Fallout Battle maps now on Console
Battle mini game goes for the nuclear option
Kaboom! In a flash of light, brighter than a thousand suns, Fallout engulfs Console Edition’s Battle mini game. Our friends at 4J have meddled with the very fabric of the Minecraft universe itself, tearing apart its matter and fusing it into three new Battle maps, each inspired by the blasted future depicted in the Fallout RPG series.
You can grab the pack today for $2.99, or your local equivalent. Postapocalyptic barter systems are not yet accepted as an effective means of payment - sorry.
Of course, Console Edition has already basked in the toasty glow of the Fallout Mash-Up pack - and it was while we were playing this that the idea of Fallout Battle maps came to us. I had a quick chat with 4J’s art director, David Keningale, to get a little more info on how each of the three maps came about.
“We tried out various different scenarios to see how they would look as Battle maps and we could quickly see Fallout would fit really well,” says David. “But we knew we couldn't just take anything from Fallout's open world and hope it worked: Battle maps have to be pretty self-contained. By contrast, we did think about doing things in a Vault but we felt it was too enclosed for the way that Battle plays and you might get lost in the tunnels a little bit too much. So we decided to take it above ground and condense some of our favourite areas from across the series.”
This destroyed dockyard, repurposed as a raider settlement in Fallout 4, is the inspiration for our first Battle map. Husks of decaying watercraft lie tilted in the waters, makeshift scaffolds and walkways allowing players to skip from one rust-bucket to the next. But the very openness of the sea posed an interesting design challenge for 4J:
“For Battle, we’d normally have a big arena, generally with high walls all around," explains David, "but with Libertalia, which is basically a floating junkyard in the sea, we completely departed from that. We’ve got some natural barriers in place to stop players getting too far, and we’ve raised the sea bed so people know roughly when they’re going out of the zone.
"We’ve tried to keep it as lively as possible - Libertalia has got lots and lots of water, so we’ve made sure there are plenty of cables to run across, made from End Rods."
Though if you do end up taking a swim, voluntarily or otherwise, it's not a disaster. "You can also dive under the water," says David. "There may be some secrets to find down there!”
This map is a sort of Greatest Hits of Fallout’s vision of shattered Americana, pulling together different urban elements from across the series. There are nods to Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland, with the Capitol Building looming in the background of the map, while its dilapidated cityscape, strung across with overpasses, conceals notable destinations from Fallout 4 - like the iconic Red Rocket truck stop.
“When we were starting to design these maps, I thought that we would have to rework Libertalia an awful lot,” says David, “but as it turned out, it was actually Capitol that became the biggest problem. It was such a complex arena, as far as finding each other was concerned.
“We wanted to create good sight lines so that players would be able to spot each other running around, but we also wanted it to feel vast and sort of desolate as well. So there were a lot of challenges in achieving that! We had to compress down the high-rise buildings for example, so that you weren’t continually lost, and the map still worked with a handful of players as well as many.”
Appearing in Fallout 4, the General Atomics Galleria is a sort of technology showcase themepark, designed by a long-dead corporation to model what a robot-run commercial district might look like. It's somehow survived the nuclear war, and sits derelict, waiting for its grand re-opening. Turn-up without the right authentication, however, and the robotic Director may not be quite so welcoming, transforming the themepark into a deadly obstacle course.
“As a level, it forms this nice little circuit with a giant Mr Handy in the middle,” says David. “So the way it plays in Fallout lended itself really well to Battle as well – being this tight little arena, with booby traps everywhere.
“But as time went on, we felt there wasn’t quite enough. Because the buildings are all quite low, there wasn’t quite enough height in the play area, especially on the larger, eight-player version of the game. You can run in and out the buildings, and you can get onto the roofs, but we felt we had to take that a little bit further for eight players - so we’ve imagined the Atomics Galleria as though it had been taken over by Raiders. We’ve got Raider tunnels underneath the map to give us a little bit more play area, so people can pop up from different parts of the map and run into the back of buildings you wouldn’t expect them to have access to.”
The maps are available to download for Console Edition today, so head out into the multiplayer wasteland and see if you have what it takes to be the Sole Survivor.