A couple of years back, Bethesda Softworks quietly announced Fallout Shelter Online as a project that would be launching in China. Development of the game proceeded apace and it's currently in the midst of a closed beta test. It seems like a pretty cool game, but odds are we won't get a chance to play it anytime soon: it's currently exclusive to China.
Fallout Shelter Online appears to improve the game in several notable ways. The first is a robust expansion of the game's PVE combat, allowing for parties of five heroes to venture into dungeons and battle enemies. Characters will have their standard attacks along with a number of special abilities available to defeat their enemies.
That's not the only improvement making its way into the game, though. A bonafide world map has been introduced, further emphasizing the exploration aspect of the game that was only touched on with the questing system in the first Fallout Shelter. What's more, players won't just be able to travel to other wasteland locations — they'll be able to engage in PVP battles with one another.
As one might expect from an Asian mobile game, Fallout Shelter Online ups the ante with the microtransactions. Loot boxes (in this case, Lunch Boxes) now come in multiple tiers and may contain characters of varying qualities. Obviously, you'd want to get the best characters available whether you're playing PVE or PVP.
A video from YouTuber Juicehead nicely sums up what the game looks like in around seven minutes, so you should go ahead and give that a watch if you have the time:
Essentially, Fallout Shelter Online is a serious expansion on the gameplay mechanics that already exist in Fallout Shelter.
Social features are being added to the game as well. Aside from the aforementioned PVP battles, a guild system has been implemented. Presumably, players would be able to work together for PVP battles at the minimum, although it wouldn't be surprising to see some kind of co-op PVE gameplay implemented at some point.
The level of expansion is pretty crazy. MMO Culture did a breakdown where they explored many of the game's new features in depth; it's well worth a read, so go ahead and check that out too if you have the time. Their article also has an excellent 2-hour video showing gameplay from the closed beta.
Although Fallout Shelter Online seems pretty cool, it's being developed by a Chinese company with Bethesda largely serving as a silent partner that's allowing them to make use of the brand. That's not to say that there's zero chance of it coming Westward, but we'd obviously have a bit of a wait on our hands. Fallout Shelter was already pretty heavy on the text and the Chinese sequel appears to add even more dialogue.
Bringing Fallout Shelter Online to the West would take a lot of work, and that all hinges on whether or not the game is a success in its home country of China. Hopefully, it does well enough over there that we'll get to play it in the States, possibly even an announcement at this year's E3.
What do you think of Fallout Shelter Online? Does the idea of an upgraded and expanded Fallout Shelter appeal to you or do you prefer the core games in the franchise? Let us know in the comments below!