Fallout Season 1 Review Amazon Prime Video

Fallout Season 1 Review – Another Great Video Game Adaptation?

We’ve reached a point in entertainment where video game adaptations seem to be having more hits than misses. Sure, you still get lackluste efforts like Halo, though with a track record of the highly enjoyable Sonic the Hedgehog movies, the terrific Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and last year’s HBO heavy-hitter, The Last of Us, it sounds like Hollywood is finally getting the memo on how to make great ones. With the arrival of the Fallout TV series from Amazon, anticipation was riding high. Thankfully, season 1 is another home run swing.

The Fallout TV show is set within the established universe of the games, so showrunner Jonathan Nolan and company had a tremendously difficult task of slotting this story into the lore without disrupting the timeline. Thanks to input from Bethesda and Todd Howard, Fallout sticks very close to its guns thematically.

Fallout Season 1 Review Amazon Prime Video

The story follows three characters: Lucy, a vault dweller on a mission to rescue her father; Maximus, a young recruit in the Brotherhood of Steel; and The Ghoul, a mercenary gunslinger with a shady past. For the most part, Lucy (Ella Purnell) is the central character we follow on the journey, though each character’s paths eventually collide in unexpected ways, leading to a riveting finale that’s expertly built up throughout the eight episodes of season 1.

The Fallout TV series adapts its source material with a deft hand. Packed with details, references, Easter eggs and respect for the established stories of the games, Fallout fans are going to find a lot to love here. The overall tone and atmosphere of the games is kept perfectly in tact too, at times feeling like you’re simply watching extended cutscenes ripped right out of Fallout 3 and 4. It’s incredible how well the show balances delivering fan service in droves while still telling a gripping, familiar Fallout story formatted for television.

Fallout Season 1 Review Amazon Prime Video

Purnell is fantastic as the wide-eyed and naive Lucy who, after spending most of her life confined as a vault dweller, is quickly humbled by the deadly post-apocalyptic wastelands and its inhabitants on the surface. Aaron Moten also brings relatable qualities to Maximus, who idolises the Brotherhood of Steel and aims to rise up its ranks – blissfully unaware of its darker secrets.

Walter Goggins is, by far, the biggest standout as The Ghoul, giving him a badass, volatile persona that’s hard to read. You can never tell if he’s truly on the good or bad side, playing a wild card that can explode in either direction at a moment’s notice. However, this makes his character very compelling and slightly off-kilter as a result. He’s a well-written, three-dimensional character that steals every scene that he’s in.

Fallout Season 1 Review Amazon Prime Video

The Fallout TV series absolutely nails its tonal swings too. Like the games, the show can go from comedic and light-hearted to heavy-handed and brutally violent at the drop of a dime. Newcomers, especially those unfamiliar with the games, might find this quite jarring. Give it a few episodes and it might win you over. The satirical elements from the games also carry over to the extraordinary world-building in the series, losing none of its trademark quirks and humour in translation.

At eight episodes, the show finds ways to constantly surprise you. Whether it’s through shocking outbursts of violence in one minute and laugh-out-loud comedy the next, or the way it cleverly interweaves the three main character’s stories, the pacing is solid and that momentum carries you throughout the narrative, even if some references and world-building aspects might confuse you if you aren’t already familiar with the lore of the games.

From a production standpoint, the Fallout TV series looks superb. The sets, costumes, practical effects, visual effects and makeup are top-class – that’s to be expected from Amazon which poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the visually stunning The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power just last year (actual quality of the writing not included).

Fallout Season 1 Review Amazon Prime Video

My biggest fear was that the show would look diluted and cheaply put together – as is the case for most high-profile TV adaptations like The Witcher – though I’m glad to have been proven wrong. Evident from the first episode, Nolan and company clearly put tons of work into giving the series a highly cinematic quality, comparable to an eight-hour movie epic that doesn’t skimp out on crucial VFX shots or big-budget production design.

The monster designs, explosions and locations all look great. The action is handled in a surprisingly brutal way too, not shying away from grizzly violence during action sequences which I really appreciated since it keeps in line with how graphic some of the executions and killshots are in the games (V.A.T.S. glory kills aren’t wasted here).

As great as the overall production design is, that leads me to my one real gripe with Fallout: the side cast. Some side characters get shafted and aren’t given that much attention, such as Lucy’s younger brother Norm or her cousin, Chet, who is weirdly infatuated with her (the show often reminds you that incest is wrong, people). The show focuses up on the leading trio but that sadly leaves many side characters with very little development that I hope gets expanded on in future seasons.

The Fallout TV series accomplishes what HBO’s The Last of Us pulled off last year to equally fantastic results. Season 1 is an expertly-crafted rollercoaster that honours the source material while elevating it to a new medium. It’s clearly made with love by people intimately familiar with the Fallout lore and universe of the games, helped by Bethesda and Todd Howard’s supervision. It tells a new, unique and surprisingly emotional story that we can’t wait to see expanded upon in the next season – especially with a cliffhanger ending that enticing.

Fallout season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video.



Epic, well-directed, packed with personality and made with love by people who clearly understand the source material, the Fallout TV series adds another excellent modern video game adaptation to the shortlist.


Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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