The Nearly Ultimate Fallout Guide
Written and coded by Per Jorner
The main thing you will find in FO1 is there is less of everything. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the first game in the series would be smaller than the sequel. Less equipment choices, less quests, a smaller world map, less perks, less NPC control (but also less bugs). Having cut your teeth on FO2, you may sometimes feel a little restricted in FO1. Still, the gameplay and story are just as strong, and except for a few control (interface) issues that were improved for FO2, you are going to love FO1 just as much. One aspect in which FO1 is not smaller than FO2 is in it's overall level of kickass-ness.”— Gimp00
I must digest this information.”— The Master
It began with the making of a very thorough Fallout 2 guide, and though I hadn't intended it from the start, I realized towards the end that I would be doing the same thing with Fallout. Although I did finish the latter game first, it was the sequel that captured my heart and prompted all this guide-writing. For this reason my perspective on Fallout in this guide will most often be that the sequel sets the standard and whatever is different in the original is the anomaly. This may be a little odd to veterans who lived a year or so with Fallout before the sequel was released, but that's the way it is for many players today, and in any case the popularity of Fallout 2 today far outstrips that of its predecessor.
At first I wasn't sure if this new undertaking would add as much to existing walkthroughs (the game having been out a bit longer than the sequel, though probably not significantly so any more), but I soon found that I would in fact be able to add another layer of research and detail to what was already written down. Sure enough there were guides encouraging people to tag Gambling and Barter, guides lacking substantial information about most anything, and guides written by self-styled experts containing vague, over-obvious or incorrect "expert" hints. (In fact I didn't find any guide that didn't contain various incorrect statements, many of which have obviously been passed on or even ripped verbatim from one walkthrough to another.)
I would recommend Steve Metzler's Steve's Guide to Fallout for being clear and well written (though lacking in detail); Chris Smith's Fallout FAQ for being nice and written as far back as 1997 (though as the title suggests it's not a walkthrough); and Omkar Namjoshi's Fallout Game Guide for being ambitious almost to the point of being a second manual (though it has a high redundancy factor). Thanks to the No Mutants Allowed administration and visitors for past and future help and for hosting the guides.
I've been playing the English v1.2 (UK) version of the game, using the Falche 1.20 character editor for experimentation and adding children with Skynet's Fallout 1 Children Patch. I've made good use of the script decompiler by TeamX and the Fallout 1 DAT-file extractor v1.2, and even better use of the script decompiler by Noid. I don't think there should be any significant difference from the US version except for the children thing.
Please note that spoilers abound. The first time you play a game like this, you really shouldn't be using any kind of walkthrough whatsoever. If you don't care enough about the unique experience of finding out and doing things on your own to abstain from spoiling it, you probably have better things to do with your time than play the game at all. So, in case this is your first game, don't read beyond Preparations. Of course you will anyway if you want to, so I don't know why I'm writing this. :)
If you spot typos, have something to contribute or want to complain that my inclusion criteria are arbitrary, please mail me. If you have a gameplay or technical question that doesn't have anything to do with the guide itself (unless it hints at a deficiency therein), please turn to a message board; there are several on the net.
Comments and additional information have been colour-coded in the following imaginative manner:
A green star marks straightforward, reliable information or advice.
A yellow star signals some measure of uncertainty or speculation, but information given can be expected to be correct in broad terms.
A red star is used for highly speculative information as well as massively peripheral or trivial comments.
A blue star is used for general comments appearing in the Area walkthrough section which have a wider application than the specific context where they are brought up, such as character design, combat strategy or general game behaviour.
It's always patch you up! Fix you up! Asshole!”— Doctor Wu
The first thing you should do is make sure that your asshole... err, I mean your game is patched. If you have the European version this is easy, you'll already have version 1.2. If you live in the US or for some other reason own an old US version, you should download the patch to v1.1 if the game on your cd is v1.0. There shouldn't be a need to patch recent budget releases. What the patch does is fix several potentially game-ruining bugs and remove one of the time limits in the game. In the walkthrough I'll assume your game is patched and refer to pre-patch oddities as some kind of ancient (and slightly dubious) history.
