Fallout Preppers Part 1: A Brief History of Fallout

     With Fallout 76 on the horizon, I felt like now was the perfect time to write a short series of articles that will get us all ready for our next adventure (together!). Keep in mind, this by a fan… with a terrible memory and one kinda new to blogging too! You’ve been warned, here’s part 1: A Brief History of Fallout. So, cozy up, and let’s take a glimpse of the games that made this great franchise what it is.

     Wasteland - Largely considered to be the spiritual successor to the Fallout franchise is the game Wasteland, released by Interplay Productions and published by EA in 1988. Playable on the Apple II and Commodore 64 and IBM systems, the game was post-apocalyptic Roleplaying Game (RPG) complete with Character Stats as seen in tabletop RPGs of the time (and today!). Some of the mechanics that were ground breaking at the time included the ability to grow the party and recruit new NPCs into the fold as the player’s game progressed. Intentions were to create a Wasteland 2, however, while working on the sequel, EA decided to pull the plug (thanks a heap EA).

     Fallout – Once again, developed by Interplay Productions and self-published in 1997. The game was a pseudo-isometric turn-based RPG. Initially intended to use the GURPS system, during the games development the owners of GURPS pulled the licensing saying it was going to be too violent. It integrated several RPG systems, such as stats, an inventory, Skills, Traits and Perks. The game introduced an inventory interface via the Pip-boy 200 being “worn” by your vault dweller. Currently, the interface, although vastly improved, is still in use, and has become a main stay.

     Fallout 2 -  Developed by Black Isle Studios and built using Fallout’s game engine, was a much larger game by comparison to its predecessor. The world was larger, contained more weapons, armor, equipment, and enemies to fight. Additionally, it was in Fallout 2 that our beloved S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system was introduced.

     Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel – Released in 2001 by 14 Degrees East, the title sits canonically between Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. The game, however, is an RTS with light RPG elements, allowing you to control all characters in your squad as opposed to just a single playable character. As such, there is a heavier emphasis on combat as opposed to other commonly found RPG elements. While it still received decent reviews for the overall gameplay from critics, it was still not wholly loved by the Fallout fanatics due to not being as RPG immersive.

     Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel – Developed and Published by Interplay Productions in 2004, this was the first Fallout-based console game. It was released for the original Xbox and PlayStation 2. This one, however, wasn’t received with open arms. Gamers felt the gameplay was grindy, repetitive, and not fun overall. The world was not immersive, and the controls were clunky. The game was even reported to have been released with known bugs. As a result, Interplay decided to ultimately release the rights to Bethesda following the flop.

     Fallout 3 – Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks in 2008, the release follows the studio’s well-received Baldur’s Gate.  Fallout 3 was the first game in the Fallout series to replace the isometric viewpoint and to incorporate both an immersive world, and break away from the turn-based mode of combat. Upon release, the game was available on Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

     Fallout: New Vegas – Developed by Obsidian Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks in 2010, New Vegas is considered a spin-off from the series, it touted an impressive Open-World design allowing for players to visit some iconic, desert locations during their playthrough. Different from the other games in the franchise, New Vegas circled around the downfall of society rather than the aftermath of the atomic bombs like in the other games.

     Fallout 4 – Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks in 2015 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game was developed using the Skyrim game engine, and is set in the massive open-world of Boston, Massachusetts and surrounding area known as “The Commonwealth”.  Canonically, it takes place 10 years after Fallout 3, a total of 210 years after the start of The Great War, wherein the bombs fell. Fallout 4, introduced the Settlement Building system, which allows the player to develop their own settlements, and draw other Commonwealth survivors to live and attempt to thrive through building structures, food, and water stores. 

     Now that you know some of the origin on the gaming side, in the next installment, we’ll discuss some of the lore. The story that has lead us on our adventures so far, and how that plays into the upcoming Fallout 76. What was your first experience with Fallout? New to the franchise? Devoted your entire life to everything Fallout related? Or like most of us, somewhere in the middle? Let me know in the comments. Also, if I’ve missed anything, or you have suggestions for other topics, drop me a note below! Thanks so much for reading.