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Default Kotaku - Fallout Series Ranked

July 1st, 2013, 03:10
Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez has an article where she ranks the Fallout series games based on her experiences with them. Do you agree with her? Share your opinions in the comment section.

In the 16 years since the Fallout franchise was introduced to the world, all of the games have been met with praise—which means that ranking them isn't easy. That's especially true when you consider that the post-nuclear franchise underwent a genre change.

Here's some things you should keep in mind before we get started:

1) We'll only be covering the main entries in the Fallout franchise; no spin-offs or DLC. Sorry, Tactics!

2) Remember, this is my personal opinion. You might disagree! You're welcome to comment with your own rankings, if not debate my personal order—although naturally I'll do my best to justify my choices.
More information.
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July 1st, 2013, 03:10
I noticed this earlier but I refuse to click on the article. This writer, Patricia Hernandez, is an infamous journalistic troll that lives to incite controversy for the sake of page views.

This is her order, FYI: 2 > 3 > New Vegas > 1 - Notice how she annoys both longtime fans and Fallout3 fanboys in one fell swoop.

Regarding a "real" order, I'd likely go 2 > NV > 1 > 3. If 3 had better writing (and by better, I mean something resembling more than a pre-school picture book) I'd consider putting it in front of 1. Bethesda's entrance into the franchise had a lot of atmosphere going for it, IMO. From the Cthluhu location, to slavers w/ a behemoth in a cage, it was overlflowing with personality - personality that unfortunately got muted every time an NPC delivered its lines and you couldn't help but let out a groan.

Oh, and while 1 had considerably fewer pop-culture references (a good thing imo), it was chock-full of annoying little things that 2 improved upon: timed waterchip fiasco, Ian shooting you in the back, and getting stuck in a small room because your buddy won't move the hell out of the doorway.
Last edited by Drithius; July 1st, 2013 at 03:26.
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July 1st, 2013, 03:32
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I noticed this earlier but I refuse to click on the article. This writer, Patricia Hernandez, is an infamous journalistic troll that lives to incite controversy for the sake of page views.
Didn't know that got the article off gamebanshee. I'll keep that in mind in the future.

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July 1st, 2013, 03:58
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
This writer, Patricia Hernandez, is an infamous journalistic troll that lives to incite controversy for the sake of page views.
Care to elaborate? I mean besides the ranking which was always going to be controversial.

I'm asking because I just read her Gaming Made Me article and found it one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in a while.

I'd just like to interject here and point out that I'm not going to say anything to spoil the mood, Chief. I'll just float here and watch. Don't mind me, just sitting here, floating and watching, that's me.
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July 1st, 2013, 04:46
The real order

Fallout 1 — No doubt the best in class for story. I don't think any of them even come close. This is really the sole reason I rank it #1. Also set the tone for the series' setting and atmosphere. At the same time, it was also far more serious than any of the others, though New Vegas did strike a pretty good balance here too. To top it off, there was just as much choice and consequence and world reactivity as any other product in the series. Introduced us to S.P.E.C.I.A.L., oh and how all those stats actually affected your playthrough (F3 I am looking at you). Some people complain about the combat, but I came to love it. Finally, who could forget that ending? Especially if you played the low karma do-what-you-got-to-do wastelander that I did my first time through. Fallout is my favorite series, and this is still the game I have played through the most.

Fallout 2 - Gameplay-wise it is the same as the first with some particularly notable improvements with companion interaction. The story and world is bigger, but also less thematically consistent than in the original. Still great choice and consequence, become a mobster, a porn star, a jet junkie, get forced into marriage at gunpoint — so many great little things about this game. If you like how the originals played, this is the easiest to go to back because of the slight improvements, the higher level cap, and of course because it is the one all the mods come out for…just talking about the first two there.

Fallout New Vegas - Finally a true successor to the original Fallouts. I actually quite enjoyed the western vibe, the characters were varied and interesting. In some ways, the C&C in New Vegas was more advanced than in the original games. You could affect the ultimate outcome of the world to a far greater level than in any of the other games, even take a neutral or libertarian sort of approach where you choose no sides. It brought the series back to its roots in a couple other important ways too. Character development had greater impact on your playthrough than in F3 and the level scaling appeared to be completely removed. Explore all you want, but do so cautiously! I am not going to lie, I loved this iteration, though there are probably a couple elements that could have been done to make it feel more like the originals. I really hope Obsidian gets another crack at the license.

