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Fallout: New Vegas mod The Frontier is out after seven years of development

Fallout: The Frontier
Fallout: The Frontier (Image credit: The Frontier Team)

The Fallout franchise has been a favorite for modders to play around with for over a decade now, with thousands of different creators investing countless hours into projects for Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4. Some have even created mods for the online MMO Fallout 76.

I've been a close follower of the Fallout modding scene for years now, and I've seen some truly incredible mods release that breathe new life into these older games. But in that time, I've never seen something quite as ambitious as Fallout: The Frontier, a mod that took seven years to develop and that basically adds an entirely new game experience into Fallout: New Vegas. Featuring countless hours of main quest content, over 60 sidequests, tens of thousands of voiced dialogue lines, hundreds of new weapons and armors, a brand new map to explore, and more, Fallout: The Frontier is the largest and most impressive mod I've ever seen released. And based on the time I've spent with it so far, I can confidently say that it's absolutely worth the hype.

Who will you side with?

Source: The Frontier Team (Image credit: Source: The Frontier Team)

The bulk of what Fallout: The Frontier offers is found within its three main quest paths. After traveling to the blizzard-ridden wastes of Portland, Oregon, you'll have the opportunity to side with three different factions. The first is the NCR Exiles, a small army of former New California Republic soldiers and officers who grew resentful of the NCR and traveled to Portland to start a new life. The second is the Northern Legion, a branch of Caesar's Legion that aims to take Portland's resources and land from the NCR Exiles. Finally, there's the Crusaders of Steel, a religious offshoot of the Brotherhood of Steel that aims to exact revenge on the people who wronged their leader. These factions will interact with one another over the course of the story, with the player's actions helping to determine who comes out victorious.

The NCR Exiles questline is the largest and longest of the questlines, featuring roughly 35 hours of custom cutscenes, huge battles, and tons of impressive scripted moments and setpieces. The Northern Legion story is about 15 hours long. It is focused much more on dialogue, as it's intended to flesh out the Legion and give the player opportunity to learn more about the faction's background and principles. Lastly, the Crusaders questline is a 15-hour blend of scripted action and rich dialogue that allows players to enjoy both gameplay styles.

A new world to explore

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Fallout: The Frontier

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Fallout: The Frontier

Outside of the three main questlines, players are free to traverse Portland and its surrounding areas however they see fit. Unlike every other location in Fallout games so far, Portland has been subject to a nuclear winter due to nuclear bombs blasting soot and smog into the sky, which, in turn, blocked out the sun. This makes the location feel unique and interesting to explore in Fallout, almost like something you'd see in a Metro game. The team behind The Frontier has also made custom winter weathers and new mutant creatures to accompany this new climate, which is awesome. Portland features dozens of new locations to discover, too, making exploration a worthwhile endeavor.

Across the map, you'll also be able to engage with over 60 different side quests, some of which tie into the three main questlines. These sidequests help to enrich Portland and make it feel more lively. It also gives the player a chance to utilize their skills however they see fit to resolve various conflicts and other types of situations.

A massive arsenal at your fingertips

As you progress through The Frontier, you'll have no shortage of weapons and armor to use. This is because, across the mod, there are hundreds of new weapons, armor pieces, and useful items to loot and purchase. These can all be taken back to the Mojave Wasteland, too, so once you complete a playthrough of The Frontier, you can use what you acquired in the vanilla New Vegas experience.

The most impressive thing added by the developers in this mod is, by far, the vehicles. The player in The Frontier can control several Vertibirds, cars, and tanks, and these can give you a distinct advantage in combat. Be wary, though, as these vehicles make you a big target — you'll need to drive responsibly! In addition to this, enemies can make use of vehicles as well, so you'll need to be ready to run for cover or make use of an anti-armor weapon.

Your thoughts

What do you think of Fallout: The Frontier? Will you be downloading and playing it? Let me know. Installing it isn't too hard, and the team behind the mod has created a helpful installation guide that will help you get everything up and running smoothly. Remember that you'll need a purchased copy of Fallout: New Vegas and all of its DLC on Steam or GOG to play The Frontier. The Ultimate Edition of the game costs $20, but it often goes on sale. I strongly recommend it even if you don't want to dive into modding, as it's easily one of the best PC games out there.

For more on modding, don't miss our guides on the best Skyrim: Special Edition Xbox One mods, the best Fallout 4 Xbox One mods, and a mod that turns Halo: Combat Evolved into a cursed nightmare.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • Not available on Steam yet but added to my wishlist.
  • I don't play mods. I play games made by professionals. I know there's a whole scene and a lot of amateurs that end up working in game design. But if you are asking me to download your files to manually install and play your thing over a real game, you're asking a bit too much, with the crazy amount of professional good games out there.
  • What are "professionals"? Some of the best indie games have been created by first time game developers. Some of the worst games in history are have been made by existing studios.
  • First time game developers are still game developers. I don't think people who make mods to be game developers, because they only create their content within an existing game, to supplement it. I think it's a pretty clearcut distinction.
  • Yeah, those counterstrike developers, what a bunch of amateurs.
  • Are you, or is anyone playing the original Counter Strike mod in 2021? What everyone got to play and plays currently is a professionally developed version based on the original mod's gameplay.
    And yeah, they were amateurs back then when they developed the mod. They became professionals later, due to its success and Valve hiring them.
  • Modders are the reason Counter-Strike, PUBG, DayZ, Killing Floor, and some other popular games exist but go off I guess. Also, those professional-good games cost money, which mods do not. If you already own New Vegas and want a cool new adventure, here’s 65 hours of free content for you. I honestly don’t get this take. Mods may not match the level of professionally made games in terms of overall quality, but they’re still fun, and are still where tons of awesome creative ideas come to life. The millions of people who use mods can attest to that.
  • I'm gonna reply to you because your response was (mostly) respectful. I've played mods. I've used mods. I know what they are, who makes them and what they imply. To me, they're never on the level of what "real" game content is. They simply build on an existing game, using its engine and varying parts of it. That said, I do know some of them do good stuff, but it's always secondary and dependent on a team of professionals who built the original game. Never played DayZ or Killing Floor. Counter Strike was originally a mod, but the version that became famous was the one Valve did. PUBG frankly has an awful inventory interface that speaks volumes on how it comes from another game. Even successful games like DOTA still have an interface inherited from a RTS game? Couldn't shake it or improve it considerably because it's what fans used originally. So the whole mod thing is an amateur scene, and so the quality is wildly varying. It could be fun, or it could be a waste of time. It's that inconsistency that puts me off and why I consider using mods a waste of time. But even then I know people with a lot more time than me to waste (invest, if you prefer) in gaming with hit or miss content, with more inclination to experimentation, or wanting a game to do something that it wasn't designed to do. I simply don't. I've played really a lot of games in my life, countless I'd say, and my experience is that using mods in professional games, or playing user made content/games is usually a waste of time. Would this one be the exception? Maybe. In any case, I have games to play that don't have anything to prove to me. And install/uninstall by themselves, because convenience is another big factor against mods for me. Hope I clarified my opinion, and I hope that even if you don't agree with it, at least you respect it.
  • The amount of work that has gone into this mod is insaaaaane! 😱😱😱😱