Fallout 2 (PC) Review

It’s been over 160 years since the world went down the toilet, everyone who’s anybody gave up their posh life on the surface in exchange for holding on to their lives in an underground fallout shelter. But, like that dirty little secret you tried to hide in high school, everything has to resurface at some point and so people started moving out of their vaults, rebuilding their lives. You’re a direct descendant of one of the vault dwellers which puts you in the unique position of being volunteered to rescue the, umm… flourishing village that you currently reside in. Well, “flourishing” except for the fact that you’re in the middle of largest drought in recent history. How does a small village that depends on growing it’s own crops survive something like this? If only there was an advanced piece of machinery that would revitalize the landscape for you and your fellow villagers, removing all trace of radioactive soil. Hold on, there is! Those pre-war scientists thought up everything… Donning an original vault dweller suit and PIP-Boy you’re sent out into the foreboding wastelands in search of a GECK (Garden of Eden Creation Kit). You hope to find an unused one from Vault 13.

When it comes to character creation some RPGs shoot for being overly simplistic and allow for no customization while on the other end of the spectrum we have titles that are so in-depth they allow you to micromanage every thing. There are games all along that rainbow that I appreciate and enjoy, and I think you’ll agree that the team behind Fallout 1 and 2 struck gold with the SPECIAL system (Black Isle had a thing for acronyms apparently) It stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. You get to pick your base points and then get additional character points for every level you gain. These will have effect on your hit points (HP), armor class (AC), the amount you can carry, resistances, critical chances, and more – including all your skill levels, of which three are referred to as your “tag skills” – these grow at a much faster rate than the rest. The cherry on top of the character creation is your two (or less, I suppose…) “optional traits”. With these you could choose to be more resistant to radiation and poisons, have a faster turn sequence, get more skill points, have a higher appeal to the opposite sex, or just choose to have enemies (or yourself) die in a bloody mess. So pick wisely, what sort of character do you want to play? Plenty of options!


What is the post apocalyptic future going to be like? You’ll need your wits about you because at home in the family of Black Isle’s characters are two-headed brahmin, giant radioactive ants, and mutants who have adapted to the radiation.  Not everything is out to kill you, though. Fallout 2 is quest oriented, so your PIP Boy is forever being updated with major quests (Find the GECK) and minor quests (Find replacement parts to fix a radio). Being non-linear, you won’t feel forced into walking a single line to get to your end goal. If you need to release someone who has been captured by slavers you might decide to bargain for the man’s life, purchasing him yourself, or convincing the leader to release him. You may be feeling aggro and decide to kick down the door, shouting “Say hello to mah little friend!” and slaughtering the whole disgusting bunch (they are slavers, after all), or maybe just give up any hope of being a force for good in this world and join the slavers, which will grant you a tattoo of your intentions. Options… Fallout 2 gives you plenty of options.

You control your character using point & clicks from the mouse generally. When entering combat you’re given a set number of Action Points (AP), with each action consuming a certain amount of points. The map is divided into hexagons and each step costs you 1 point. If you get close to an enemy and want to attack with your sledgehammer it might take 3 points, while throwing your spear costs an extra point. Included in these costs is using an item from inventory during battle which will snag two AP. You don’t have to use all your points, as each one left over when you end your turn adds one to your AC, making you stronger against attacks.

Another interesting feature (and fun to use!) is that for each attack you can choose to target a specific body part. For example, you could target that slaver’s leg and, on a critical hit, send him limping away (curious side note: he now tells everyone “I used to be a slaver, then I took a sledgehammer to the knee”)

Overall Fallout 2 is one of the greatest games that I’ve ever had the honor of playing and one that I would recommend to any gamer. It has humorous dialogue, an action filled plot, and a believable story line. The graphics are dated, but I’m a fan of the style and I think you would be too – it fits the setting. If you haven’t played it yet, give it a shot for Point & Click month. If you’ve already played through, then you know how awesome it is! Sit down and give it, or another P&C, some love this month!

Bigfoot has been playing video games for as long as he can remember, he was weaned straight from the bottle on to a Commodore 64 and hasn't looked back since. He enjoys sampling beer and hanging out with his family. A couple of his all-time favorite games are Earthbound (SNES) and Fallout 2 (PC).

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