While Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were massive hits on both console and PC, most players haven’t considered the earlier games: Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics. While the generation gap between these games is considerable – taking into account the ‘lifespan’ of your average game – they do add much needed context to their later counterparts. So, in an effort to educate the unirradiated masses, We’ve taken it upon ourselves to cobble together a three part showcase of the earlier games in the hopes of convincing a few of you to check them out (sadly, they never made the jump to consoles, so let’s hope your PC is up to snuff). So, without further ado, let’s jump into the first part of the series: Fallout.
Now, Fallout laid the groundwork for the following games, and many of its features were carried over – S.P.E.C.I.A.L., tag skills, and traits (for some reason they never made it into Fallout 3). However, that’s where most of the similarities stop. As opposed to the last two additions to the series, Fallout (and the two that followed it) is a third person, turn based game; that’s quite the change from what many have come to consider as the norm. Yet, it works. Maybe it’s because it’s an old game, and that was the style, or maybe it’s because the Action Point system reminds me of the later V.A.T.S. system – either way, this change is neither for the better or worse.
Now, moving onto the gameplay and plot, both are a bit of a change for newcomers. First off, there aren’t nearly as many side missions as in the recent releases. Instead, as with most old games, players often find themselves out in the wastes, grinding out levels, in order to take on the later quests. Also, very unlike any recent game, there’s no real tutorial for the game. Just like a real vault dweller going out into the world for the first time, you learn through trial and error. And, this being an older game, it does not hesitate to punish you with a gruesome death for a few slip-ups along the way.
Still, despite the change of pace from what most gamers have come to expect (which can be either good or bad, depending on the gamer in question), the story line – and most importantly: it’s main villain – is superb. In the recent games, you may have run into some severely twisted individuals (Harold or Lilly from either game), or heard mention of ominous things like ‘The Master’ or ‘F.E.V.’. Whether or not you have had some of these experiences, these all deal with what becomes the main mission in the first game.
To avoid ruining the game for those of you who may be interested in checking it out, not playing this game does not prevent you from fully enjoying the later installments, it adds so much more to the experience. Also, out of all the villains you meet throughout the series, the main villain of Fallout is the most iconic and interesting of them all. Incidentally, he is also the most difficult to kill, so keep that in mind.
So, if you’re a big fan of the Fallout series, consider checking out where it all began. While the game isn’t a graphical masterpiece (few from that time are) it makes up for it with its rich lore that sparked a four (hopefully five) game series that spanned decades. Also, if this article interested you, keep tune for the next showcase for Fallout 2.