Good Old Reviews: Fallout

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Good Old Reviews: Fallout

fallout gog cover

Good Old Review's month of classic role-playing games continues with Interplay's Fallout.

It's the year 2161, and decades of war and nuclear destruction have rendered the United States of America a wasteland. Many survivors live underground in vaults, completely unaware of what fresh air and natural light are like. This post-apocalyptic, futuristic setting sounds all too familiar in 2013, but I imagine it was a lot fresher in 1997, when Interplay Entertainment released Fallout. Even after 16 years, Fallout offers an intriguing, sometimes addictive gameplay experience for the first-time player. That said, it's also clearly showing its age and can be really cheap; as a first-time player I often found myself quitting out of frustration, only to jump right back in.

Vault 13 is where the game's protagonist has lived his or her entire life. It may not be paradise, but at least it's safe from radiation, mutants, and the violent gangs that roam the wasteland. Unfortunately, the Water Chip, responsible for providing fresh water to Vault 13's inhabitants, is broken, and it's up to one inhabitant--the player, of course--to find a replacement. With a Pip-Boy 2000 in hand, the protagonist is sent into the real world for the first time, leaving the safety of Vault 13 behind.

For an older title, I was a little surprised at the almost overwhelming amount of information Fallout introduced me to right off the bat. There are three pre-made characters ready to go, and they can be tweaked to each player's specifications. Skills and stats will affect your approach to the game; you can be diplomatic, stealthy, or always ready for a fight, depending on your character. I picked Natalia, described in her character bio as intelligent and resourceful, and chose not to deviate too far from her given stats. Not being familiar with the game, I didn't want to create a character that would impede my progress.

After leaving Vault 13, there's almost no direction given to the player, which I found really jarring at first. Part of this is because in the 1990s, game manuals provided much more relevant information, and sure enough there was a tutorial of sorts in the PDF manual. After clicking the icons on-screen I became familiar with my inventory, where I could equip weapons and armor or use healing mechanisms, my skills, and the Pip-Boy 2000.

My first attempt at Fallout was not successful. There's an in-game time limit counting down until Vault 13's water supply runs out, and I wasted many of those days running back and forth between Vault 13 and the abandoned, run-down Vault 15 before wandering into a town, saying the wrong thing to an inhabitant, and promptly being murdered. In addition to obvious threats like monsters and gang members, sometimes people will just attack for something you said or because you walked into the wrong door in a seemingly safe area. It's frustrating, but taught me an important lesson about playing Fallout: save often.

There are plenty of different settings to explore in Fallout, all of which can be found by wandering around the area map or talking to locals to find out what's nearby. From rat-filled abandoned vaults to radscorpion-infested caves, the wasteland is a dangerous place, and I had to learn how to fight quickly. Combat itself is turned-based, but takes place right in the environment and starts as soon as you're approached by a foe. There's no cutting away to a separate battle screen. After equipping my weapon, attacking was as simple as clicking the offending enemy, assuming it was within range. How successful the attacks are depends on a variety of things, including the character's abilities. Thankfully, the game provides a few meager weapons at the start, so at least I didn't have to fight rats with my bare hands.

Though Fallout initially frustrated me, I always found myself going back for more, setting aside more modern titles to make time for this 16-year-old game. As a fan of old-school adventure games and RPGs, this one really appealed to me, even though the path to victory was frequently unclear. Fallout was my introduction to the post-apocalyptic series, and after a few hours I was left with the impression that I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era. The exploration and combat can be satisfying, and personally, I never get tired of a good post-apocalypse story. It's definitely not for everyone; the cheap deaths and lack of direction are sure to aggravate some gamers. Despite how many times I died at the hands of seemingly harmless citizens or overpowered mutants however, and how many hours I wasted trying to find the right supplies, I enjoyed my time with Fallout, and I'd recommend it to others. This is especially true right now, since the game is currently free at GOG, along with its sequel and Fallout: Tactics. Just remember: save your game. Save your game a lot.

Come back on Saturday, December 21st to read Andy Chalk's take on the dungeon crawler Stonekeep.

Permalink

I consider Fallout 2 to be a lot more fun. Mostly because there's just....more. More freedom, more locations, more quests, more characters, more story, more weapons, more tongue-in-cheek pop culture references etc....

I kind of have a hard time playing FO1 after FO2. That stupid time limit just kills the enjoyment.

" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

SanguiniusMagnificum:
I consider Fallout 2 to be a lot more fun. Mostly because there's just....more. More freedom, more locations, more quests, more characters, more story, more weapons, more tongue-in-cheek pop culture references etc....

I kind of have a hard time playing FO1 after FO2. That stupid time limit just kills the enjoyment.

I always have trouble starting up a game in Fallout 2. That beginning village and the opening test always annoys me. I much prefer the rat-filled cave of Fallout 1. I miss games that just let you play without being molested for an hour in a "training" area.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

Sure! I was a teenager in the late 90s and just starting to get into games that had RPG elements, like the Final Fantasy series, Saga Frontier, and later EverQuest (my first and only MMO obsession). I loved finding games that let me explore and run wild and figure things out at my own pace, and being a fan of apocalypse tales, I think Fallout would have been right up my alley. My budget was also a lot more limited in 1997, since I was 15, so another game that I could spend dozens of hours playing and replaying would have been ideal.

That's not to say it's a bad game now, or that I've grown out of that (still love RPGs of all kinds)--I just think that I could've been a lifelong Fallout fan if I'd played this one when it was new. Playing it now was enjoyable, but I'd rather be playing the stack of new games I have waiting for me. Like you said, though, just a matter of preference. :)

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

Did you play Fallout back when it came out?
If you did then that's probably why. :p

I'm with the reviewer here.
I tried F1 way back when GOG had a free download of it.
And I remember sitting there playing, thinking to myself the exact same thing.
The game wasn't bad. At all.
Just pretty dated. I really felt its clunkiness, and the game is kind of dull to look at. (Not talking graphics, more aesthetics, but even more than that, the limited ways they had to express that back then. Which I realize is not their fault and I'm not blaming them, but seeing it now...it's a hard hurdle to get over.)

Similar to how I, a big Morrowind fan, can't understand why some people can't overlook the (from my perspective) small flaws and see all the great stuff about it.
Though over time I have come to realize how a first time player could be easily frustrated and even bored by the game.
It's all perspective, and this is what I would assume the reviewer meant. : ]

I'm sure someone more capable can give a more succinct version of my overly verbose response.

piinyouri:

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

Did you play Fallout back when it came out?
If you did then that's probably why. :p

I'm with the reviewer here.
I tried F1 way back when GOG had a free download of it.
And I remember sitting there playing, thinking to myself the exact same thing.
The game wasn't bad. At all.
Just pretty dated. I really felt its clunkiness, and the game is kind of dull to look at. (Not talking graphics, more aesthetics, but even more than that, the limited ways they had to express that back then. Which I realize is not their fault and I'm not blaming them, but seeing it now...it's a hard hurdle to get over.)

Similar to how I, a big Morrowind fan, can't understand why some people can't overlook the (from my perspective) small flaws and see all the great stuff about it.
Though over time I have come to realize how a first time player could be easily frustrated and even bored by the game.
It's all perspective, and this is what I would assume the reviewer meant. : ]

I'm sure someone more capable can give a more succinct version of my overly verbose response.

So true! Nostalgia and familiarity can be a big factor in how much you enjoy older games. It's like when people try to play FFVII for the first time and complain that it's dated or melodramatic or ugly and I'm like "What are you talking about it's so good!"

piinyouri:

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

Did you play Fallout back when it came out?
If you did then that's probably why. :p

I'm with the reviewer here.
I tried F1 way back when GOG had a free download of it.
And I remember sitting there playing, thinking to myself the exact same thing.
The game wasn't bad. At all.
Just pretty dated. I really felt its clunkiness, and the game is kind of dull to look at. (Not talking graphics, more aesthetics, but even more than that, the limited ways they had to express that back then. Which I realize is not their fault and I'm not blaming them, but seeing it now...it's a hard hurdle to get over.)

Similar to how I, a big Morrowind fan, can't understand why some people can't overlook the (from my perspective) small flaws and see all the great stuff about it.
Though over time I have come to realize how a first time player could be easily frustrated and even bored by the game.
It's all perspective, and this is what I would assume the reviewer meant. : ]

I'm sure someone more capable can give a more succinct version of my overly verbose response.

no, the first time i played it was last month, i would have played it when it came out but i was 2 then :D
some of the things are pretty dated but the game is still a blast to play imo.

