Review: Is Fallout Actually a Good Game-to-TV Crossover?

Staying true to the game, producers of the Amazon show even leave room for side quests and open-ended exploration.


Settings and storylines that make for good gameplay rarely lend themselves to compelling plots and filmable universes. So it's pretty amazing that Amazon's new Fallout series manages to be faithful to the aesthetics and vibe of the video games on which it's based while also working as a fun and enjoyable (albeit gruesome and bizarre) action-adventure show.

The show, like the games, is set in a nuke-ravaged wasteland formerly known as the United States, where 1950s camp bleeds into Wild West gunslinging and ultraviolent post-apocalyptic gore-horror. The plot follows the intersecting stories of Lucy, a "vault-dweller" who leaves her intergenerational fallout shelter to search for her kidnapped father, Maximus, an ambitious "squire" out to make a name for himself in a militaristic order of religious knights, and "the ghoul," a radiation-ravaged ex-human blessed/cursed with an extra-long life span.

All these characters are on a mission, and the show definitely has a story to tell. The series nevertheless leaves enough room for the side quests and open-ended exploration that help make the game experience so rich.

The one real let-down is the show's big reveal, involving an incredibly silly, borderline nonsensical capitalist conspiracy. It's a testament to the show's other strengths that this too can be mostly absorbed and dismissed with an eye roll.