Fallout 3 is the overlooked child of the Fallout single-player 3D games, often unfavorably compared to Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4. Still, it’s a solid game with plenty of classic Fallout charm, and like many pre-2015 Bethesda games, would probably be vastly improved with a new coat of paint.
There have been rumors of a Fallout 3 remaster for some time now. In May, 2018, Bethesda tweeted a short video of a Fallout-style loading screen, which immediately spawned theories of a Fallout 3 remaster, specifically a Switch port following the similar ports of Skyrim and DOOM. Of course, Bethesda’s presentation at E3 that year settled all the theories, with a trailer that began with that classic close-up of a 1950s-style radio and the intro chords that the Inkspots made famous. This was, of course, the trailer for Fallout 76. While it seems that this was just a tease, there is other evidence that a Fallout 3 Switch port is in the works. Early in 2019, Bethesda released a video with a Fallout-style countdown. When the countdown reached “3,” an hourglass symbol and an L appeared in the corner of the screen, which many fans took as a sign that Fallout 3 would be getting a remaster.
Okay, so this is pretty circumstantial evidence. It seems to speak more to the fact that Fallout fans are excited for a remaster than anything that Bethesda has in the works. Still, the fact that Fallout fans engage in such wishful thinking is still important. Fallout 3 is often underappreciated, but Fallout fans want to see their game get some love from Bethesda. A modding team has even been working on a mod for Fallout 4 that completely recreates Fallout 3 using Fallout 4’s game engine. Clearly, there’s a lot of desire to see this happen.
And despite false starts in the past, it’s still possible that Fallout 3 fans will still get their wish. Admittedly, the best time for the remaster would have been last year, on the tenth anniversary of the game’s release, but Bethesda was working hard on Fallout 76 at the time. Currently, the company is hard at work on major updates to Fallout 76 and the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI, but there’s no reason that they can’t sneak in a Fallout 3 remaster into their busy schedule, especially since we don’t even have a release date for Elder Scrolls VI yet. And considering we got a port of Skyrim to the Switch (and the PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift and the Amazon Alexa), surely we can get just one Fallout 3 remaster, can’t we?
The thing that makes a Switch port seem most likely is Bethesda’s interference with the aforementioned mod team that is trying to recreate Fallout 3 in Fallout 4. Bethesda, who has historically been friendly towards its modding community, has recommended that the team should not use the dialog from Fallout 3’s game files. While they didn’t take legal action, the modders are playing it safe and re-recording all 45,000 lines of dialog in the game. Whether Bethesda is just protecting their brand or whether they have a more official Fallout 3 remaster in the works is unclear.
Whether or not there is going to be an official remaster and Switch port, or whether fans will have to settle with a massive Fallout 4 mod, it’s clear that many Fallout 3 fans want to see their favorite game reborn.