Who wants to save a world, scorched by a nuclear apocalypse? Every sensible person who has ever played Fallout, or likes RPGs without effete pretty-boys. Fallout 2 was released a year after the first and we were once again plunged into the scorching wasteland. And sang praises to the added “Take All” button.
After the events of Fallout, the Vault Dweller established his own tribe in Arroyo. Some time has passed since then, and Arroyo is now beset by many troubles, such as draught and murderous weeds. One of the Dweller’s descendants gets the title of the Chosen One, and is sent out to find a GECK – a Garden of Eden Creation Kit, which lets you create a new ecosystem faster than you can say “I hate weeds”. And so you set out, with the Dweller’s Pip-Boy (a wrist mounted computer), Vault suit and whatever supplies the tribe can spare.
Skills and SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck) once again bring the “R” into “RPG”. Once again, a character with low intelligence is an amusing, yet unprofitable choice. This time around, Charisma plays a much larger part, because it determines how many companion NPCs can follow you. Other than that… the game was released a year after the first part. If you knew how to play the first one, you will know how to play the second one (it’s something that modern day RPG makers consider insulting – just look at The Witcher 2, Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 2).
Oh yeah?! And what are you going to do about it?
The combat is still turn based, with everyone having their own turn to spend their action points. Only, this time, you will have more friendly NPCs to lend you a hand (and a rocket launcher). Of course, since some of them can fire miniguns, you (and half of your squad) can get ripped in twain by friendly fire. This was back in the day when miniguns meant something, unlike the present trend of “I shot enough bullets to make a statue of Gabe Newel, why won’t it die already???”. The combat is fun and quick; – unless there are neutral junkies that move as fast as the glaciers, – and bloody.
And there is so much more to do! Every town has its own vibe, people, and problems. New Reno, a bustling new capital of vices, is definitely different from San Francisco, with it’s Chinese population and pseudo-scientologists (oh yeah). And the citizens of the wastes cry out for your help! Diplomatic missions, dealing with cattle rustlers, playing chess with mutants, shotgun weddings… Never a dull moment in the wasteland! Heck, you might even become a fluffer, though that is hardly advisable (much like googling “fluffer”). That’s what the game does: it always comes up with something unexpected.
The characters are well thought out and memorable (there are reasons why people call First Citizen Lynette some rather unpleasant names). And, compared to Fallout, talking heads are everywhere. Of course, not all of the companion NPCs get them, but most of the important people in the wasteland do. And with some awesome voice acting thrown in too! Who could forget the tribal Sulik? Or Marcus, the super-mutant sheriff of Broken Hills? Daft people, that’s who.
Calm down buddy!
The loot is pretty fine too – especially when the enemies don’t really level up after you. If your slightly radioactive back is cowered in Advanced Power Armor, MK. II, you become a wasteland power yourself. But that armor is far off (unless you cheat), you’ll have to make do with what you find. And there are a lot of interesting things to find (blow up dolls, gauss rifles, rocks). And with the introduction of a “Take All” button, looting is easier than ever.
In terms of graphics and sound, the game is almost identical to Fallout and, as is the case with the Modern Warfare series, that is a good thing.
All in all, Fallout 2 is an extremely fun experience, that should not be missed by any RPG fan. It’s new enough not to suffer from complicated “old games” control schemes, and it looks pleasant enough for anyone who’s not a slave to cutting edge graphics.
And, this goes without saying, it’s better than the last two Fallout games.