Ella Purnell as Lucy standing inside a vault looking over her shoulder in Fallout | Agents of Fandom

The ‘Fallout’ Series Is an Exhilarating Gift to Fans of the Franchise

‘The Last of Us’ now has a rival in the competition of best video game adaptations.

This review is made possible by advanced screeners of Fallout Episodes 1-8, provided to Agents of Fandom by Prime Video for review purposes.

If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that war never changes. When I first heard the news that there was going to be a Fallout TV series, I was excited, but not optimistic. The film and television industry’s track record for video game adaptions is spotty at best. Sure, there are hits like The Last of Us, but there’s also Far Cry, Max Payne, Tekken, and more. I could go on, but I’ll save us all the trouble.

As someone who grew up with the Fallout games and used Fallout 4 as a coping mechanism to get through my freshman year of college, I couldn’t help but develop a cautious optimism as the show drew near. By the time I pressed play on the first episode, I was an anxious hodgepodge of excitement and dread. Now, having seen the entire series, I can confidently say Fallout is a video game adaptation on par with HBO’s The Last of Us, crafted with meticulous care for those who adore this franchise.

The Faithful Recreation of ‘Fallout’s Post-Apocalyptic World Is a Breath of Fresh Air

Michael Cristofer as Elder Cleric Quintis commanding his Brotherhood of Steel Knights in Fallout | Agents of Fandom
The Brotherhood of Steel is a dangerous cult that has amassed far too much power. Image Credit: Prime Video.

The smartest possible choice for co-creators Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner was to adapt their own original story into an already-established world. There’s no underlying draw to compare the events of the series to something else, only a pure desire to spend more time in this world and learn about the characters. Prime Video’s Fallout adapts an idea, a concept — one that is distinctly separate from the games but also comes with a charming side of nostalgia.

This is all thanks to the immaculate production design. Whether it’s Brotherhood of Steel Knights climbing into T-60 Power Armor, Rad Roaches scurrying on the walls, or Vault-dwellers acting clueless in their goofy blue jumpsuits, every part of this series feels so authentically like Fallout. Everyone who had a say in creating sets, props, and costumes had no selfish yearning to recreate these crucial elements just out of some misguided crusade to be different, only a commitment to translating perfect source material into live-action properly.

However, it’s not just the authenticity of the costumes and world design that makes this series great. It hits the nail on the head with its storytelling by staying true to its unabashed, unhinged, chaotic core. Fallout is grounded in the human emotions of its characters, but also completely and utterly ridiculous in all the best ways. This show works hard to make its viewers laugh, care, and ultimately, have a great time, and it finds extraordinary success in all three of these endeavors.

Walton Goggins Redefines the Boundaries of Greatness As The Ghoul

Walton Goggins as The Ghoul standing in a deserted town in Fallout | Agents of Fandom
Walton Goggins’ performance as The Ghoul elevates Fallout into the stratosphere. Image Credit: Prime Video.

Fallout takes its main three characters and uses each of them as a metaphor for varying levels of experience in this screwed-up wasteland. Lucy (Ella Purnell) is the vault-dwelling newcomer, absently naive and clueless but delightful nonetheless. Maximus (Aaron Moten) is somewhere between a novice and a veteran; not entirely oblivious but always on guard. Then there’s The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) who has spent hundreds of years learning the ins and outs of this nightmarish hellscape known as the surface world.

Goggins transcends excellence and gives a career-defining performance in his role as The Ghoul. He plays the character with such a smooth-talking suave that even when he’s doing heinous things (which is almost all the time) it’s impossible not to root for him. The Ghoul is the expert, the king of kings, thou who shall not be messed with in Fallout. On top of the exquisite performance, he’s also a brilliant character who reveals more motives, layers, and questions with each passing episode.

While it’s Walton Goggins who shines brightest, all the Fallout characters are true gems. This series doesn’t have an A, B, and C plot. Instead, it continuously provides so many reasons to invest in the characters, piloting multiple storylines and personal arcs at once with each of them feeling equally important but also ominously connected. The story has an invigorating way of keeping the viewer clued in, but also anxious about what could happen next.

The ‘Fallout’ Series Is a Win for Prime Video

The T-60 Brotherhood of Steel Armor in Fallout | Agents of Fandom
Visual effects are scarcely used in Fallout — between sets, makeup, and costumes, nearly everything feels practical. Image Credit: Prime Video.

There’s so much to love in this series for both long-time fans of the franchise and newcomers with no wasteland experience. Fallout is accessible but also rewarding; it doesn’t gatekeep any of its beautiful horrors, instead merely providing references, nods, and odes that pay off with utter satisfaction. This series is everything that other video game adaptations should strive for in the future.

Fallout‘s only crime is that all episodes are dropping at once instead of weekly. This show has the gravitas to dominate the conversation for six to eight weeks, and the prowess to pick up plenty of new viewers along the way. Instead, similar to Stranger Things and other all-at-once release models, the hype surrounding Fallout will likely be over much quicker than it should.

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'Fallout' Series Review

'Fallout' Series Review
5 5 0 1
5.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • The world feels so authentic and lived in.
  • Every character has depth and reasons to care about them.
  • Unexpected twists and turns each episode make for appointment viewing.

The Bad

  • Binge release model instead of weekly.
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