FALLOUT 76 may be on its way, but some are not quite ready to leave FALLOUT 4 behind. Enter the FALLOUT MIAMI mod, a new fan-made expansion for the latter game. It looks authentic enough to be mistaken for an official spin-off in the vein of FALLOUT NEW VEGAS (this writer’s personal favorite of the franchise).

I’ll get out of the way and let the recently-released trailer do the talking for me:

Looks legit!

Looks pretty official, right? I love the way it begins like the official trailers often do, with a slow zoom-out of the environment while an old-timey song plays on the soundtrack. Then we see some scenes of people doing their best to survive in the wasteland. We see familiar Fallout sights: brahmin, a Vault, a Mr. Handy.

But then, there are some uniquely Miami touches, like palm trees and beaches. And did I hear the narrator mention a Gatorclaw? Ha!

FALLOUT MIAMI mod
SHARKCLAW!! Concept art courtesy of the official FALLOUT MIAMI site.

Although, I’m not sure what kind of accent that the narrator has. I’m not from Florida, but I’m pretty sure only cartoon gangsters speak like that.

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The Mod Squad

But it’s not an official spin-off. The FALLOUT MIAMI mod is community-created, through and through. According to the official Patreon page, the creator is Milan “Mika999” Brajkovic, who have created mods for FALLOUT 4 and SKYRIM in the past.

Interestingly enough, Mika999 plans to offer the mod for free but allows fans to pay to support the project all the same (along with providing some exclusive preview content).

In addition to Mika999, the full team of artists working on the mod can be found here. It includes the whole heap of programmers, character artists, level designers, and writers.

I find it pretty amazing that all of these talented people are lending their talents to the project simply for the love of the game.

The Lore

Fallout Miami mod
Courtesy of the official FALLOUT MIAMI site.

In addition to providing regular progress updates, the official site provides some context into the lore and story of the game.

For example, it details some of the factions you’ll meet in Miami’s wasteland. First, they mention the anti-slavery group called The Nuclear Patriots. Then, there’s The Dreamers, a group characterized by its excessive use of a mind-altering chem called Luna. Finally, we meet The Cubanos, a criminal organization attempting to re-take control in the new world.

Fittingly for a FALLOUT game, it seems as though you’ll be able to either ally with or antagonize each of these groups, based on your character’s decisions.

Fallout Miami mod
Courtesy of the official FALLOUT MIAMI site.

I’m really loving the look of this thing. It takes the standard FALLOUT aesthetic, which I can best describe as a post-nuclear world strained through the lens of 1950’s and 60’s sci-fi.

And then, similar to FALLOUT NEW VEGAS, it applies the base frame to a new and unique location. In FNV we visited the crumbling casinos and deserts of Las Vegas; here we hit the neon beaches of Miami. But it still pops with that unmistakable FALLOUT vibe.

It’s a credit to Mika999 and the rest of the team that the FALLOUT MIAMI mod really looks and feels like an official FALLOUT game.

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Is modding legal?

FALLOUT MIAMI mod
Courtesy of the official FALLOUT MIAMI site.

It’s worth noting that while the FALLOUT MIAMI mod and others like it aren’t “official” game expansions, some companies actively encourage player experimentation.

Bethesda, the developer of both the FALLOUT and ELDER SCROLLS series, counts itself among the latter. They provide an official creation kit. It provides modders with access to all of the files and tools needed to make mods for their games. In general, as long as creators use the tools provided – and don’t get Bethesda in trouble by inserting other unlicensed content – it’s kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

A bit of an issue came about recently with another FALLOUT mod called FALLOUT: NEW CALIFORNIA. The creators ran up against an officially licensed FALLOUT board game by Fantasy Flight with the same name. However, a follow-up post on the official NEW CALIFORNIA mod Facebook page stated: “So — Good news. We got word second hand from on high that we’re fine and our name is safe. But, if we’re gonna share real estate, we should send a welcoming gift to our new neighbors.” They then went on to post a link to the board game and encourage followers to pre-order it. Isn’t that lovely?

Of course, the most famous example of a mod co-existing in harmony with an official product is COUNTER STRIKE. One of the most popular FPS’s of all-time, CS actually began its life as a mod of Valve’s HALF-LIFE. Valve liked the mod so much, they licensed the IP and hired its creators in order to give it an official release.

Now, that sort of thing happens very, very rarely, but it’s encouraging to know that so many people mod simply for the love and creativity of it.

OOH YEEEEEAH!

If nothing else, I have the mod community to thank for my literal favorite thing of all time… a mod in which all of the dragons in SKYRIM were replaced with “Macho Man” Randy Savage. I dare you to watch this without laughing.

Yeah yeah… so when can I play the FALLOUT MIAMI mod?

Ah yes, the million-cap question. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, no release date has been set. Also, it’s worth noting that while the core FALLOUT 4 game can be played on XBox One, PS4, and PC, the Miami mod will only be available on PC.

But if you play on PC, you can rest assured that Mika999 and his crew continue to work on the project and provide regular monthly updates. Will players be able to visit the wasteland of Miami before heading to West Virginia in November?

I don’t know, but I plan to keep a watchful eye on this one for sure.

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