If you have v1.2 you won't have any children in your game. To rectify this, get hold of the children patch containing the US executable and the animation frames missing from the non-US versions. (Note that this won't make children appear on already visited maps in existing games, though.) Playing without children doesn't hurt the game as much as in Fallout 2, as there are no (working) quests involving children. A great boo hoo goes to Interplay for removing the children in the first place. Now, if one or two European countries disallow the appearance of children in a game where the player can take a rocket launcher to anyone he or she meets, why not make a low violence version and target those countries specifically, letting everyone else play the proper game?
At least my UK version doesn't have any violence restrictions, but all blood and violent animations were removed from the localized German edition. There are at least two unofficial gore patches (some 30 MB or more in size) which add these back in, though. Refer to them for details of content and application.
Locutus adds: "I have a 1.2 US version that was added to a game magazine and does not have the 'Maybe' song in the intro, it just plays the Glow music. Everything else is like in the normal US version."
There are a few known purely textual differences between the US and UK versions, concerning "sensitive" words: "drug" has become "chem", and "addiction" has become "craving". The reason why is anyone's guess, but if you've been wondering where I got this "chem" word from, that's the explanation.
Save often! Ideally you should quicksave after every battle and before every conversation. Having to play even a few minutes' worth of shootin' and lootin' all over again because you made the wrong choice in a dialogue can be irksome. (Of course it may also happen that you realize only afterwards that you've done something wrong and wish you had not saved...) I'd also recommend keeping a save game slot for each time you enter a new major location (town etc.). This way if you really screw up somehow and only find out after you save (it can happen), you "only" have to replay that area. These saves can also come in handy later on if you want to see what would have happened if you'd done differently in a particular quest.
A little word of warning about quicksave: as you probably know the quicksave function is "reset" when you use the regular load or save commands. However, it's not reset if you exit the current game and start a new character.
Once you fill up your quota of slots you can use a file manager of your choice to make room for new ones. Just rename a save game folder (those named "Slot01" through "Slot10") you don't need for the moment to something which gives you a hint of what it contains (like "Slot02-shady"), and that slot will be free for use again. Then whenever you want to bring back an archived save, restore that folder's name to a valid one. You can use a similar trick to swap between whole save catalogues by renaming the "Savegame" folder to "SavegameX" or something else. This way you can juggle different games with different characters.
A more "realistic" approach to the game involves using a single save slot and reloading only if you die or screw up entirely by mistake (but not, for instance, if you fail some action or have second thoughts about something). Not recommended at all for beginners. Also better use at least one more slot for backup just in case your save files are corrupted. An even more realistic playing style called "iron man" involves never saving the game at all except between playing sessions; if you die, you're dead and have to start all over again!
Once you've started the game I'd change the following default settings: combat speed, which I always turn up to max (check the box as well), target highlight to "on" (helps you see what's happening to critters behind walls), and running to "always". While working on the guide I had difficulty set to normal, but any future games will be played on hard (both game and combat difficulty), which unfortunately doesn't present that much more of a challenge.
If you hold down Shift and press the credits button on the starting screen, you'll get to read a quote file from the developers. Mature stuff!
If you type the word "boom" while the credits are running you'll be treated to an animation of Tim Cain's head blowing up.
You can access some sort of recording mode if you press Ctrl-R on the starting screen. You get to choose an area and run around it (with Max Stone), but you can't talk to people (unless you set off some script) or manipulate objects except for opening doors. This also creates a "selfrun" directory in your game folder where the recording is stored. When you're fed up, press Ctrl-R again to return to the starting menu. If you now wait for a while, one of your recordings will start playing, more or less accurately. You can use this feature to view a few unused (and uninteresting) maps, like the ruined Brotherhood bunker entrance and the Viper camp. See the Area walkthrough section for a way to exploit this in the game.
Many of yours. Some useful, but too many twists.”— Set
I'll be going through stats, traits, skills and stuff, making harsh and dictatorlike judgements, and then follow up with a few resulting characters. To start off with, your age doesn't matter; it's not checked in any of the scripts. Gender will have a small but insignificant effect on some dialogues. Male characters can sleep with Sinthia (for a price) and maybe with Keri (for a minor benefit). They may also be taken for Death Hand in the raider camp, which is not necessarily an advantage. If you are female then getting the systolic motivator from Michael will be easier if you have CH>5 but harder if you have CH<5. You may have been meant to be able to pull a surprise attack on Harry with a female character, but all this does is initiate combat. A funny detail is that the Vault 13 security officer is always of the opposite gender to the player character.
