After 9 years in development, Fallout: New California has finally hit the beta stage and a release date is coming soon. FNC is potentially the most ambitious Fallout: New Vegas mod to date and serves as a non-official prequel to the events of New Vegas.
New California has been uploaded to ModDB for a long time but only recently approached a level of polish near that of a finished product. Brandan Lee, the Project Lead for FNC said this on ModDB “So after many years, not only is BETA 200 playable from start to end credits with no major interruptions but it’s stable and finally coming together as a finished thing. We still have bugs, and we still have defects, but it’s approaching a level of polish you’d expect from a release ready product most of the time.” In a later update Brandan mentioned, “… at the end of April, I think, we’ll have a Release Date Announcement trailer online.”
Prior to being called New California, work began on this project way back in 2010 as a mod for Fallout 3 dubbed Project Brazil. It was originally planned that Project Brazil would be released prior to Fallout 4, according to an interview Brandon Lee had with Kotaku in 2015.
In terms of content, FNC has a total of 14,000 lines of dialogue that were recorded by 42 actors for 60 or so characters. In comparison, Fallout 3 has roughly 40,000 lines of dialogue and New Vegas has 65,000. New California is also packing a total of 11 different endings (potentially 12) and a story that potentially branches at least 7 times – once right in the beginning that sets up the rest of your playthrough.
Regarding the branching missions, Brandan Lee had this to say “Because our story is so replete with branching narratives, it gets extremely dense. The very first branch you encounter in FNC splits the entire first 1/3rd of the game in half and effectively gives you a radically opposite perspective on the world where every NPC has new dialogue to account for a different Vault origin story.” Based on that, it sounds like there’s a lot of replayability here given there are choices that completely change your entire experience. One choice, in particular, adds “EFFECTIVELY ANOTHER MOD’S WORTH OF CONTENT.”