Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

The Fallout TV Show Trailer Is Melting Away My Skepticism

Historically, TV and film adaptations of video games don’t have the greatest track record. The last few years, however, have started turning that around. Pikachu, Sonic, and Mario have all starred in successful movies, and earlier this year The Last of Us got a proper prestige adaptation that certainly left a mark on fans.

Dragon’s Dogma 2’s New Class Is A Twirling Death Machine

Share SubtitlesOffEnglishShare this VideoFacebookTwitterEmailRedditLinkview videoDragon’s Dogma 2’s New Class Is A Twirling Death Machine

Now it’s Fallout’s turn via a new TV series from Amazon Prime. And while I was initially skeptical that the trend of decent video game adaptations would continue (that or maybe I’m feeling a little burnt out), that Fallout trailer sure is making me think otherwise. It premieres on April 12, 2024, which is about the only thing in the new trailer that bummed be out.

If for some reason you haven’t seen the trailer (maybe another trailer for something else has totally carjacked your attention?), check it out here:


Fallout’s TV adaptation looks like a greatest hits of the Bethesda games (and that’s a good thing)

If the scenes and editing in the trailers are any indication, the show is certainly aiming to capture the spirit of the very gameplay of Fallout, or at least what Bethesda has done with the series since it took the reins from Interplay with 2008’s Fallout 3.

The trailer seems to demonstrate not only modern Fallout’s signature absurd humor in the midst of a nuclear wasteland, but it’s doing so via the explosive, sudden violence we associate with the gameplay itself.

While it feels potentially exaggerated by the trailer’s use of quick cuts to get the most bang-for-your-buck out of its brief running time,, the scenes we do see feel like they’re adapting that very feeling of landing a great shot via the game’s slow-mo targeting system, V.A.T.S., or watching something wildly unexpected happen as a result of the games’ sometimes-wonky physics engine.

And that’s not just fan service: Those moments of gameplay are a part of the story we experience by playing the game. I think it’s essential for an adaptation to try and carry over the spirit of what’s usually contained in the original interactive form. Otherwise, why adapt a video game?

Of course, such inclusions aren’t surefire guarantees of quality or that the adaptation will necessarily be a hit with fans. HBO’s The Last of Us, notably, eschewed many elements of the moment-to-moment gameplay of the original. Despite strong performances and great storytelling, the lack of storytelling by way of familiar gameplay mechanics we know from the original certainly left me wanting to at least see someone try to smash a Clicker with a brick.

On the flipside, I was impressed by the Halo show’s adaptation of its gameplay (you don’t typically see characters shrug off fall damage or ricochet grenades into enemies in such a uniquely Halo way in other action shows and films). But of course that show tested the patience of many a Halo fan with its multi-episode arc featuring Chief, helmetless, even pantsless, talkin’ up a storm.

And it’s not just the violence and absurdity that’s working well in this early look at Fallout’s TV adaptation in motion; there’s also a wonderful sense of openness and scale that is a signature feature of most Bethesda games, but certainly Fallout 3, 4, and 76.

We see wide shots of a rotting Santa Monica Pier, and distant mountains that feel like they’re the very edges of an actual open-world map. Elements like these, juxtaposed with the tight corridors of Fallout’s vaults and the cluttered streets and rundown shanties of the town of “Philly,” suggest that the show is committed to faithfully recapturing the distinct sense of space and place that gives the Fallout games their identity.

A TV adaptation of a video game can only benefit from making its best effort to include the spirit of what it’s like to actually play the game into the storytelling onscreen. After all, TV and film are no strangers to portrayals of the post-apocalypse. Giving me something that’s uniquely Fallout is going to ensure that I just don’t leave to watch Planet of the Apes or Mad Max.

Popular Articles