Don't use any of the pre-defined characters, they all have flaws (e.g. Max Stone has Bruiser, Natalia has Night Person and Albert has Skilled as well as Barter). One of the nicest things about most computer RPGs is creating your own character or characters, anyway; even if I wanted a "Max Stone" character, I'd make one instead of taking Max Stone.
When allotting char points there are some things to keep in mind:
- Strength: Useful for carrying stuff and using weapons properly. Start out with at least 5, but ST can be increased by 4 points during the game so more than 6 is probably overdoing it.
- Perception: Good for ranged weapons, but not crucial. You should start with at least 5 for the Awareness perk.
- Endurance: Determines Hit Points and not much else. Unless you like close combat a little too much I wouldn't put more than 4.
- Charisma: Not so useful, unfortunately. Affects bartering both directly and indirectly, but does not limit your number of NPC followers. A CH of 1 is perfectly viable.
- Intelligence: Unless you plan to rely on brute force for everything, this is likely your most important statistic since it rules conversation and determines skill points per level. 7 is a good starting value.
- Agility: Determines your Action Points, so you probably don't want less than 6, and starting with anything up to 10 doesn't hurt.
- Luck: A high LK is good if you plan on getting Sniper, or special encounters. If you don't care about critical hits you won't suffer much from a low Luck score, otherwise don't start with less than 5 (or you won't get Better Criticals).
Stats can never be effectively raised above 10. Every stat can be raised by 1 permanently during the game (except ST which goes up by 4), so starting with 10 in any stat is a bit of a waste. IN and LK can be raised by 2 permanently instead of 1 by taking advantage of scripting glitches, so if you're not above that you shouldn't begin with more than 8 in those.
EN and AG work in the way that an odd score will not give you any significant advantages compared to the even number below, e.g. AG 6 or 7 both give you 8 Action Points. Keep this in mind, but also keep in mind you can increase these stats by one, which is why you may want to start with, say, AG 9 and not 8 or 10.
The Fallout manual says you get EN/3 extra HP per level; the Fallout 2 manual says you get EN/3+3. They're both wrong: the correct amount is EN/2+2 (rounded down). Interestingly enough this is in the patch notes of both games.
If you set IN lower than 4, your character will (usually) only be able to speak in grunts, unable to carry on any meaningful dialogue. Needless to say this will severely impair your ability to take on and solve quests, but you can use Mentats to help with that. (Note that you can also use Mentats "in reverse" during a normal game - take one or two and wait one hour for your stats to drop below normal - if you want to take advantage of an IN<4 feature. Psycho is even more effective.) For more details, see the Stupid section.
A Strength of 5 is enough to handle all small guns. A ST of 7 is sufficient to wield all big guns and energy weapons, and in fact ST 6 is enough for everything but the Minigun. Once you get the Powered Armor you don't have to worry about this.
- Small Frame: If you plan on keeping at least one NPC around, this essentially has no downside. Even if you're going solo it's not so bad since you don't really need to carry much junk around.
- One Hander: Many of the best weapons in the game are two-handed, but it's good for kung fu characters since the bonus applies for Unarmed-class weaponry, none of which is two-handed (your basic hands-and-feet attack is unaffected).
- Finesse: Decent trade-off.
- Fast Shot: A personal favourite, because I like firing a Turbo Plasma Rifle five times during a round. Also goes well with big guns and burst weapons, obviously. Don't take this if you're a hard-core sniper though. If you get Sniper or Slayer, it rocks. Note the difference from Fallout 2 that it benefits HtH combat as well as ranged.
- Gifted: The stat bonuses counteract the skill penalties (especially if you put a few extra points to IN), so this is universally regarded as the best trait. I don't use it myself because it almost feels like cheating, or at the very least it spoils the challenge of balancing your stats.
If you raise your stats with Bruiser, Small Frame or Gifted, you can redistribute the extra point(s) manually, so think of them as extra generic char points, although technically this is not so (which is reflected in the fact that you can't lower the raised skills below certain values, but that should never be a problem).
Potentially useful but not overly worthwhile traits:
- Heavy Handed: Some extra damage early on for HtH characters, but not so good in the long run if you plan on getting Better Criticals and Slayer.
