Old School RPG Corner: Fallout.
(AfroGamers.com) PC-based RPGs tend to allow for a great deal of exploration and adventure. They can also provide players with some incredibly difficult battles. Those battles got more manageable when the 1990s rolled around and the graphical aspect of games became more pronounced. One title that emphasized this was the first Fallout.
This title is known today for being one of the best and enjoyable RPGs. Sure some of the true RPG elements that were in the franchise have either been dropped or simplified by the time Fallout 4 was released but the first game really stuck to the whole level up and allocate stat points approach. Not only that but Fallout had skills that used every stat. This means you weren’t scratching your head wondering “What the f*** does ‘Luck’ do?!”
The story to Fallout is one of an apocalyptic landscape where China and the U.S went to war in what was originally a retro-futuristic world. Everything was very much the 1950s vision of the future. There are conventional firearms in addition to laser-type weapons, body armor, and armored suits. Mutants, robots, and mutated beasts roam the land.
In the first game—as well as the second and New Vegas—the story takes place in the western U.S., so its even more of a desert landscape. Your character—which you can create or select from pre-created ones—is tasked with getting a water chip for your vault. This is a location where a few were able to outlast the heavy radiation of the nuclear bombs dropped.
That is another thing that made Fallout so great was the freedom of creation if you wanted to make your own character. It wasn’t on par with the 3D Fallout games that came along in the early 2000s but you could handle the stats and skills as you wanted. If you wanted someone who fought hand-to-hand like Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, you could do that—which I usually did. If you wanted someone with technology and medical skills, that can be done.
Not only that but you were able to develop these skills accordingly through actions in the world. Someone who has a focus on thievery and lockpicking will get the opportunity to develop these thanks to the locked doors and combat situations in-game.
The cool thing about combat in Fallout and even Fallout 2 is that combat was that it was tactics-based. That means all of your party and the enemies were on the map, each combatant’s speed stat determines when they will act, and your distance determines the accuracy of your attack if you use ranged weapons. Each weapon came with several kinds of attack which used up more and more Action Points (AP). To a degree it’s similar to Fallout 3 and titles beyond’s combat system only turned-based.
Fallout can be dated for players who first experience was with Fallout 3 or even Fallout 4. Graphically, it was good for its time but the isometric approach could be unsettling even though the gameplay itself worked perfectly for the period. That said, at times battles can be difficult since you weren’t able to move freely and avoid attacks and heal when you wanted. You had to use a high degree of strategy in these fights.
For the Fallout diehard who follows the story and knows the lore, the first game will be an enjoyable history experience since the mainstream games in the franchise work off of it.
RATING: 8 out of 10 (Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.