Fallout 2 – PC
Developer: Black Isle Studios
Publisher: Interplay Entertainment
Release Date: September 30, 1998
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
“War. War never changes. The end of the world occurred pretty much as we had predicted. Too many humans, not enough space or resources to go around. The details are trivial and pointless, but the reasons, as always… purely human ones.” – Fallout 2, intro.
Fallout 2 begins with setting a pattern that will carry on for the rest of the series’ lifetime… Those words “War. War never changes…” well, that, and the fact that Pip Boys rock! I mean, seriously! They know your overall health by the point, They help you navigate vaults and villages, they can download info from cassette tapes… there’s even an app for it… wait, I’m getting sidetracked here, aren’t I?
So, if anyone remembers anything from the first game… Fallout starts with you being sent out to get a new water chip to save the vault dwellers of Vault 13. While searching, you stumble across a problem that ultimately becomes a threat to the whole world. Upon saving this forsaken world (Fallout 2 story line begins), your own people of Vault 13 cast you out. Exile you. No longer seeing you as a “savior” or a “champion.” To them, you are a threat and a monster. Left with no choice, the hero of Vault 13 treks to the north. There, he finds a settlement to live out the rest of his years.
This same settlement is where you were born. You are a direct descendant of the hero of Vault 13, known to the village as “the chosen one.” Your village has fallen on hard times, and you were chosen to save it by retrieving the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, or G.E.C.K. for short. The G.E.C.K. is a device that is used to remove the radiation in a given area and it brings new life to the land.
While retrieving this miracle device, you stumble upon a new enemy. This enemy is the Enclave. The Enclave is a dark, xenophobic group that claims to be what remains of the U.S. Government. They have concocted an evil plan to eliminate all “impure” life and to take over the wastelands. It is up to you and you alone to stop them. Will you succeed and save the world, like your ancestor did? Or will the radroaches and molerats pick your bones as they bleach in the sun that scorches the devastated wastelands?
Now, let’s get down to the graphical part of the review, shall we? I played this game, expecting to see a bit of a jump in the quality. While I understand that this game was released in 1998, I still expected something to improve. The cut scenes improved at least, but that wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I feel like they just copied and pasted the code from the first game into the second one. That actually rings true for my second gripe.
The fighting and confrontations in this game are exactly the same as in the original. Again, copy and paste. I mean, I get that turn based fighting is a popular and even easy way to organize the events that occur in fighting parts in a game. Several games have turn based fighting in them. But Fallout 2 is just as unorganized as the first. Some enemies have a ridiculous amount of AP (ability points) or something, because the same guy can be punching you for a long while, and you can do nothing but watch as your Pip Boy shows your health dropping to the single digits.
Even though the game isn’t super user friendly, I have to say that I appreciate the little things in Fallout 2. You have the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (Strength. Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.) stats. You have the V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), making it easier to get critical hits. I appreciate all the people you can talk to and the places you can explore (most of which, is vastly empty wasteland). But my favorite is that your dialogue can be determined by your level of intelligence. I’m not even kidding! If you set your game up new and set your character’s S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats with an intelligence stat that is lower than 3, your character will have dialogue that is severely limited. The smartest thing you can say is “duh.” No joke! It is actually quite funny. But it makes the game so much harder to play. It’s like setting the difficulty to “very freaking hard!” Personally, I like to play as the smart, smooth talking, energy weapon master. I feel like I can identify with that the best (at least, I like to think that way).
The story in Fallout 2 is captivating and interesting. I have to say, the story is worth playing through the game. I think you would agree if you love a good story. It is also nice to see things in this game that gets carried over in the Fallout games that followed and continue to follow to this day.
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