Fallout (video game)

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Fallout is a role-playing game for the computer. This computer game was made by Interplay Entertainment. It was completed in 1997. It takes place 84 years after nuclear bombs have turned the Earth into a desert, and destroyed all the governments.

Gameplay[change | change source]

The player controls the character by using the mouse to make the character go places. When the character gets there, the player can make the character do other things. Some things the character can do are fighting, stealing, and talking. When the player is done playing in one town or place, he or she can use a map to get to a new place.

Because life is hard in the game, there are people who need help in every town. The player can choose to help the good guys or the bad guys (or both). Helping the good guys gives "karma points." Helping the bad guys costs karma points. A very evil character will have negative karma. No matter who the player helps, the character gets "experience points," which help the character get better at doing things.

The world is full of danger. There are people who will try to kill the character and take his stuff, and there are dangerous mutant animals that will try to eat the character. When this happens, the player must fight.

Combat[change | change source]

Combat in Fallout is like chess, because every character gets a turn. If the player attacks a character, then that character cannot act until the player is done with that attack. Then the character gets a turn to attack the player. This goes on, back and forth, until one of them dies or runs away. Some characters can do more actions per turn, depending on how long it takes to do the action, and how much agility the character has. More agile characters can do more actions per turn.

The player and other characters in Fallout can attack with their fists, with hand-held weapons like sledgehammers, with thrown weapons like grenades and with guns. Guns can be as small as pistols, or as large as gatling guns. There are even energy weapons, such as lasers.

Plot[change | change source]

In 2077, nuclear war erupted between the United States and China. Most of the people on Earth died, and the world became a desert. Fortunately, the United States government had already built underground fallout shelters called "Vaults," where some of the people went to survive. The player character was born in Vault 13, in what had been California. The people living in the vault were too scared to ever come out of the Vault, so they stayed inside it for 84 years.

Then, the computer chip that makes their water safe to drink breaks down. The Vault does not have any extra "Water Chips," so they send the player character into the desert to find a new one. He or she has 150 days to do, or else the people in the Vault will die.

Although the search for a new Water Chip is what starts the game, the player can do many other things while he or she is looking for the Chip, and even afterward.

Style[change | change source]

One interesting thing about Fallout is its "retrofuturistic" style. Retrofuturism means that, although the game is set in the future ("-futurism"), it looks like the past ("retro-"). Another way of explaining retrofuturism would be to say that the game shows the kind of future that people in the past would have imagined.

Specifically, Fallout is the future as 1955 America might have seen it. This can be seen in the themes of the game -- fear of nuclear war and a need for fallout shelters for safety -- and in the artistic style, or "looks" of the game. For example, all computers in Fallout contain either vacuum tubes or magnetic tape reels. Of course no one at Interplay in 1997 thought that there would be vacuum tubes in the future, but they put them in the game for the sake of retrofuturism.

Development[change | change source]

Many famous actors voiced some of the characters in Fallout. These include Richard Dean Anderson from MacGyver, David Warner from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Tony Shalhoub from Monk, Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond, Keith David from There's Something About Mary, Richard Moll from Night Court, and Tony Jay from ReBoot. Also, Ron Perlman from Hellboy was the narrator in the opening credits.

A lot of the people who worked on the game later joined Black Isle Studios, a smaller company inside Interplay that just made role-playing games. One of the games Black Isle Studios made was Fallout 2. After Interplay shut Black Isle Studios down, many of those game-makers went on to start Obsidian Entertainment, the game company that made Fallout: New Vegas in 2010.

Reception[change | change source]

Fallout was very popular when it came out, and continues to be remembered as a great game. It was ranked #4 on PC Gamer's list of top games of all time in 2001. It was named #5 on the IGN list of the top 25 PC games of all time in 2007, and #19 in 2009. The year it came out it was awarded "RPG of the Year" by GameSpot, and is now on their "Greatest Games of All Time" list. Fallout was ranked #55 on IGN's 2005 top 100 games of all time, and #33 in 2007.

Other websites[change | change source]