The Original Fallout, Not for the Meek
Let me tell you a story. A story about me, if you will. A story of when I was much more of a nerd, since I'm now so much cooler (NOT). Isn't that a Bob Dylan song, I was so much cooler then, I'm... Wait, what? I don't think that's it. Anyway, there was a time when I played games. I'm talking, I PLAYED GAMES!
The year was 1997, and things were very much different than they are now. We had internet, but it wasn't the bustling super-highway that it is now. People were fired up about their new 56k modems, and such, and they weren't even all that big a deal back then. The internet was slow. It was so slow, we didn't even have AOL, yet, we had this other thing called America Online. It was way slower.
With that, people didn't really buy things online, or even review things online, that much--at least, I didn't. At least once or twice a month, my friends and I would head over to a brick and mortar store called CompUSA, and peruse the aisles of games. Each game was sold in a box the size of a lunchbox, and each box was adorned with incredibly colorful pictures. And do you know how we picked our latest games? Whichever box struck our fancy, was the one that got picked.
One day, I didn't go, and the next day, I got a call. My friend told me he bought a game, with a crazy helmet on the cover that looked like it was made out of a toaster and bicycle parts. The game was amazing, he said. He could do anything, he said. He'd saved a girl in a town, who he could now go back and visit whenever he wanted. He had a choice of several different weapons, which he'd been using a shotgun, and he was most recently getting his butt handed to him by some green mutant guys. It all sounded awesome, so I headed for the store to look for the game. I headed down the aisles, and I didn't even need to remember the name of the game. The cover was so distinct, I knew it right away.
It was the beginning of a love affair for me. Day and night, I played that game. I played it hard, because it was hard. I failed, I died, my companions died (Ian, sorry buddy). It took me months to beat the game, but I finally did it. It was an incredibly difficult game to beat, but I loved every minute of it. And the second I beat it, I started again, because I knew I'd missed a boat load of content by muscling my way through. You see, the glory of Fallout is, there are several ways to do everything, and each decision changes the outcome of the game, which is what makes the game feel so unique and alive. Most games are a straight line, but this one grows as it's played. Very few games are able to create that feeling.
The truth is, I've probably played this game, all the way through, about 25-times, and I can honestly say, it is my all-time favorite game. I love it, and I've never played another game like it. There's a sequel, Fallout 2, which is longer, and gave me the same feeling. I like that one a lot too, but it wasn't quite the same as the first. There are also modern sequels, Fallout 3 (2008) and Fallout New vegas (2010), but these don't have the same feel at all. For one they are First Person Shooters, and they are way easier. Also, they are in 3-D. The originals were in 2-D, and they were isometric, with turn-based combat, which made the games very difficult. But most importantly, I'm too old to get wrapped up in a game, now.
The original two games fell squarely in a time in my life when I was able to just wrap myself around them, and play them like there was nothing else. Now of course, there's a zillion other things on my mind, and a zillion other things on my list of to-dos. I can't even keep track of where I am in a game from moment to moment, which makes it difficult to get invested in a game of this complexity. However, I can fire up the original from time to time, and enjoy a quick play through, because I know just about every nook and cranny, but even I'm surprised from time to time by this game.
"War, war never changes..."
Background Photo Credit: Flicker Creatives Commons Photo by Paul
The three pack consists of Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics, a squad based game based in the Fallout universe.
Fallout 3 is a modern take on the Fallout universe done by Bethesda. It's more First Person Shooter, in a 3-D world, that actually passes as advanced.