Monday, June 17, 2024

Rest or Reset: Fallout Tactics.

( For this “Rest or Reset” we’re looking at a long-lost title in the Fallout line-up: Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Released in 2001, FT is a spin-off inspired by another spin-off: Final Fantasy Tactics. However, it had more going on than the original FFT.

What Was Fallout Tactics?

FT was a tactical RPG which played a lot like the main Fallout games as far as the combat is concerned. That’s the main difference between the two series: Fallout is all about the action and adventure along with the exploration that comes with it.

Meanwhile, Tactics was more about achieving the objectives for this mission. The team management and choice of missions made this more like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in its flexibility. However, the exploration and revisiting of locations for economic or whatever reasons was removed in Tactics.

It actually makes sense as Tactics gives players control over a team of Brotherhood of Steel initiates. Since they have a base with its own store, there’s really not reason for trade with waste landers and vault dwellers.

If you’re familiar with the combat in the first two Fallout games, that’s the focus in Tactics. It’s still very much an RPG and has a storyline but the focus is on strategic battles and character growth from those battles.

Fallout Tactics.

So What Happened?

Who knows? Fallout Tactics actually did very well for a game that was mainly for PC release at a time when most gamers were overwhelmingly still on console. If anything, Tactics should’ve been it’s own series. Publisher Interplay had several games it was getting out during the early 2000s while developer Micro Forté could’ve easily taken on another game in the series—if their game catalog is any indication.

Things ending with Tactics and the game being considered non-canon will always be a head scratcher because it’s a really good tactical RPG.

Rest or Reset

This is an obvious “reset”, folks. The main reason I say this is because Bethesda did try something new with Fallout via the Fallout Vault mobile game. Wouldn’t you believe it: the game is actually fun. The franchise is flexible enough that different things can be attempted and a failure is unlikely but not damaging.

Fallout 76 didn’t go the way Bethesda intended at all but the studio is still working on titles and isn’t in any threat of getting closed down. Why not make another attempt? Something safer? Tactics is a series that could be brought back either on PC as a new, ongoing thing for the Fallout purists out there.

However, I believe there is also a spot for Tactics on mobile. Games Workshop and Wizards of the West Coast showed this was possible with Warhammer and Dungeons & Dragons, respectively. Both games studios have titles that with a tactical RPG approach on mobile and those games are actually enjoyable.

Bethesda has dropped a few games on mobile with the grindy The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a trading card game based on TES, and the aforementioned Fallout Shelter. The studio has a presence on mobile but it needs a third banger and I think a mobile revival of Tactics without a gacha element would work. The game would just need to be true to the main series games in the same way as Diablo Immortal is to the rest of the Diablo series.

Of course, mobile can be a hard platform to portray Tactics on and having it on PC as a game where players can create their own maps, mobs, missions, and so on could end up being a cult hit. If anything, it would be similar to Wasteland 3 or Shadowrun Returns/Hong Kong as a returning tactical RPG series.

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.

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