Fallout 3 - I am not going to bash on it, though I sort of feel like I want to. The world is completely different, but it is still interesting and unique, and a lot of the great atmosphere from the originals translated well. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. feels incredibly watered down. C&C is there, but likewise feels a tad watered down. Bethesda made a great world to explore, though the level scaling was a definite deviation. Fun game, but also the only one that never sucked me in all the way. Also the only one I still have never finished (I have never actually finished a single Bethesda game). I have had fun cruising around the wastes as a booze and jet-addicted wastoid, and hopefully some day my character will summon the courage to finish his quest and save the world.
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July 1st, 2013, 06:19
what the hell? she's just trying to piss people up with this.
fallout 3 isn't much of a fallout, sorry. its barely a tactical game!
there are some parts which are ok, yeah. but in general it was meant to relate to more audience than to be true to the originals. money just ruined it.

fallout1>fallout2. period.
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July 1st, 2013, 06:38
She is notorious for penning Kotaku articles on perceived sexism and other forms of bigotry. She tends to blow things out of proportion seemingly just for the page-clicks.

In my opinion, out of all the Kotaku writers, she is pretty much the worst.
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July 1st, 2013, 09:03
I haven't played FO2 enough to accurately rate it. I suspect I wouldn't like it all that much - as I gather many of the FO:NV team were behind it.

Personally, I think FO3 (modded) is - by far - the best Fallout game out there. That's because I'm much more about exploration and immersion than writing.

FO3 has really bad writing, I have to admit it. But if you use the right mods - you can turn the mechanics around and make the gameplay quite good and interesting.

Fallout 1 is a very good game - but I hated the time limit and I find that it's too short.

NV was bland and downright ugly and clunky - and while the writing is certainly superior - the whole desert/Vegas setting does nothing for me.

So, can't say I think her opinion bothers me and I somewhat agree with her.

Then again, opinions never bother me on a personal level - especially not when the person behind them can articulate the reasons for having them.
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July 1st, 2013, 09:09
FO3: dialogue is simplistic bordering on stupid. Exploration is frustrated by conveniently placed debris. Roleplaying is sparse. But it has dat atmosphere. It's not exactly a Fallout game, because it does so many things right that Fallout never achieved, but it has by far the best immershun of the bunch.

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July 1st, 2013, 09:20
Exploration is "frustrated"? That makes no sense.

It has the best exploration of all the Fallouts. Except perhaps FO2, which I haven't played enough to really know for sure. But from what I remember, it used the same limited tile-set from Fallout with some additional assets. I find it very hard to believe that it has the same diversity of locations that FO3 has.

Obviously, you can never create an entire city to explore that has sufficient variety - so they're going to have to "place debris" so as to avoid simply generating random hollow buildings or featureless terrain.
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July 1st, 2013, 09:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Exploration is "frustrated"? That makes no sense.

It has the best exploration of all the Fallouts.
If you receive a new main quest pointer, you can be sure the nearest passage leading through the city will be blocked by debris, and you can be just as sure that the way to get there is via the nearest metro station. That could be become pretty stupid, if it wasn't, like I said, for FO3's atmosphere. Going through the metro or other underground locations is simply a hell of a ride.

Still, I think the FO's really open world is superior. Oh, also my path has never been blocked by radiation in FO3 (except for the fact that swimming can be bad if it takes too long).

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July 1st, 2013, 09:38
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
She tends to blow things out of proportion seemingly just for the page-clicks.
I don't doubt it, but also, there's also a very good reason for doing so. This is an absolutely fascinating article on the subject: http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/a…better-reporti

But for the true order: FO2 > FO1 > FO:NV >>FO3.

Just so you know.
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July 1st, 2013, 09:39
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
If you receive a new main quest pointer, you can be sure the nearest passage leading through the city will be blocked by debris, and you can be just as sure that the way to get there is via the nearest metro station. That could be become pretty stupid, if it wasn't, like I said, for FO3's atmosphere. Going through the metro or other underground locations is simply a hell of a ride.

Still, I think the FO's really open world is superior. Oh, also my path has never been blocked by radiation in FO3 (except for the fact that swimming can be bad if it takes too long).
It's a pretty obvious concession for purposes of practical quest implementation, though.

I suppose such things don't bother me as much as they bother you.

Fair enough and I think I understand where you're coming from.
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July 1st, 2013, 10:34
Originally Posted by mogwins View Post
I don't doubt it, but also, there's also a very good reason for doing so. This is an absolutely fascinating article on the subject: http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/a…better-reporti

But for the true order: FO2 > FO1 > FO:NV >>FO3.

Just so you know.
Interesting article, thanks for that!
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July 1st, 2013, 11:42
Personally I found F2 better than F1. But I hardly remember the difference at all. Just remember that F2 was like F1, just bigger and better.

