The Absence of Fallout 3 on Switch is a Disappointment

Our individual writers and contributors can use the “soapbox” features to share their thoughts on hot topics and other things they’ve been thinking about. Today, Ollie had a thought while watching Amazon Prime TV…

“War. “War changes.”

If this quote sounds familiar, it’s likely that you’ve played and liked the Fallout games. When Interplay first released it for Windows and Mac in 1997, it received a lot of positive reviews and developed a cult following for a while. But the franchise really took off when Bethesda Softworks bought the rights and released the amazing Fallout 3 in 2008. Now it looks like there’s no stopping it, as a brand-new Amazon Prime TV show is getting great reviews from all over the world.

By now, Bethesda is known for making RPGs that are true to its style. This vision really came to life when Fallout 3 came out. It often took place in huge landscapes and had emergent gameplay at its core. Yes, the team would build on it with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, but I bet that none of Bethesda’s other games have managed to capture the magic that Fallout 3 did so effortlessly more than fifteen years ago.

The game begins within one of the franchise’s well-known ‘Vaults’: subterranean communities created to safeguard humanity from the perils and radiation of the external environment. Liam Neeson’s exceptional voiceover skills as your father accompany the vivid depiction of your birth in the opening scene. The Overseer keeps a close eye on your character’s development as they grow up in Vault 101 during the following few hours of gameplay. Without giving away too much, it doesn’t take long before you step out of your safe haven and explore the harsh realities of the Capital Wasteland.

What lies ahead is completely in your hands. While sticking to the main storyline is an option, the true brilliance of Fallout 3 can be found in its abundant and diverse sidequests. Would you be interested in the thrilling experience of activating a dormant nuclear bomb and witnessing the devastating impact it has on an entire settlement? Yes, you have the ability to do so! Have you ever considered the idea of willingly subjecting yourself to high levels of radiation in the name of advancing scientific knowledge for a ‘Wasteland Survival Guide’? Indeed, that is also an option. In 2024, it may seem outdated to appreciate a game with numerous sidequests, but Fallout 3 executes them so masterfully that we can’t help but be captivated every time we dive into its world.

As previously stated, Fallout 3 has been around for over 15 years now, and although you can enjoy a fairly optimized experience if you choose to play on Xbox or through PS Plus, there’s no denying that the game has significantly aged since its initial release. The facial animations could use some improvement, the combat can be a bit inconsistent, and the overall color palette leans towards a monotonous brown tone. However, the true standout feature of Fallout 3 lies in its unparalleled level of freedom, which perfectly complements its immersive setting and breathtaking atmosphere.

What is the deal with Bethesda? I mean, seriously? Despite the flawless performance of Fallout 3 on the Series X through backward compatibility, the game remains limited by its seventh-gen console hardware. It’s truly mind-boggling that Fallout 3, a game released three years before Skyrim, hasn’t received the same level of attention when it comes to porting to different platforms. Skyrim has been made available on almost every platform imaginable, including the Switch, which makes the lack of a Fallout 3 port all the more perplexing.

It appears that Bethesda is potentially working on a remastered version of Fallout 3 for modern platforms. According to a leaked document from the Microsoft vs. FTC case in 2023, it seems that both Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion might be getting a visual upgrade. While it’s important to approach leaks with caution and not jump to conclusions, this particular leak does offer a glimmer of hope for fans. However, it’s crucial to remember that it doesn’t guarantee anything, and there’s no confirmation of a potential remaster specifically for the Switch.

In the Capital Wasteland, a glimmer of hope is desperately needed by all.