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Watch the official gameplay launch trailer for Fallout 4, available worldwide on Tuesday, November 10th. Welcome Home.
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Nora: Everything can change in an instant. Even if you're not ready.
Nate: This wasn't the world I wanted, but it was the one I found myself in. This time I'm ready, because I know war,
Nora: War Never Changes
Desdemona: I have a question, the only question that matters: Would you risk your life for your fellow man, even if that man was a synth?
Elder Maxson: Beneath the commonwealth, there is a cancer, known as the institute, a malignant growth that needs to be cut before it infects the surface.
Hancock: Their the real enemy, not the raiders, not the super mutants, not even those tools over in diamond city.
Riley: Don't shoot, I swear I'm not a synth! For god's sake, we're family!
Piper: This is ridiculous! I want the truth McDonough.
Preston: Protect the people at a minutes notice, and decide our own future.
Mama Murphy: Your a man out of time, but all's not lost.
Elder Maxson: This campaign will be costly, but in the end, we will be saving humankind from it's worst enemy: itself.
Nate: So where is it, huh, this Institute? How do I get there?!
Kellogg: Haven't you been paying attention, you don't find the Institute, the Institute finds you.
Nora: Let's go boy.
*I know this is old*
No need to be embarrassed as you've never experienced the story before.
I'm gonna keep it very basic and try to keep it short. TL;DR skip to the bottom
The lore for Fallout goes back to the ending of WWII. Everything before then happens in Fallout as it did in ours but after the war comes the divergence. The world of Fallout is depicted as a post-WWII nuclear paranoia filled, retro-futuristic 1950's style world. Certain inventions (such as the transistor) were never invented and some were. The world focused solely on petroleum and nuclear energy. Nuclear energy was used for absolutely everything. America and China were the top dogs and competed against each other for everything. During the Resource Wars in the 2050's the United Nations was disbanded and the European Commonwealth fought the Middle East and eventually ended up nuking it into oblivion. Alaska ended up being the only place with vast amounts of oil left so China decided to invade. America used its new sets of T45 and T51 Power Armour to fight off the Chinese and reclaim Alaska. America then invaded China and pushed further and further into the heartland of the country. Victory would surely be America's in the years to come. With paranoia abound the company Vault-Tec created 122 Vaults (although 400,000 would be needed to save every American) with the stated purpose of protecting the public when actually (and unknown to Americans) they were social experiments to see how the population would fair in certain scenarios. In the year 2077 with victory almost achieved, the world came to an end. We don't know for sure which country pushed the button, eventually they all did. The Great War of 2077 was the most destructive 2 hours ever experienced. People managed to get to the Vaults in time, survivors (known as Vault Dwellers) emerged from the Vaults after many, many, many years. People above ground also survived, many being turned into Ghouls and many being human. And this is where Fallout takes place, 84 years (Fallout 1 and 210 years in Fallout 4) after the Great War. In the respective Fallout games you are a respective survivor and you will eventually end up changing and shaping the future of the Wasteland.
There is so much history and lore to the world of Fallout, it's one of my most favourite game series. I highly recommend you play the early Fallout games and definetly read the Fallout wiki, a.k.a. Nuka Pedia.
TL;DR - Fallout is set in a retro-futuristic, nuclear obsessessed, 1950's styled America. You play in the aftermath of the Great War, the nuclear exchange that destroyed the world.
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1001 Free Steam Games Worth Playing
The second one balances difficulty and RPG mechanics seamlessly to make the game always rewarding. " Free. Recommended March 6. "Fun and engaging game with a twist that comes out of left field. Not very long, but worth the time, definitely worth a second play through to unlock all its secrets.