Fallout has a pretty sturdy formula. You wake up in a Vault, a bomb shelter designed to keep you safe for decades or centuries after nuclear war, and go to explore the world, talk with people, and settle your disagreements amicably. Or shoot people in the face. Shooting people in the face remains a viable strategy! And it appears, this time around, you’ll be strapping on the Pip Boy in Vault 76, deep in West Virginia.
If you pay attention, there are a few hints that while this vault is working fairly well and neither falls to raiders nor turns out to be some sort of gross or weird social experiment (well, insofar as we can tell from this brief teaser), something’s still up. For one thing, it announces that “Reclamation Day” is at hand, and that the dwellers of this particular Vault went in in 1976. That’s a bit later than usually occurs in the game’s timeline. Also eyebrow-raising is that you’re popping out in 2076, a good two centuries or so before the events of Fallout 3 and 4 and just shy of a century before the original Fallout. Interestingly, Vault 76 has been the “control” vault in the series, where people just live with no social experiments. Is that really unfolding here, though?
Is it a prequel? An alternate universe? Would not even nuclear weapons stop the career of John Denver, whose “Country Roads, Take Me Home” is covered in this teaser? Is this vault much older and its descendants are just being lied to? Actually we’re not even sure that last one is worth phrasing as a question, since every vault has some weird social plan. But we’ll just have to wait to find out: Bethesda will likely have more for us at E3.