Josh Sawyer, the lead designer on “Fallout: New Vegas,” has very strong feelings about the world in which the game is set. It’s a far cry from the D.C. Wasteland, and not just geographically. In a lot of ways it’s actually the next step in an attempt to return to civilization.
“One of the things we’re focusing on with ’New Vegas,’ is that this is a post-post-apocalyptic society. Governments have formed and have congress. There are large slaver armies and big merchant caravans.”
The differences between the two worlds aren’t just a matter of increased infrastructure, though. Sawyer described the world as “much more political.” “’Fallout 3’ presented the Enclave as very very bad, and the Brotherhood of Steel as very good in opposition to the Enclave,” he explained. “In ’New Vegas’ we’re presenting the landscape a bit differently. You might think the [New California Republic] is purely good, but they’re not purely good. And you may think Caesar’s Legion is purely bad, but they’re not purely bad.”
It’s this gray area that the “New Vegas” developers want to focus on, displaying the perils that derive from furthering civilization. “Most of their failings are based on the fact that they’re huge societies that have many of the same failings that we have today in our modern world.”
Civilization, as we’ve seen, is bound to repeat itself, and it’s a theme that the developers are trying to impress on the different factions of “Fallout: New Vegas.”
“One major theme in the game is that we talk about rebuilding in the image of the old world, and whether that’s valid or not. For example, the New California Republic sees themselves as the torchbearers of the republic that existed in the pre-war world. They are the voice of democracy. People have representation with them. They don’t enslave people. They have laws and stuff like that.
“Whereas Caesar’s Legion — which is inspired by Rome and is led by an incredibly charismatic, cunning and intelligent guy — is specifically emulating things from the Roman empire because their leader believes that that is the only way to bring order into such a chaotic world.”
Sawyer mentions the big question they want players asking themselves is, “Are we really recreating the old world or is this our own world to make?” If “our own world” includes plenty of rocket launcher caches, count me in.