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Page 1:
Introduction and history
Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

Page 2:
Fallout 2
Fallout 3: Van Buren (Cancelled)

Page 3:
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout Online (Cancelled)

Page 4:
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas

Page 5:
Fallout Shelter
Fallout 4

Page 6:
Modding and fan works
Other media

Discuss on the Forums!

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Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel - Windows (2001)

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Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (usually referred to as simply Fallout Tactics to avoid confusion with another game called Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel) is a Fallout spinoff focused on squad-based combat. Unlike other games in the series, it allows for multiplayer gameplay and has a three different combat modes: continuous turn-based (which is a really strange way of saying 'real time'), squad turn-based (combat is divided into player's phase and enemy's phase) and individual turn-based (similar to Fallout and Fallout 2, with characters taking turns depending on initiative).

Tactics tries to adapt Fallout's SPECIAL system to stealth-heavy real-time (optional turn-based mode is activated only while in combat) tactics gameplay not unlike Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. The player's squad is always outnumbered by the enemies and needs to avoid enemy patrols, set up ambushes and avoid triggering an alarm. Positioning your squad is always an important concern, both to gain tactical advantage (encircling enemies, gaining higher ground) and to avoid friendly fire. Keeping in line with Fallout tradition, scavenging is an important part of the game as apparently Brotherhood of Steel doesn't give equipment to its members, forcing them to buy everything instead - and you'll want to have a lot of stimpaks, ammo and a decent armor at all times. Of course most of those things are a bigger concern near the beginning of the game than near the end as it's not impossible to make a small fortune and buy all the best items the quartermaster has to offer.

SPECIAL system in Tactics is very similar to that of Fallout, although some changes to the skills have been made. As the game's not heavy on dialog, there's no speech skill and instead, it's possible to raise your piloting skills which allows controllindg vehicles. Fallout's number-crunchy combat mechanics translate pretty well to the game's careful tactical gameplay, although many of the non-combat skills end up underutilized as all your squadmates are likely to end up with 'small guns' maxed out.

Fallout Tactics suffers from slow pacing which while not uncommon to the genre, ends up feeling quite annoying because of how slow the movement of your squad is when hiding behind cover or crawling (those positions affect your visibility and combat effectiveness - prone position is good for the aforementioned crawling as well as sniping, hiding behind cover is helpful during shootouts and standing is the only position with no melee penalty). The pacing, along with terrible pathfinding (so bad that it often results in your squadmates dying), is the main issue spoiling the enjoyment of sneaking and fighting through the game's large, usually well-designed levels.

The plot of Fallout Tactics is focused on a Brotherhood of Steel chapter which was reassigned to Midwest because of a political conflict: unlike 'mainstream' Brotherhood, they supported the idea of recruiting members of local tribes. The game's protgaonist, The Warrior, is one such tribal recruit but the open-mindedness of Tactics Brotherhood goes further as it's possible to have ghoul, super mutant, deathclaw and robot squadmates.

The game's story is much more linear when compared to mainline Fallout titles. While you can travel around the world map, this open world element is just a small nod towards other games in the series as those places on the map aren't really towns, cities or villages - they're levels which you have to complete or bases in which you spend time between missions. As a result, the structure of the story is completely different: instead of many more or less independent stories connected by a less developed central plot we now have something much more traditional. Fallout Tactics is not about life after the apocalypse, it's about Brotherhood of Steel, search for a secret Vault and an evil computer powered by human brains. The game has a few possible endings but they're determined by a smaller than usual number of variables: decisions made during the last missions and your karma.

While none of those things are bad by themselves, the biggest problem here is how dull the presentation is. While Fallout was able to tell many things about the game's world through a short 'war never changes' monologue, Fallout Tactics begins with a lengthy, detailed narration about the history of Brotherhood of Steel. Before each mission, you get a debriefing about your objectives and their context in larger storyline but most of them (until Calculator shows up, which is quite late in the game) aren't too interesting and neither is the way they're told. The game has a lot of voice acting but it's slow, boring and wooden - especially when compared to previous games. Occasionally, the game makes attempts at humor - usually of the crude kind (e.g. in one of the levels, you can rescue a tribal who complains about getting an STD while being a sex slave of a female bandit but he doesn't trust BOS medics and prefers to cure it with oil and fire) - but unlike Fallout 2 it usually ends up forced and unfunny because of the quality of both writing and voice acting.

