Looking Back: Fallout’s Best Feature

It’s undeniable that Fallout is one of the most beloved and influential video game series ever to be created. From the open world environment to the devastating weaponry, the games have something to offer for everyone. But what exactly is Fallout’s best feature? Well it’s not the guns, the quests, or even Dogmeat. What makes Fallout a truly unique experience is actually the music.

It just wouldn’t be Fallout without being able to listen to the various radio stations as you traverse the terrain. While it is true that the first two installments of the series lacked this ability, it has since become a staple of the series. I honestly couldn’t imagine exploring the wastelands without it running in the background, nor do I.

The music played on these stations provided a direct contrast to the desolate and often violent environments. Listening to these songs gives the player a sense of peace and enjoyment, allowing them to relax in a world inhabited by mutants and raiders. When the world went to ruins the only thing that remained intact was the music. It also serves as a device to connect the game’s world to ours.

pipboy.jpg
Selecting a radio station on the Pip-boy.

The stations themselves are filled with memorable radio personalities like Three Dog. These friendly voices act as our guides in unfamiliar lands, supporting us while also reminding us of our past accomplishments. Hell, I’m sure most of us still remember what their voices sound like, perhaps even the names of our favorite station’s host.

Of course the best part about the radio stations is that you are able to listen to them during combat. It’s an oddly enjoyable experience slaying raiders or defending yourself from super mutants while listening to Big Band and Jazz music. No other game comes close to matching it, except maybe when listening to the car radio in Grand Theft Auto. Who knew conquering the wasteland while listening to some oldies could be such an enjoyable experience?

If you enjoyed the music featured in the Fallout series then you need to check out this Youtube channel by Cad Man. The channel live streams all the music from Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4, without any interruptions from the station hosts. I’ve been listening to it for a few days now and have enjoyed every second of it. Try playing a few other games while listening to the station, it’s pretty fun.

Eric M. Wilusz.

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