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Canceled Fallout game Van Buren rebuilt and playable now thanks to mod

The original version of Fallout 3, codenamed Van Buren, is resurrected in a Fallout 2 mod that just got updated and is available right now.

Fallout 2 mod Van Buren: A green creature from RPG Fallout 2

The Fallout universe is full of ‘what ifs?’ What if you side with the Enclave over the Brotherhood of Steel? What if you shoot the Powder Ganger outside Nipton? What if Preston Garvey left you alone for five minutes? Conceived by Black Isle, the studio behind the original Fallout and its sequel, Van Buren was the codename for a would-be version of Fallout 3. Canceled as of 2003, the Fallout game that never was is now resurrected courtesy of a huge Fallout 2 mod. If you’re through with Fallout 4, finished with New Vegas, or want to experience another ‘what if?’ ahead of Fallout 5, this might be perfect.

After the landmark successes of the original Fallout and Fallout 2, Black Isle, naturally, turned its attention towards a third game. Van Buren became the codename for the studio’s second attempt at that elusive sequel. Set in the American southwest, you’d begin the game locked in a prison cell. The story involved a maniacal scientist bent on using abandoned superweapons to eradicate all forms of mutant life. The RPG was canceled in 2003, but remains a central part of the series’ history, the third Black Isle Fallout game that never saw the light of day.

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Except now, thanks to a hugely ambitious project called Fallout Yesterday, you can experience a substantial part of Van Buren for yourself. In practice, this is a total conversion for Fallout 2, reshaping the isometric classic with new characters, quests, story missions, weapons, and items based on what the Fallout community has learned about Van Buren over the years. In essence, however, it feels like an entirely new Fallout game, an artifact from an alternate dimension where Black Isle’s vision of Fallout 3 came to fruition.

A gigantic new update for Fallout Yesterday adds over 30 new quests, 100 new weapons and items, improvements to the party management system, bug fixes, special encounters, and new craftables. The mod is completely free and open source, and you can get it right here.

It’s a perfect distraction as we wait for the Fallout 5 release date, but you might also want to try some of the other best games like Fallout in the meantime.

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