- Jinxed: Could be useful in a pure (and weird) HtH game. If you or your party members are using guns yourself you shouldn't want to randomize combat unless you're always worse at it than the critters you'll be fighting (in which case you may want to rethink your playing style entirely).
- Good Natured: Decent if you only plan on using one combat skill (i.e. Small Guns), or, obviously, if you don't plan on using any combat skills. Otherwise you might as well choose something else. Bad in a stupid game.
Traits to avoid:
- Fast Metabolism: Both effects are utterly marginal, so it's simply an utterly marginal trait.
- Bruiser: Two more stat points, but you need the AP. That's like losing four points of Agility, which is ridiculous for an HtH character.
- Kamikaze: Trade away protection for Sequence which matters only during the first combat round? No thanks.
- Bloody Mess: Could be fun to begin with, but doesn't do anything in game terms, and gets tiresome. You'll see those animations anyway and it will feel more like a reward (!) without this trait.
- Night Person: This is very bad considering how many people will only talk to you during daytime. Could be used in a stupid game, but I wouldn't bother.
- Skilled: With a decent IN you'll be swimming in skill points. A horrible trait, avoid like the plague (unless you have IN 1 or something, though it beats me why you would).
- Chem Reliant: The average time you spend being addicted won't change, so what's the big deal? Chem use is marginal anyway and most players will probably just reload if they get addicted.
- Chem Resistant: A convenience if you're playing a chem user, but even so it's little more than that (you don't have to reload as often).
Skilled is bugged in the way that you don't get the extra 5 skill points per level you're supposed to get. If you want to simulate this effect you could give yourself 2-3 levels of the Educated perk using a character editor.
Although Bloody Mess does have one beneficial function at the end of the game for good characters, that effect can be achieved by other means.
Recommended skills to tag (unless you're going for a stupid game):
- Small Guns: Your primary combat skill for most of the game. Can be used all the way to the end.
- Lockpick: There are many locked containers and doors and you'll want to open them with a minimum of fuss. Getting it to 70-80% may be enough if you use Lock Picks, or raise it to 100% just for the convenience.
- Speech: Because you want people to like you and be impressed with you and give you quests and generally do what you tell them to.
Tag these and bump them up to around 100% early on (except possibly Small Guns if you want more use out of those Guns and Bullets magazines), it will pay off. Eventually you'll want one combat skill at, say, 150%. Unless that one is Small Guns, choose one of the following according to preference (one of these would probably be a tag skill instead of Speech in a stupid game):
- Energy Weapons: The best combat skill during the final stages of the game.
- Unarmed: Some prefer this to Melee Weapons (mostly because the Power Fist doesn't have knockback).
- Melee Weapons: Neat once you get the Super Sledge, limited use early on.
Skills you need not spend points on:
- Big Guns: Only used late in the game, and not as effective as you'd think, either.
- Throwing: Rocks and grenades simply don't play a huge role in the world of Fallout.
- First Aid: Since it starts out higher than Doctor you'll probably be using this some at the beginning of the game. Once you get to the Hub you can raise it to 91% using books and you don't need more.
- Doctor: Pretty marginal. You can fix a broken limb at a very low skill level, and other than that you're fine with First Aid, Stimpaks and natural healing.
- Sneak: Not overly useful, and it doesn't work in many of the situations where it would have been good.
- Steal: You don't need to steal stuff for the trade value, stealing ammo and chems before combat is lame, and there aren't many other uses.
- Traps: There aren't that many traps in the game, actually, and they're not likely to kill you. You can raise it a little for convenience, but you don't really need to.
- Science: Can be raised with books to 91% once you reach the Hub. You don't need more.
- Repair: See Science.
- Barter: You don't have to trade much, and CH is more important for that anyway.
- Gambling: You don't need to get money by gambling.
- Outdoorsman: See Science.
Your number of available skill points are capped at 99 when you level up. You can have more than 99 points stored (e.g. after getting a skill point perk), but only until you level up next time.
10 Reasons Why The Original Fallout Game Is Still Worth Playing In 2020
Released in 1997, Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Gameis one of the most influential RPGs ever. Interplay Productions' mix of sharp wit and extensive roleplaying options would spawn a new wave of post-apocalyptic RPGs that continues to this day.
RELATED: 7 Reasons The Outer Worlds Is Better Than Fallout New Vegas (& 7 Why New Vegas Is Better)
Dark humor, plenty of player choice, and the wasteland itself are core pillars to the franchise that future titles have more or less retained. Many Fallout fans jumped into the franchise with Bethesda's Fallout 3 or Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas, never experiencing the unique dialogue and charm of the past titles. For those looking for more Fallout and haven't played the older titles, here are ten reasons why trying out the Fallout that started it all isn't a bad idea. This article avoids spoilers for Fallout 1.
10 The Story
Out of every Fallout title in the franchise, the original Fallout still has the best story. The premise is rather simple: players are a member of Vault 13 and are chosen to leave the confines of the Vault in search of a water chip. If the player cannot get a water chip within 150 days of leaving the Vault, everyone inside of the Vault will die.
Fallout does a brilliant job of taking a simple premise and expanding it as far as it can go. Players get to explore the various human civilizations that dot Southern California in 2161, a timeline that is earlier than any other entry excluding Fallout 76. By exploring the wasteland and talking to various NPCs, the player's goals slowly shift towards something much more terrifying. Out of every Fallout game that has tried to make a compelling narrative, the original game still has the best story to tell.
9 Brutally Unforgiving
Most players are used to starting a Fallout game with a clear objective and a means of reaching it. That isn't the case in the original Fallout.
Besides knowing that the water chip needs to be replaced, it is up to the player to discover how to obtain one. Players need to be extremely careful about who they talk to, what information to provide, and even what clothes they wear. Giving just enough information about the Vault can cause NPCs to distrust the player or end a playthrough entirely. Fallout does not hold the player's hand in any way, which is surprisingly refreshing when compared to more recent entries that guide the player to their next objective.
RELATED: Fallout 4: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Forged
For those that don't like how punishing it is, the Fallout Wiki is an invaluable resource for guiding players through quests.
8 Turn-Based Combat
Screenshot uploaded on Reddit.
Anyone that enjoyed how violent V.A.T.S. combat was in more recent Fallout titles might enjoy the original game's turn-based combat that inspired the system in the first place.
Every character gets a turn where they spend Action Points to move, shoot, or interact with the environment. Similar to Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, players can aim at specific body parts to blow off a target's arms, head, or even their groin. It isn't as intricate as XCOM or as accessible as Fallout 4's V.A.T.S. combat, but it has enough flair that some hardcore RPG fans might get some enjoyment out of it.
7 Bleak Atmosphere
Thrown straight out of their Vault, players are comforted with a corpse at their feet and a cave filled with hostile rats. Contrast this with Fallout 3 or Fallout 4's openings and it becomes rather clear that the original Fallout is the bleakest interpretation of the IP.
NPCs will fish information out of the player if they get a glimpse of their Vault suit or hear where they came from. Most enemies in Fallout are tough and can take the player down in a few attacks. Any hope of rebuilding civilization is twisted into insanity by the game's antagonists and various supporting NPCs. The water chip isn't just a narrative device, either. Players need to find a water chip in 150 days or the game ends.
While it might sound exhausting to some, it gives the original game a unique tone that stands opposed to Bethesda's entries that focus on rebuilding while simultaneously separating Fallout from the pop-culture zaniness that is Fallout 2.
6 Super Mutants
Isn't it strange that nearly every Fallout game has Super Mutants? Those that started the franchise with Fallout 3 or later might consider these enemies to be nothing more than mutated humans. Super Mutants are much more than that.
Without spoiling anything, the original Fallout focuses on why Super Mutants exist and what their purpose is. More than that, it shows why Fallout 3 and 4's Brotherhood of Steel clans regard them as such a large threat. Don't expect Super Mutants to be pushovers in this installment.
5 Mods Address Some Of Fallout's Issues
Accessibility is the main reason many Fallout fans have decided to skip the first few entries in the franchise. It's perfectly understandable. The original Fallout suffers from this the most, with a clunky UI, bugs that can ruin playthroughs, and dated visuals.
RELATED: Fallout 4: Top 10 Mods That Make The Game Even Better
Thankfully, most of these issues can be fixed with mods. The modding scene for the original Fallout is rather small yet has some essential mods that players should look for. To make it playable on modern-day machines, "Fallout Fixit" by Sduibek is a must for patching the game and making it run at modern resolutions, fixing visual issues, and allowing players to revert the censorship changes that were applied to the Steam version of the game.
