Fallout 4 carries an air of melancholy by juxtaposing the gritty post-apocalyptic setting with the mundane scenarios these skeletons convey. Skeletons seated inside a rusted bus suggest the instantaneous impact of the nuclear bombs, perhaps catching average people by surprise on their way to work. Pairs of skeletons resonate with particular melancholy, suggesting lovers, friends, siblings, or simply strangers who found a moment of desperate connection as the bombs fell. In the downtown Boston area, a deceased pair entwined on a couch with a wine bottle gazes skyward, and their bombed-out wall gives these dead a view of the stars. Because skeletons lack recognizable human features, the developers leave context clues like clothing or personal items that imply larger stories that we have limited access to. A child’s toy or a woman’s dress situated nearby gives fuel to our imaginations.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.