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Fallout Developed by: Interplay Published by: Interplay Release year: 1997 ESRB Rating: M Requirements: -16 MB RAM -2X CD-ROM -1 MB VRAM, 50 MB disk space -mouse -sound card For: PC

Fallout holds a special place with me. For starters, it was the very first role playing game I ever bought and to this day it still remains one of my favorites, although there are a few issues which let it down.

So how does it look?

Well, this game was first released in 1997 and even then it looked a little dated; today (2005) it looks downright old. However this also helps with the gritty image Fallout has. It\'s a post-nuclear world so your not going to expect gleaming metal surfaces or futuristic looking space stations. The graphics are pixelated and the resolution will run at a very low 640x480, which any gamer will tell you is laughable compared with today?s standards, however once again it helps with the feel. Your constantly playing at a birds eye view, and you\'ll get the sneaking \'Diablo\' feeling. However Fallout is completely different to Diablo.

What?s the story?

The year was 2077 when the bombs fell, China invaded Alaska as the worlds last oil wells dried up. Every major nation on earth was at each other?s throats so it was only a matter of time before the buttons where pressed and humanities fate permanently sealed in a cloud of radioactive dust and destruction? That is the style of intro you get when first booting up fallout, its mind blowingly thought out and original. The world itself is set in the future, but it?s a 50?s vision of the future, for example you?ll see the electronics systems use ?boiling tubes? and the wrecked cars have a very ?retro? look about them. The plot itself revolves around you having to leave a massive underground shelter known as a ?vault? to go in search of a new ?water purification chip? in order to prevent your family and the subsequent families which dwell within the ?vault? from dying of dehydration. This is a massive adventure, which takes you from scavenged junk built towns to the decaying ruins of Los Angeles. You?ll meet bloodthirsty raiders out to kill, merchants who are always keen for a quick deal and just average wastelander?s who are simply trying to survive in a broken world.

What\'s the combat like?

It?s here we start to run into problems, combat in the game is a major part fallout, and if you don\'t like turn based you might as well stop reading this review right now. You have a limited number of ?action points? these are determined by your characters stats (You have the choice to build your own unique character from scratch.) So for example the more agility points he/she has the more actions they can perform per turn, more or less the same for strength and endurance apart from they decide how much damage a person can take per hit and how much they can carry (weapons and items wise.) Because its turn base combat the game can become a bit on the slow side although you do have the option to turn up the computer controlled characters speed while they perform an action. The AI is good and you?ll be in for some tough fights even when you character is on the higher levels. Once combat is finished the game goes back into real time and you can control your chatacter however you want.

How does it sound?

The music and sounds match the gritty environment perfectly. You?ll be greeted with howling winds when exploring the endless wasteland and technological beeps while investigating military facilities. Weapons sounds are very good too, however they are not as varied. You can also expect to run across ?talking heads.? NPC?s who converse with you in a computer generated state. The acting in these sequences is top notch and any Stargate/Macgyver fan will be pleased to know that Richard Dean Anderson plays a mayor of a post war town.

Is it a good game for a Christian?

Yes and no? The gore in the game is pretty ?intense? (For example you can cut a human in half with a laser weapon.) However there is an option to turn the nasty animations off if you do not wish to see them, same goes for the bad language in the game. (There is A LOT of it if you leave the filter off.) There?s also a few VERY mild half joking sexual references in this game. I would not recommend this to anyone under the age of 16 (Providing they?re mature.) There is no reference to Christianity from what I could see, in fact the only real ?religion? in the game is a group of mad cultists who want to ?cleanse? the wasteland, however they have no real links with any mainstream faiths. Also if you?re a die hard American patriot you might want to avoid certain points in fallout, for example it turns out the US government created an illegal mutagen which would be able to create the Perfect \'super soldier? in order to fight back the red\'s. As for avoiding violence when ever possible, there?s usually more then one way out of situations and in a lot of circumstances you can avoid violence by being more ?charismatic? in your approach.

Stability

Well its an old game so your going to be able to run it fine (XP compatable AS LONG as you buy it on budget title) however in the original there was a few in-game bugs but they where patched a few weeks after release. This in turn caused the copies of the game which are now available on \'Budget\' titles (i.e Sold Out) to be patched, in other word the game now doesnt have so many bugs as it did when it first came out.

Final Comments

I recommend this game to those mature enough and those who love RPG?s, this kept me entertained for years and continues to do so. Even now I?m finding ways out of situations, which I never knew existed. Its also a refreshing change from the \'fantasy\' RPG\'s where you fight dragons, pixies and other such mythical creatures. Plus you can pick it up for less than ?5.00 (or $5.00-$10.00 in the states).

Final Ratings

Gaming Experience: Graphics: 5/10 Sound: 9/10 Game Play: 19/20 Stability: 5/5 Interface: 4/5 Total: 42/50
Appropriateness Issues: Language: 6/10 Sexuality: 4/10 Violence: 5/10 Occult: 2/10 Moral Issues: 10/10 Total 27/50

Final Score 69%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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