4 True Build Variety
Builds in the original Fallout have a massive impact on how a playthrough progresses. If a player has high Charisma, they can complete the entire game as a pacifist by talking to people. Low intelligence players can't speak fluently, meaning they block most dialogue options in exchange for higher stats elsewhere.
Fallout's iconic S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is in full swing here. Every stat impacts gameplay somehow, allowing for a wide range of build options.
3 Character Dialogue
Dialogue between NPCs and players in Fallout is some of the best the franchise has seen. Players get a wide range of options for replying to NPCs that can reflect any type of character.
NPCs also had a ton of care put into their lines. Convincing the game's main antagonist that their ideals are ill-placed will forever be considered one of the franchise's best moments.
2 Highly Replayable
Replayability is a core tenant of the older Fallout that is best shown in the first installment. The player's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats and dialogue decisions have a large impact on how the main story progress.
In fact, the main story of this game can be bypassed almost entirely if players know what they're doing. Knowledgable players can beat this game in just under an hour if they play their cards right. Fallout's fluid quest progression and lack of hand-holding make every playthrough different from the last.
1 It's A Unique Take On The Franchise
More than anything, the original Fallout is a great game for its time. As the first entry in the franchise, it's shocking how much has changed between each installment. The game's story, tone, camera perspective, and even some of the game's lore have been changed heavily.
Even with all of those changes, the original Fallout set a certain tone and setting for the franchise that has been preserved in future titles, for the most part. As for fans that cannot get enough Fallout, the original game is such a raw yet refreshing take on the franchise Bethesda popularized that players owe themselves at least one session with this old masterpiece of an RPG.
NEXT: Fallout 4: 5 Overpowered Builds (& 5 That Are Just Ridiculous)
Pokemon Sword & Shield players in the US will need to visit GameStop to get shiny variants of Zacian and Zamazenta.
Read NextAbout The Author
Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.
The best Fallout games, ranked from worst to best
War. War never changes. When it comes to ranking the best Fallout games, it can be quite a challenge. After all, the series overall offers up some very memorable experiences throughout the wastelands. Taking us to the Mojave desert, the Commonwealth, and Appalachia - to name a few - Bethesda's post-apocalyptic franchise has brought us many different adventures over the years. From 2161 in Fallout 1 right through to 2287 in Fallout 4, the Wastelands sure have seen a lot of action. And with thoughts turning to the potential of someday seeing Fallout 5, we try to take on the tough task of ranking every irradiated journey the retro-futuristic world has to offer.
So pull up a chair and crack open a bottle of Nuka-Cola as we rank every Fallout game from worst to best.
8. Fallout 76
In theory, the idea of an online multiplayer Fallout is very appealing. In practice, however, Fallout 76 just doesn't have quite the same charm and wonder as its predecessors. At launch, the absence of NPCs really took away the same feel we're so used to in the series, and bugs and broken quests made the lonely world frustrating to boot. To its credit, it has improved since, with the addition of NPCs making it feel more alive than it did previously. And If you have some good pals to mess around with, it can be fun to dip in and out of. But sadly the latest entry in the series doesn’t have the same kind of draw as those that came before it.
7. Fallout Shelter
Ever fancied being an Overseer? As a spin-off that ties into the world of the wastelands, Fallout Shelter is a great free-to-play management sim that will keep you hooked with its sense of progression. And yes, it really is free-to-play. It will rarely try to get you to spend real-world money and it’s pretty generous with in-game currency. Essentially it’s a more complex Tamagotchi where you create your own vault and look after your vault dwellers by building up your vault to improve their quality of life. Originally made for mobile, it's simplistically addictive mechanics make it fun and approachable for all kinds of players. While it’s of course a lot smaller in scale, it deserves a place on this list for being a charming little Fallout number featuring the trademark style and animations of the Vault boy any Fallout fan will appreciate.
6. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Ten-hut! Who could forget Paladin Ryczek - aka Sarge - drilling you as you begin your life as a newbie Brotherhood of Steel recruit? The off-shoot turned-based tactics RPG is a very well executed deviation in the series that introduces the wastelands to a slightly different genre of play. Since it doesn’t follow on from the story of 1 and 2, Fallout Tactics really is on a path of its own, but it has decent enough story on offer. The turn-based strategy aspect might not be everyone’s bottle of Nuka-Cola, but the way it presents you with several different approaches and options helps make for a challenging and engaging experience. The voice acting is superb, and honestly, one of the most memorable lines in any Fallout comes from Ryczek right at the start: “the Elders have ordered me to mold you flabby, hip slapping, berry picking, rat rubbing, Brahman kissers into capable warriors.” That’s one way to make you feel motivated! While being a Brotherhood of Steel recruit doesn’t offer you as much freedom as being a vault dweller, it’s still worth a look.
5. Fallout 1
Going back to where it all began, Fallout 1 laid down for the foundations for the retro-futuristic world we all know and love. Set in the year 2161, Vault 13 is where you take up residence and when the vault comes under threat, you venture out into the Wasteland to protect it. Many fans who came to the series much later might be put off at first glance by the style and look of the top down RPG, but it was a pivotal title in its own way for establishing much of what we see in later entries. With branching dialogue, multiple approaches to solving quests, NPCs to encounter, companions, and the classic Special skills system, it has all the hallmarks of post-apocalyptic world we’ve become so accustomed to. It even introduces the Karma system which we see throughout the series that affects the way the world views your character. By today’s standards it is pretty dated, and the UI really hasn’t aged well, but if you can get past all that it’s a historical throwback that’s worth returning to for the story alone.
4. Fallout 2
Really there weren’t a lot of changes from the first, but Fallout 2 took what its predecessor had established and finely tuned its foundations to offer up something bigger and better. Many view the sequel as the quintessential introduction to the series and it is more approachable in some respects. Set 80 years after the events of the Fallout 1, you play as the direct descendant of the previous Vault dweller. As the 'Chosen One', you set out to retrieve the Garden of Eden Creation kit (GECK) from Vault 13. But, as usual, it doesn’t quite go to plan. Lots of the old familiar systems are in play here, but it gets rid of some of the more annoying features of Fallout 1, such as having a time limit on completing quests. Before Fallout became what it is today, this was once the cream of the Wastelands crop.
3. Fallout 4
The most recent single-player entry has so much on offer. From building your own settlements to finding interesting side quests, and discovering a creepy Ghoul-invested town, there’s no shortage of things to do. But even after hours and hours of enjoyable gameplay, Fallout 4 can still feel strangely lacking. Some of the key features from previous iterations are missing, such as the Karma feature for one, and while the main storyline is decent enough, it feels more forced on you than any other main questline in Fallout as a whole. One of the beautiful things about Fallout is how much freedom you have to craft your own character and create your own journey. And sure, you get to create your character, but their fate is already sealed. You have to be a parent and find your lost son. Of course, there’s still plenty of room to go off the beaten track throughout, but it still feels like you’re tied down by this one aspect. It’s a brilliant game nonetheless, with the best combat in any Fallout title, but for some inexplicable reason it just feels like its missing that special something.
2. Fallout 3
While the jump from Fallout 1 to 2 wasn’t such a leap, Fallout 3 truly changed up the game. By opening up the expansive Wasteland and giving us a first-person perspective, Bethesda’s spearheaded instalment took the series from a 2D RPG to a 3D open-world experience unlike any other. Lots of hallmark elements remained the same - such as Special skills, Karma and dialogue options - but we also got to see the first introduction of new features like the assisted targeting system VATS. The rich world is a meticulously detailed rendering of a post apocalyptic Washington DC, and the factions and political divides of the setting add so much depth to the immersive feel of Fallout’s world. It’s over a decade old, but it holds up very well today, which is a testament to just how good Fallout 3 really is.
1. Fallout: New Vegas
Truth is, the game was rigged from the start. Fallout: New Vegas is a near perfect example of how an RPG should be. With one the best openings in video game history, you play as a Mojave Express courier who sets out to deliver a mysterious package. On route, you get caught up in an ambush and left for dead. Ain’t that a kick in the head? Before you know it, you find yourself caught up in something so much bigger. Right from the get go, you’re in charge of how everything will play out. Traversing the landscapes of New Vegas, you’ll encounter all kinds of seedy characters along the way, with rival factions, choices with consequences and one heck of a main story-line. Three great powers - the New California Republic (NCR), Caesar's Legion and the illusive Mr House - all aim to out play each other for control of the Mojave Wasteland, and it's entirely up to you if you want to get involved. It’s easily one of the most memorable Fallout experiences, with some of the best NPCs in the entire series.
