It took seven long years to see Fallout: New California wander its way out of the development vaults, but now, that time has come. As of yesterday, October 23rd, New California has officially launched. The developers at Radian-Helix Media have been working on the project since shortly after the launch of Fallout: New Vegas back in late 2010. New Vegas, developed by Obsidian Entertainment, is often regarded as one of the best Fallout narratives of any Fallout game, receiving high praise for its open-ended choices, factions, and quests. Radian-Helix is continuing the tradition with New California, which serves as a mod for New Vegas itself. Also going by the title 'Project Brazil', New California works off of the framework of New Vegas and its gameplay. Despite that, it's very much a modern day mod, souping up the visuals to look way smoother and better than its counterpart.

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The story of New California is focused on what happened after the war between the NCR (New California Republic) and the Enclave, two of New Vegas' well-known factions. You play as a vault dweller from the San Bernardino Mountains, and the story will unfold as you explore New California's wasteland, which sizes in at two-thirds the size of New Vegas'. There are about 48 quests to complete over the course of the mod, and a whopping 13 endings to aim for. According to Radian-Helix, the game will take you around six hours minimum to complete but will expand to around 30 hours if you explore and do every possible thing. Most interestingly, the mod's story is meant to bridge the gap between post-Fallout 2 and pre-Fallout 3/New Vegas. The mod is entirely single player only, which is certain to make fans keen to play for when they need a break from Fallout 76's multiplayer open world.

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Speaking of Fallout 76, you may have noticed the uncanny timing between the start of its beta and New California's release: both debuted just last night. Bethesda's Fallout 76 B.E.T.A (break-it early test application) began early for Xbox One players, whereas PS4 and PC players will gain access on October 30th. Bethesda even went so far as to put out an official statement just before the beta's launch, warning players of "unforeseen bugs" and "new spectacular issues". They've implored players to report these bugs ASAP, and have assured that they'll do their best to fix them both now and after the game's full launch. While the break-it early name of the beta is a tongue-in-cheek joke to Bethesda's past glitch-filled Fallout games, it seems it's taken on the literal meaning too. Fallout 76 is making history as a multiplayer Fallout title, with the open world being shared between players on various dedicated servers. Players can have fun and work together, play by themselves, or attack others.

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Back to the topic at hand, how can one access the New California Fallout mod? It's rather easy, actually! All you have to do is own a copy of Fallout: New Vegas on PC. Whether you got it from Steam, Humble, or GOG, an update will be patched and ready to download the next time you're on. While New California is an impressive piece of work, the developers have made clear that it too is technically a beta. Bugs will assuredly be found, but over time, they should be fixed as well. If you've never played New Vegas and want to, it's available on Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Naturally, if you can get the PC version, you'll have the added incentive of New California to look forward to. As for Fallout 76, that will be releasing on November 14th for Windows PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. If you want to take part in the beta, you have to have pre-ordered Fallout 76. Those who pre-ordered digitally will have an easy time accessing, but retail pre-orders will involve using a code from your receipt on Bethesda.net after creating an account. Similarly, PC players will be required to have the Bethesda Launcher if they want to play the game. Best of luck, and make sure to watch New California's trailer below!

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