Sarah LeBoeuf:

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

Sure! I was a teenager in the late 90s and just starting to get into games that had RPG elements, like the Final Fantasy series, Saga Frontier, and later EverQuest (my first and only MMO obsession). I loved finding games that let me explore and run wild and figure things out at my own pace, and being a fan of apocalypse tales, I think Fallout would have been right up my alley. My budget was also a lot more limited in 1997, since I was 15, so another game that I could spend dozens of hours playing and replaying would have been ideal.

That's not to say it's a bad game now, or that I've grown out of that (still love RPGs of all kinds)--I just think that I could've been a lifelong Fallout fan if I'd played this one when it was new. Playing it now was enjoyable, but I'd rather be playing the stack of new games I have waiting for me. Like you said, though, just a matter of preference. :)

fair enough, the only big problem i had with fallout is that the UI was slightly clunky. but i find something really charming about the game

The game doesnt hold your hand and put an objective marker in front of you every 10 feet? Dialogue actually has consequences, and people wont just let you wander onto their property? Fights are difficult and not scaled so that you always have the edge? These all sound like positives to me Andy.

It was a very good game. I dont remember having problems with the timer, as long as you go to get the waterchip back to the vault you can go save the world afterwards. Altertively you can purchase water from the water merchants to deliever it at the vault which buys you some more time.

You should give Fallout 2 a try as well, as it has some very good gameplay too. And for a fallout experience with more modern style of play we got New Vegas and Fallout 3, also two good games.

LiMaSaRe:
The game doesnt hold your hand and put an objective marker in front of you every 10 feet? Dialogue actually has consequences, and people wont just let you wander onto their property? Fights are difficult and not scaled so that you always have the edge? These all sound like positives to me Andy.

Hi, I'm not Andy. :) I get what you're saying, but I think there's a balance to be had between complete hand-holding and "Here you go, into this world full of threatening things that will kill you and derail all of your progress in an instant, no explanation needed, good luck!" Maybe I'm just too used to modern RPGs and JRPGs, though. I certainly didn't expect to be shot just because I wanted to enter someone's home uninvited and demand they talk to me... hmmm okay maybe you have a point.

I purchased this game off of GoG after playing through Fallout: New Vegas a few times.

I really did like it. It was atmospheric, challenging, and had a good story. What I didn't really like was the RNG during battles. I've died several times and most of those deaths involve enemies pulling off criticals and insta-killing me. There really isn't much for me to do about that other than to constantly save and reload.

Still though, I had a lot of fun with this game and 2 and made me enjoy New Vegas much more now that I know some of the history behind some of the characters and factions in that game.

scorptatious:
I purchased this game off of GoG after playing through Fallout: New Vegas a few times.

I really did like it. It was atmospheric, challenging, and had a good story. What I didn't really like was the RNG during battles. I've died several times and most of those deaths involve enemies pulling off criticals and insta-killing me. There really isn't much for me to do about that other than to constantly save and reload.

Still though, I had a lot of fun with this game and 2 and made me enjoy New Vegas much more now that I know some of the history behind some of the characters and factions in that game.

Fallout definitely did a good job of making me want to jump into the more modern games in the series. I agree that it was atmospheric and challenging (not impossible, sometimes cheap, but whatever) and now I'm hopping on the Fallout 4 rumor hype train. I always wanted to play Fallout 3 and never got around to it, actually; maybe that's a good goal for when the holiday season rush dies down.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
I certainly didn't expect to be shot just because I wanted to enter someone's home uninvited and demand they talk to me...

Part of the issue here, as well as being attacked without warning in "safe" cities may have been due to forgetting (or not knowing) to un-equip weapons when entering those areas. Usually you can see text comments above people's heads (so not the usual chat screen) to the effect of "You better holster that weapon while you're here." You then have about 15 seconds or so to put your gun away (swap to empty hands) or they assume you're there for violent reasons and attack you. These text warnings can be hard to notice sometimes.

Other things that can start unexpected fights, if I recall correctly, is looting someone's house while they are in the same room and notice it. Just wait for NPC's to wander off. Not sure about that one though as it's been a while since I played it and may be confused with other games with "thief"-catching measures in place.

hilarious how at the end of the article it says its free on gog right now yet the first facebook comment says "lost my copy, i guess ill get another from steam" lol

ive been trying to convince my friends to get tactics so we can play together, its pretty good too, at least what ive played of it. which isnt much admittedly but if nothing else it still has mission briefings narrated by Ronald Lee Emery!

