LGR – Fallout – PC Game Review


“Wasteland” was a brilliant game Released in 1988 by Interplay and Electronic Arts It was a defining moment in computer role-playing games Skillfully making use of a post-apocalyptic theme And the dark stories that go with it Naturally, with a successful game on their hands, Interplay wanted a sequel. But, what should’ve been a simple prospect, turned out to be anything but. The problem was that Interplay didn’t own the rights to Wasteland Their publisher Electronic Arts did. EA was already working on their own Wasteland successor – Fountain of Dreams. So, Interplay started to working on new IP called “Meantime” But EA’s game ended up dropping the wasteland high end before launch And “Meantime” languished in Development Hell never to see the light of day. Then, in 1994 “Wasteland” got another chance. Interplay programmer Timothy Cain spend six months working on a new game engine. Because, why not? Programming! The inspiration for these was games like “Crusader: No Remorse”, “The Ultima” series and “X-COM: UFO Defense” Interplay still wanted to do Wasteland 2 and these engine seem like a great fit. So, they renegotiated for the license from EA only for it to fall through yet again. Enter GURPS – the Generic Universal Role-Playing System. Created by Steve Jackson Games in 1986, these was a tabletop role-playing system that allowed for classless genre-neutral RPGs and it was becoming popular with employees at Interplay. Since the Wasteland IP was a lost cause, they licensed GURPS from Steve Jackson Games instead. For a while, the project was known as “GURPS: Wasteland” and then “Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure” But then, for unclear reasons, the GURPS license was dropped and at some point Interplay founder Brian Fargo suggested it be renamed “Fallout”. At long last, after some final reworking, “Fallout” was released in 1997 for MS-DOS, Windows and Macintosh computers. Awh… And, man, is this box phenomenal or what? It’s all rusty and grimy looking and it sets on its side instead of straight up Sign of quality right there Just open it up to witness full glory of 90’s PC game boxes. Now you get this wonderful foldout front cover with screenshots and marketing blurps but inside is packed full of goodies. You get the game CD in one a properly grimy looking jewel case, a quick reference sheet featuring Vault Boy’s eternally gleeful presence and The Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide as they not only access the manual but helps you dive in headfirst into the lore of the game and the dark style of humor contained within. It makes me happy. “Fallout” begins with an opening cinematic that still gives me chills. The Ink Spot sing as the harsh realities of war play out. And, as you are probably aware by now: War. War never changes Ladies and Gentlemen, Ron Perlman. [Narrator] “War. War never changes. The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower. But war never changes.” So after a global Nuclear War in 2077, civilization, as we knew it, was wiped out. But a select few continued living out their lives in underground shelters known as Vaults. You play as one of these Vault Dwellers in a year 2161, 84 years after the War Once you’ve started a new game, you given an option to choose from a few premade characters just like you could in “Wasteland” Naturally, you can ignore this entirely and create your own Vault Dweller instead. But, unlike “Wasteland”, you don’t need to roll any stats because here you’ve got the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck are your base attributes and these will affect all you do from talking to shooting and everything in between. You also have skills which determine how effective you are in specific area of expertise Three of each can be tagged from the start for an initial boost and will also levelup at twice the normal rate. Beyond these you have a selection of optional traits most of each have a positive of effect with a negative side effect as a trade-off. And as you level up you’ll also earn perks which will add a further layer of customization to your character as you play. Once you through you get a cutscene showing the Overseer of your Vault Vault 13 calmingly letting you know that everything is *awful* The Water Chip in a vault’s water purifying computer is crapped out and nearby Vault may have one, but if its not replaced soon everyone will die. So, because you went through the trouble of creating a character, it’s up to you to retrieve it. And just like that you are outta safety the Vault and taking your first steps into the World only to be greeted with darkness and death. There are a human remains and a bunch of bloodthirsty rats hanging around inside the cavern So your first task is to make it out into the Wasteland without dying. Now, you’ll see some refer to “Fallout” aesthetic here being isometric, but technically it’s Cavalier Oblique Projection This perspective was chosen in order to better suit the hex-based areas you’ll be navigating and it works quite well for what it is. You simply use the right mouse button to change between interacting and moving and click on where you want to go or want to do. The game is divided up into a selection of instanced areas connected via this overworld map again very similar to “Wasteland” Along the way from Point A to Point B you may to run across areas of interest either because of something interesting you can check out or because something has picked fight with you. What happens when it’s time for some good old-fashioned violence? Guts and Glory in a form of turn-based combat system centered around using Action Points. Depending on your character level and development you have a set number of Action Points to spend each turn. And everything you do takes Action Points during combat, from shooting a gun to simply opening your inventory. It takes some inspiration from “Wasteland” and even “X-COM” but it ends up with it own unique blend. For one thing you only ever control – your own character. Even if you’ve recruit other members to your party. As a result of no real cover mechanic other than placing yourself out of the objects and people in a line of fire guns can be placed in “single shot” or “burst fire” modes; melee weapons can do things like “thrust” or “swing” and you are given a set percentage to hit something based on skill level, distance, lighting and other varying factors Beyond this you can also place a targeted attack which will bring up a more detailed selection of percentages based on aiming at specific body parts Why yes, you *can* punch a rat in a balls if you want to! strategically (taking out?) a certain body parts will have a notable effects like blinding, stunning or crippling an enemy and it can also happen to you. So it’s best to protect your ‘nads. Taking out your foes often results in loot and further quest information and to keep track of this you have a state of the art – wrist-mounted PipBoy 2000 This computer system is useful for anything, from making maps to keeping track of your current objectives but don’t rely on it too much because there still an awful lot that happens that will not track at all. While you’re out in the Wastelands of Southern California you’ll run into all kinds of characters and events that will demand your attention. Yet only a selection of these are related to your main quest and many of the ones that aren’t want show up in your PipBoy So writing things down is always a good idea. As is saving your game. Like before and after every encounter. Because “Fallout” is absolutely brutal and a randomness can make even the most straightforward of combat situations unpredictable. You can tinker with difficulty at any time things get too tough But if you’ve got a character too scrappy too deal with a situation or the numbers just work against you it won’t matter What *does* matter is that the game is an absolute pleasure to play even to this day. My word, do I love “Fallout”! Even though these is not the best in its series It got so much right from the start that i can’t help but be enamoured. One of the biggest things that absolutely nails is the atmosphere. which is crucial to a solid post-apocalypse. A big part of that comes from the soundtrack by Mark Morgan it’s just blissfully foreboding. The graphical style and the art direction is also spot on. With everything looking like it seen a couple generations of neglect and each shack or settlement boasting its own unique feel. It’s a believable greedy world of depraved humanity, punctuated by the decayed aesthetic and general lack of anything bright or colorful. NPCs you’re coming to contact with is unpredictable and dangerous as a locations Many of each is only spoken to through text, but some have fully voiced dialog trees featuring actors like Richard Dean Anderson [NPC] “Well that’s a damn fine coincidence! That’s what this store’s here for! We got about everything you can need.” Yeap, you can talk to MacGyver about killing a man and then proceed to buy drugs out of him It’s *brilliant*! As mentioned earlier, there are also some NPCs that serve as companions And there is no limit of how many you can have tag along. You can’t control their actions, though. And their stats won’t level up But they will help you in combat and later on prove invaluable. Dogmeat is one of very first that you’ll come across and he’s become a staple of the franchise ever since. There is nothing like having a canine companion once the Apocalypse hits, am i right? In fact, the game is chock-full of pop culture references like this From “Mad Max” to “Doctor Who” to freakin’ Coca-Cola in a form of omnipresent “Nuka-Cola” radioactive soda. It’s this warped retro-future combined with nonchalant references to our own world, contrasting against the unapologetic violence and moral atrocities that makes “Fallout” such a weird and awesome reality to explore. And I mean it when i say: “Fallout is unapologetic” With things like absurdly gory death animations all over a place and the ability to kill children, which caused more than a few controversies. Yet the despicable stuff you do makes the positive things you can do stand out that much more And it’s awesome If you play your cards right, most of the time you won’t have to kill at all. Since sneaking around and convincing people *not* to fight are always options. There are so many ways to play that i can wander this Wastelands forever. And indeed it feels like *i have*, when i consider the thousands of hours i’ve dedicated to these series of games over the years. You can get through this within about 25 hours if you just run for it, But i love taking my time and soaking things in when i have the chance. In a subsequent playthroughs there is always something else to find, someone else to deal with, some other little thing tapped away that i missed. This is not to say that there is not without Its faults faults, though. There are quite a few especially compared with some of the later games I *can’t stand* the inventory management, for one. It’s just a mess that makes everything from bartering to reloading your weapon a chore. There are also several quests that sometimes don’t work or won’t update leaving you in limbo where you don’t really know if you’ve triggered a progression point or not. And a graphic style… well, excellent artistically often works against you as a player It’s not uncommon for useful items to just blend in into the background or buildings and objects to block your viewpoint of some pretty crucial objectives. I also take issue with the timer at the beginning of the game, even though it’s more of a small aggravation than a huge hindrance. If you don’t get a water chip before the timer runs out – everyone in your Vault dies and it’s an instant game over. So you’re pretty much forced to do that before you can focus on roleplaying how you want to which arguably goes against the grain of “Fallout’s” sandbox nature. And lastly, there is the sluggishness of the combat even if you speed up the animations to the highest speed. Sometimes this is *a rush*, but most encounters just put me to sleep. Rough edges aside, “Fallout” was an absolutely groundbreaking game in the CRPG genre and beyond. You can still easily play it on modern machines with updated versions like you’ll find in GOG.com so i would recommend it completely. And just recently Bethesda physically re-released the game in this incredibly gimmicky yet awesome mini-nuke package. It comes with the “Fallout” series up through “New Vegas” and even though there is a Steam versions only it’s worth to look out if you are a fan of the series And i certainly am, “Fallout” is one of my all-time favorite franchises in any medium, bar none. And the first one is what i have to thank for it. You’d be hard pressed to find someone that considers the first one – their favorite when later games like “Fallout 2” and three and “New Vegas” were so well recieved but you gotta respect your elders, you know. Unless your elder pulls the laser rifle on you during a conversation about irradiated water and in that case, shoot ’em inna balls and hope to have some good loot on their dismembered corps. [shooting, screaming, sound of body hitting the ground] Yeah! Fallout! And i want to thank Jim very much for giving me this copy of the game in the box. Ah, this is just an excellent box and such a great game So thank you very much, sir. You are awesome! And if you thought this video was awesome, than perhaps you’d like to see some others. There are some right here to click on in an annotations or you can just subscribe and get new videos every Monday and Friday There are always stuff on Twitter and Facebook, socially – whatever that means. As well as Patreon, for money stuff and seeing videos early. And as always, thank you for watching. Thank you for watching never changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *