Wasteland Relics: The Other Cancelled Fallout

Rejoice, for there is suddenly and magically a crapton of information about the cancelled Interplay Fallout game. No, not Van Buren – the other cancelled Interplay Fallout game. What, eh, etc? Okay. Back before Bethesda’s take on Fallout split PC gamers down the middle, Interplay caused similar controversy by side-stepping the series into the action-RPG curio Brotherhood of Steel on Playstation 2 (which, confusingly, was itself an entirely different game to Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel that hit PC a few years earlier).

While fairly (and justifiably) reviled by Fallout fans at the time, you could argue it was a little closer to the world of the original two Fallouts than the recent Fallout 3 was. Hence, the leak of a design document for a never-made sequel to BoS is a pretty big deal for Fallout veterans. And hey, probably for new Fallout fans too.

Alright, it may have been planned for Playstation 2 rather than PC. However, the fact it was penned by one Brian Freyermuth, a key member of the team behind the original Fallout, and that, according to this doc, it was intended to be a lot closer to first the two PC RPGs in terms of content and plot, means it makes for an interesting what-if thought experiment. What would the Fallout series have become today if this had been made and been a success? We probably wouldn’t have seen Bethesda’s Fallout 3. We may not, in fact, have seen any more Fallouts on PC at all, as it could have been repositioned as purely a Playstation franchise. But if we did, no doubt they’d have been like this.

It’s 32 detail-fatted, heavily illustrated pages, going into the mechanics and plot at incredible length, and featuring a ton of ne’er before seen Fallout Boy art. With talk of GECKs and the freedom to be a saint or a dick depending on your personal preference, it really does sound Proper Fallouty. It’s a document to get excited by then, but do remember that its engagingly hyperbolic language doesn’t guarantee one second it wouldn’t necessarily have been as watered-down dumb as the first BoS. It sure is nice to dream of what might have been, though.

Thanks to NMA‘s ever-lovin’ Brother None for the tip.


  1. Thiefsie says:

    will read this later, anything to add to the decent fallout universe.

  2. malkav11 says:

    The console Fallout (shan’t call it Brotherhood of Steel, as that was also the subtitle of Fallout Tactics, which is much better) wasn’t a complete waste if played with a friend, but it was Not Good ™ and its rendition of the Fallout world is about as faithful as…as a very unfaithful thing.

  3. Skurmedel says:

    “The last level is a boss level, against Banshee. When the leader of the Jackals is defeated, the player threatens him, and Banshee gives him a key to the vault in Lone star, and says all the answers are there. But before he can tell the player who’s behind it all, he explodes…”

    LOL. The story gets “better”/more interesting after that part though. Some of the locations sound quite cool and that’s always been one of Fallout’s strong points.

  4. Markoff Chaney says:

    Bah. Scanning the headline my heart jumped a scond. Here I thought there was a new Wasteland game dead in the water after all these years. You Tease!

  5. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    What is the gun of Boba Fett doing on page 17? Ah, well, not meant to be published anyway.

  6. Optimaximal says:

    So wait, how would a branch of the series that took everything Fallout and threw it out of the window be a more fitting ‘sequel’ than Fallout 3?

    Granted it did a lot of things wrong and/or different, but (IMO) it’s still Fallout, providing you ignore Operation: Anchorage.

  7. Brother None says:

    It’s actually interesting to see the apparent acceptance of BoS’ crappiness and the intent to do better in BoS 2. But honestly, with BoS not being a success and Interplay cancelling about 4 BIS projects in a row, any expectations would have been too high, no rushed project is ever that good (or if it is, it’s too much hidden behind bugs to enjoy the goodiness, think Troika)

    *sigh* The biggest could have been in Interplay’s history back then isn’t even “BoS could have been good” or “Van Buren could have been finished”, it’s “one of BIS’ earlier projects could have made it”, whether TORN or Project Jefferson (BG III), it would’ve been a pleasure to see.

    Markoff: actually, I do believe Brian Fargo’s new company, inXile, picked up the Wasteland license a while ago, but we’ve not heard of it since.

  8. Daniel says:

    BN is correct, Fargo’s company holds the Wasteland lisence. A bit meaningless for someone who’s first taste of gaming was the MegaDrive, but it’s nice to know Herve won’t be selling it to Bungie or someone.

  9. Bret says:

    Bungie is the worst you can think of?

    Wow. That’s the most beautiful bit of optimism I’ve ever seen on the internet.

  10. Daniel says:

    You jump to conclusions, Sir. I was more talking about selling an old franchise to someone not appropriate to develop a sequel for it as opposed to hating on Bungie. Another, more obvious example would be to give the next Civ game to the guys who develop PES or whatnot.

  11. Bret says:


    So, the internet is indeed as cynical and paranoid as I suspected?

    Phew, I haven’t been wrong all these years.

    Fair point about dev inappropriateness.

  12. Markus says:

    Couldn’t care less about another BoS game, but cancellation of Van Buren still saddens me every time i think of it…peeps at Black Isle were the only ones that truly understood the essence of RPG gaming and importance of good writing… :/

    Here, this will put a smile on your face:
    link to octopusoverlords.com

  13. Daniel says:

    A note for history’s sake, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was commonly known amongst the fanbase as FO: PoS.

    I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what that stands for.

  14. I am beginning to understand this comment system says:

    Penguins on Saturn?

  15. Bret says:

    Precious Organic Solutions?

  16. Elyscape says:

    Foolhardy Operation: Pancreases onto Slapjacks?

  17. Oak says:

    Fancy Office: Perk of Seniority?

  18. MD says:

    Fried Onions: Placed on Sausages?

  19. Daniel says:

    MD wins.

  20. Dreamhacker says:

    The hate-campaign on Duck and Cover-NMA against FOBOS was great fun while it lasted.

  21. ShaunCG says:

    “While fairly (and justifiably) reviled by Fallout fans at the time, you could argue it was a little closer to the world of the original two Fallouts than the recent Fallout 3 was.”

    Eyebrow raisin’ right off my face, here. ;)

  22. dhex says:

    a lot of things are closer to the first two fallouts than fallout 3 is.

  23. khorse says:

    Is it just the combat that makes people bitch so much? I played the games in reverse order and the setting in 3 seems spot on when compared to 2. 3 has more realism and less jokes, for better or worse. The only major complaint I could see from fans of the first two games is that 3 offers fewer choices in how a quest is completed.

  24. Evangel says:

    khorse, except for the whole capital city still standing thing… and the high fantasy theatrical music… and the lack of any noticable farmland… and the people from Europe who came to America after the war…

  25. Ash says:

    khorse, had you really played through FO1/2, you wouldn’t have asked those questions, actually no one would.

    And no its not the combat what makes people bitch so much about FO3, but rather a piss poor writing (quests/dialogue/story), lack of consequences, and “few” other things that made fallout fallout.

  26. khorse says:

    So it was the music and lack of farmland that did it… ahhh… I see now… entirely different games. And yes Ash I have played through the games. I was a lowly fluffer in New Reno, I saw the vorpal bunny, and I super stim packed friendlies to death. Like I said I played the games in reverse order so I don’t have the sense of entitlement everyone else who played Fallout previously seems to have.

  27. Anonymousity says:

    I believe it’s also because they break the canon of 1 and 2 to tell the story of 3 I can’t be bothered to write through the whole complex thing I believe there is a thread on nma somewhere in which someone aptly pointed out how they did so.