An interior environment during a game of Fallout 1
Screenshot via ToughGamingGuy

Todd Howard is wrong: Fallout remakes would be great

Embrace the past.

Fallout is in the news again, this time thanks to an interview between Bethesda CEO Todd Howard and popular YouTuber MrMattyPlays. In it, he discussed pricing controversies surrounding the upcoming Starfield DLC, what future plans Bethesda has in store, and the original Fallout games.

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Howard didn't shy away from firmly stating that Bethesda currently has no plans to return to the original Fallout games and remake them. By the original Fallout games, I'm of course talking about the very first Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout: Tactics. You might know these titles as following the classic 1990s isometric CRPG style, marking a decidedly different era in PC gaming before the series went first-person with Fallout 3 back in 2008.

Rest assured that Bethesda isn't completely abandoning the OG titles, with Howard stating that it wants to make sure these titles load up properly for players and run well so that they can actually play them in all their retro glory. But anything beyond that is looking unlikely, with Howard chalking up this decision to some dated features in these games that have not aged too well (at least in his view):

"And I do think we want [the games] to load up and run well. The rest of it… I could argue that some of the charm of games from that era and the original Fallout is a little bit of that age. I would never want to sort of paste over some of that with, 'Well we changed how this works so it's more modern.'"

Todd Howard, MrMattyPlays Interview, June 18th, 2024

It's a shame to read Howard's statements above because, as we've already made the case for here on Pro Game Guides, the original Fallout games would greatly benefit from substantial remakes.

The benefits of Fallout 1 & 2 remakes

I'm not even talking about making them first-person, which an insanely dedicated group of modders has already been working on. Rather, I'm simply talking about modernizing these classic CRPGs with up-to-date graphics, improved UI, considerable quality-of-life improvements, and crucial accessibility features. Bringing them into the 21st century, so to say. Things like being able to use WASD to pan the camera around, or a more streamlined and easier-to-decipher UI with filters to help better organize your inventory – perhaps even the ability to directly control your character as opposed to pointing and clicking everywhere.

If anything, the fact that Fallout 1 & 2 lack the flare and sheen of a modern title somehow makes their worlds feel even more lonely and desolate. But I have little doubt that modern graphics, improved shadows and depth, ambient weather effects, and more atmospheric sound design (among other things) would increase the sense of immersion by a country mile. All it takes is looking at the recent Wasteland 3 to find a shining example of a modern take on this type of game (it doesn't hurt Fallout was directly inspired by the Wasteland series). Just don't touch the original game's score. That stuff still slaps.

The nostalgia is strong with this series

Besides all that, the market for retro and nostalgic games remains strong, particularly in the face of the increasingly homogenous and predictable landscape of AAA modern gaming. A passionate subculture of gamers will find these games' older systems and mechanics to be a breath of fresh air; do not underestimate peoples' craving for niche or challenging experiences.

So all that talk about Fallout 1 & 2's dated or quirky features being too "of the time"? Keep those in. Things like the isometric point of view, which some might (wrongfully) consider as a mechanic stuck in the '90s, are precisely part of the charm of the original games. The recent successes of CRPGs like Baldur's Gate 3, Wasteland 3, and Disco Elysium a few years back, are proof that this style of RPG still has plenty of appeal and is here to stay.

What makes the original Fallout games so special is being able to see and appreciate where it all started – where everything the franchise is so beloved and well-known for actually originates from. Despite the original's isometric view and low-res graphics, it is remarkable how immersive these titles still manage to be. The grittiness of the unforgiving wasteland, the macabre sense of humor, the witty dialogue—they're all still there.

The time is now to remake Fallout 1 & 2

The main characters of the Fallout TV show
Image via Prime Video

If that all isn't enough of a reason to remake the original Fallout titles, then the immense wave of success the series has been riding on ever since the wildly popular Fallout TV series first aired back in April 2024 should be. From a business standpoint, now would be the perfect time to dedicate some resources towards a proper remake of the original games. After all, the classic Fallout: New Vegas, developed by Obsidian Entertainment, has ascended to cult status among Fallout fans, with calls for a remake or fancy remaster sounding loud. The iron is hot, Bethesda. Now is the time to strike.

Wondering if Fallout New Vegas will run on your Steam Deck? Then look no further than Does Fallout New Vegas work on Steam Deck? (Best Settings) on ProGameGuides.


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Author
Image of Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov has been a writer for over 7 years. His areas of interest include shooters like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and The Finals, but also RPGs like Cyberpunk: 2077 and the Dishonored franchise and single-player experiences like God of War and The Last of Us. Ivan has a double major in History and Russian from Oberlin College and when he isn't gaming – he is playing music and touring Europe with his band.

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Todd Howard is wrong: Fallout remakes would be great

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