You’re in the middle of the Capital Wasteland, surrounded by danger; not only are there scavengers more than willing to kill you for your bottle caps, but there are also the massive and muscular Super Mutants, along with a whole menagerie of other irradiated beasts – including, of course, the terrifyingly threatening Deathclaws. Having just come out of an encounter with some Raiders with a crippled leg, you decide that your character should use a stimpak, just in case some more monsters catch him off guard: a PC player hits Tab, then clicks on “Stimpak”; an Xbox 360 player hits B, then hits A over “Stimpak”; and a PS3 player hits Circle, then hits X over “Stimpak”. What does the Wii U player do?
In my fantasy version of Fallout for Wii U, the player does exactly as the character does: he or she lifts their left arm, to which the oft-derided Tablet Controller is strapped, displaying a perfect replica of the Pip Boy interface, and selects the stimpak. In role-playing games, immersion is a huge factor, and utilising the unique hardware of Nintendo’s next-generation home control in this way could do nothing but aid it. Consider also that “opening” this Pip Boy wouldn’t pause the game: the ever-present danger of the Capital Wasteland would be just that, forcing players to stay constantly alert, much as any survivor should.
Naturally, this wrist set-up means players will rely on the Wii Remote and nunchuk combination to actually control their character, which shouldn’t be a problem. The nunchuk’s analogue stick would simulate the analogue stick on your typical Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller, moving the player, while the IR pointer would be used to aim and shoot. It’d be a true “first-person” experience, and not marred by a fourth wall broken by menus. If Bethesda were smart about it, they could probably make a pretty penny from serving up a “limited edition” of sorts with a very accurate Pip Boy accessory too – rather than a basic strap, it would come with a full-colour replica of the device to hold the tablet.
I don’t know what Bethesda’s planning for the next Fallout, or whether it’s Fallout 4 or another New Vegas-esque spin-off that’s next on the agenda, but as a considerable fan of the franchise, I’d go crazy for the Wii U version I’ve envisioned. It would certainly set an example for other developers of Nintendo’s new hardware used right, and used to enhance the experience rather than as a gimmick, and even just the idea highlights the new avenues and possibilities provided by the new controller.