The Fallout franchise contains a variety of species that diverged from humanity after the Great War. Many of the humans who survived the nuclear war outside of the Vaults were transformed into Ghouls, irradiated but long-lived zombie-like creatures who face harsh discrimination in the series' post-War America.
Ever since Fallout 1players have wanted to have the option to play as a Ghoul. In the Fallout games made since Bethesda acquired the franchise, Ghouls have even used the same basic models as humans, allowing them to equip all gear and leading to many mods where Ghouls are made playable.
However, there are some key reasons that Ghouls may never become a playable race in the Fallout games without mods. Ever since Fallout 3 the Fallout games have had the same basic formula as Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series.
They use the same engine, both series are first-person open-world roleplaying games, and both worlds have a variety of races. While Elder Scrolls fans can choose from many of the races of Tamriel, however, Fallout players can only ever play as a human. One of the reasons for this lies in a subtle difference between the storytelling styles of the two series.
The Elder Scrolls games prioritize roleplaying freedom above all else. Players always start imprisoned in some way, but their reason for being there is rarely elaborated upon. Skyrim even avoids saying which way across the Skyrim-Cyrodiil border the player was attempting to travel when they were captured by the Imperials and sent to Helgen for execution.
It is entirely up to players to determine their character's age, motivations, and any details of their life before the start of the game. While this also means that the Elder Scrolls games tend to have stories which aren't particularly character-driven, it also allows for the kind of roleplaying freedom exemplified by the ten different playable races.
The Fallout games may resemble The Elder Scrolls in a lot of ways, but there is a key difference.
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In most Fallout games, the player's backstory is established. In Fallout 1 the player character grew up in Vault 13, while in Fallout 2 the player is the first protagonist's direct descendant.
In Fallout 3the character is explicitly a 19 year-old who leaves Vault in search of their father, James. In Fallout 4the player is either a veteran or a lawyer who survives being cryogenically frozen within Vault in and leaves their Vault centuries later in search of their missing son, Shaun.
If: you can play as a ghoul in fallout 5
While players can control who their character ends up becoming in the story and the choices they make, the Fallout games rely on a far more prescriptive storytelling style than the Elder Scrolls series, even if there is still much more freedom than other series like Mass Effect. It would have made no sense for the player character to be a ghoul in Fallout 123or 4because in all of those games they start off as a Vault dweller, and would never have been exposed to the initial nuclear blasts of the Great War of It's also impossible for new Ghouls to be born - all Ghouls are extremely long-lived, but as Typhon says in Fallout 2 "there ain't any Ghouls but old Ghouls.
We're all sterile, see, but we're incredibly long-lived.
We're the first and last generation of Ghouls. For Fallout fans to have the option to play as a Ghoul or a human, the storytellers would have to make one of two choices. First, they could write a Fallout game which gives the player several different potential prologues, Dragon Age: Origins - style.
In this case, a human character might start in a Vault, but a Ghoul might start out in the world or at the moment of their transformation in Alternatively, the game could forgo its introductory Vault sequence entirely.
This already happened in Fallout: New Vegaswhere the Courier's lack of backstory beyond their final delivery made playing as a Ghoul using mods a far more immersive option. If the next Fallout game starts the player outside of a Vault-Tec Vault and has a story which doesn't involve family members, it seems possible that it could give the player the option to choose different races. However, there is a still a reason that the developers would likely decide to avoid letting fans play as a Ghoul.
Ghouls face immense prejudice in the world of Falloutand the Fallout mods where players get to pick Ghoul as a race show just how much of the world's dialogue would need to be given alternate versions for Ghoul player characters and "Smoothskins. Khajiit and Argonian players are allowed into Skyrim 's cities with no explanation, despite the rest of their kind being forced to stay beyond the city walls.
Dunmer characters who enter Windhelm and see a fellow Dark Elf being harassed will still be asked if they're one of those "Skyrim for the Nords" types, leading to a ridiculous dialogue option where players can agree with the people oppressing their own kind, and are admonished for it by a Nord. While this problem is certainly noticeable in The Elder Scrollsthe ultimate lack of character-driven storytelling lessens its effects. A Fallout game would need to have storylines with ificantly different dialogue for human and Ghoul player characters.
Without different dialogue, it couldn't have the same kind of character-driven storytelling that distinguishes the main quests in the Fallout franchise from those found in The Elder Scrolls.
Not only that, but Ghouls are canonically immune to radiation, which would cause huge balancing issues. Perhaps the greatest twist of all would be a Fallout game where players still only have one race option, and have to play as a Ghoul in a story built around that premise.
This would present some exciting roleplaying opportunities and could be the kind of bold turn the Fallout games need after Fallout Many players, however, would find only being able to play as a Ghoul even more restrictive than only being able to play as a human.
What if: fallout 5 lets you play as a ghoul?
Unfortunately for players who love Fallout 's Ghouls, the franchise will likely star Smoothskins for the foreseeable future. Far Cry 6 players can use this handy guide to learn whether they should choose action or story mode. Share Share Tweet .
Charlie Stewart Articles Published.