All in all, Tactics is not a bad game but it is far from the quality level of Fallout and Fallout 2. It's not a mindlessly stupid cash-in (this will come later) but it lacks ambition (and polish, but this can be said about most of the games in the series). It looks quite nice, its soundtrack is a decent approximation of Fallout and Fallout 2 music despite being made by Inon Zur instead of Mark Morgan, and its plot touches upon some of the themes the series is known for. But it's not an outstanding game by any measure and it can sometimes get pretty tedious. It might be worth playing if you really enjoyed combat in the first two games but don't expect it to be as good.

There was a sequel to this game planned, with a plot inspired by Day of the Triffids, the Doctor Who episode Seeds of Doom, and the video game Fountain of Dreams (a disappointing pseudo-sequel to the original Wasteland) but it was never developed because of Tactics' low sales.

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  • MicroForte

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  • 14 Degrees East

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  • Edward Orman

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Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (Windows)

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (Windows)

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (Windows)

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (Windows)


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Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel - PlayStation 2, Xbox (2004)

Cover

Oldschool PC RPGs don't translate well to consoles due to controls-related reasons: the interface designed for mouse is difficult to navigate with an analog stick. Thus, games often need to be redesigned and simplified to lessen the need to navigate endless menus and submenus. The resulting games are often horrible, appealing neither to the fans of the PC games nor to the consol enthusiasts. Despite all that, a certain developer managed to create a console spin-off of a popular cRPG series which while not proving as memorable as the games it was based on managed to attract an audience and provide players with hours of fun.

That developer was not Interplay and the game was not Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

While fans of old and new Fallout games disagree with a lot of things about the series, there's one thing that remains uncontroversial between those different groups: the dislike for Brotherhood of Steel. The game strays far from the gameplay and atmosphere of the original Fallouts, instead aiming to revitalize the interest in the franchise by mindlessly adding (or making them more prominent if they already existed in the series) things that should in theory appeal to teenage audience of the time: explosions, boobs, swearing, toilet humor, energy drink product placement and nu-metal.

The game's storyline focuses once again on Brotherhood of Steel Initiates (with once again a Brotherhood so tolerant it allows ghouls in, although unlike in Tactics there's no attempt to explain this here). Their quest to find missing paladins will lead them to a confrontation with raiders led by a dominatrix (which for some reason was also a thing in Tactics, a ghoulish religious cult and a super mutatnt leader with an ambitious plan. The game takes place between Fallout and Fallout 2, prominently features a few important characters from the first game (Vault Dweller and Rhombus are even unlockable playable characters) and reuses many plot points from prior games, although once again it gives everything a more linear structure.

While the intro sequence is fairly well done (although it seems that the writer thought the apocalypse happened in the 1950s, not in the future inspired by science fiction works of that time), the game falls aprat as soon as we get to the first in-engine cutscene with ugly character models, seemingly bored voice actors (can't blame them given what they got to work with) and a giant billboard advertising an actual real-life energy drink called Bawls. We're then off to take quests from characters like a local prostitute and a smelly bartender who don't get much characterization beyond what's described. The stupidity doesn't stop here as the whole game is filled with unfunny jokes, its references to Fallout lore are at best half-hearted and at worst nonsensical and whenever you fight against a boss, they play bands like Slipknot or Killswitch Engage in the background (because that's the kind of music you associate with Fallout, right?).

Fallout Brotherhood of Steel (PlayStation 2)

If the game was just stupid misguided pandering to stereotypical teenagers, the game could possibly be enjoyed the way badly made B-movies can be enjoyed but unfortunately, it's also completely devoid of fun. The RPG elements are barely existent and it feels more like a Gauntlet clone but it's not even a particularly good Gauntlet clone. It's all mindless button mashing with occasional environmental hazards to avoid, artifically padded with bosses who take forever to kill and the need to backtrack through waves of same respawning enemies. The game is all about killing things (one of the earliest quests is simply to exterminate all the radscorpions in a huge warehouse) and collecting loot but it falls flat because the things aren't to interesting to kill (there's not much variety to them and they're all either stupid melee enemies, stupid ranged enemies or stupid enemies whose corpses damage you if you touch them) and loot is equally unimpressive. The game's camera is also zoomed in annoyingly close to your character, making you have to rely on a minimap far too often given the small size of the levels.

