Fallout is a spiritual successor to the 1980's Crpg, Wasteland. Set in a post apocalyptic Southwest America, Fallout is often called one of the best rpgs ever made. Can it live up to this hype? Well, read on!
Fallout is a giant open world game. Every task has multiple ways of completion, and there are no set paths or even restrictions in this game. Want to be a goody two shoes that saves the day? You can do that. Want to be an evil guy who shoots innocents in the groin with a plasma riffle? Totally possible! The lack of classes or normal skill trees helps this game open up even more.
The turn based combat is satisfying and immersive. The ability to spread out your skill points between different combat types means that your character acts how you want, not how a predefined class wants. Traits and skills help you specialize even more in certain combat types, with companions also specializing in certain combat types.
Adding to the feel of the world is the insanely hardcore gameplay. From the VERY beginning of the game, you're thrown into the wasteland with high leveled enemies, and are likely to get killed with in seconds. However, the game gets even more hardcore near the end of the story. Drink dirty water by mistake? You're dead. Run into a super mutant? You're dead. Get poisoned without any antidote on hand? You're dead. I think it's clear how hardcore this game is now.
Don't worry though, the game is even more rewarding than it is hard. Character creation options can, and WILL change your game and how it plays. The normal RPG elements of adding carrying capacity for strength and adding extra dialogue for intelligence are present; but so are far more advanced ones. I don't want to spoil the game too much, but I will give one major example. If you're intelligence is below a certain point, you play as a "stupid" character who can barely talk!
Astonishingly, Fallout manages to make nearly all of its quests unique and fun. Even the standard "fetch" quests spread through so many unique places and so much witty dialogue that they manage to remain memorable. Story quests are even longer, with some spanning the entire game, and affecting all other quests. Each quest tends to play out differently base on your actions, with some even completely changing. (For example, the Iguana Bill quest can end with you blackmailing a character to get profits every week)
In short, Fallout is one of the few RPGs that can claim it has truly open and unrestricted gameplay. Something that's amazing considering the age of Fallout, the fact that it was released in a time where swearing was near illegal on national television, and the fact that it manages to be polished in nearly every aspect.
Fallout has an atmosphere of near total despair; towns are ruined, people die of disease regularly, mutants roam the wasteland regularly, and illegal crime flourishes. What's amazing about this is that Fallout (and the entire fallout series) has an amazing sense of humor and satire. Everything from dialogue to descriptions and images has a wonderful light hearted-ness.
This atmosphere is reflected in the gameplay thoroughly, with the majority of the desperation of the world being reflected through gameplay. From the constant attacks of mutants to the fact that gangs often appear with very powerful weapons.
The only problem with the atmosphere of Fallout is the fact that its engine somewhat limits it. Other than gameplay and dialogue, there are few, if any, ways that atmosphere is shown to the player. The graphics of towns are far too primitive to properly showcase atmosphere.
There's not much to be said in this area. Fallout has some really good graphics for the time. Mutants and characters look great, and towns are pretty crisp. Camera angles are sadly limited, and flatter areas seem.. dull. Despite this, the graphics are easy to live with, and are easy on the eye.
Fallout doesn't have much music, but the few tracks it has are done wonderfully, with almost all of them dragging you further into the game. Most of the sound effects are great, particularly those used in combat, with many enemies using sounds that add to the atmosphere of the game. (The mutants are especially good at this).
Sadly, the majority of the dialogue in the game is totally text based, with voice acting only being used on very important characters. Despite this, the majority of voice acting is done tastefully, with many of the voices fitting the characters well. In particular, the villains of the game have skilled voice actors, and voices that add to the feel of the story.
Fallout's story is something that really opens up the more you play. Just like most of the game, it is very open and has many ways of completion. Sadly, the campaign of Fallout must be beaten in 150 days which is FAR too little; and really only gets in the way of exploring the world. The world does however open up after you finish the main campaign, and the time limit is removed.
Despite the time limit, the story manages to be one of the best video game stories in history. A highly emotion plot that doesn't resort to making you the sole hero or Chosen One, it explores the limits of humans and the consequences of both positive and negative actions. Fallout's story goes far enough to consider that our intent isn't always enough to justify what we do, and shows that even with enough effort; our plans and hopes can sometimes be unattainable without the help of others.
Simply put, Fallout executes its plot in a way that keeps you thinking far after you beat the final boss.
Fallout is a game that fuses an excellent plot with a completely nonlinear approach to gameplay masterfully. Though held back slightly by its engine limitations and its time limit, Fallout is a game that every pc gamer must play.
Pros: Excellent nonlinear gameplay
Thought provoking plot
Proper use of RPG elements
Cons: Time limit for the main campaign
Very few characters with voice acting.