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Fallout 2

Developer: Black Isle Studios | Publisher: Interplay
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 09/30/98 | Genre: RPG

Fallout 2: A Post-Apocalyptic Role-Playing Game retains the best elements of the original game and improves on the customization and overall entertainment value. Fans of the prequel will recognize the unique turn-based combat system and character generation method, and will appreciate expanded weaponry, greater benefits to leveling up, a much bigger game world, and a very witty, engaging storyline.

Fallout 2 picks up some 80 years after the end of the first game. You're the ?ÄòChosen One'?Äîthe descendant of the hero of Fallout 1, and your village has sent you out into the post-Armageddon world to find a device that will save them from extinction. Along the way, you run into plenty of opposition and get plenty of help, too, including a few cameos from characters of the first game?Äîapparently high doses of radiation in the atmosphere makes people live a long time.

One of the game's most impressive aspects is the extreme uniqueness of every character. The ability scores, character traits, and perks you choose at the beginning of the game will invariably predict future outcomes. For example, creating a character with an intelligence score of three or less (not recommended) means you can only communicate through garbled grunts and gestures. As one can imagine, this makes the game entertaining to no end, and extremely replayable.

That said, I like my RPGs gritty. Full of blood and gore?Äîa healthy dose of swearing is also appreciated. After 20 levels of slaughtering innocent civilians and selling the majority of my npcs to the local slave trade?Äîno joke?ÄîI felt like I should be going to confession. Fallout 2 is not for small children or the weak of heart?Äîbut it's damn fun. And it's one of the few RPGs that gives you a realistic chance at beating the game as an evil character.

The game's humor is another of its strong points. Fallout 2 retains its predecessor's cheesy 1940s newsreel-style cut scenes?Äîand this is a good thing. For one thing, they're hilarious. For another, they impart a kind of cold war era fear that stays true to the game's theme. Fallout 2 is also brimming with shameless movie rip-offs, going so far as to poke fun at the character voice-actors themselves.

Fallout 2 is what every RPG should be. It's entertaining as both a story and a combat system, and is actually well written?Äîsomething of a rarity. The one negative thing I can come up with for this review is that there's yet to be a Fallout 3, and even that I can cope with?ÄîI'll just be replaying this edition, again and again and again.

By Jonathan Face - 02/22/02
ESRB Details: Animated Blood and Gore, Strong Language
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Screenshots for Fallout 2

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