You can't create your own character in Brotherhood of Steel: it's either a guy who hits hard, a girl who runs fast or a ghoul who's supposed to be a balance between the two. No matter what character you choose, the game is going to be played the same way. Completing different parts of the game allows you to unlock three more characters but it's not like they play any different from the rest. When you level up, you can increase some of the character's skills/perks but they don't change the gameplay either (aside from maybe the perk which gives you a dog companion), they're just incremental changes to variables.

Brotherhood of Steel is based on a Snowblind Engine which powered Snowblind Studios' Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, another console hack and slash spin-off of a popular cRPG series but apparently much better (while I can't speak of its gameplay, it certainly looks better). The engine was used without permission, resulting in a lawsuit against Interplay. Combined with everything else about Brotherhood of Steel (and I didn't play the game to the finish, it's just too boring), it shows how little anyone cared about making a good game: they used the first engine they could get their hands on (Interplay was a publisher of all Baldur's Gate titles), created something resembling levels (and when they realized they're too short they made you go back and forth between them), added some product placement and hoped that it will make money due to having Fallout in its title and featuring music by then-popular bands. Brotherhood of Steel is the worst kind of cash-grab.

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  • Chris Pasetto

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Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (PlayStation 2)

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (PlayStation 2)

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (PlayStation 2)

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (PlayStation 2)


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Fallout Online / Project V13 - Windows (Unreleased)

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All Fallout Online screenshots and concept art taken from Nukapedia and shared under CC-BY-SA license.

Despite selling the rights to the Fallout series to Bethesda, Interplay managed to negotiate the rights to make one more game in the famous post-apocalyptic series: a massively multiplayer Fallout Online (not to be mistaken with fanmade MMO based on Fallout 2 also called Fallout Online), also known by the codename Project V13 (not to be mistaken with other Project V13 announced by Interplay after Fallout Online was cancelled: a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG unrelated to Fallout universe). In 2009 (about 2 years after the deal), Bethesda decided that Interplay isn't doing what they promised and filed a lawsuit, resulting in a lengthy legal process (at the time of writing this post, it appears that the final verdict was given in March 2016 which gave Bethesda full rights to Fallout MMO). Fallout Online was officially cancelled in 2012.

Unfortunately, not much is known about the game itself as everything about it has been overshadowed by the legal dispute. There was a short teaser video released in 2011 but it didn't include gameplay footage, a few screenshots can be found on the internet and apparently (according to the coutr documents) the game was in a playable state in 2011. The game was supposed to be based on the same engine that powered Earthrise, another MMO by Masthead (a company which was collaborated with Interplay on Fallout Online. From the screenshots, it can be assumed that Fallout Online would be a mixture of MMORPG and a third-person shooter, although according to Chris Taylor the game would feature less shooter elements than Bethesda's titles. It is not known how much of the Earthrise mechanics would be there and whether it would use SPECIAL system like previous Fallout games. It is safe to assume that some of the well-known elements from older games would make a comeback as one of the designers was Jason D. Anderson who worked on the first game in the series and then became one of the founders of Troika Games.

A few minor details about the project were revealed in its newsletter called The Armageddon Rag. Humans and ghouls were to be some of the playable races, with ghouls getting bonuses to skills related to engineering and trading. The newsletter also contained advertisements for a fictional Crazy Ivan's Gun Store, revealing a few of the available weapons and a 'Super Duper Stimpak' healing item. A location called Menkey Butte Mine is mentioned multiple times which means it was also likely to appear in the game.

After the cancellation of Fallout Online, Interplay retooled Project V13 into a mixture of strategy game and RPG with a focus on settlement building. As the full rights to the series now belong to Bethesda, it is possible that they're going to create their own MMO based on the franchise, probably depending on the popularity of their flagship multiplayer title The Elder Scrolls Online. If it gets made, it is extremely unlikely it will have anything to do with Interplay's game as Bethesda is not interested in finishing cancelled Interplay or Black Isle titles.

Fallout Online (Windows)

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Fallout Online (Windows)

Fallout Online concept art


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction and history
Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

Page 2:
Fallout 2
Fallout 3: Van Buren (Cancelled)

Page 3:
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout Online (Cancelled)

Page 4:
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas

Page 5:
Fallout Shelter
Fallout 4

Page 6:
Modding and fan works
Other media

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index