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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Fallout 2 - An Outsider's Perspective

Default Fallout 2 - An Outsider's Perspective

June 26th, 2007, 01:16
The first of a serial After Action Report of sorts is up at Evil Avatar, offering first impressions from a brand new player of Fallout 2:
Fallout 2. To most gamers, the very name brings up fond memories of late nights at the computer, eagerly plugging along in search of the GECK.

Many gamers played this when it was new, and many when it was old. It is a fixture in the world of gaming. One of the few games that has proven its mettle with countless audiences, and has strayed into the realm of legend. Almost any gamer you meet will have played - and loved - it.

I am not one of them. Until today, anyways.
More information.
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June 26th, 2007, 01:16
*ahem* your link points to the DS2:BW review…
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June 26th, 2007, 02:00
Picky, picky.

http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31937

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June 26th, 2007, 02:47
Will you post a link to his follow ups?

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June 26th, 2007, 10:10
I was planning on doing a write-up on "Fallout revisited." I had played it, but it's a long time ago, and playing it again I really don't remember much beyond a vague "Hey, I've been here before" feeling.

Impressions so far:

* the dialogs are absolutely amazing, not just the lively and occasionally very intelligent writing but especially the way they play out differently depending on luck, your choices, previous dialogs, and your abilities
* the ability to solve problems by talking is *still* a revelation; I don't remember any other games where this works as well (other than FO2 of course)
* the character development rocks; it's wide-open, well-balanced, and fun
* the combat is tedious, sometimes to the point of utter awfulness, especially when fighting mobs
* the isometric perspective is highly annoying, since very often objects of interest are hidden behind an obstructing wall; it doesn't make any sense that the character should be able to see stuff that you, the player, can't
* the sound design is beautiful, putting many current games to shame
* the voice acting, when present, is between good and superb
* the open-endedness and "free-roaming" quality of the game is fantastic; it feels (again) like hearing the clink-clank of shackles falling to the floor, suddenly burst open
* game design varies between brilliant and boneheaded, while being mostly brilliant — the boneheaded bits are where the game lets you paint yourself into a corner without giving you clues that you're basically fuX0r3d

In a nutshell, I love almost everything about the game — but hate the two "NMA buzzwords" (the turn-based abstract combat system and the isometric perspective). In fact, I hate these two things so much that I may not be able to finish the game. I'll take a well-done FPS with good AI and physics any time over this grind.

Fallout was an amazing, groundbreaking, and utterly jaw-dropping game for 1997, and it still hasn't been equaled in many important respects, but game design has evolved a great deal since then.

F3? It'll stand or fall on the strength of its writing; not V.A.T.S., not the complexion of the super-mutants, the power sources of the cars, not the Ink Spots, not the fabric of the Vault jumpsuit. If Bethsoft can pull off the brilliantly varied dialogs that affect the way characters relate to you; if they're not afraid of closing doors in your face due to choices you make; if they can create dialog as lively as in FO, it'll be a new classic. Will they? I wonder: writing was always the weakest point in Morrowind and Oblivion.
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June 26th, 2007, 11:37
PJ, although I cannot agree with everything you write, (This time, I miss MW in-world writing if not the almost non-existant dialogues.) but I'm interested in your FO review.

I agree with your suspition on FO3…simply because TES and FO are too different. And…well, Oblivion dialogues.

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June 26th, 2007, 11:54
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
* the combat is tedious, sometimes to the point of utter awfulness, especially when fighting mobs
You remembered to speed up combat, right?

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June 27th, 2007, 01:48
Yup. Even so.

It interrupts the flow of the game. Later on, when you're pretty tough (and when the fights come thick and hard), every fight is exactly the same — whether you run into a bunch of cave rats or super mutants, it's always "eyes, eyes, reload, turn, rince and repeat."

IMO turn-based combat only works well if there's a strong tactical element. In FO there isn't. Your party members are 100% idiots in battle, worse if you give them automatic weapons. If you care about them at all (as you should, the game gets you emotionally involved), fights end up being more about not getting Dogmeat killed than defeating your enemies.

Of course, back in 1997 it wasn't really technically possible to make a decent real-time combat game (and if it had been, it would be awfully dated by now — think DOOM). So I'm not really knocking FO; it certainly made the best of what was possible then. But I'm not very keen to play a new game with the same combat system.

Anyhoo, I did just finish it. And it was long enough ago that I last played it that I really didn't remember the details — I was just getting these repeated feelings of déjà vu.

Certainly a great game; one of the few classics in this emerging art form. This makes it doubly difficult to create a worthy spiritual successor for it. I'm sure there will be one, some day. All it takes is a new visionary. Once it does show up, I'm sure it'll be something quite fresh and new while retaining the best of the soul of FO — something neither we nor the Codex nor NMA, nor, I fear, Bethsoft can anticipate.
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June 27th, 2007, 02:07
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It interrupts the flow of the game. Later on, when you're pretty tough (and when the fights come thick and hard), every fight is exactly the same — whether you run into a bunch of cave rats or super mutants, it's always "eyes, eyes, reload, turn, rince and repeat."
This is true to a degree, if you've made yourself a combat-styled character. When you put a fair bit of emphasis on combat, your character turns out to be amazingly good at it and it does get repetetive.
However, if your character is less combat-centric, and you're not carrying and using the best and brightest in available gear, combat is a bit more interesting requiring you to plan a bit more and utilise the battlefield. Which leads to…

IMO turn-based combat only works well if there's a strong tactical element. In FO there isn't. Your party members are 100% idiots in battle, worse if you give them automatic weapons. If you care about them at all (as you should, the game gets you emotionally involved), fights end up being more about not getting Dogmeat killed than defeating your enemies.
Yes and no. Yes, you do spend a lot of time worrying about whether your frields will fire SMG bursts when standing behind or facing you, and there is the annoying reload if your companions die (you can of course choose to let 'em stay dead…). However, that is a touch more realistic than controlling their every move, and really, FO2 is way better than FO1 in this regard, I actually find myself more immsersed in the survival of a fight when all I can really do is Hope For The Best.
And there are tactics. Objects (inanimate and people) provide cover, and distance plays a key in your chances to hit. If you're a high-Agility Fast Shot with Action Boy perks and such, you can make great use of moving between cover and shooting when you've a clear shot. That's just one example, but there are tactics in the game. Perhaps not as many as in, say, Jagged Alliance, but tactics are available.

Ultimately, it's pretty impressive how well FO2 stands up today, 10 years on. Still a fantastic game that sucks you in to the world.

And, uh, first post *waves*
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June 27th, 2007, 02:40
You wrote the Eschalon hands-on impressions, right? Nice to have you here.

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June 27th, 2007, 03:07
Yes, welcome to the Watch. Please, Post early and Post often!!

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June 27th, 2007, 04:27
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
You wrote the Eschalon hands-on impressions, right? Nice to have you here.
Yep, that was me. Thanks for the welcomes Dhruin and Corwin
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June 27th, 2007, 06:02
Gall, would I be wrong to assume you're a BIG Dr. Who fan like myself?

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June 27th, 2007, 13:22
If he was he'd have a *proper* doctor as his avatar, not the flouncer
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June 27th, 2007, 14:12
Tom Baker all the way!

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June 27th, 2007, 15:35
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
If he was he'd have a *proper* doctor as his avatar, not the flouncer
Oooh.. them's fightin' words!

I'll switch it over to the third Doctor eventually.
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June 27th, 2007, 16:08
Just in case, PJ finished his review Fallout revisited

A good read although I cannot agree with everything…as usual. I guess I'm a happy person who can enjoy TB or RT combat if only they are made well in their own ways.

BTW, Gallifrey, I like your writings, too.

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June 28th, 2007, 02:50
Maybe we should start a Dr Who thread to discuss past seasons and the current 3rd season of the new incarnation!!

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June 28th, 2007, 03:57
Heh, always glad to talk about Doctor Who, though the new season only just started here in Canada (The Shakespeare Code aired this week) so I'm not up on the current goings-on.

You start the thread Corwin and I'll at least post in it

And thanks, Unre, for your comment!

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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June 28th, 2007, 06:55
That link was an Aussie delight; do you get the Chaser in Canada? I have only one more episode from the 3rd season left.

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