Fallout 2
Reviewed: 02/26/2006


In this sequel to the best game of 1997, Interplay and Black Isle came together to create a great improvement on the original while still maintaining the overall scope and integrity of the story and game play. Fallout 2 is everything Fallout was and more.

The story continues with the player character being a generation descended of the original vault-dwelling character in the first game. He/she has been chosen by the village elder to undergo a temple of trials to determine if they’re suited to find a pre-war piece of technology known as the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit) so the chosen one might save the village from certain destruction in the wasteland.

How does it compare to the original? The mouse-driven isometrics and turn-based battles have been modified slightly, but are virtually identical to the original. Players still manage the inventory in a special interface, but it’s not as clumsy. There are a lot more side quests, more items, and more back-story to experience. It has the same character development with a few minor modifications, and music is a little more memorable. This game just does everything a little better.

Screen Shot
Looks like most other PC RPGs of the time.

Where does it excel? NPCs are actually useful. More than that, players actually manage their inventories. They wear armor and they gain levels. They’re a little sensitive about shooting the main character in the back, but not so much with other NPCs. Also, they get rather sensitive if they are shot accidentally. Upon the slightest PC-NPC friendly-fire injury they may go ballistic. Players can move NPCs out of the way, so those reloads when pinned are no more. Perfect!

There are other memorable enhancements, including an abundance of useful NPCs that don’t require “movie-mode” interaction. More realistic game play is achieved when the party is affected by the main character’s karma. The world is larger and there are many more achievements to be had. Ever want to be a porn star? How about a boxing champion? Also be on the lookout for many more cult-references and amusing random encounters.

Playing the game today has a few drawbacks. Gamers still can’t select screen resolutions or color depth, something that is sought after a lot in today’s gaming world. Make sure the game is patched to it’s latest version before starting a new game because saved games in previous versions are incapatable. There are bugs that the patches don’t fix and as a caution players should save frequently.

Screen Shot
“Clearly my answer is, ‘please remove these antlers from my nose.'”

Those minor problems aside, Fallout 2 is a gritty adventure which allows players to be as good or as bad as one reasonably could be while still completing the primary objectives. Actions taken in the game directly affect how the ending is portrayed, giving the game limitless replay value. It is possible to go through the game several times and still feel like there has been a unique experience, dispite certain parts of the game objectives being required. The nature of the character development system is such that a character can be crafted into just about any gaming style one would choose. This is something that is still sought after in RPGs of today and often finds lacking.

When it came out in the fall of 1998, Fallout 2 set some standards for good gameplay and immersive story. It improved on the original in all the ways it needed to. All the improvements will have PC RPG players playing the game multiple times to experience the fallout.

-Joseph Proveaux

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Excellent
Story Excellent
Graphics Great
Sound/Music Great
Replay Value Excellent
The Verdict: Great