'Time Limit':
MODS TO THE RECUSE!

While I still own the original box for all three games, I do agree that FO1 was rather hard to deal with when it came to the time limit.

At least there's mods out there that fix it, which gives you more time to enjoy its great world.

Tanis:
'Time Limit':
MODS TO THE RECUSE!

While I still own the original box for all three games, I do agree that FO1 was rather hard to deal with when it came to the time limit.

At least there's mods out there that fix it, which gives you more time to enjoy its great world.

i love the time limit and its one of the reasons i prefer the first game to the second. (fallout 2 has a time limit i think but its so long that you wouldn't normally reach it without doing absolutely everything and taking forever to do it)

for me it solves the dilemma of certain more modern rpgs *cough (thanks bethesda) wherein you're set loose in a massive world and given no direction whatsoever.

in fallout 1 you're still set loose in a massive world, and can travel any direction you wish, but by starting you off with a goal and a limit you need to complete it within, you're given much more of a sense of purpose, because you're not just exploring all these places because i don't know, you're actually looking for something.

Fallout is the single best game I've ever played, bar none. Maybe because it introduced me to more than mindless action, maybe because it had actual conversation in it, or the story, or the vast ways you could build your character, or a fantastic setting and atmosphere... or all those things combined, but it stands as the absolute best, today.

Some of the awesomeness can be understood here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBtongue/videos
I can't link to anything specific, because most of it is brilliant and explains exactly the mindset that appreciates the gaming of the late 90's.

It is one of the pinnacles of gaming history and vastly underrated, but luckily a lot of people remember it.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

I played it when it was new, so I'm with you.

A friend of mine, who's older than me, very strategic and an avid gamer never tried it before Fallout 3, so going back to 1 was horrible for him. He didn't like it much and didn't give it an honest chance...
I'll admit the graphics are dated. Very dated. For me, it doesn't mean much, but when I went back to tactics recently, I just gave up.. there's not enough(initial) story to make up for the gameplay, but I'll give it another go soon, when my catalogue of games is less attractive.

There's just this level of intelligence and treating the player like s/he has an actual brain to work with that's so appealing to these games.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...there's almost no direction given to the player...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...even though the path to victory was frequently unclear...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...lack of direction...

...Ok. This obviously bothered you but I'd like to better understand this particular complaint of yours.

I mean, you're given a pretty clear goal, from the get go: Find a new water chip. It's something you can pretty much ask almost every person of power about, in every settlement (granted most of them have no idea where to find one but few can point you in the right direction). You're initially given the location of the nearest vault and you're pretty much guarantied to find Shady Sands that's right next to it. That town is then supposed to serve as a point where you're given information about nearby settlements and even has the option of extending the water supply, for your vault, so that you can have more time to find the chip.

Once you do find the damn thing, you're given your secondary goal, which technically has no countdown timer, although the more time you spend dilly dallying about, the more villages get overrun, which results in a worse ending narration.

I don't know. Frankly, I don't see how the game could have given you a clearer goal, given that you're supposed to be playing a character who has no knowledge or experience with the outside world and thus couldn't possibly know anything about the nearby town locations or the people of interest, without exploring/asking around first.

P.S. Regarding complaints about the time limit: It never bothered me so much. I managed to find the chip and give it back in time, on my first run (Although I'll admit that I found the option to trade water to the vault, which gave me extended time). I mean, yes, I do prefer the gameplay of Fallout 2 better, due to there being no initial countdown (despite that nagging shaman telling me otherwise), thus giving me more freedom, but it wasn't really an issue for me to begin with.

I picked this up from GoG a while back, having never played it before... I made it a few grid squares out of the starting area and was attacked by an entire gang of bandits who gunned me down before I could take a single action. Total duration of game, having not saved: about 20 minutes.

I did start up another game, and played it for maybe another 7 or 8 hours, but I just wasn't having fun. I can tolerate a certain amount of old-school charm (I did finish Deus Ex after playing Human Revolution!) but this was too much. Had I picked this up years ago when I was unemployed and had nothing but free time to play games, I probably would've spent months with it, but now I can't handle games that require that kind of investment.

Aaah memories.... I totally get people picking this up and not enjoying it now. But, back in the late 90s when your RPG options were pretty much fantasy, or this, it was a refreshing and awesome change. I still have my original wire-bound manual and the original CD sitting in my office. So many hours, so much fun, if you can get past the initial difficulty, the game has a wicked sense of humor too, actually... the whole water chip thing could be considered black humor itself lol.

