Fallout

“A post nuclear role playing game”. This tagline for the game pretty much sums it up. You have been living in the comfy and safety of a vault your entire life. Now the water purification system is busted and you have to go out to the big bad post nuclear war world to find a fix.

Release Date

September 1997.

Pros

In FPS games, there is the headshot. In Fallout there is headshot plus more! Targeting allows you to aim for a specific part of your enemy like the legs, arms, head and even eyes. A succesful hit not only causes damage but can also inflict special injuries like knocking them unconscious. Plain and simply, you can choose to shoot the guy in the head and if he gets KO’d you can slowly whack him to death.

The statistics system works very well. How the statistics affect the variety of skills and how the skills translate into things you can do all works very well. When you create a character there is no class selection, but the statistics and skills that you focus on pretty much defines the type of character you want to play.

It looks like the primary statistics also influences what happens in the game, in a big way. When I played with another character of different stats some different things happen. The core main story and quests are still there, but other things were happening differently. Playing a character with an intelligence of one is amusing, but a lot of quests cannot be done.

It has got a large variety of weapons. There are small guns like pistols and rifles, big guns like miniguns and rocket launchers and energy guns which is your laser and plasma collection. On top of that there is also a selection of melee weapons. It is not a simple case of picking up a better gun and going on a winning streak though. You need the appropriate skills to use them well.

The Fallout world is full of surprises. It seems that every second corner I turn or every second person I talk to, there is something unexpected.

There is a large sense of freedom in the game which also comes with different consequences. You can choose to help the good guys or the bad guys. You can be nice or threatening. You can also choose to wipe out a whole town if you just do not like them. Of course killing certain important people may make the game more difficult later on. With this freedom, do expect to walk into an area and get whacked because you are not high level enough yet.

The main story is interesting, but not ground breaking like Baldur’s Gate or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl. What is ground breaking is how the game is so open and still manage to tell the story so well.

There are mods for Fallout. Check out No Mutants Allowed and Vault-Tec Labs.

Cons

There were a few areas of the game interface which I found annoying. The most annoying to me is the small red buttons you have to click to activate that option. There are nice big labels that are so much easier to click on, but you have to click on the small red buttons.

The game randomly crashes sometimes. Not very often, but often enough to be annoying. If getting whacked does not teach you to save your game often, these crashes will.

Sometimes the AI people block the doorway and there is no way to move them. You just have to wait for them to walk away or kill them.

Some quests are marked for you in the game but other quests are not. It feels inconsistent. Better to remember all the quests by yourself.

Other Points

You can scroll the view around but how far you scroll away from your character is limited. So if you want to see what is happening far away, you have to move your character within the viewing distance to see it.

There is little music, but the little bit there is adds to the atmosphere quite well.

Fallout feels like the RPG version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. Weapons and weapon effects behave like you expect them to. The game environment is very dangerous and death comes swiftly. Make sure to save game often.

The game plays in turn-based mode when you are in combat and switches to real-time mode when out of combat. Due to the turn-based nature and the amount of things that you can do, combat moves quite slowly. Fallout has guns, but is slow on the action.

You can get certain NPCs to join you but they are rather weak and there is very limited control over them.

The graphics reminds me of Baldur’s Gate. Although old looking, there is quite a lot of detail in the graphics including what guns can do to people.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.2.

This game reminded me of 2400AD, a really old sci-fi RPG that I liked. That makes Fallout only the third sci-fi RPG I have played. SWTOR is the second sci-fi RPG I played and really liked.

I also really liked Might and Magic VI, Torchlight, Oblivion, and Baldur’s Gate 1, 2 plus expansions.

I also liked Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Lands of Lore 3, Might and Magic 3, 4 and 5.

I did not like Styrateg.

I have completed the game once using a sniper type character.

DRM

Fallout is DRM free from GOG.com.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on GOG.com)

  • Windows XP or Windows Vista
  • 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended)
  • 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended
  • Mouse, Keyboard

Computer Played On

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Recommended Mods

Fallout1 Resolution Patch – Allows changing the game resolution to be higher than the fixed 640×480. You can see a larger area, but everything looks smaller.

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