OPINION – With the invention of the atomic bomb, humanity began a strange dance of death – this is what the Fallout series is about. The false sense of security provided by the “don’t shoot because I shoot back” logic can give way to unbridled hell at any time. Ladies and gentlemen, we are at the touch of a button from the end of the world, and at the touch of a button to find out which Fallout game has adapted the post-nuclear hell best…
If it is disaster tourism, it certainly exists in digital form. There are games that one could be tortured with and there are people who play with them nonetheless. No worries, experimental rabbits aren’t needed only by the pharmaceutical industry either, game developers need some unlucky ones too to try out their semi-finished, horrible games. At least that seems to be the new method from now on. Either way, one of the most emblematic semi-finished title of recent times was obviously Fallout 76. Of course, criticizing this game has as much sporting value as running down someone who has no legs, so even though I see it on top of the list based on the Metacritic summary, as the worst Fallout game to date, it’s also a complete miracle that they finally managed to sweat out this many points after such a brutally bad opening. The game is coming soon to Xbox and PC within the Game Pass service, so it’s worth taking a look at this cult series from a critics ’perspective. Let’s start with the weakest right away and move down to the best from there.
8. Fallout 76 (2018 – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
52 points. Is this game worth so much? Critics say yes, and that’s already better than the “memorable” Duke Nukem Forever, right? No. This game is two points below that! But what were they thinking? Even the concept is incomprehensible. Deprive one of the most powerful story-centric games of all time from the unique possibilities of the singplayer experience, even NPCs, and then pump it up with the most unimaginative and most lazily scrambled fetch quests! The NPCs have returned since then, but that didn’t help the game either – the bugs remained, so the add-on got the same low ratings. We are 25 years after the Great War, and it seems that only the bugs survived the terrible nuclear shower. After waiting for a triple-triple A-game, such a brutally buggy, pathetic excuse for a game might as well put an end to a series with such high standards, right? At least everyone is afraid of this now, but I reassure the fans: even if the franchise is great, there were some missteps along the way already… And the game always stood up.
7. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004 – PlayStation 2, Xbox Classic)
What’s the point of adapting a classic game to controller if the new control scheme adds nothing but only takes away from the experience? In the old days, as a mouse-controlled isometric game, Fallout was a complex game that was easy to control, perfectly transparent, and logically structured. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, on the other hand, is an annoying, difficult-to-control, terribly simplified game in which the Brotherhood of Steel faction must be led to victory… What? That’s right: I don’t even remember more of the story! The game may not be as insulting to human intelligence (and wallet) as Fallout 76, but it is undoubtedly not a memorable, good game. And this is a great sin for a Fallout game.
6. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (2001 – PC)
Not to be confused with the previous game!
Critics of the world seem to have drunk their brains to feral ghoul-form from Nuka-Cola, because it’s not an 82 points game for sure! At the peak of my biggest passion, I didn’t find anything outstanding or particularly appreciable in this game: a stupid gameplay which wants to look smart, buggy and pathetic, without the strong driving force of the story, which carried the two main games discussed earlier. Unfortunately, not everyone understood what made this series work so much, not even Interplay and Black Isle Studios, so the rights to the game eventually landed in the hands of one degree more competent Bethesda. A peculiar grimace of fate is that the best Fallout game was still put on the table in 2010 by Obsidian, recruited from the remnants of the previous two teams.
5. Fallout: New Vegas (2010 – PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
84 points? They must be on Jet, they’ve completely lost it! This game in is a 91-92 point game. Just a few points, I know, but with a masterpiece of this level, those few points also count. Of course, there are a lot of mods with which I played the game on a PC, thanks to which most of the mutant bugs present here could be eliminated. Let’s face it, a vanilla game bug is a basic accessory for vanilla Fallout games, so if you judge New Vegast on that alone, it’s certainly a big pile of radioactive waste. However, under the sarcophagus people… You good heavens, what’s here?! Practically the deepest, most complex Fallout game, with a sea of memorable characters and missions, a very well-structured gameplay and story, and back to the DLCs… Those cool add-ons! Each is a small slice of the big whole, and playing through them in any order puts together a meaningful and exciting story! I can only recommend Fallout: New Vegas because this series has never been so close to perfection (no, not from a technical point of view, of course). And best of all: on Xbox One, this title is also part of the Game Pass, so play it! You will not regret it!
