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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rondina

Fallout Season 1 Review

Fallout on Prime is a masterfully crafted post-apocalyptic epic and one of the best video game adaptations ever made, my full review.

The Fallout series has been one of my favourite gaming franchises since its inception in 1997. The expansive, post-apocalyptic universe hooked me with its rich lore, evolving story arcs, and dark humour. As a gamer, my connection to Fallout is rooted in the countless hours spent exploring the vast wastelands, engaging with quirky characters, and making moral (and immoral) choices that shaped parts of the narrative. The games are known for their open-ended nature, allowing you to experience freedom in interacting with the world and making decisions that have real consequences. This deep, player-driven experience drew me in and kept me returning to the series over the years. Its biggest draw also made it challenging to adapt to other forms of media like a TV series. It’s hard to craft a story that takes a beloved franchise and appeals to casual and hardcore audiences alike. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner had their work cut out for them, but they absolutely nailed it.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


A New Dawn for Fallout

For fans like me, the arrival of Fallout on Amazon Prime Video and the transition from gaming platforms to a television series is a big deal. This adaptation presents an opportunity to see the beloved elements of the Fallout universe—its detailed lore, dark humour, and complex societal themes—translated into a new medium. The bar has been set incredibly high by stellar videogame adaptations like The Last of Us, Arcane and The Witcher. Not only does Fallout meet some of the incredibly high standards set by these shows, but it also exceeds them. Few shows actually successfully capture what it felt like playing the games and balanced being an excellent adaptation, Fallout masterfully does both.

"Few shows actually successfully capture what it felt like playing the games and balanced being an excellent adaptation, Fallout masterfully does both."

For those of us with a deep-seated love for the games, the series offers a fresh narrative that respects the essence of Fallout while introducing a vision of its dystopian world to new audiences. Let’s open the Vault, venture out to the Wastelands, and discover what makes Fallout one of the best videogame adaptations ever.

(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


A “Spoiler Free” Fallout Synopsis

For the uninitiated, Fallout season 1 picks up 200 years after nuclear war has ravaged the planet. The “lucky” remnants of humanity reside in fallout shelters, unaware of the horrors lurking outside. Where others left behind were forced to contend with a harder, lawless life on the surface. But when circumstances force one vault dweller to venture back into the irradiated wasteland, she encounters a world that’s cruel, violent and, for audiences, highly entertaining.

(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


A triple threat on the Wastelands

 The Fallout gaming franchise is known for its vibrant characters and various factions that roam its post-apocalyptic world. That’s why the first stroke of brilliance from the show writers is to tell a story from three different perspectives: A vault dweller, Lucy MacLean (played by Ella Purnell), a Ghoul (Walton Goggins) and a Brotherhood of Steel squire, Maximus (Aaron Moten).

"...the first stroke of brilliance from the show writers is to tell a story from three different perspectives."

Ella Purnell shines as Lucy, bringing a blend of naivety and toughness to her role and acting as an excellent conduit for the audience experiencing the wilds of the wasteland for the first time. Her genuine shock to some situations and evolution as a character was great to watch.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Walton Goggins, in his role as the mutated ghoul Cooper Howard, delivers an exceptional performance. His character is a cold-blooded charmer with a wry wit that often steals every scene that he is in. The cast's ability to balance intense drama with dark humour is a testament to their talent. It breathed life into the bleak world of Fallout, leaving me excited for the next episode, which I binge-watched in almost one sitting.

"It breathed life into the bleak world of Fallout, leaving me excited for the next episode, which I binge-watched in almost one sitting."

As the story unfolds, secrets emerge, unlikely alliances form and the characters grapple with their roles in this post-apocalyptic world.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


A Fallout experience accessible to fans and newcomers

 As I watched Lucy navigate the wasteland, I saw echoes of my own adventures in Fallout—the choices, the consequences, and the enduring allure of a world forever changed. There are subtle nods to the game without being too intrusive, and they serve a function, like every time Lucy accessed her Pip-Boy in the open world. Not only was it just something characters needed to navigate, but it also served as a hit of nostalgia, ushering back a megaton of great memories.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Eagled-eyed viewers will also catch plenty of nods in the series, like Sugar Bomb boxes, Nuka Cola and even Radiation King TV sets from the pre-war era. Even Goggin’s character, the Ghoul, espouses wisdom with a double meaning that applies to the storyline and the game, “The wasteland's got its own golden rule: Thou shalt get sidetracked by bullsh*t every time.”

"The wasteland's got its own golden rule: thou shalt get sidetracked by bullsh*t every time." -The Ghoul

In the TV series and game, some of the story's best moments are found by straying away and getting sidetracked from the central plotline. I felt his frustration at that moment. Fallout pulls you in many directions, and sometimes, it makes getting the central job “done” very tough. You’ll get some extra laughs and references by playing the games, but it’s not a requirement; in fact, standing on its own, Fallout is one of the best post-apocalyptic stories ever told.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Flaws Amidst Fallout’s Brilliance

Even with all this high praise I’m heaping on the show, it's not without its flaws. While it is a faithful adaptation there are some nagging issues. First, the pacing occasionally stumbles, and some plot threads meander, but these are short and don’t detract from the overall experience. Even for parts with certain characters, I wanted to move along faster, I was still genuinely interested to see where their stories lead.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Second, the dialogue, while peppered with witty nods to the games, occasionally felt forced. Lastly, while generally impressive, the special effects occasionally dip into the uncanny valley, which pulled me out of the experience with some CG creatures. I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers, but I think most viewers will agree when they see it. Despite these minor hiccups, the overall production value is incredibly high, and the show remains one of the best journeys through the wasteland I’ve taken. It deserves to be commended in all circles for capturing the games so well and providing an excellent point of entry for newcomers.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Fallout is a Post-Apocalyptic Gem Worth Binging

As a die-hard fan of the games, I approached this series with excitement and trepidation. Could it capture the essence of the wasteland? Would it resonate with newcomers while satisfying the cravings of seasoned Vault Dwellers? The answer is a resounding yes. It offered a familiar universe with a fresh narrative I couldn’t tear myself away from.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Fallout universe has always been a character in itself—a desolate, irradiated landscape where hope flickers like a dying candle. The showrunners, Jonathan Nolan, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Graham Wagner, expertly navigate this treacherous terrain.

"It's a post-apocalyptic gem that shines brightly in the wasteland of TV and film adaptations."

Honouring the source material while weaving a fresh narrative that beckons both fans and newcomers. The result? It's a post-apocalyptic gem that shines brightly in the wasteland of TV and film adaptations.


(Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video)


Verdict: Fallout Is A Must-Watch

Fallout Season 1 is more than a video game adaptation; it’s a testament to excellent storytelling. Whether you’re a seasoned Vault Dweller or a fresh-faced survivor, this series invites you to explore a world warped by nuclear catastrophe. So, grab your Pip-Boy, load up on RadAway, and venture forth—it’s a journey worth taking.


Will you be watching Fallout on Prime? Let me know in the comments below!


 

About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina

 Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a tech and video game industry veteran who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. In addition to being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on multiple social platforms with the handle @dapper_tux via "X", Instagram, Threads, TikTok and join in on the fun!

 

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