It's basically a simple, mildly entertaining, and somewhat uneven quasi-futuristic dungeon crawl for one or two players.
Ask just about anyone that's tried it, and they'll tell you that Fallout is one of the best games they've ever played. Interplay's 1997 computer role-playing game featured truly open-ended gameplay but without compromising the quality of its excellent storyline. It also featured a memorable cast of characters, a unique premise, enjoyable turn-based combat, and lots of replay value. In particular, Fallout's quirky postapocalyptic setting--which is kind of like The Road Warrior with a self-conscious dash of Leave It to Beaver--left a lasting impression on many players. It's this setting that's the star of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, which could easily be described as a hack-and-slash action game were it not for the fact that you'll use things like shotguns and laser rifles instead of swords and axes to do your dirty work. More specifically, Brotherhood of Steel is clearly inspired by and closely resembles Interplay's outstanding action RPG, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance--but it's not as impressive. Fallout fans will find that this game is fairly faithful to the spirit of the series, except for the relentless use of profanity in its dialogue, so it's basically a simple, mildly entertaining, and somewhat uneven quasi-futuristic dungeon crawl for one or two players.
Brotherhood of Steel features a linear campaign, which can be played through by one or two people. Players assume the role of initiates in the Brotherhood of Steel, a faction of futuristic "knights" attempting to bring some order to a postnuclear world-gone-wild. Initially, three characters are available: a woman named Nadia, a tough guy named Cyrus, and a mutant "ghoul" named Cain. Additional characters are unlocked as you make your way through the game, but all of them play roughly identically. In practice, the characters don't even look very different, since they appear quite small on the screen. The game's plot has you trying to track down your Brotherhood comrades, from whom you were separated. In so doing, you'll free a village from some ruthless raiders, confront ghouls in an overrun city, visit one of the vaults in which humanity saved itself from nuclear destruction, and uncover a super mutant plot, among other things.
The gameplay of Brotherhood of Steel mostly involves running around enemy-infested environments and slugging it out with just about everything that stands in your way, while using the Fallout equivalent of health potions--called stimpacks--whenever you're low on health. You may have three different weapons on hand at a time, so it's easy to switch between ranged and melee weapons on the fly, for instance (using the black and white buttons to cycle through them). In addition to attacking, you can jump (there's a good bit of bottomless-pit-leaping in this game), crouch (which is a more or less worthless ability), and execute quick evasive maneuvers in one of four directions. You may also target your nearest foe using the right shoulder button, who'll become outlined in red (or blue for player two), which allows you to automatically keep a bead on him while firing at him with whatever ranged weapon you have on hand. You might have to tap the targeting button a couple of times if you're surrounded, but often, you can just lay on the targeting and fire buttons, and you'll automatically kill everything in your vicinity. You don't have to stop what you're doing to use stimpacks, either. As such, the action in Brotherhood of Steel is pretty mindless (though toggling on the friendly-fire option in two-player mode can make things a bit more interesting). Hack-and-slash games shouldn't be complicated, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have any depth.
Brotherhood of Steel isn't a long game, and it weighs in somewhere close to 10 hours from start to finish. However, it feels pretty long because the nature of the gameplay is very repetitive. You'll face different types of foes, and Fallout fans will recognize some of them, especially the radscorpions, the super mutants, the ghouls, and the deathclaws. Despite the variety, these enemies all adopt one of two types of tactics. If they have ranged weapons, they'll shoot at you, and if they don't, they'll run up and try to hit you at close range. A few later sequences have you escorting or traveling alongside a computer-controlled ally of some sort, and there's a bit of light puzzle-solving. Also, there's a small handful of interesting scripted events that occur in some of the stages, and there are a few stages that have you facing multiple types of opponents that want to kill each other as much as they want to kill you. But these are relatively rare exceptions, and the core gameplay of Brotherhood of Steel remains simple and constant throughout the experience.
The action-oriented gameplay is occasionally interrupted by dialogue sequences, which seem overly drawn-out--so you'll probably find yourself skipping over the speech and skimming the text so that you can proceed to the next fight posthaste. Fallout fans might appreciate appearances by a few characters from the original, though they might not immediately recognize these characters since Brotherhood of Steel evidently takes place some decades after the conclusion of the first game. Some Fallout fans are also going to be put off by the incessant use of profanity in the dialogue.
- Player Reviews: 22
- Game Universe:
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (PS2, XBOX),
- Fallout 3 - Operation: Anchorage (X360, PC, PS3),
- Fallout 3: The Pitt (PC, X360, PS3),
- Fallout 3: Broken Steel (PS3, PC, X360),
- Fallout: New Vegas (X360, PS3, PC),
- Fallout 3: Point Lookout (PC, X360, PS3),
- Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition (X360, PS3, PC),
- Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta (X360, PC, PS3),
- Fallout 3 Game Add-On Pack: Broken Steel and Point Lookout (X360, PC),
- Fallout (PC, MAC, UNIX)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: