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Publisher: MacPlay    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.1    CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 600 MB

Fallout 2
September 3, 2002 | Josh Jansen

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"Hold on," you're saying, "didn't you use that same line in your previous review?"

Well, turnabout is fair play.

"What? You don't meanů"

That's right! Fallout 2 really is, more or less, just "Fallout: a post-nuclear role playing game, now with 200% more mutants, lowlifes, government conspiracies, and blatant, obscure, geek-level references to Star Trek and Monty Python!"

Don't get me wrong, though; Fallout 2 is still a fantastic play.

Wait, a re-hash?
Yes, many in the gaming world, both VPC Mac users and straight PC users, have commented about the storyline and plot of Fallout 2 being very similar to that of the original Fallout. Some have even gone so far as to complain about this point.

Where does the origin of this idea lie? Well, the basic plot of F2, that worked so very well for Fallout proper, is that your people are dying, you were chosen to be their savior, and that what is to save them is to be a unit of technology from a vault somewhere in California, seventy-nine-and-a-half years after the last great event in local world history.

And, that is where the similarities stop.

You start as a member of an agrarian tribe that was founded by the original Vault Dweller, the character from the original Fallout. The Vault Dweller (from now on referred to as Kelly) was your character's direct ancestor, two generations ago. Kelly, after saving the world (Southern California) from Evil (mutants), was banished from Vault 13 by the overseer that called for the mission in the first place. Kelly, after being banished, assembled a group of travelers and nomads to roam far from Vault 13, to start an agricultural settlement, this time, in Northern California. There, Kelly found a significant other, a person named Pat, and began to procreate. Two generations later, your character was born, direct grandchild of the original Vault Dweller. The conflict? Kelly's legends spoke of a holy artifact, the G.E.C.K., that could turn deserted wasteland into a lush, green paradise, hence the name, Garden of Eden Creation Kit.

Your goal is simple: head out into the wastes from your tribe, to the 'civilized' settlement to the east, from which the caravans come to trade goods for pelts. From there, gather information on the holy G.E.C.K. and the locations of other known population centers. Repeat until a G.E.C.K. is recovered, and then, go from there.

Just like Fallout, Fallout 2 employs a character creation engine, and with the exception of a few different traits and many more perks, the engines are exactly the same. You create your own character by the distribution of points on stats, like strength, agility and intelligence, which derive stats that define your character's strengths and weaknesses; effectively how he or she will interact with the outside world. Then, you can opt to choose two traits, certain modifiers that alter your character in a specific manner. 'Perks' act like traits, only you're allowed only one, every three levels. Some have degrees of selection (you can select a few several different times, layering the effect), and all have their own hidden stat and level requirements; some you won't even see because something is too low.

The game, just like Fallout proper, is played on a 3/4 isolinear hex grid, with your character moving around about it, shooting things, talking to people, interacting with surroundings, trading, stealing, and making enemies and allies. Live action is mostly just random actions by motile characters, but sometimes you'll have the odd scripted movement of NPCs. You can collect certain NPCs in your party, up to four (or five, using a certain perk), which is a vast improvement when compared to the original.

But, is it really the same?


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