War never changes. But it does occasionally take on new forms. Case in point: the Fallout TV series debuting in 2024 on Prime Video. The adaptation of the popular video game franchise received its first (lengthy) teaser trailer, giving fans an expansive sneak peek at what's to come from the live-action adventure set in the irradiated California wasteland.
Fallout is set to premiere on Prime Video on April 12, though there are no details just yet about whether fans can expect a multi-episode debut or if a single show will kick off a weekly release cadence. Several Prime Video series, like the most recent season of Reacher, have gotten this treatment, but it's unclear if Fallout will be following suit.
With this first look on the horizon, how do fans feel about Lucy and her first trek outside? And will Fallout be able to stand on its own two feet as the latest addition to a long line of video game media adaptations?
What is the Fallout series about?
The series, which appears to follow an original storyline not wholly based on a single entry in the multi-game franchise, will follow Lucy (Ella Purnell), a woman who ends up leaving the relative safety of the underground bunker she calls home in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
As a "vault dweller" — what the Fallout games have called the survivors living in said bunkers made by Vault-Tec — Lucy finds herself going against her "peaceful" nature and having to contend with mutants, the dangers of radiation and ne'er-do-wells she meets on the surface.
Walton Goggins' Ghoul, a bounty hunter Ella meets after leaving The Vault, appears to be a part of a group from the Fallout video games known as the Marked Men from an in-game area known as The Divide in Fallout: New Vegas. Since the series is set in California and Vegas is just a hop, skip and a jump away, this could be a hint that the show will be making moves toward other locations from the games.
Viewers will also meet Maximum (Aaron Moten), a soldier who belongs to the Brotherhood of Steel, and Amy's father Hank (Kyle MacLachlan), the Overseer of Vault 33, her former home.
And of course, given that there's a dog in the trailer munching on a severed hand, it appears that the show will include Dogmeat, one of several companions that can follow and assist players throughout the games. However, it's unclear if that's actually Dogmeat in the trailer just yet.
There are scant other details about the plot to be unpacked with the first bits of footage, but it all does look to follow the game's lore closely.
Can Fallout hold its own as another video game adaptation?
Based on the first trailer and the star-studded cast, it's easy to make an educated guess that Fallout may very well succeed at bringing the grim and sardonic nature of the game series to the small screen.
In the past, the mere idea that a movie or TV show was based on a video game series was cause for concern. However, over the last decade or so, the quality of screen adaptations of beloved games has improved dramatically.
HBO's The Last of Us is a beautiful and poignant retelling of a gritty PlayStation classic that captured the hearts and minds of players and non-gaming fans alike. Peacock's Twisted Metal is a fun romp that may not stick closely to its source material, but it ended up picking up steam among fans for its lighthearted, raunchy tone and comedic moments.
Fallout seems like it might end up joining the ranks of great adaptations. So far, it doesn't look as if the Fallout flavor has been phoned in. The costumes look like they were pulled straight from the series, which is a more than welcome change from low-quality garb or altered looks that don't reflect the in-game models.
In the trailer, we see Lucy wearing a traditional Vault Dweller suit that looks appropriately sized and well-worn. The massive Power Armor suits look impeccably designed and tarnished in some areas. The landscape itself? Desolate. It's clear a lot of love went into the mere visual aspects of the series. And it certainly has the acting chops from its strong cast to pull off a great story — especially given that Fallout's Todd Howard is on board with the project.
But what will the story end up being? It will likely be a new tale from irradiated California. As long as it doesn't try to create something entirely new and unfamiliar that doesn't jibe with what Fallout fans already know (like Halo), it definitely stands a chance at becoming part of the long-running game series' canon.
We can't say for sure just yet whether it will succeed at making longtime fans happy, but we can surmise from this first look that there's definitely a good, solid attempt being made.
What fans are saying about Fallout
Many gaming fans tend to greet new movies or TV shows with well-earned trepidation, because of video game media adaptations' spotty history in terms of quality.
However, the reception for Fallout thus far appears to be quite positive. Denizens of social media seem to have been pleasantly surprised by the first footage, and they've been vocal about it all over the internet.
"This looks way better than I ever expected NGL," one eager fan posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"This looks outstanding cannot wait!" another added.
“Honestly Dogmeat devouring a radroach sold me, and then the rest of the trailer happened. I’m so beyond excited,” another fan added on Reddit.
Several would-be viewers, however, are cautiously optimistic about the show as they don't want to see the canine companion come to any harm.
"i swear if this dog dies in the fallout amazon show, we riot," one viewer insisted. Honestly? Same.
Overall, it seems that viewers are eager to see how things shake out.
"[It] captured the Fallout tone on the screen," one fan wrote, summing it all up rather nicely. "Good or bad, I think it'll be successful."
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Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.