> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Why You Should Still Be Playing Fallout 25 Years Later

Why You Should Still Be Playing Fallout 25 Years Later

Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, developed by Interplay, may not have been the first title to dabble with the concept — that honour going to Interplay's previous 1988 game, Wasteland — but I'd argue it set the expectation for the post-apocalypse genre going forward. Arriving in 1997, it blew critics and players away with its refreshing take on both RPG gameplay and its unique setting... and 25 years later, it still holds up.

fallout 1 25anniversary 5

The original is a turn-based isometric RPG experience set within the nuclear-scorched remnants of Southern California in 2161. Worldwide civilisation came to a savage end nearly 200 years prior, when the squabbling superpower nations of the time forced nuclear devastation upon the Earth; this left only scattered survivors and a cruel new world in its wake. You are the "Vault Dweller", The one chosen to leave the safety of their underground bunker and venture out into the wild wastes in an effort to scavenge forgotten technology and save your fellow inhabitants.

The game uses mystery as a recurring key theme throughout; this starting piece of setup is all that you’re given before being thrust out into the nightmare world above. The original Fallout generally paints a considerably bleaker picture than you'd expect from the series nowadays. Everything is clearly burnt-out and worn down, and the world has an extra layer of hopelessness to it when compared to more modern entries. When coupled with the eerie ambient music (which you can listen to here), the desolate, apocalyptic environment is solidly reinforced. Honestly, I prefer this Fallout's more '80s/'90s themed world, it's darker and grittier (although it still does have fun with snippets of humour), and I think that fits perfectly.

fallout 1 25anniversary 3a2

Concerning the gameplay, the first Fallout can appear daunting at first — due mainly to how much information is constantly on screen — but it is genuinely easy to grasp. All that information is useful and has its place within the game; before you know it, you'll be navigating the HUD with no issues. If you boil it down, the game revolves around just two simple elements: experience points and mouse clicks.

  • EXP is acquired everywhere and is necessary to level up. Caps (the series' world currency) aside, this is your most valuable commodity. Just get stealing, cheating, killing, helping, and chatting around the wasteland. Let the EXP flow and get levelling up to make your character stronger. Like any RPG, sending your weak character to do a tough character's job won't ever end well.
  • As for the mouse clicks, that's how you do everything. The game is an isometric layout, clicks are used to do a bunch of things, including navigating your character around the world, selecting speech options, and interacting with NPCs, items, and containers.

Everything else can be learned along the way, including the levelling-up system and intricate combat. Think of it like a chess game and take your time — consider your moves in combat and your progression path before committing to them. Also, remember: this is a game from the '90s, so Interplay won't be holding your hand, you'll have to figure this one out alone.

fallout 1 25anniversary 6

Where more modern entries in the franchise let you gently immerse yourself in the world, that isn't the case here; this one even has a timer set to a certain number of in-game days! You're on an urgent mission, after all, so you can't pick it up and put it down when you feel like it. This sense of urgency, coupled with the completely unknown (and often dangerous) world, makes for a compelling bit of storytelling. You would think that the timer aspect would be frustrating, but it is not so; it gives you just enough to explore but not enough to be comfortable doing so. Once you pass the initial section of the game that has the timer, you can then take your time to explore more thoroughly.

Ultimately, Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game is not unlike Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. Its delivery is simplistic, its story is self-contained, and it does a brilliant job of introducing you to the world. The creatures are deadly, the characters are quirky, and the cultural references are abundant. The world is wacky and weird and almost begs to be traversed. There is always something new to uncover as you scout the baking deserts and bombed-out cities, so get to it!

Niall Cawley

Niall Cawley

Staff Writer

Fighting gods, but also sometimes not

Share this: