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Couchpotato March 13th, 2014 17:51

Fallout - Editorial @ Play Magazine
Play Magazine editor Jamie Lumsden has never played the original Fallout, and finally decided it was time to finally do so. Read the article to find out how it went.


If there is a negative side-effect from the continual improvement of graphics in video games, it’s that the average gamer has little to no patience for a step or two backwards in terms of visual quality and scale. The obvious exception to this trend can be seen in indie game development, where creators are often more limited in implementing complex 3D graphics due to budget and manpower constraints.

One of the most common approaches to addressing such constraints is to draw inspiration from older or ‘retro’ games, which were designed with similar limiting factors in mind. As such, my experience playing the original Fallout felt much like playing a modern indie RPG title rather than stepping back in time seventeen years to 1997 when it was released. That is, of course, after I downloaded and installed the high resolution patch and made peace with the inability to alt-tab.

The quality of graphics in a game has always been pretty low on my list of considerations when assessing the merit of a game, especially in the case of strategy or role-playing games. This was definitely an important factor in my enjoyment of Fallout, which more than made up for its out-dated visuals with a mature and sophisticated plot that I think was ahead of its time.

Since I had previously played both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, I was already somewhat familiar with the events and even some of the locations in the original game. Despite having a basic understanding of the overall plot, I listened in on most of the game’s many conversations, which are impressive in their diversity and humor. Most of Fallout’s objectives can be completed in multiple ways and involve a combination of combat and detective work that requires the player to pay close attention to detail.

More information.

screeg March 13th, 2014 17:51

He mentions (at length) the graphical datedness of Fallout, but apparently overlooks the amazing art direction. It might seem a little pixelated, but it really features some of the best overall art direction I've ever seen in a game.

blatantninja March 13th, 2014 18:41

Sort of mirrors my fallout experience so far. I am playing now for the first time (though unlike the author, never played FO3 or New Vegas).

It's taken me a bit to get into it. The graphics don't bother me as I'm mainly an old school gamer anyway, but the interface took a lot of getting used to. I guess after playing the IE games for so long, I really just expect every 3D Iso game to work the same way! Never been a big fan of followers rather than controllable party members, but getting used to it.

Overall, I'm enjoying it and I can totally see why people consider it one of the top games ever.

Michael Dean March 14th, 2014 04:17

Leonard Boyarsky and Rob Nesler were an awesome art director/art lead combo! I really loved working with/for them! It's great when you are able to push yourself creatively because of the admiration and respect you have for your boss.

Toff March 14th, 2014 14:19

I LOVED the original one, at least when it came out. I haven't played it since then tho. Melting mutants with the plasma rifle was easily my favorite thing to do. hehe

Rather Dashing March 14th, 2014 16:46

Hey guys, this is Jamie Lumsden, the article's author. Very much appreciate you sharing the article Couchpotato! If you read the whole article on the Play site itself, you will see I did mention the art direction at length. Again, just wanted to say thanks!

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