Van Buren was the project name Black Isle Studios assigned to their version of Fallout 3. In 2003, the game was canceled and the Black Isle employees were laid off.
The game was going to use an engine that Black Isle had made for Baldur's Gate 3, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Engine. It was fully 3D. Black Isle Studios planned to include a dual combat system in the game that allowed for the player to choose real time or turn-based combat, due to Interplay's demands, though Joshua Sawyer had stated that the emphasis would be on the turn-based version. Co-operative multiplayer was also going to be included in the game, again because of publisher requirements.
HERMES armor, developed by a division of Poseidon Energy working in conjunction with the Department of Defense, was intended to be the next generation of combat armor used by elite light infantry troops.
HERMES armor never moved out of the prototype phase because members of the American shadow government, the Enclave, tried to keep its development secret.
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The Fallout world is not quite our own. It is an alternate reality which diverged from ours at some point after the second World War.
The base concept for the setting is the World of Tomorrow as imagined in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. This means that before the Great War, the Fallout world was more or less what the people of the 1940s and 1950s thought things would be like in 2077.