If you want to get the most out of the latest Fallout, why not check out our Fallout 76 tips, which are also available in video form below:
After trying to get into the industry for a number of years, I eventually landed my dream job as a full-time staff writer at GamesRadar+. You'll see all sorts of articles from me here including news, reviews, previews, and features.
Is it difficult because of the combat, how tough enemies are and/or puzzles/quest completion?
If it's one or all the above (or something I haven't mentioned) is there a mod to make it easier? I have looked in the mods and q&a threads but haven't found anything.
if "hard" for you means twitch/shooter skills, then this game is amazingly easy... its TURN BASED!
if "hard" means the puzzles are difficult... well, they *can* be, but there are multiple solutions... cant talk your way through that bouncer? shoot him! not good with guns? stealthily place a grenade in his shorts.
what makes old games hard, for me, is my mind-set. when i play lots of old games, i see the world with those glasses on. after playing too many new games and going back, old games are much harder, for me, than they were the first time through. i just played Gabriel Knight and i found that game VERY hard. but, had i played it in the 90s, i doubt it would have been as hard, as i played lots of adventure games back then... hope my point is clear.
1 good fallout is
I have never found a game breaking glitch or bug that makes fallout 2 unplayable
Half the quests in new Reno are broken, buggy messes. The boxing match that never ends. The not-Mike Tyson that refuses to end his combat turn if you fail to kill him in one go. The Pretty Boy Floyd money quest. Trying to get with either of the Bishops. The Wright kids taking you to a loading screen...which loads, only to reveal that you're still in front of the Wright house, but all the kids are pools of blood.
Honestly, I could go on.
As for OP, yes, they're both very good games. The first game is incredibly short and easy, especially for a cRPG of its time, while the second game is significantly larger, and occasionally throws icewind dale tier encounters at you. Again, I can't stress how short fallout 1 is. The maximum level cap is 21, and you'll probably not even be level 18 when you beat the game. The early game portions of fallout 2 take almost as much time as all of fallout 1, and the max level cap is a Bethesda styled gorillion, which you'll never actually hit, while driving around the wasteland with a big party of dudes that level anywhere from 2 to 8 times alongside you.
Your decisions have a lot more weight to them in fallout 2, and truly dumb choices come with truly dumb and terrible consequences, like how becoming a slaver brands you chaotic stupid, locks you out from most of the smaller quests, makes almost everybody in every town hate you, disables most companions, and all for some early game money. Most everything related to earning quick and easy money can be particularly punishing, or particularly lucrative if you're creative, and/or figure them into an overall character build.
Fallout 2 also has a strong emphasis on making the genders play very different, unlike every other fallout game, and it's also the only fallout game that can be beaten without doing any actual combat (other than firing the first shot, so your army of dudes start attacking), due to the big number of buddies you can have, the car and outdoorsman making random encounters a rarity, and how powerful skills like speech, science, and doctor are, both mechanically and from a roleplay perspective. A character with high charisma, science, and doctor can open many, many doors that other builds can't, like getting somewhere with Vault city and new Reno.
Combat has never been a strong side of the franchise, and is something you kinda do because you have to sometimes, not something you go look for. They knew it wasn't all that great, so they added 7x the weapons they had in fallout 1, fixed how AP and JHP ammo works, and most of the quests that have combat attached to them come with a diplomatic solution, or simply ask that you oversee the combat from X range, so they know you're not backstabbing them. Which you can of course do, and that nets you more money than if you were loyal, but now the town you did it in hates you, and no one wants to employ you for their errands.
It's the little things.
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We sat and sighed. E-mine. She told what happened to her. She and her husband spent a day off At a camp site, with friends, near Moscow. They walked there, drank well.
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The fire in the grill flared up quickly. The girls saw our preparations through the window and came running to us. The train was an hour late, and now, when that hour was drawing. To a close, I decided to go out on the platform so as not to wade through the crowd of alarmed passengers in a general rush, who rushed to meet the approaching train.