With talk of another Fallout game being on the horizon, I figured I'd throw out an idea of what I'd like to see. Anyone who has played Fallout knows that there's always rumors of another Fallout game on the horizon, so this is more of a thought experiment than anything else. With that in mind, while I prefer the Fallout games made by the original creators; Fallout 1, 2 and New Vegas, I'll take the Bethesda games if I've got no other choice.
I think the whole East Coast vs West Coast set up is a fantastic way to keep the works of the two development teams separate. As much as Bethesda probably wanted the distance to differentiate themselves, it's become more about them not being able to sully the works of the superior development team. Bad enough they've watered down almost every aspect of the game and story...
Sorry! I'm bitter and rambling.
Because money comes first I'll just assume that Bethesda is making the next Fallout game and that it'll be located on the East Coast. We've already had DC, we've recently had Boston, and now we're at a point where we're running out of iconic East Coast American cities. Miami, maybe, but there was a Fallout Tactics 2 game that was going to be set there. With that out of the way, I think the only other realistic East Coast city for the next Fallout game to be set in is New York City.
Now, obviously NYC got nuked to shit during the Great War. If China was going to war with the United States then NYC is the first place they'd atomize back to the stone age. The fix here is that the United States of the Fallout universe is insanely advanced, just look at Boston's skyline in Fallout 4 to see what I mean. With NYC having a population nearly double that of Boston, it stands to reason that it would be a gargantuan cityscape that once dwarfed all others. Im picturing a skyline so tall that the nuclear blasts didn't even reach halfway up the buildings.
Along with this very vertical map, I imagine there wouldn't be much of the usual blasted wasteland that is so iconic to Fallout and other nuclear war games. They'd have to include Central Park, but there's a lot of other greenspaces in NYC that could feed this need for radioactive desert sands. Finally, a lesson I think the developers should take from Fallout 4 is that just because the city is next to an ocean, that doesn't mean you have to devote a quarter of the game map to being under water.
Anyway, my final idea for NYC would be the headquarters of Vault-Tec. The main Vault where they ran the experiments upon all other Vaults across the United States. This thing would be massive and it would take up most of the NYC underground. As high as the skyscrapers stand on the streets above, that's how far beneath those same streets the vault would go.
Because it's Fallout, there's going to be Ghouls everywhere, and because it's Bethesda there's going to be Super Mutants and Deathclaws and Brotherhood of Steel... despite all that making no damn sense. Since it's NYC we'd need to get the giant rats, that were once so iconic to Fallout 1 and 2, back into the series. No, not weird looking Mole-rats, actual mutant rats like we finally saw in Nuka-World. We'd need mutated creatures unique to the New York region as well, it can't all be the same madness otherwise what's the point?
The big power players, and probably the antagonists, would be Vault-Tec themselves. They'd have pre-war tech, as well as the mass advancements they've developed since, that would make the Institute look about as threatening as an orphanage of sick children. People were worried about the Enclave, well Vault-Tec are the ones that supplied the Enclave. When Vault-Tec decide it's time to take back the world, they do so in force. Pre-War mercenary armies that were frozen on ice, and safely housed robotic juggernauts that could take on any behemoth that spawned from the radioactive goop. The Brotherhood has one Liberty Prime... Vault-Tec would have ten.
Whatever the story would be, I would hope that Bethesda takes a leaf out of Obsidian's book and makes the world of Fallout 5 one that's full of grey. No black and white, no easy answers... just a quagmire of tough calls and unforeseen consequences. Heck, maybe your character is actually with Vault-Tec and you're part of the effort to take back the world. It'd let your character be new to the world, so the player could learn alongside them, and it would be a fresh take on an old setting.
This is just a random idea I had, it's probably way off the mark. I'm okay with that. Whatever the story may be, we're up to our 5th installment in the main series and there's still a lot of answers we've yet to receive. Let's head to New York City and lets unravel the mysteries of Vault-Tec, it's been long enough.
Whatever they do, I just hope that Bethesda don't pull a Dark Souls 3 and end the series with more questions left unanswered than otherwise.