Nestled in the mountains, the door that leads to Vault 11 is the kind you see hammered onto a shack. It is rotting wood and nails and spider webs clinging on to existence like the people of Fallout's post-apocalyptic Mojave Wasteland. The Brotherhood of Steel have sent us here to find a differential pressure controller, one of the parts needed to repair their faulty air filtration system.
In September we asked you to share your favourite moments from an Obsidian game and we, on behalf of Paradox, dangled prizes in front of you in return: consoles for the two winners, PC Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny keys for the 10 runners-up. And you answered in your droves.
Everyone has a drawer they can't close because it's stuffed too full of things. Mine has a whisk which always stops the bloody drawer from closing, and it's really annoying, but Obsidian Entertainment's drawer has around 100 game proposals in it. Game outlines in various states, from two-page snacks to 60-page feasts. "There's tons of them," Obsidian co-owner Chris Parker tells me. And for Obsidian there was never a time of greater need of an idea than summer 2012, after Microsoft cancelled Xbox One launch game Stormlands, and when South Park: The Stick of Truth was onboard THQ's sinking ship. It spurred a period now referred to in Obsidian history as the Summer of Proposals.
Throw your mind back to Microsoft sharing a dream of an infinitely powerful Xbox One cloud, a box under your TV able to suck an almost mystical power into your living room, transforming games as we know them. The vision wouldn't quite materialise, but while Microsoft was hallucinating over the cauldron it was also throwing money around - throwing money at Xbox One exclusives to embody this future, and Obsidian Entertainment was spinning in its pot.
"We were given a proposal, the million-man raid," Obsidian co-owner and CEO, Feargus Urquhart, tells me. "Conceptually what came from Microsoft was this idea: imagine you're playing The Witcher, maybe with a friend. What happens if at points in time a giant creature pops up that you can see in the distance and it's not just popping up while you're playing, it's popping up for everybody who's playing. You all rush this creature and there's this haze around it, and as you're all rushing through the haze the game is matchmaking you into 40-man raids who are going to fight the creature.
"Then you fight it, but while the creature is being fought all the footage is being recorded up into the cloud. Then at the end we would come up with some kind of intelligent editing thing which would deliver everybody who fought a personalised, edited video of their participation in the raid. That is what was proposed to us."
With Fallout 4 due out in a couple of weeks, millions of people are set to leap into the post-apocalyptic open world Bethesda has spent the last few years crafting.
Fallout 3 wasn't a bad game - far from it - but its successor Fallout: New Vegas was most definitely better. This was a sequel that righted Fallout 3's few wrongs, setting players loose in a grittier, grimier, morally murkier nuclear wasteland, a world far removed from the Disneyland apocalypse of its predecessor, where the light side was zany and the dark side was only ever awful rather than crushingly bleak. New Vegas was more mature and morally challenging. It was also, depending on your personal feelings about the politics of the main factions, utterly chilling.
After years of waiting and false hopes, Bethesda has finally announced Fallout 4. It's as good an excuse as any to take a trip through time to where it all began, in a very different kind, but now much more familiar kind of Wasteland. This was back in 1988, on technology so primitive that most of the original's game text had to be printed in a manual, with the game simply giving a number to look up every time anything happened. Nevertheless, it found almost instant critical and commercial success... and immense difficulty getting a sequel off the ground. At least, an official one.
As we head into the season of sales, you'll want to keep your bank account tightly girdled lest you snap up every game under the summer sun. That's why we're here to guide you; we've got a few great bargains this week on some classics of the past few years, as well as some more contemporary greats.
Every year at the Eurogamer Expo we invite you to tell us what you thought of the games you played, and without fail every year (so far anyway) you exhibit amazing taste in huge numbers. This year's Expo line-up was our strongest and most diverse yet, so we were excited to see what would follow in the footsteps of last year's winner, God of War III, or 2008's Mirror's Edge...
Eurogamer is delighted to announce that Bethesda Softworks will present id Software's RAGE and inXile's Hunted: The Demon's Forge for the first time ever in the UK at next month's Eurogamer Expo, taking place 1st - 3rd October at Earls Court, London.
Before Eurogamer sits down with Todd Howard at QuakeCon to bully him into talking about his new game, we catch his panel with Tim Willits from id Software and Jason West and Vince Zampella from Respawn Entertainment.
One day, somebody is going to make a game where humanity climbs into the bunker, waits for the apocalypse to pass, emerges from shelter and really does rebuild society, rather than clambering out and getting butchered by mutant wasps before anyone's had time to break ground on a new Millets. It probably won't be Bethesda Softworks, though, because games like Fallout: New Vegas suggest there's still lots more mileage in things going wrong at the end of the world.
What comes to mind when you hear the word Vegas? Elvis? Showgirls? Marg Helgenberger swabbing semen off the underside of roulette tables? Or post-apocalyptic landscapes, warring mercenaries, plasma rifles and robot policemen?
Sometimes, in order to step up, you need to take a step back. Over the last couple of weeks, Bethesda Softworks has shown the world's gaming media what it thinks is the strongest line-up in its history, a line-up which announces its arrival as a publishing force to be reckoned with: Rage, the comeback game from new stable-mates id Software; a very different vision of the future of the FPS, Splash Damage's Brink; modern-day dungeon-crawling in inXile's Hunted; and of course, Fallout: New Vegas, the follow-up to 2008's smash hit Fallout 3.
Saying I'm a fan of Planescape: Torment is a bit like saying that Vlad III Dracula enjoyed a spot of impaling - it gets the point across, but doesn't quite convey the extent of the fervour.