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reader discussion

Reader Discussion: Does Fallout 3 Or Fallout 4 Have The Better Intro?

by Tim Turi on Nov 11, 2015 at 01:01 PM

Countless throngs of Fallout fans have booted up 2015's most-anticipated game by now, so most of you have already experienced the game's opening moments, if not dozens of hours. Today's reader discussion asks whether you prefer the introduction to Fallout 3 or Fallout 4.

Note: Spoilers for the intro of Fallout 4 ahead.

For the uninitiated, Fallout 4 begins with a happy young couple preparing for their day, complete with a robo-butler tending to their wailing child. Moments after accepting complimentary access to one of Vault-Tec's cutting-edge shelters, a gloomy newscaster delivers ominious news on TV as air raid sirens begin to blare. From here, players must rush through their retro-futuristic 1950s neighborhood on their way to a vault that's located conveniently in their backyard. From there, we're ambiguously introduced to the Vault-Tec gimmick hosted in Vault 111. In what seems like a moment, our protagonist is entered into cryo-sleep, loses their spouse, and has their child kidnapped. A few moments after stumbling through the vault they step foot in the dismal, post-apocalyptic wasteland of Boston on the hunt for their child. It's a much briefer, to-the-point introduction compared to Fallout 3.

The life of Fallout 3's Wanderer begins in Vault 101, from birth, to childhood years, to adulthood. Players experience major life milestones through the lens of Vault-Tec's dingy, depressing methods for preserving the human race. You experience a birthday party, get bullied, and even take a standardized aptitude test. All that changes one day when your father breaks the seal on the vault and goes off into the Capital Wasteland to fulfill an important mission. Players fight through waves of radroaches and hostile vault authority figures that are sent after you by order of the Overseer. It's a frantic, desperate escape from the only place you've ever called home, saying goodbye to the friends you made on the way out.

Now that I've jogged your memory, which Fallout introduction do you prefer? To get the ball rolling, I really liked Fallout 4's shorter introduction due in huge part to experiencing the surreal horror of the bombs dropping. The rush through the picturesque neighborhood to the vault nearby hit me harder knowing that things wouldn't look as beautiful after reemerging from Vault 111. On the flip side, Fallout 3's intro was effective in how it gradually builds up players as if they had lived in Vault 101 all their lives. The trade off is that it takes quite a bit longer to get rolling in the Wasteland.

What about you, Wanderer?

For more on Fallout 4, read our tips in how to survive in the wasteland.