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Gaming Reviews with Grimm Series 1: Fallout

Patrick Keith reviews his favorite (and not so favorite) video games. Covering PC games and different consoles, Grimm goes into detail about his experiences with each game. Don't forget, Grimm has a knack for finding the rarest glitches when he plays any sort of game!


Well let’s start this off simple. Fallout is a Role-Playing game developed by Black Isle and published by Interplay back in 1997. Its story is set in a mid 22nd century post-apocalyptic world where everyone decided that nuclear showers was a good idea and then regretted it immediately. Basically, in what was a fantasy 50’s setting, the World was heading towards the inevitable World War 3. So, one pragmatic company, Vault Tech, decided that to safeguard the future of humanity they would design massive vaults under mountains or deep underground to “shelter” people from the very real possibility of a nuclear war. Once the storm blew over (literally) the vaults would re-open and the survivors could restart their lives in the surface world. The Vault Tech engineers also designed a device called a GECK to allow the remodeling of the nuclear-ravaged wasteland into a paradise using a form of terra-forming. That’s essentially the primer for the story of the game. It has heavy 50’s influence in looks, sounds, and even the feel of the game. The designers also had a strong sense of humor as is shown by the various special encounters on the world map and a darker twist with the ability to call shots at body parts including the groin.

As far as gameplay goes you design a character using the SPECIAL system which stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck respectively. Next you can further customize by choosing two traits that alter some of how your character can perform, whether by having a fast trigger-finger, a huge body frame, or by being naturally gifted. Finally are the skills which everyone knows and loves that define your character’s ability in an action such as energy weapons or repair. In-game you use a turn based system with action points, decided in large part by your agility, to move and do things. Now you don’t always have restricted movement in-game. Rather it’s free movement until a hostile action takes place or a threat is detected then it goes to turn based combat so you don’t take forever to walk into the store or talk to the mayor. As you go you gain experience from most every action and level as you go gaining Skill Points and Perks. Perks are further “traits”, as it were, that add more definition to the character such as increased melee damage from experience or increased sneak from training. Various boosts that are very helpful are gained from Perks. Also interestingly enough the combat skills are not the only useful skills, which is a sad trait common to many RPG’s these days, who hold combat above all else. First Aid and Doctor can be very helpful to staying alive while repair and science can greatly ease the difficulty of some challenges and make others possible to complete. Even better, you can take pick pocketing, and for once not only is it difficult to manage at times, but cleaning someone out can really net some great gear or much needed supplies. And as always you can play the gallant savior, the prick, or the ambiguous wanderer. Depending on your actions the game will actually keep track of your “reputation” and some people will react differently to you.

Personally overall the game was well worth the play through
, and future play-throughs as well. The story is rather in-depth and the gameplay is easy to learn but hard to master. No matter what character you design it is generally more than possible to beat the game though some choices may prove to complicate your attempts at wandering the wasteland. There aren’t many - if any - glitches that I can remember, and for an older game it still runs well on the newer systems so it can remain a fun game to enjoy even on Vista. Plus using a plasma rifle to liquefy enemies never really gets old.


Written By Patrick Keith. Edited by Tyler Clapp. All references, icons, and imagery are trademark to their appropriate owners, and author and editor take no credit for creation/ownership of these things, only the opinions stated in this article.