Games You May Have Missed: Fallout 2

After our last article on Fallout 1 it’s time to take a look at its follow up and what it contributed to the Fallout series.

First and foremost, Fallout 2 carried on the same model for playing that was later modified and then left entirely. The game is set with a third-person view and players are given freedom of movement until they enter combat. The combat system itself is very much like the first game with a certain allotment of points to distribute between actions, movement, and use of items. And the basic mechanics are just one of many similarities within the game.
Unlike the games to follow it, Fallout 2 made a very strong point of staying connected to its roots. The game takes place several years after the events in Fallout 1 and the handiwork of The Vaultdweller are readily seen throughout the game. In fact, the main character himself/herself is the child of the hero of the previous installment. This pleasant feeling of continuity that the games began to build was unfortunately lost, mostly due to the development of the game and its changing hands.
However, despite the lack of direct connection between the early and later games, the plot line for Fallout 2 has a very direct impact on the later Fallout 3 with its introduction of the group called the ‘Enclave’. While the events in Fallout 3 only briefly brush over what happened all those year ago on the other side of the post-war United States, by playing the previous portion of the game you can begin to understand some of the more questionable aspects of the Capital Waste Enclave.
First off, many that began their Fallout experience in the third game may have been a bit confused as to why the Enclave – a group so hell bent on the superiority of humanity – would take orders from some kind of super computer. At the time, it doesn’t make any sense. Yet, after playing through the events of Fallout 2, it does begin to make itself somewhat clearer. You see, humans are soft, fleshy, and weak. We consume valuable resources, can become irrational due to our unchecked emotions, and, most importantly, we die. Not exactly the best thing in the world when you already have to struggle to survive. So, if you are looking for a way to ensure the fanatic belief in the ‘American way’ in your leadership from generation to generation, and you have the best technology the wastes have to offer, why not put it to better use rather than harassing the local tribes?
Another thing some may have noticed is the sudden change of the Enclave from aggressively isolationist to a propaganda hub, among other things. Now, some may dismiss this as just a change of heart by the developing teams, but it does make sense thematically. The original Enclave base was destroyed by The Chosen one, and the Enclave was left without a central leadership. Along with that, because they were now cut off from communication with their other cells, there is a drastic loss of manpower. Logically, though you may hate the irradiated locals, you would still need them (even if only the more pure of their stock) to maintain your troop levels.
Again, this game adds a lot to any Fallout game with the amount of lore and knowledge it would add. And its effects are not limited to Fallout 3 alone. Fallout: New Vegas make constant references, whether direct or indirect, to the earlier games, and recognizing the things they are talking about adds an immense amount of character depth to the game.