With F3 and New Vegas that was a different story.
Personally I enjoyed Fallout NV more, but both games had their advantages and disadvantages.
Actually I disagree about the bad writing in F3 and I think that this is actually one of the strong points. Not that it was bad in NV but in F3 I found it more memorable. Like these vampire guys, little lamplight, Megaton and the intro. The stories in NV seemed more generic to me. Setting wise, I don't like the focus of New Vegas which for my taste brings to much humor into the game and "breaks" with the rest of the world.
Gameplay wise F3 was a lot of grind. Fast traveling often resulted in annoying fights, the whole sewer stuff consisted of floors full of grind. Fallout NV however focused a lot more on the story and the combat was more of an instrument. And I prefered to have it this way, however Fallout NV also brought tons of bugs or semi bugs. With each and every quest you basically had to change a wiki to be aware of all possibilities you have and what might happen in a quest. With doing Quest A before B you might break Quest B. So you had to do B first. On the Way to B you might stumble over an object which makes the impression you missed something. So you check object C and find out that the random response you get is originally thought for Quest D which you might never see because you chose a different path - but you still get the response which does not make any sense to you anyways.

So between F3 and NV I'd say:
Better Gameplay: NV
Better Story: F3
Better Setting: F3
Better Storytelling: NV
Better Polish: F3

F1 and F2 are just too long ago to compare to each other or to the new games. But I'd be interested in hearing why F1 should be better than F2.

Besides of these 4 games there is the one Fallout Game which did not click at all for me: Fallout Tactics, though I am a big Jagged Alliance fan.
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July 1st, 2013, 12:43
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
F1 and F2 are just too long ago to compare to each other or to the new games. But I'd be interested in hearing why F1 should be better than F2.
Well for starters, FO2 was incredibly buggy. I think a lot of the bugs may have been fixed by unofficial patches since then, (it's been at least a decade since I played it), but I remember it being quite glitchy when I played. Also the effect of some items/ weapons didn't function properly. i.e. armor piercing rounds acting no different than normal ammo, etc.

Bugs aside though, I thought FO2 was good but not great. I definitely enjoyed FO1 more. I think one reason is because FO2 was a little too similar, and I played them back to back. By the time I finished, I was a little burned-out on the whole thing.. I also remember not liking the joinable npcs as much in the sequel, and FO1 had a *much* better ending.

I think I would have liked both games a lot more if we had been given full control over the other party members.

I enjoyed FO3 (modded) a lot more than either of the first 2 games. For some reason I still haven't played NV yet.
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July 1st, 2013, 12:56
Ah, I see. I played F1 and F2 far after release when I got them in some game collections and don't remember any bugs. To the contrary of NV which I played at EU Release (already having the first critical patches and was still very buggy). Being similar makes a game boring in experience maybe, but when putting them side to side and comparing them objectively this shouldn't play a role.
The joinable NPCs are actually also a big thing I don't like in any of the Bethesda Games…being it Skyrim or the new Fallouts. It always breaks the immersion by stupid AI and the game mechanics which try to not make the stupid AI frustrating.
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July 1st, 2013, 13:39
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Being similar makes a game boring in experience maybe, but when putting them side to side and comparing them objectively this shouldn't play a role.
Well if something makes a game boring, then it should most definitely play a role in judging that game. After all, the experience is what gaming is all about.

I didn't find FO2 boring though - just too derivative of the first game.
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July 1st, 2013, 14:21
I'd disagree and would judge the game individually.

I mean if FO2 had written on the cover "FO1 experience needed!" I'd agree with you.
But it's an individual game and you might play it without ever experiencing FO1.

Or asked the other way around: If you had to tell someone whether he should play FO1 or FO2 (he cant play both), which would you recommend?

What do you think about other "classic" game series like Eye of the Beholder, Might and Magic (3-5, 6-8), Ishar or Realms of Arkania (if you leave the 3rd one out) as sequels in these are also mostly "more of the same"?
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July 1st, 2013, 14:34
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
I'd disagree and would judge the game individually.

I mean in FO2 had written on the cover "FO1 experience needed!" I'd agree with you.
But it's an individual game and you might play it without ever experiencing FO1.

Or asked the other way around: If you had to tell someone whether he should play FO1 or FO2 (he cant play both), which would you recommend?

What do you think about other "classic" game series like Eye of the Beholder, Might and Magic (3-5, 6-8), Ishar or Realms of Arkania (if you leave the 3rd one out) as sequels in these are also mostly "more of the same"?
I agree.

Playing two extremely similar games back-to-back will tend to taint the experience of the last game unfairly.

By then you will have grown weary of the flaws and even the best aspects will start to lose their luster after too much exposure. It's just the nature of the beast.
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