Certified Fallout-Free series, where I discuss a few final things and wrap everything up with a neat little bow.

Part 24: Fallout 4 and Assumed Empathy

While Fallout 4 was an enjoyable enough looter shooter, the story has some really serious issues. Chief among them, the assumed empathy problem.

Part 25: Fallout 4 and Ludonarrative Dissonance

Following on from the first part, this week we discuss the problem of the player and their character’s motivations not lining up, AKA ludonarrative dissonance.

Part 26: Fallout 4 and Moral Quandaries

In the third part of this mini series, we discuss how the SHAUUUUN! stuff could be handled better, as well as giving the player more moral choices in how they act.

Part 27: Fallout 4 and Emil Pagliarulo

Finally we get to Emil Pagliarulo, the man responsible for the terrible, TERRIBLE writing in the Fallout games now. Thanks, Emil, you suck.