I played Fallout 1 and 2 when I was in high school or middle school and still consider them to be infinitely better the the modern Fallout games. Fallout 1 remins to be one of my favorite RPGs of all time. Definitely a learning curve but once I figured out what I was doing, I couldn't stop playing. *sigh* I miss the isometric turn-based Fallout games. Maybe they'll make a new one some day....I'm not holding my breath

I snagged the set at walmart off the discount rack, partially for the brand, mostly because I am a fan of isometric turn based games. Icewind Dale started me on that kick. The time limit did help instill urgency, and it definitely had a lot of quirks that you can see in current games. I just ran into issues of rushing too hard to find the chip, and wound up dead in the wasteland too many times from not being prepared.

Smilomaniac:
Fallout is the single best game I've ever played, bar none. Maybe because it introduced me to more than mindless action, maybe because it had actual conversation in it, or the story, or the vast ways you could build your character, or a fantastic setting and atmosphere... or all those things combined, but it stands as the absolute best, today.

Some of the awesomeness can be understood here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBtongue/videos
I can't link to anything specific, because most of it is brilliant and explains exactly the mindset that appreciates the gaming of the late 90's.

It is one of the pinnacles of gaming history and vastly underrated, but luckily a lot of people remember it.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

I played it when it was new, so I'm with you.

A friend of mine, who's older than me, very strategic and an avid gamer never tried it before Fallout 3, so going back to 1 was horrible for him. He didn't like it much and didn't give it an honest chance...
I'll admit the graphics are dated. Very dated. For me, it doesn't mean much, but when I went back to tactics recently, I just gave up.. there's not enough(initial) story to make up for the gameplay, but I'll give it another go soon, when my catalogue of games is less attractive.

There's just this level of intelligence and treating the player like s/he has an actual brain to work with that's so appealing to these games.

Why does everyone assume i played it when it was new? :<
I wasn't born when it came out, i played it a month or 2 ago.
also, i played fallout 3 before i played fallout 1 and it made me realize how awful fallout 3 is, i was a bit bothered by the graphics when i started playing but i think there's something charming about the graphics of fallout and other crpgs
lastly, thanks for calling me intelligent ^^

I played the first two games before Fallout 3 release (i have to start at 1, always). It was pretty good game but it shows its age a lot at what then was 10 years of time passed. its still enjoyable, but the amount of bugs in it cuases me nto to revisit it.

Although Fallout 2 was bigger, I had a preference for its predecessor, mostly because there were fewer pop culture references and Fallout 2 had a bigger habit of breaking the 4th wall a bit too often for my liking. That isn't to say Fallout 2 is a bad game, it did make several wonderful improvements, but it seemed that Interplay was content to let Chris Avellone get a little too carried away with the inclusion of his favorite things at the time.

00slash00:
I played Fallout 1 and 2 when I was in high school or middle school and still consider them to be infinitely better the the modern Fallout games. Fallout 1 remins to be one of my favorite RPGs of all time. Definitely a learning curve but once I figured out what I was doing, I couldn't stop playing. *sigh* I miss the isometric turn-based Fallout games. Maybe they'll make a new one some day....I'm not holding my breath

Can always check out Wasteland 2. It's not a new fallout by any stretch of the imagination, but Wasteland was the precursor to fallout and I think they're somewhat trying to capture the same vibe in Wasteland 2.

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

It's most likely because of the very outdated interface, clunky controls and the fact that the game mostly throws you out in the deep end right from the start, with very little assistance. It's all the more jarring when you're used to modern games and their (quite frankly excessive) tutorials and hand-holding.

If you can get past these issues, you'll find Fallout one of the better RPGs out there. More so for Fallout 2, which is pretty much an improvement on all fronts, and one of my favorite games of all times.

VladG:

Laurents van Cauwenberghe:
" I would have adored this game if I'd played it in 1997. In 2013, it loses some of the appeal, but it holds up relatively well for a game of that era."
could you elaborate? I guess it's just a personal thing but fallout and games of the same genre (crpgs, not to be confused with arpgs like fallout 3)appeal to me much more these days than any modern game could

It's most likely because of the very outdated interface, clunky controls and the fact that the game mostly throws you out in the deep end right from the start, with very little assistance. It's all the more jarring when you're used to modern games and their (quite frankly excessive) tutorials and hand-holding.