4. Fallout 4 (2015 – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Yeah, Fallout 4. Which is better, more polished technically, at least in so many things, is also weaker in terms of narrative and story. In this game, I have to agree with the opinion of the critics, 84 I think is also a realistic evaluation. I’m still playing the GOTY version (another minor issue that I think this game was never Game Of The Year) and the end is still out of sight for me. Amazingly stretched and long game, with so many optional threads that it’s virtually impossible to focus on the story. Our character is voice acted this time, which is rare with RPGs of this nature. In return, unfortunately, the dialogue system has been thoroughly changed, we can only choose from 4 answers or questions at any stage of the dialogue, and even then we only see hints as to exactly what our hero will say. Anyway, there are a lot of weirdness with this game, but now that it’s been patched properly, I don’t really encounter any bugs anymore. Maybe one day, if I live long enough, I’ll get to the end. It would be worth playing because the presentation was very cinematic, at least in this area it’s the strongest Fallout game by all means.
3. Fallout 2 (1998 – PC)
A bit more complicated story than in the first game, but a very well-deepened world with a real Mad Max feeling. Buggy as a hell, but the first game was as well. I also played this game with uncut content mod, which put a lot of elements back into the original game, so it would be indescribable to me today what this game might have been like in its original form. For me, it was exciting, entertaining, sometimes shocking, and sick. Very, very is sick. I tried Wasteland 2 not so long ago, and while it’s fantastic that this genre still exists (I played Desperados III for the first time after a long hiatus with this genre, which was also reviewed on this site), it was good, but it was missing the distorted, mentally ill humorous world of Fallout. Only the being a ranger is not enough for me, the raw “realism” (thankfully that’s not our reality – for now) couldn’t excite me enough to keep playing. While, on the other hand, I carried Fallout 2 with me in the old days just so I could play with it anywhere. I loved it. I have no idea how many times I could play through it, but it was an amazing experience. Interestingly though, the first game stayed better with me.
2. Fallout 1 (1997 – PC)
This game is around 89-90 for me too, so yeah, I can agree with that. A ruthlessly difficult (aaaaaand buggy!) game, like Fallout 2, it manages to portray this world from a bird’s eye view, showing no hope, faith, love, at least not in the form in which we know these concepts. It is brutal. The despair, the horror, takes hold of us in such a way that it is not really visible in detail, maybe only the violence… But the violence, you good heavens! Those animations !! Ruptured limbs, ruptured bodies, death and violence everywhere. The post-apocalyptic world is madness itself. Everything we know today in Fallout, the PipBoy, the V.A.T.S. targeting system, the concept of Vaults, the different factions were all invented for this game. It’s rare for a first game to be so “complete,” so whole, but that’s exactly the case here. If you still remember how scary it was to enter the above world for the first time in Fallout 3, then you know this game. To be honest, Fallout 3 is the same game, only in stunning 3D. Almost the same game…
1. Fallout 3 (2008 – PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Personal drama was not typical of Fallout until this point, as wasn’t the 3D FPS view either, but here Bethesda did exactly that: they put the foundation of Interplay and Black Isle on their engine, written for The Elder Scrolls series, perfectly capturing at every point what made the original game great, transferring it from the isometric view into three dimensions, and drawing a story around it starring real world stars that will keep you on the main mission throughout. At least that’s what everyone else would say…
I, on the other hand, say that Fallout 3 is a great game, but it’s all too clear who is good and who is bad, which simplification also loses Fallout’s final message: human nature is the cause. There are no wonderful knights and terrible satanic figures, but equally filthy people and factions continue to kill pointlessly even after the last war… Unfortunately, Bethesda did not get it, so it makes the player the savior of the world – or funny enough: the ultimate destroyer – but we do not remain small parts of the whole, but we are the hero, the protagonist, again, for a thousand times. While Fallout 2 cleverly reflected on our actions in the first game with our hero cult developed for the second one, there is no sign of that here. To feel that this story is about us, the world was built around us. It worked well with some, not so much for me. Of course, I also played this game hundreds of hours, but it’s not a timeless piece, not like New Vegas. New Vegas and even Fallout 4 had a much better sense of Fallout’s original vision. What is commendable, however, is that everything, and really everything, has been translated into 3D, even the spectacular targeting system, V.A.T.S.! Bombastic performance, so Bethesda deserves a big bow – a respectful sequel, for sure! How did we get from Fallout 3 to Fallout 76? Well, that’s another story…
Remember: Fallout 76 is free to play on Xbox One and PC from July 9, meaning anyone with a Game Pass subscription can try it out. Fallout: New Vegas is also available on the same service! Interesting: the best and worst Fallout in one place… I would recommend the latter – I’m afraid we can’t help Fallout 76 anymore, not even with testing the latest bugs in the game… Of course, like I said, disaster tourism also exists in the game world, so give Fallout 76 a try – if you dare!
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