Why it matters: It was seven years in the making, but Fallout: New California is finally available to play. Project lead Branden Lee and lead programmer Rick Hukkanen finalized the download files today. You can install this mod right now as long as you own a copy of New Vegas.

Radian-Helix Media has announced that it is finally ready to release its mega-mod Fallout: New California. As we reported back in April, the project formerly known as Project Brazil was nearing public beta. At that time, the internal beta was playable from start to finish and mostly stable. Most of the remaining work was bug fixes and final polish. As of today, the project is ready to go and downloadable to the public.

The game is a mod for Fallout: New Vegas, so owning that classic title is a prerequisite. While built on the New Vegas engine, this is not one of those mods that are triggered by a portal or something within the New Vegas world. New California is an entirely new campaign and is available from the main menu.

Once started player will embark on an adventure in post-apocalyptic California in an area called "Cajon Pass." The map is about two-thirds the size of the New Vegas world, and depending on how obsessive you are --- the game could take anywhere from 6 to 30 hours to complete.

There are 48 main quests, and the campaign has 13 different endings. Each ending has a radically different story leading up to it. All totaled the mod contains 16,942 lines of dialog. Volunteer actors voice all but about 2,000 lines of the script. Moreover, the acting is not half bad as you can see in the trailer above.

If you have Fallout: New Vegas and are interested in playing the New California mod, you must first download BETA 200 and the BETA 201 patch. Then open your mod manager and go to the package manager.

Select New California BETA 200, and follow the wizard prompts. This installation will take from 2-8 minutes because it's huge, so be patient. Once it is done, go to the package manager again and install BETA 201. When the wizard asks if you want to overwrite files, select "yes to all."

Before firing up the game check and be sure NewCalifonia.esm is in your load order, then you are good to go.

If you have trouble with it check out the FAQs on the game's announcement page.