If you can get past these issues, you'll find Fallout one of the better RPGs out there. More so for Fallout 2, which is pretty much an improvement on all fronts, and one of my favorite games of all times.

to be honest, i preffer it if a game throws me in the deep end without any assistance, i'd rather try to survive the encounters by the skin of my teeth instead of the game holding my hand for the whole game.
aside from that, the interface just takes some getting used to, same with the controls. But in general i think that they're probably one of the best games made (this is not nostalgia speakin, played it 1 or 2 months ago for the first time.)

Product Placement:

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...there's almost no direction given to the player...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...even though the path to victory was frequently unclear...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...lack of direction...

...Ok. This obviously bothered you but I'd like to better understand this particular complaint of yours.

I mean, you're given a pretty clear goal, from the get go: Find a new water chip. It's something you can pretty much ask almost every person of power about, in every settlement (granted most of them have no idea where to find one but few can point you in the right direction). You're initially given the location of the nearest vault and you're pretty much guarantied to find Shady Sands that's right next to it. That town is then supposed to serve as a point where you're given information about nearby settlements and even has the option of extending the water supply, for your vault, so that you can have more time to find the chip.

I agree, not trying to put the reviewer down or anything, but part of the fun is in having to carefully piece together your current goal. It's like a detective story. Because you can't afford to waste time running back and forth between locations that are days apart. I suppose that isn't as fun for everyone, as it is a bit of a time sink, but it really helps the role playing aspect. As you have to figure out the logic of this wasteland state just like your "fresh from the vault" character does. I guess what I'm trying to argue is that the "I'm lost" feeling of the player isn't only due to old school clunkiness, as some posters here called it, but is a game design choice. Anyway, I played the game back in... 2004? Dunno if that qualifies me for the nostalgia squad.

Captain Pooptits:

Product Placement:

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...there's almost no direction given to the player...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...even though the path to victory was frequently unclear...

Sarah LeBoeuf:
...lack of direction...

...Ok. This obviously bothered you but I'd like to better understand this particular complaint of yours.

I mean, you're given a pretty clear goal, from the get go: Find a new water chip. It's something you can pretty much ask almost every person of power about, in every settlement (granted most of them have no idea where to find one but few can point you in the right direction). You're initially given the location of the nearest vault and you're pretty much guarantied to find Shady Sands that's right next to it. That town is then supposed to serve as a point where you're given information about nearby settlements and even has the option of extending the water supply, for your vault, so that you can have more time to find the chip.

I agree, not trying to put the reviewer down or anything, but part of the fun is in having to carefully piece together your current goal. It's like a detective story. Because you can't afford to waste time running back and forth between locations that are days apart. I suppose that isn't as fun for everyone, as it is a bit of a time sink, but it really helps the role playing aspect. As you have to figure out the logic of this wasteland state just like your "fresh from the vault" character does. I guess what I'm trying to argue is that the "I'm lost" feeling of the player isn't only due to old school clunkiness, as some posters here called it, but is a game design choice. Anyway, I played the game back in... 2004? Dunno if that qualifies me for the nostalgia squad.

Okay so all these thoughts are totally valid. Yes, I knew that the main goal was to get the water chip. However, I went into this game totally blind and didn't want to use a guide. So I had no idea how strict the time limit would be, and once I realized how much time I'd wasted going back and forth looking for supplies I felt like I had to start over. On my second attempt, I tried to be more observant and meticulous in my exploration, but still had that nagging feeling of "Am I on the right path? Am I doing the right thing?" which undermined my feeling of progress.

Anyway--still liked the game! I just imagine my teenage late-90s self would have been obsessed with it, whereas present-day me thought "This is pretty cool and holds up better than I would have guessed. I should probably pay more attention to the next Fallout game, I'll probably enjoy it."

Just use the high resolution patch and the unofficial patch and this game feels like a contemporary indie game, and a great one at that.

Don't forget kids you can brake bones(with moderate luck) with flares and they cost little to throw, I got a few deathclaws with that trick.

ZippyDSMlee:
Don't forget kids you can brake bones(with moderate luck) with flares and they cost little to throw, I got a few deathclaws with that trick.

You can? I never really found much of a use for flares myself.

I'll have to keep this in mind for my next playthrough when going up against a deathclaw.

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