Fallout TV Series Review Roundup: Ghoulishly Good

Fallout TV Series Review Roundup: Ghoulishly Good

Amazon Prime’s Fallout TV series has finally arrived, and based on the reviews so far it looks like it’s a resounding success. Outlets have praised its vivid visuals, humorous mayhem and ability to not only adapt the world of the Fallout games to the small screen, but build on the themes and ideas core to the franchise. All in all, a rare achievement for a video game adaptation (but one that’s becoming all the more common as Hollywood finally seems to be getting a grasp on what makes an adaptation actually good).

Over on Metacritic, the Fallout TV show is sitting at a respectable ‘Generally Favourable’ score of 72, although the more free-form review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it’s got a certified fresh 93%. Metacritic seems to have skipped over many of the gaming-focused outlet’s reviews for this one, which for the most part have given Fallout a very large Vault Boy thumbs-up.

In our own review, written by our friend and editor David Smith, we said the Fallout TV series is better than it has any right to be. “All things considered, I think Fallout came together much better than we could have hoped for,” David says. “I am no superfan — I’ve grown to dislike Fallout 4 more and more as the years have worn on. After reviewing it at launch, you’ll never catch me playing Fallout 76 again as long as I live. But I see what the show is trying to do, and I applaud the effort. It’s trying to replicate the vibe of a franchise that, whether at Interplay or Bethesda, has always captured the imagination. That it’s an honest success is all the more surprising.” You can read David’s full Fallout review here.

Let’s take a look at what critics in Australia and around the world think of Amazon Prime Video’s Fallout TV series.

Fallout TV Series Reviews

fallout tv series
Image: Prime Video

Empire gave it 4 out of 5 stars, saying, “Fallout expands on the big ideas of the games, making it an adaptation worth watching both for fans and those unfamiliar. It’s an equal parts funny and nightmarish show that, like its protagonist, isn’t content to live inside a projection of the past.”

The Verge called Fallout’s tone “perfection,” in their unscored review, and said, “It’s Fallout’s jokes, rather than its plot, that make it one of the most faithful — and best — video game adaptations.”

BBC awarded the show four stars, saying, “Viewers who love the games will relish the chance to discover new aspects of the Fallout universe. Those who’ve never played them will enjoy a vivid, brutal romp with flashes of absurdist comedy and set in an engrossing, richly detailed world.”

Press Start gave an unscored review, saying, “With a surprisingly riveting original story to tell, Fallout is a rollicking ride through all-too familiar wastes. It might not prove to set the world on fire, though with enough fan service to shake a Ripper at, it’s assured to start a flame in the hearts of long-time fans.”

In Variety’s unscored review, they said, “Bizarre but intensely fun, “Fallout” is like nothing you’ve ever seen; for that reason alone, you won’t be able to turn away.”

Image: Prime Video

GameSpot scored it 7/10, saying, “over eight episodes, I often had a good time with Fallout, particularly because its primary characters and their experiences are so engrossing. The show makes a lot of hay from the weird and goofy setting of the game series, and does a great job of filling it with fun, fascinating people. Though it feels like the show could have leveraged its setting even more, seeing how characters cope with life in a world that is both murderous and ridiculous keeps Fallout entertaining, even through its shortcomings.”

The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan gave it a perfect 5 stars, saying, “This immaculately made, supremely witty post-apocalyptic drama is yet another brilliant video game adaptation. It’s funny, self-aware and tense – an astonishing balancing act.”

PC Gamer’s Aus Editor Jody Macgregor gave an unscored review, and said, “The one thing I didn’t like about Fallout was that it ended, and specifically that it ended without tying up all the loose ends. The eight episodes of this first season are less self-contained than I hoped, climaxing with a lot more setup for season two than I expected given how many streaming shows get cancelled out of the blue. Season two seems likely to happen, and thank goodness for that, because I’m more excited to see where Fallout goes from here than I was after playing Fallout 4 or 76.”

Looper gave a much more muted review, with a score of 4/10. In their review, they said, “The main issue here is that none of these characters are complex or engaging enough to root for. They’re two-dimensional, empty avatars that someone would choose at the start of a game — which, ironically, could be a backhanded compliment given this is a videogame adaptation — but while you can get over shallow characteristics and vague backstories when playing (if the gameplay is diverse and challenging enough), the same doesn’t fly when you’re watching a story unfold on the screen. Based on its first four episodes (which were provided for review), there’s nothing in “Fallout” that feels original or impressive.”

VG247 praised the series for covering new ground in the Fallout world as opposed to retreading over the exact same storyline as the games in their unscored review, saying, “The Fallout TV show is really rather good. It does the two things that it needs to do incredibly well; be satisfying to fans of the games with knowledge of Fallout’s world and lore, and stands alone perfectly well as its own self-enclosed story – a perfect first introduction for Fallout fans.”

Image: Prime Video

Push Square was equally positive in their review of the series, and said, “Fallout marks another showstopper in this new age of quality video game adaptations, then. In accurately capturing the overall direction of the games, it forges a new path the series can take without a controller in your hands, all the while replicating its tone and bringing back those classic tunes you had hidden away on your iPod more than a decade ago. We don’t want to set the world on fire, but if Fallout is the aftermath, then maybe the LA wasteland isn’t so bad. A totally brilliant adaptation of Bethesda’s RPG series, Fallout is a canon story that more than holds its own against the plots of its video game counterparts. Series fanatics won’t want to miss this.”

IGN awarded it a 9/10, calling the series, “a bright and funny apocalypse filled with dark punchlines and bursts of ultra-violence, Fallout is among the best video game adaptations ever made.”

GamesRadar gave it 4 stars out of 5, saying, “Despite its inconsistent tone and overcrowded story, Fallout blows the competition away with a game-accurate, hilarious quest through the Wasteland anchored by plenty of personality and punchy social commentary.”

Entertainment Weekly scored the season a B+, saying, “The eight-episode season exists in a vivid and captivating universe that will be familiar to gamers — though knowledge of the franchise isn’t required to enjoy its darkly comic dystopian pleasures.”

The Telegraph gave the Fallout TV series 4 stars, saying, “It’s hard to think of another video game adaptation that better conveys the sheer, giddy hedonism of a top-notch shoot ‘em up.”

So there you have it, folks. It looks like all in all, we’re in for a wild ride when we leave the Vault and hit the Wasteland in Amazon’s new take on the Fallout franchise. If you’ve already managed to start binge-watching the episodes which went live this morning, let us know what you think so far in the comments. And if you’ve not had a chance to watch it just yet, you can check out everything we know about the Fallout TV series here for a primer on what to expect.

Image: Prime Video

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