Today we are taking a trip back in time as we look at the origins of the Fallout series. Fallout is one of the most popular game series of today, but it is a series that can actually be traced all the way back to the 80’s. So prepare to leave the safety of The Vault as we look at the history of Fallout.
Platforms: PC, Commodore 64, Apple II
Back in 1988, Interplay would release the game, Wasteland. While not part of the Fallout series. It did in a way set the tone for what would become the Fallout series. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the game had a lot of depth and would actually win a game of the year award and it is still held in high regard to this day. So while not a “Fallout” game, you could argue that had Interplay not made Wasteland, we may never have ended up with Fallout. Interestingly, Fallout may very well have been called Wasteland as the only reason there was never a sequel was because Interplay could not get the rights for Wasteland and thus created…
Nearly a decade after Wasteland, Interplay would release Fallout for PC. The original Fallout made full use of the technology PCs offered at the time. With a very cinematic story that was well written, it was impossible not to be sucked in. With a lot of violence and gore, Fallout was one of the most violent games on the market right now, this along with the dark humour and allowing players to just kill whoever they want. The original Fallout was a huge success and still fondly remembered to this day. What people who just discovered Fallout once Fallout 3 find strange is that the original was actually an isometric style game, even though it does have many of the RPG elements that the series still uses to this day.
Fallout 2 was released just one year later and while published by Interplay was actually developed by Black Isle Studios. Fallout 2 offered exactly what Fallout 1 offered. Deep RPG style gameplay. Fantastic characters that were well written, a tonne of things to do and just an around great experience. One thing that reviewers of the time did criticise the game for was the graphics and the user interface which did not really improve at all from the first game. Still, Fallout 2 was a success and while it did not make the same impact the first game did, many still have a soft spot for it.
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood Of Steel
The next game in the Fallout series would take the series in a different direction. While not considered canon in the Fallout lore, Fallout Tactics was actually a very well received game. It focussed far more on combat than RPG style gameplay like its predecessors. But for the most part, people were very happy with the job that Micro Forte did with the Fallout license. Interestingly there was a Fallout tabletop mini game that some people got as a bonus when they pre-ordered the game. This is actually more sought after than the game itself!
Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox
The next Fallout game would see the series finally make its debut on console as it was released on PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel was developed by Interplay themselves. Brotherhood Of Steel was far more linear than what people who were Fallout fans were used to. As this was a console game it felt very dumbed down, almost like you were held by the hand the whole time you played it. As a result, the game got mixed reviews with new players to the series tending to be more accepting of, the limitations of the game than people who were already Fallout fans. Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel would be the last game in the series to have the Interplay name on it as Bethesda would, first of all, enter an agreement with Interplay to make games for them, only for Interplay to get in serious financial trouble and sell the Fallout series altogether to Bethesda.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Fallout 3 was the first game to have Bethesda at the helm and it was also the first game to move the series into first person territory. To say that Fallout 3 was a critically acclaimed game is a huge understatement. With an open world, a fantastic combat system and a lot of violence. Bethesda did a fantastic job in bringing Fallout 3 to the masses and making the series one of the most talked about in gaming. When Fallout 3 was released it received numerous game of the year awards from many different sites and physical publications. While at first glance, Fallout 3 may look like a run of the mill post-apocalyptic shooter. Bethesda had really created their own thing with this game and it was something everyone loved.
Fallout: New Vegas
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Bethesda wasted no time in getting another Fallout game on the market with New Vegas being released just a couple of years after Fallout 3. But it was not Bethesda who would make this as they were so busy with The Elder Scrolls. Instead, they handed the reigns over to Obsidian. Obsidian did a wonderful job, many of the elements used in this game were actually supposed to be Fallout 3 which is very interesting. Fallout: New Vegas offered more of the open world, RPG style action that Fallout 3 did was met with huge sales and critical acclaim. But there were more people calling attention to various technical issues the game had. Some of these issues were also in Fallout 3, but people were more willing to overlook them. New Vegas, on the other hand, was not as lucky. Still even with the few bugs the game had. It was a lot of fun to play and some even prefer it to Fallout 3.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Xbox One
The next time we would see Fallout, would be in the mobile game Fallout Shelter. For a mobile game, this is a lot of fun. The idea is that you need to build and maintain your own Fallout shelter. Fallout Shelter is a free to play game that features micro-transactions. It was actually very well received and while it started life out as a mobile game, Fallout Shelter would eventually be released on Xbox One in 2017.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Fallout 4 was one of the biggest releases of 2015. Bethesda really stepped up here, with a six-year development time. Fallout 4 offered some excellent RPG style action and this time your character was voice acted, making it even more cinematic. You had more control than ever before in creating your character. From taking part in story missions, side missions, looking after settlements and just running around doing what you want. There is just so much to do in Fallout that even a couple of years later people are discovering new things about the game. One of the most fascinating aspects of Fallout 4 is Bethesda’s decision to allow mods on the console versions of the game. Something that very few other game developers have been willing to do. Fallout 4 was a smash hit, earning rave reviews, huge sales and many game of the year awards.