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From the creators of Wastelandtm, comes a new breed of role-playing games: Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role-Playing Game

Set in the aftermath of a worldwide nuclear war, Fallout will challenge you to survive in an unknown and dangerous world. You will take the role of a Vault-dweller, a person who has grown up in a secluded, underground survival Vault. Circumstances arise that force you to go Outside -- to a strange world 80 years after the end of the modern civilization. A world of mutants, radiation, gangs and violence.

Your immediate task is to find a replacement for the broken water purification controller chip. Without that chip, your fellow Vault dwellers are doomed to dehydration or be forced to leave the safety of the Vault for the Outside. The core of the game revolves around your character. When you start Fallout, you can choose or modify one of three pre-made characters, or create your own from scratch. The character creation system allows you to make a vibrant, unique character. We use a skill-based system to allow you to fine-tune your character.

As you gain experience (roughly half from combat, the other half is from solving adventure seeds and non-combat based events), your character will grow as you determine. No classes here!

Combat in Fallout is tactical turn-based. You can take as much time as you need to make decisions. Choose from different types of attacks, with a variety of weapons and attack skills. Weapons include: shotguns, flamers, chain-guns, rocket launchers, sledgehammers, brass knuckles and more. Available now in North America! Europe and Australia later this year. Available for DOS, Win95 and Mac on CD-ROM.

WARNING: Fallout deals with several adult themes: Graphic Violence, Drug Use, and Language. Intended for mature audiences only. We mean it.


RPG’s have been the meat and potatoes of game software companies since man started using computers for recreation. Fallout is a very good example of where RPG’s have evolved. Interplay offers a game that will take you into a future of devastation and pain. I choose the 267Mb install and the game ran flawlessly. The opening intro is very good and I watched it several times. There are a variety of loadup screens (I think I saw 7-8) and helps to contribute to the ‘Fallout Experience’. Graphically, this game reminded me much of Diablo (Blizzard) and I took an instant liking to the world of Fallout and its environment. It appears that Fallout is related to the Wasteland storyline that has been around for some time. You will soon become aware that this part of the world has a decidedly distasteful edge to it and choices can become quite hard.

You must take a character through the story and complete a quest that eventually leads to many more quests. To play, you will get the opportunity to either pick a ready made character or create your own (recommended). From here, you find that you will have to listen to a few stories and fight some critters to get your feet planted firmly on the ground. The plot isn’t linear but appears to be triggered by events contained in a timeline. You have about 6 months to get a water chip but even this can change depending on your choices as you adventure through what used to be California. There is no necessary order to travelling to certain places though time constraints and special items give priority.

‘Life in the vault is about to change’

Playing means that you will need to do a lot of mouse clicking and Fallout has a intuitive approach. Left click will usually let you walk to a new location, do a action or target a enemy. It’s pretty simple and becomes second nature in no time at all. Having grown up secluded in a underground vault, your character is pretty darn naïve which means that you have a ‘lot’ to learn. And that is what is so intriguing about Fallout. You will see what has actually happened to a world that has been ‘nuked’ and is trying to recover. To become savvy with the locals, you must be more like them. You will dress like them and know their likes and dislikes. This also means you may have to deal with those ‘dislikes’. You gain experience by going through successful combat and completing some of the quests (obviously, the more the better).

There are plenty of toys to pick up along the way and you can change weapons, armor, tools and other items to suit your needs. The local currency is bottle caps and your collection will help you out considerably. You can gamble to increase your earnings and go to local merchants to purchase items. There are jobs available to earn more caps too but generally not worth your while.

I have mentioned how time is a concern here and that is one part of the game that you will be constantly aware of. I tried to enter a merchant’s store one time and got into a big scrap because, as it turns out, it was 3 o’clock in the morning and the guards took exception to my intrusion. Relationships are a staple of Fallout and you soon notice that shooting anything must be well considered. Shoot the sheriff and your going to want to be out of town in a hurry. Help out the locals and you will reap the benefits. But remember that you have a job to do and only so much time. So it seems obvious that you must do a lot of talking to the locals to get anywhere. Keep up the chatter and you will have people join you (and even a dog) to travel alongside you.

When the shooting starts

Combat is fairly frequent but not near something like Quake. But arming your character is a decision that will occupy a lot of your time. Some weapons are pretty standard (pistols and rifles) and then you get into the esoteric. Flame throwers, rocket launchers and plasma guns aren’t typically found in a NRA members gun closet but are not uncommon in parts of the Fallout world. I eventually ended up with so much weaponry that I generally left behind some that I spent a lot of time looking for previously.

During the combat round, you will start with a certain number of action points with which you can reload, arm or use inventory. After you have used the points or done what is necessary(like shoot back!) you let the enemy have their turn. Battle is fairly dramatic with plenty of flash-bang in congested situations. If you have acquired any companions, they will assist in eliminating any threats.

But with all these comments about the combat, I think it only occupied about 20% of the game. I spent much time scavenging weapons and stuff. I also spent a lot of time travelling and exploring this world. If I tried to undertake every quest that was offered, I’m certain that I would run out of time. This world is just to big and this points towards a good replay value as you try different angles at completing the game.

Other Comments…

There are few things that bothered me with Fallout and this makes me feel that this is a well rounded out product. I found that trying to select items from my backpack was pretty tedious as I had some 30 items and had to scroll all the way down to use certain items. This system could be improved. In certain towns, if you have a gun in hand, you will get shot. Yet, my NPC had his gun in sight all the time and never got shot once. But that’s pretty well all that bothered me about Fallout.

In the End

Fallout is a game that will thrill anyone who enjoys RPG’s. Its successor is sure to be every bit as good and I am truly looking forward to seeing it. This is like reading a good book and watching the movie while actually being immersed in a very different experience.

Review ID Number: 222
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Review Date: 2001-04-19
Reviewer: Nick Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
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