(With apologies to every writer, director, and star of the Wild West)
EXT. THE MOJAVE DESERT
The one-horse town of Goodsprings bakes, silent, in the Nevada heat. One after the other, we see several POWDER GANG BANDITS approach, cradling baseball bats and crude firearms. The Powder Gangers are in high spirits, looking forward to the plunder of the town.
POWDER GANGER #1: Pardner, I do reckon that there town be as easy as liquor flowing at the saloon.
POWDER GANGER #2: Yee-haw!
The Powder Gangers laugh, twirl their moustaches. Suddenly, they hear a yell.
An armoured figure – not one of the townspeople, but our hero, THE COURIER – charges out from between two houses. The Courier winds back his arm and for a moment, time seems to freeze. When it flows again, something red and fizzing has landed at the Powder Gangers’ feet.
POWDER GANGER #1: … Is that… dynamite?
FADE TO WHITE.
I’m ten hours into Fallout: New Vegas, the most unique-feeling entry in the venerable Fallout line of RPGs. Its predecessors (#1 and #3 in particular) revelled in their post-apocalyptic setting: their mohawked raiders could have come straight out of a Mad Max movie, and their civilisation was a precarious, hardscrabble thing – ersatz Bartertowns scattered around the wastes, each surviving as best as it could.